User Tag List

Thanks useful information Thanks useful information:  14
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 28

Thread: Was it a high ISO that caused these poor quality shots?

  1. #1
    Member MadMax1412's Avatar
    Join Date
    24 Aug 2010
    Location
    Newcastle
    Posts
    52
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Was it a high ISO that caused these poor quality shots?

    Guy,

    I would appreciate some advise as to what has caused my photos to look "Blotchy" colour wise when you zoom in.

    As you can see from the top photo (resized to 1024 x 680 in Paint.NET to meet upload conditions - original was 3216 x 2136), the photo looks reasonably ok but as soon as you start to zoom in, the colours look blotchy.

    I was using a Nikon D90 on a tripod with a remote trigger. Lens was a Tamron 18-270mm F/3.5-6.3 set to Auto. Flash was a hotshoe mounted Yongnuo Speedlite YN565EX set to TTL mode with the angle of the flash probably pointing about 30 degrees towards the subjects.

    The attached data says the photo was at F/14, ISO-3200, exposure 1/60 (which I believe it has to be to sync with the flash - correct?), Focal Length - 70mm; 35mm Focal Length - 105mm. I had set it to Aperture Priority as I wanted a wide depth of field as I would also be shooting larger groups which were sitting in a V shape (point of the V furtherest away) so I wanted to make sure that everyone was in focus. It was an extended family Christmas gathering and as you may know, when you're trying to do lots of different shots, the people don't want to wait whilst you adjust your camera for every shot and I'm not "professional" enough to know at a glance what settings I should be changing it to and be able to make those changes without people getting bored waiting for the photo to be taken.

    So should I be going into the menu on the D90 and limiting the ISO maximum (or setting it to a specific value)?

    My understanding is that if you change one thing eg ISO, then you need to change either the exposure (which can't change from 1/60 for flash - correct), or the aperture (but I needed a big depth of field), so if my high ISO, which was automatically selected, is the culprit, what settings should I have done given I'm not carrying reflective umbrella's etc.

    Thanks in advance for your advice.

    DSC_0116 - Copy.JPG
    DSC_0116 - Copy (2).JPG

  2. #2
    Ausphotography irregular Mark L's Avatar
    Join Date
    21 Nov 2010
    Location
    magical Mudgee
    Posts
    18,817
    Mentioned
    26 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Get the ISO off auto.
    You say " I had set it to Aperture Priority as I wanted a wide depth of field as I would also be shooting larger groups which were sitting in a V shape (point of the V furtherest away) so I wanted to make sure that everyone was in focus." So what's to think about with each different photo if you're in Aperture Priority? Just need to change the f/#. You don't need F/14 for this photo.
    So, camera set on ISO 400, f/9 (just a general starting point, might even get away with lower ISO) in Aperture Priority and the wonder of ETTL is the flash will compensate for how much light is needed. The camera is then left to choose it's own shutter speed, which will probably be fast then 1/60 sec.
    You may want to consider bouncing the flash off the ceiling with the reflection board out (you may need to increase the flashes power a little doing this). This gives a more even light, a slight highlight in and around the eyes.
    No expert on the finer details here, but the above is a start. I have the same flash and it works well. Let the ETTL do it's stuff and worry about your camera settings.
    Practice.
    Hopefully some one that knows more than me will turn up soon.
    Last edited by Mark L; 26-12-2014 at 10:08pm.
    "Enjoy what you can do rather than being frustrated at what you can't." bobt
    Canon 80D, 60D, Canon 28-105, Sigma 150-600S, a speedlite, a tripod, a monopod, a remote release and a padded bag to carry things in.

  3. #3
    Ausphotography Regular bitsnpieces's Avatar
    Join Date
    01 May 2014
    Location
    St Albans
    Posts
    1,131
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    To answer your question, yes, it was the high ISO.

    To help understand why it occured, I agree with Mark, it's the F/14 you used.

