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Why My Camera Is Shooting Like This?

Tue May 07, 2013 1:41 am


I need a help of you. I've been facing several problems with focusing. I'm taking lots of very soft and not sharp photos and I don't know why my camera is taking photos like that.

I shoot in RAW format. See the example below: It was taken with a Nikon D5100 and a 70-300mm VR at f/7.1, 1/800, ISO 200 at 300mm.

Should it be an AF issue or a low shutter speed?

Check the example below in the large format please.

Thank you in advance for your help.


[Edited 2013-05-06 18:45:10]
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RE: Why My Camera Is Shooting Like This?

Tue May 07, 2013 2:09 am


First of all, how are your photos of stationary objects? If your stationary shots are sharp maybe the issue is more with the panning than the equipment. If the aircraft is approaching then a slow autofocus or focusing on the wrong part of the aircraft could cause issues.

The example photo also looks like it was hazy, which will not help the sharpness and overall quality.

Also, if you have not seen it take a look at this recent thread on the feedback forum which covered basically the same topic:
Nikon D3200 - DX VR Nikkor 55-300 - Help (by planotxwx Apr 29 2013 in Photography Feedback)
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RE: Why My Camera Is Shooting Like This?

Tue May 07, 2013 7:15 am

Quoting abritta (Thread starter):
at 300mm

I'm not familiar with your lens, but many lenses do tend to get soft towards their maximum zoom. It could simply be an equipment limitation. You could try stopping down to f/10, to see if that improves things any. Some lenses will be slightly sharper between f/8-10. The 50-500 I use is sharpest at f/10 for example but you have to bear in mind that zoom lenses are a compromise and aren't generally sharp across their entire zoom range, unless you invest in very expensive lenses. Heat haze doesn't look o be an issue, especially at that altitude but atmospheric conditions as the weather warms play a part too with long lenses.

Equipment: 2x Canon EOS 50D; Sigma 10-20 EX DC HSM, 50-500 EX APO DG, Canon 24-105 f/4 L, Speedlite 430EX
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RE: Why My Camera Is Shooting Like This?

Tue May 07, 2013 8:35 am

Also any filter could distort the image a little.. It all adds up.
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RE: Why My Camera Is Shooting Like This?

Wed May 08, 2013 9:56 pm

With my 70-300, I see a bit of softness at 300mm, but not that much, anywhere in the F/5.6 to F/16 range.

I have seen similar haziness when putting a polarizing filter on my 70-300. Best I can guess is the long focal length accentuates imperfections in the filter. I don't see such results on wide angle lenses. My polarizer is not top-of-the-line, but it's also not a Sunpack.
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RE: Why My Camera Is Shooting Like This?

Wed May 08, 2013 10:23 pm

It looks like lens softness to me. I used to see similar, if not worse, on my Canon 70-300 IS USM beyond 260mm.
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RE: Why My Camera Is Shooting Like This?

Thu May 09, 2013 5:24 pm

I have seen it with that lens before. I used to shoot Nikon a few years back now and now I am onto Canon because of the Glass options I have.

That lens (Nikon 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6G IF-ED VR AF-S) has a nasty habit of being VERY soft between 200-300mm range. Wide open it gives you a very dull image quality. It depends on the specific lens as they all have there sweet spot but mine was VERY dull wide open and would yield similar images to what you have there.

I would go take a series of test shots with the lens. Alter the focal length by 50mm increments (or smaller if you wish) and study the images at 100% size. I bet you will find that the lens produces some very sharp images as one given focal. Between 70mm-200mm is where you will most likely find this.
At 300mm you can try stopping it down to something like F8 and you may see some better results but with this lens you may be better off with shooting within 70-200mm and cropping it down if you want a larger image.

Best of luck.

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