bricejohnson
Posts: 127
Joined: Wed Mar 28, 2012 1:35 am

Best Camera Settings For Sharpness?

Mon Aug 19, 2013 6:55 pm

Hello All,

I was out shooting (mostly departing aircraft) the other day, and am pretty disappointed with the results I achieved. I was exposing at 1/800-1/2500 shutter speeds, and set the f stop to f8, under relatively clouding conditions. ISO was at 200.

I was shooting with a Nikon 70-300mm lens, and found that anything zoomed past 210mm was not perfectly clear. Also, sections of the aircraft I was shooting did not come out clear either (ie: clear nose with tail out of focus, or slightly blurred tail, etc).

What am I doing wrong?

What is the ideal f-stop for shooting aircraft with a 70-300mm lense under ideal conditions?

Please help!

Thanks all,

Calvin

[Edited 2013-08-19 12:00:59]

[Edited 2013-08-19 12:01:39]
Calvin
 
dazbo5
Posts: 2717
Joined: Tue Mar 29, 2005 8:05 am

RE: Best Camera Settings For Sharpness?

Mon Aug 19, 2013 7:16 pm

Quoting BriceJohnson (Thread starter):
and found that anything zoomed past 210mm was not perfectly clear

It's difficult to comment without seeing examples, but it's not uncommon for some lenses to be softer at their longer focal lengths. You don't say which lens it is specifically, but you get what you pay for with lenses. More expensive lenses are often sharper across their more of their zoom range, but none are perfect. There's always a compromise with zoom lenses with often the longer focal lengths displaying degrees of softness. Another factor is heat haze and atmospheric conditions. How crisp was the air? Summer months and telephoto lenses don't often go hand in hand when you're shooting aircraft close to the ground. Atmospheric conditions come in to play.

Quoting BriceJohnson (Thread starter):
What am I doing wrong?

You may not be doing anything wrong, you just found a limitation of the equipment you're using or the conditions / location you were shooting under.

Quoting BriceJohnson (Thread starter):
What is the ideal f-stop for shooting aircraft with a 70-300mm lense under ideal conditions?

There isn't really an ideal aperture to use. Some lenses are at their sharpest at around f/8-10, but you need to consider the light and conditions you're shooting under.

An example of what you're describing would be useful.

Darren
Equipment: 2x Canon EOS 50D; Sigma 10-20 EX DC HSM, 50-500 EX APO DG, Canon 24-105 f/4 L, Speedlite 430EX
 
AlexC
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Joined: Sun Mar 18, 2007 6:13 am

RE: Best Camera Settings For Sharpness?

Tue Aug 20, 2013 9:14 am

That really doesn't make a lot of sense to me. If you were shooting at a minimum of 1/2500 at f8 on a cloudy day I would have thought that you'd be getting seriously under-exposed results never mind any other problems.
 
vikkyvik
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RE: Best Camera Settings For Sharpness?

Tue Aug 20, 2013 2:41 pm

Quoting BriceJohnson (Thread starter):
Also, sections of the aircraft I was shooting did not come out clear either (ie: clear nose with tail out of focus, or slightly blurred tail, etc).

That sounds exactly like my experiences with lens softness when using cheaper lenses (I don't know if yours is cheap or not, but anyway). The edges/corners of the frame would get soft as I zoomed, and then the whole frame would get unusably soft.

Quoting dazbo5 (Reply 1):
There isn't really an ideal aperture to use. Some lenses are at their sharpest at around f/8-10, but you need to consider the light and conditions you're shooting under.

   With my lenses, I'm relatively unconcerned with aperture, provided I have enough DOF. My 70-200 and 300 will happily shoot sharply at F4. But you need to experiment with your lenses.

Also have to agree with Alex - 1/2500 at ISO200 and F8 would result in severe underexposure on a cloudy day, at least for me!
I'm watching Jeopardy. The category is worst Madonna songs. "This one from 1987 is terrible".
 
sovietjet
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RE: Best Camera Settings For Sharpness?

Tue Aug 20, 2013 3:04 pm

Make sure you are using the servo autofocus otherwise you might get soft images due to wrong focus.
 
bricejohnson
Posts: 127
Joined: Wed Mar 28, 2012 1:35 am

RE: Best Camera Settings For Sharpness?

Wed Aug 21, 2013 2:29 am

Thanks for the responses! I am using a Nikon VR 70-300mm lens: http://www.amazon.com/Nikon-70-300mm...93&sr=8-1&keywords=70-300+nikon+vr

Calvin
Calvin
 
dazbo5
Posts: 2717
Joined: Tue Mar 29, 2005 8:05 am

RE: Best Camera Settings For Sharpness?

Wed Aug 21, 2013 7:13 am

Quoting BriceJohnson (Thread starter):
Please help!

I still think posting an example will help people advise you.

Darren
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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ivandalavia
Posts: 91
Joined: Sun May 13, 2007 6:51 pm

RE: Best Camera Settings For Sharpness?