    ISO, aperture, and shutter all work in a triangle (not really but I just put it that way)

    Here's a good post about camera metering, and hopefully this can help you be more aware of what's happening as you change ISO, aperture, and shutter speed.
    http://www.ausphotography.net.au/for...-why-it-s-dumb
    Although it doesn't explicitly relate to those 3 things, understanding the end result is one part.

    So with the images you've posted, you set up the flash to flash at a certain power level.
    Now, to make things easier to understand, and also because I don't know the terminology, I'm going to give the brightness of your photo a digit to indicate a power level, and if you feel this is just going to make things more confusing, just skip it all and call my post done from here.

    [Start nonsensical rant]
    Now, let's say a brightness of 6 is optimal for a photo. Your room brightness has a power level of 2, so it's quite dim, according to the camera. So your flash is going to run at a power level of 4, to make a total of 6, and have the optimal image.
    Now, when a shutter speed is automatically determined by the camera and flash is enabled, cameras just like working around that shutter speed and I don't know why, and it may not be true for all cameras, or all situations, but at least for my Sony, it likes 60 - rarely it shoots differently.
    Either way, your camera shot at 1/60 for the shutter, and let's say that cuts down a power level. So the end result that the camera at this point, is it's only get 5 out of 6.
    Your aperture is also at 14, let's say that cuts down another 3 power levels, so now, although you have flash, due to the shutter speed, and the small aperture (F/14), the camera only takes in a level of 2, too dark according to the camera. So it boosts up the ISO so make it more sensitive, so that 2 will equate to 6 due to sensor sensitivity, therefore, you have a high ISO of 3200, thus the blotchy photo.

    So, if you put the aperture to 9, let's say that cuts down 1.5 power levels, so you would still have 3.5 in terms of brightness level, that means the camera only has to compensate for 2.5 worth, rather than 4, via ISO, therefore, it doesn't need an ISO that sensitive anymore, and will only use ISO 1600, which is a cleaner image than ISO 3200. So that's the effect of aperture.
    Now, just so you can understand how the shutter affects this, let's say you kept the aperture at 14, and you wanted to use ISO 1600 for the higher quality. That means the camera has to compensate via shutter speed now. So at the beginning, we had 1/60, and that gave you 5 out of the 6 power levels required, the F/14 took another 3 away, and using ISO 3200 gained 4. Because you're only using ISO 1600, the gain isn't 4 anymore, but 2.5. Therefore, your total, using 1/60 shutter, F/14, and ISO 1600, is only 4.5. You're lacking 1.5 for the optimal image. So the shutter slows down to 1/30, so the camera has more time to absorb the light, another 1.5 levels worth, to give you the optimal image of 6.

    The effect of flash now, if you strengthen the flash, so it gives more light, obviously, you know the rest - you can make the aperture smaller (less light can get through, darker image), or use a small ISO (less sensitive -> better quality), or speed up the shutter speed (less chances for a blurry image), to compensate the extra power.

    I know, this isn't correct terminology, but the purpose of it is to help you see the relation between the 3 things, how one affects the other, if you want to control it.
    [End nonsensical rant]
    Last edited by bitsnpieces; 27-12-2014 at 12:58am.
    David Tran

  4. #4
    Member
    Threadstarter
    MadMax1412's Avatar
    Join Date
    24 Aug 2010
    Location
    Newcastle
    Posts
    52
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Mark L View Post
    Get the ISO off auto.
    You say " I had set it to Aperture Priority as I wanted a wide depth of field as I would also be shooting larger groups which were sitting in a V shape (point of the V furtherest away) so I wanted to make sure that everyone was in focus." So what's to think about with each different photo if you're in Aperture Priority? Just need to change the f/#. You don't need F/14 for this photo.
    You probably didn't mean it this way, but I'm sorry to say that your response of "So what's to think about with each different photo if you're in Aperture Priority? Just need to change the f/#." came across as a bit abrupt. I mentioned/hinted that I'm not a professional which means I'm not an expert. The reason I chose F14 was that I knew it would cover the focal distance between the closest and furthermost person and I wouldn't end up with 90% of the subjects in focus and the rest blurry. On my old film based camera, the zoom lens had 2 lines coming from the F mark leading to the distance ring, so by looking at the distance ring you could see the minimum and maximum distance of the focal range. This lens doesn't do that so I don't know off the top of my head what the closest point and furthermost point would be. So, yes, perhaps you might be able to just chose the appropriate F stop and get everything right, but I can't. I thought this forum was for people of all skills but the wording of your reply came across as a put down. For me to take a guess at what F stop covered the range I wanted would involve me taking a photo and then trying to zoom in on the rear window of the D90 and moving around and trying to see if it's all in focus and then trying another F stop and so on which is what I was saying about people not wanting to wait whilst you are checking each shot.