Wed Aug 21, 2013 6:47 pm

70-300?
I've got the same lens and i wish to say for you next thing-It was worst choice for Planespotting
Other reasons in that discuss is dustshit
NO GUST....NO GLORY
 
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yerbol
Crew
Posts: 282
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RE: Best Camera Settings For Sharpness?

Thu Aug 22, 2013 5:35 pm

Calvin,
Nikon 70-30mm VR is a very good lens. I had one and still own one. It is sharp even at 300mm but you have to close the aperture down to f8 or f9. Some people close aperture down to f11.
For example, Martin, Igor and AJ use this lens and the results are good. Please see links below.
http://www.airliners.net/photo/Malay...d=2941c3b749077c8489809fa8fa2960d2
http://www.airliners.net/photo/Russi...d=2941c3b749077c8489809fa8fa2960d2
http://www.airliners.net/photo/Ameri...d=2941c3b749077c8489809fa8fa2960d2

Try to go out on sunny morning or afternoon and photo in aperture mode with F8, ISO 100-200 and show us examples.
The results should be OK if your lens optically-mechanically fine and you have steady hands  

Good luck!
With best regards from Almaty
 
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WingsFan
Posts: 199
Joined: Tue Oct 06, 2009 1:24 pm

RE: Best Camera Settings For Sharpness?

Fri Aug 23, 2013 3:21 pm

Quoting ivandalavia (Reply 7):
70-300?
I've got the same lens and i wish to say for you next thing-It was worst choice for Planespotting

There are two 70-300 lenses from Nikon. The cheaper one ( non-VR) is supposed to be terrible.

The other more expensive alternative is the VR lens with ED glass . This is a very good lens. You will find a lot of photographs here taken using that lens.
 
dcaviation
Posts: 243
Joined: Thu Aug 25, 2011 12:26 am

RE: Best Camera Settings For Sharpness?

Fri Aug 23, 2013 7:37 pm

Quoting ivandalavia (Reply 7):
70-300?
I've got the same lens and i wish to say for you next thing-It was worst choice for Planespotting
Other reasons in that discuss is dustshit

Whats wrong with this lens? I've been using it since 2007 and love it. I have two of them and can't complain.
 
bricejohnson
Posts: 127
Joined: Wed Mar 28, 2012 1:35 am

RE: Best Camera Settings For Sharpness?

Sat Aug 24, 2013 12:15 am

Quoting yerbol (Reply 8):
Calvin,
Nikon 70-30mm VR is a very good lens. I had one and still own one. It is sharp even at 300mm but you have to close the aperture down to f8 or f9. Some people close aperture down to f11.
For example, Martin, Igor and AJ use this lens and the results are good. Please see links below.
http://www.airliners.net/photo/Malay...d=2941c3b749077c8489809fa8fa2960d2
http://www.airliners.net/photo/Russi...d=2941c3b749077c8489809fa8fa2960d2
http://www.airliners.net/photo/Ameri...d=2941c3b749077c8489809fa8fa2960d2

Try to go out on sunny morning or afternoon and photo in aperture mode with F8, ISO 100-200 and show us examples.
The results should be OK if your lens optically-mechanically fine and you have steady hands  

Good luck!
Quoting WingsFan (Reply 9):
There are two 70-300 lenses from Nikon. The cheaper one ( non-VR) is supposed to be terrible.

The other more expensive alternative is the VR lens with ED glass . This is a very good lens. You will find a lot of photographs here taken using that lens.
Quoting dcaviation (Reply 10):
Whats wrong with this lens? I've been using it since 2007 and love it. I have two of them and can't complain.

Thanks so much for the responses! Very much appreciated.  

Calvin
Calvin
 
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ivandalavia
Posts: 91
Joined: Sun May 13, 2007 6:51 pm

RE: Best Camera Settings For Sharpness?

Sat Aug 24, 2013 2:51 pm

Quoting dcaviation (Reply 10):
Quoting dcaviation (Reply 10):
Whats wrong with this lens? I've been using it since 2007 and love it. I have two of them and can't complain.

Have you ever had other lenses such as NIKKOR 80-200? Have you ever been absolutely honest with yourself?

70-300 top of lenses for poor people and all
NO GUST....NO GLORY
 
dcaviation
Posts: 243
Joined: Thu Aug 25, 2011 12:26 am

RE: Best Camera Settings For Sharpness?

Sun Aug 25, 2013 8:48 pm

Quoting ivandalavia (Reply 12):
70-300 top of lenses for poor people and all

My pictures are good enough to be published each month in an aviation magazine. This lens is great in low light.
I don't care about 200mm lenses. And I will never buy one. I'm not a Russian mogul to afford one...
 
AlexC
Posts: 68
Joined: Sun Mar 18, 2007 6:13 am

RE: Best Camera Settings For Sharpness?

Tue Aug 27, 2013 8:08 pm

The 80-200/2.8 AFS is accepted to be one of the sharpest lenses that Nikon ever made.

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