    Anyway, moving on and your following statements were more helpful. So it was the ISO being too high. I will set the maximum ISO to a lower level. You said the camera could chose it's own shutter speed, which obviously up until now, I didn't realise it could do for flash photography. As per my original post, I thought the speed had to be 1/60 of a second. Following your comment about it being able to choose a different speed, I did some research and found out that: (a) - the term I'm thinking of is "Flash Sync Speed" and (b) - 1/60 was required by (quote) "Amateur SLRs from the 1970 and 1980s, like the Olympus OM-1, Minolta SRT series and X-700" (unquote). Since that's what I was told way back then when I was learning, I've always thought that remained the same and therefore had no reason to believe otherwise. Now I know that the Flash Sync Speed can be faster.

    Quote Originally Posted by bitsnpieces View Post
    ISO, aperture, and shutter all work in a triangle (not really but I just put it that way)
    Yep, that's what I wrote in my original post where I said "My understanding is that if you change one thing eg ISO, then you need to change either the exposure (which can't change from 1/60 for flash - correct), or the aperture".

    Quote Originally Posted by bitsnpieces View Post

    So with the images you've posted, you set up the flash to flash at a certain power level.
    If you mean that I chose a "specific" power level for the flash, I didn't realise I had done that. As I wrote - "Flash was a hotshoe mounted Yongnuo Speedlite YN565EX set to TTL mode" - I thought that TTL mode meant that the flash could "read" from the camera what settings the camera was going to use (ISO, zoom, aperture, etc, etc), along with a reading of ambient light, and output the required amount of light for the shot. I wouldn't have a clue on what settings to use putting the flash on "M" setting. I did try a couple of shots (of the Christmas tree) using "M" level earlier that day when I first arrived and the first photo was almost totally white and after a couple more attempts, I decided I wouldn't gamble on stuffing up these photos and put it to TTL mode. That's why I thought that if I just selected a big enough F stop to ensure everyone is in focus and have the camera and flash select everything else and bounce the flash so we didn't get ugly shadows, then the photos would be perfect (ignoring subject matter).

    A few days before Christmas my father-in-law found out he needs urgent quadruple heart bypass surgery and they almost scheduled it for Xmas eve, so I wanted to take a group shot of him, his wife, their kids and husbands and grand children (hence the need for a big depth of field as there would be shots where people are sitting 2 deep on the floor, then those on the lounge and some standing behind the lounge). Anyway, I just wanted these photos to work out as who knows what might happen during surgery. It might be the last family gathering.

    Anyway, back on topic, thanks guys for confirming that it was the high ISO. Furthermore, I now know that the flash sync speed can be faster than 1/60 second. I guess my biggest problem is being confident in choosing the right F stop (if I force a low(er) maximum ISO eg 400) and knowing my subject matter is all in focus. I find the screen on the D90, even when I zoom in, doesn't show up defects as easily as they are seen when you import them on to the PC and viewing them on a monitor.

  5. #5
    Moderately Underexposed I @ M's Avatar
    Join Date
    04 May 2007
    Location
    Marlo, Far East Gippsland
    Posts
    4,911
    Mentioned
    3 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Can I just offer a few pointers with that photo and your procedure?
    I will just list them in point form and discuss the aspects later if you want.

    Yes, the iSO is too high, or at least a lot higher than it needs to be in this situation. 200 - 400 ISO would have worked quite well and all it would have meant is that the flash would have had to output a few stops more light and it should be quite capable of that out put at those distances.

    You say that you had the lens set to "auto" and I am not quite sure what you mean by "auto". If the lens is equipped with an image stabilaisation system it should be turned off when mounted on a tripod. Not turning it off can cause blurriness in photos.

    Focussing in a situation where you are doing "selfies" like that one needs to be addressed as if the focus system of the camera is being activated by the remote control you can end up with the focus point not being where it should be. That of course doesn't apply when you are operating the camera to do a group shot but in the example above the clear focus point is hard to define.

    Aperture. I would avoid using F/14 or anything much above F/8 actually. There is a phenomenon called diffraction that affects digital images, mostly caused by the lens and generally it starts appearing from F/5.6 and upward depending on the quality of the lens. Diffraction is something that did not occur back in film days.
    With the "V" shaped group if there aren't huge numbers of people in the group if you were around 5 metres away from them and you focussed on the second person back from the front of the v and then recomposed to take the photo F/8 should give you adequate depth of field and that would be around 3.5 metres. You flash should be able to light a group like that satisfactorily.
    Having a shutter speed slightly above the focal length in use will help with obtaining blur free photos if you are hand holding the camera. If you are using a tripod you can get away with a slightly slower shutter speed. 1/60 on a tripod would be fine, 1/80 hand holding at around 50mm focal length would be good.

    Shutter speeds and flash photography are a whole subject on their own but assuming that you are photographing people in reasonably dim conditions the shutter speed at around 1/60 will not influence the photo much.
    Andrew
    Nikon, Fuji, Nikkor, Sigma, Tamron, Tokina and too many other bits and pieces to list.



  6. #6
    It's all about the Light!
    Tech Admin
    Kym's Avatar
    Join Date
    15 Jun 2008
    Location
    Modbury, Adelaide
    Posts
    9,641
    Mentioned
    18 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Camera Maker: NIKON CORPORATION
    Camera Model: NIKON D90
    Image Date: 2014-12-25 16:30:20 (no TZ)
    Focal Length: 70.0mm (35mm equivalent: 105mm)
    Aperture: ƒ/14.0
    Exposure Time: 0.017 s (1/60)
    ISO equiv: 3200
    Exposure Bias: none
    Metering Mode: Matrix
    Exposure: aperture priority (semi-auto)
    White Balance: Auto
    Flash Fired: Yes (Auto, return light detected)
    Color Space: sRGB
    GPS Coordinate: undefined, undefined
    Software: paint.net 4.0.5
    ISO 3200 is much higher than needed, f/14 is to deep, 1/60th is a tad slow (1/125 is about right for this)
    So change to around f/8 (or maybe 5.6), 1/125, ISO 800
    regards, Kym Gallery Honest & Direct Constructive Critique Appreciated! ©
    Digital & film, Bits of glass covering 10mm to 500mm, and other stuff



  7. #7
    A royal pain in the bum! arthurking83's Avatar
    Join Date
    04 Jun 2006
    Location
    the worst house, in the best street
    Posts
    8,185
    Mentioned
    2 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    As already said, the f/14 is what 'killed' the quality in this image.

    At f/14 and 70mm on a crop sensor, assuming no crop on the full image, you would have been approximately 2m from the people in this image.

    At those settings(give or take with the distance), a DOF calculator would have told you that your DOF for this scene would have given you about half a meter of a zone in 'sharp focus'.

    What isn't revealed in these calculations is that this zone of sharp focus is actually an illusion, some people may see the zone of sharp focus differently.
    But more importantly, the reproduction ratio of the image will depend on what looks sharp(or in focus) .. not so much the absolute values from the calculations.

    That is, if your purpose is to make a regular 4x6 or 5x7 print or display the image at about a 24" screen size, the small reproduction ratio will give you the 'illusion' of more depth.
    If you crop to the 100% pixel peeping ratio as in your 100% crop, then the focus zone will appear shallower and hence not as sharp.

    If you changed aperture to say f/4 or f/5.6(being a superzoom lens, this may have been something like f/5 or something), and kept everything else the same, the depth of the zone of sharp focus would have gone from the original ~ 1/2 m to somewhere between 15cm to 20cm.
    Given that the average persons head is about 20-30cm in diameter, this is more than enough depth to give the illusion of a sharp zone of focus.

    At this f/4 - f/5.6, the ISO setting in Auto ISO would have been more like ISO400-ish.

    The D90 has the same sensor as the D300(which I have) and the quality difference between ISO3200 and ISO400 is massive.
    ISO3200 quality is actually quite good if it's needed, and I've set up my D300 to use Auto ISO up to ISO3200 too .. so there's nothing wrong with that, but it's not like a D7000, or D3s in that the difference is small.
    So if quality is your priority, keep ISO exposure changes to a minimum. i.e. try to maximize shutter and aperture, if increasing light is not an option before you up ISO.

    The other thing to note on why the f/14 setting may not have been appropriate is the sharpness of the Christmas tree in the background! It's too sharply rendered.
    For a landscape, or macro scene .. perfect!
    But for a portrait scene .. this much DOF isn't complementary to the scene.

    The other point of note is about the use of noise reduction, either in camera, or possibly in software.
    Not knowing your workflow, this is hard to help with.

    But briefly:
    don't use NR in camera unless you're shooting in jpg mode.
    Don't shoot in jpg mode, shoot in raw mode.
    Many of the available software options(free) can perform good noise reduction with good control.
    Usually paid for software will give you more control so that you can paint noise reduction into the scene to mask it really well, and if your exposure is good, you don't usually need to much on the detail areas in the image.
    As an example of that, in this image, I would apply heavy NR to the background of the scene(ie. the non face areas) .. and then either zero NR to the people's faces or if needed much weaker NR to their faces to remove any chroma noise(the coloured noisy look).

    Hope that helps too.
    Nikon D800E, D300, D70s
    {Nikon} -> 50/1.2 : 500/8(CPU'd) : 105/2.8VR Micro : 180/2.8ais : 105mm f/1.8ais : 24mm/2ais
    {Sigma}; ->10-20/4-5.6 : 50/1.4 : 12-24/4.5-5.6II : 150-600mm|S
    {Tamron}; -> 17-50/2.8 : 28-75/2.8 : 70-200/2.8 : 300/2.8 SP MF : 24-70/2.8VC


  8. #8
    Ausphotography Regular bitsnpieces's Avatar
    Join Date
    01 May 2014
    Location
    St Albans
    Posts
    1,131
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by MadMax1412 View Post
    Anyway, moving on and your following statements were more helpful. So it was the ISO being too high. I will set the maximum ISO to a lower level. You said the camera could chose it's own shutter speed, which obviously up until now, I didn't realise it could do for flash photography. As per my original post, I thought the speed had to be 1/60 of a second. Following your comment about it being able to choose a different speed, I did some research and found out that: (a) - the term I'm thinking of is "Flash Sync Speed" and (b) - 1/60 was required by (quote) "Amateur SLRs from the 1970 and 1980s, like the Olympus OM-1, Minolta SRT series and X-700" (unquote). Since that's what I was told way back then when I was learning, I've always thought that remained the same and therefore had no reason to believe otherwise. Now I know that the Flash Sync Speed can be faster.
    Yep, so let me just add on a little more too. Usually, the built-in flash on a camera has a maximum of 1/160, depending on the brand and model, you may be able to go faster, up to 1/250. This also applies for speedlites, like the Yongnuo you have. The only difference is, depending on the speedlite, it may have the feature HSS - High Sync Speed. This means, it allows you to use the flash at a faster shutter speed, like 1/800, 1/1200, etc.
    But back on your situation, yes, you can adjust your shutter speed anywhere from a slow 1/8 if you wanted, to a faster 1/160-250.


    Quote Originally Posted by MadMax1412 View Post
    If you mean that I chose a "specific" power level for the flash, I didn't realise I had done that. As I wrote - "Flash was a hotshoe mounted Yongnuo Speedlite YN565EX set to TTL mode" - I thought that TTL mode meant that the flash could "read" from the camera what settings the camera was going to use (ISO, zoom, aperture, etc, etc), along with a reading of ambient light, and output the required amount of light for the shot. I wouldn't have a clue on what settings to use putting the flash on "M" setting. I did try a couple of shots (of the Christmas tree) using "M" level earlier that day when I first arrived and the first photo was almost totally white and after a couple more attempts, I decided I wouldn't gamble on stuffing up these photos and put it to TTL mode. That's why I thought that if I just selected a big enough F stop to ensure everyone is in focus and have the camera and flash select everything else and bounce the flash so we didn't get ugly shadows, then the photos would be perfect (ignoring subject matter).
    Sorry, you're right, the TTL would have automatically chosen the power level. I guess I worded the example wrong, but it was also just to illustrate the effects of settings.
    So going back to the example, let's say the TTL chose the power level instead, and the rest still applies. You change one setting, the camera will adjust accordingly. If required, the camera will also automatically use a weaker flash, or a more powerful flash, as required.
    So regarding your experience with using M, that would be when you can manually set the flash power. You mentioned that your tree turned out white, so obviously, too powerful.
    So there's some possibilities, put the shutter speed faster, 1/160-250, use a smaller aperture (F/20, etc, but as mentioned, usually you wouldn't want to do this, and it's usually only done for specific photography), use a smaller ISO like 100, 200, 400, etc, or, lower the flash power. Regardless, nothing wrong with using TTL, when just wanting that quick shot, it helps, and it's one less factor to worry about.

    Quote Originally Posted by MadMax1412 View Post
    You probably didn't mean it this way, but I'm sorry to say that your response of "So what's to think about with each different photo if you're in Aperture Priority? Just need to change the f/#." came across as a bit abrupt. I mentioned/hinted that I'm not a professional which means I'm not an expert. The reason I chose F14 was that I knew it would cover the focal distance between the closest and furthermost person and I wouldn't end up with 90% of the subjects in focus and the rest blurry. On my old film based camera, the zoom lens had 2 lines coming from the F mark leading to the distance ring, so by looking at the distance ring you could see the minimum and maximum distance of the focal range. This lens doesn't do that so I don't know off the top of my head what the closest point and furthermost point would be. So, yes, perhaps you might be able to just chose the appropriate F stop and get everything right, but I can't. I thought this forum was for people of all skills but the wording of your reply came across as a put down. For me to take a guess at what F stop covered the range I wanted would involve me taking a photo and then trying to zoom in on the rear window of the D90 and moving around and trying to see if it's all in focus and then trying another F stop and so on which is what I was saying about people not wanting to wait whilst you are checking each shot.

    Anyway, back on topic, thanks guys for confirming that it was the high ISO. Furthermore, I now know that the flash sync speed can be faster than 1/60 second. I guess my biggest problem is being confident in choosing the right F stop (if I force a low(er) maximum ISO eg 400) and knowing my subject matter is all in focus. I find the screen on the D90, even when I zoom in, doesn't show up defects as easily as they are seen when you import them on to the PC and viewing them on a monitor.
    So you mentioned that you chose F/14 because you wanted to make sure everything will be in range, but just wasn't sure, if I understand correctly, right?
    Do you mean, just the people, or everything, like the room also?
    And, does the D90 have a live mode? I'm wondering if in that live mode, would it give you a preview of what's in focus and what's out?
    Like my Sony cameras, there's a button just where the lens mount is, where I can push it to preview what the depth of field will be like, so I know if I need to increase/decrease the aperture to get the right amount. Arthurking83 may know more on this subject, as he uses Nikon.

    Hope your father-in-law is okay. Hope everyone was able to have a memorable Christmas together.
    Last edited by bitsnpieces; 28-12-2014 at 11:57am.

  9. #9
    A royal pain in the bum! arthurking83's Avatar
    Join Date
    04 Jun 2006
    Location
    the worst house, in the best street
    Posts
    8,185
    Mentioned
    2 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Live view mode in the D90(as I think I understand) it isn't a very good implementation to take photos.
    The major problem is the way the mirror works.
    It raises to display the live preview, but then to take the exposure, instead of just capturing the image there and then while the mirror is raised, the mirror drops and raises again to take the exposure. the delay is annoying and the focus could be missed during the delay period.

    Also, the aperture control is decoupled during Lv mode, so that you can't get a live preview of DOF is the lens is electronically controlled.
    The only way to get DOF preview during Liveview is to use a manual lens with manual aperture ring on the D90.

    Using the DOFP feature via the viewfinder in such low light and small aperture would only result in an image through the vf too dark to see anything, and hence determine DOF.
    You may be able to determine some DOF through the vf at say f/8 tho.

  10. #10
    Member
    Threadstarter
    MadMax1412's Avatar
    Join Date
    24 Aug 2010
    Location
    Newcastle
    Posts
    52
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Kym View Post
    ISO 3200 is much higher than needed, f/14 is to deep, 1/60th is a tad slow (1/125 is about right for this)
    So change to around f/8 (or maybe 5.6), 1/125, ISO 800
    Yep - My problem was that other than setting the F stop to an inappropriate number (f/14), I let the flash and camera choose all other settings. Since I had the D90 set to chose it's own ISO, it selected 3200 because I chose f/14. Another problem I had was that when I mounted it on a camera, I forgot to take it off VR.

    Quote Originally Posted by I @ M View Post

    You say that you had the lens set to "auto" and I am not quite sure what you mean by "auto".
    Sorry, I meant I had it set to auto focus. No sure how to edit my original post.

    Quote Originally Posted by arthurking83 View Post
    .... a DOF calculator would have told you that your DOF for this scene would have given you about half a meter of a zone in 'sharp focus'.
    Thanks. As mentioned in my 2nd post, my older film based camera had lens which had markings which showed this DOF on the distance ring which was very helpful. I didn't even think that there would be DOF calculator apps on Google Play but a quick search shows there's many. Now just to find one that is simple and clear to understand.

    Quote Originally Posted by arthurking83 View Post
    Don't shoot in jpg mode, shoot in raw mode.
    Many of the available software options(free) can perform good noise reduction with good control.
    I know raw gives you better options when it comes to post production corrections, but I haven't tried learning the software side of photography yet as I'm trying to master taking a good (hopefully one day, great) composed photo.

    If I decide to shoot in raw and later decide to save these images in JPG format, is there a free/cheap software package that can do batch processing?


    Thanks guys for all the above feedback. It is very welcome. I've obviously got a long way to go before I'm producing high quality shots, but hopefully this will improve.

    Can I just ask one simple question? I'm currently unemployed and was trying to take some portrait shots of myself (for when job applications require a recent photo) by setting up the camera on a tripod and then by using the remote trigger, doing test shots and adjusting the position of my chair and/or camera direction and zoom until I was in the shot correctly.

    My question is - when using a remote trigger, how does one focus on the subject or does it do it at the time of the shot? Obviously I normally would focus when behind the camera by half pressing the shutter button, but then I'm obviously not going to also be in front of the camera to be able to do this, so how do I prevent the camera from focusing on something in the background, thus leaving me out of focus when I come around and fire off a shot using the remote?

  11. #11
    A royal pain in the bum! arthurking83's Avatar
    Join Date
    04 Jun 2006
    Location
    the worst house, in the best street
    Posts
    8,185
    Mentioned
    2 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    A semi decent(quality wise) but otherwise hopelessly inadequate(speed wise) option for software would be CNX-D from Nikon.
    Go to the website and download it from there.
    It may run very slow and even crash on you for no apparent reason(as it does on my PC) .. but it's free and it works well(if it works) with Nikon raw files(NEF).
    Nikon also have ViewNX2 which is recommended to sift through your images and choose the ones you want to work on.
    CNX-D is no good for that sort of work.
    Why I recommend CNX-D to edit(1/. it's free), is mainly because it can give good results using the noise reduction features.
    You can't selectively edit NR as you can with other software, but the CNX-D NR is still quite good.

    For self portraits using the remote, set yourself up in a specific location, knowing exactly where you will be placed relative to where the focus points line up in the vf.
    Set the focus mode to manual - single point.
    As long as the point is manually set you can roughly estimate where it will be placed on you when you're back in the frame.

    If you choose any of the auto point selection modes, it may focus .... wherever??? and not get you in focus.
    Unless you changed something, the camera will be set for focus priority for shutter release .. so that the camera can't take a shot unless it has focused first.

    So if you've roughly lined yourself up in line with the focus point, set camera to auto focus, and focus mode to single point manual selection mode, you should be good to go.

    What you would probably do is place something(like a stuffed toy, or a broom head or whatever) to where your face will be in the viewfinder, so that when you go to that spot, you just remove the object you placed there and place yourself in that position.

    Is the remote trigger wireless or wired. Obviously if wired you need to be close enough to have access to the remote. Being too close to the camera for a portrait may have unwanted effects, like distortion from too wide a focal length from the lens. Doesn't look nice .. more comical looking if you're too close and say at 18mm.

    If you have a wireless remote, then stand at something like 5m away or so .. and use a longer focal length on the lens(eg. 70-100mm or whatever).
    Try to find a neutral looking background area .. not overly flamboyant or ostentatious. set lens to about f/5.6.
    (I'm assuming you only have the one 18-270 lens to work with).

    EDIT: if you do try CNX-D and need some help to determine what it does and how it works, don' t hesitate to ask.
    VNX-2 on the other hand is very basic, and hence very easy to figure out. It just doesn't have much in the way of editing options.
    Last edited by arthurking83; 28-12-2014 at 11:10pm.

  12. #12
    Ausphotography Regular bitsnpieces's Avatar
    Join Date
    01 May 2014
    Location
    St Albans
    Posts
    1,131
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    There are various ways to take a self-portrait, I would do this;

    Find the position you'll stand in, get a rough idea where you head ia relative to that position
    Set up camera to centre that position, set focus method to centre rather than wide or zone, or whatever you have, put it on continuous autofocus, set in, and shoot

    If you can't get an exact position, and the focus points on your camera can be set to a zone, try that
    If all else fails, just put in on wide
    As long as you were the last thing to be moving in the frame, the camera will focus on you
    That's just one way, autofocus

    Arthur mentioned a great method, and a popular too, put something like a broom in your position, get the exact focus, bang, got the shot

    Or if you can, put someone else there, set up the camera how you want it so it's perfect with regards to settings, swap places, and they take it for you with the correct settings you've put

    Etc, lot's of ways

    Good luck in getting a new job too

  13. #13
    Still in the Circle of Confusion Cage's Avatar
    Join Date
    25 May 2010
    Location
    Hunter Valley
    Posts
    5,350
    Mentioned
    3 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I agree with the other posters that the ISO was way too high. I'd probably be looking at around ISO 400 for this shot.

    To my eyes. looking at the first shot, I can't find a point of sharp focus and that is almost certainly because the VC was still activated.

    We all approach our camera set-up differently, my method being to decide what I want in focus, select the appropriate 'f' stop to give me my desired DOF and then balance ISO and shutter speed to suit.

    One of my most used tools is this one. http://www.dofmaster.com/dofjs.html

    Entering your camera set-up gives this:

    DSC_0116 - Copyedited with DOF.JPG

    As you can see, at a guesstimated 3m you had 1.05m of DOF, 0.44m in front of the point of focus and 0.62m behind, more than enough to have all the subject in reasonably sharp focus. Changing the distance to the subject to 4m gives you heaps more flexibility in your other settings as the DOF goes to 1.93m, ie f8 still gives you 1.04m of DOF. You can always crop the shot afterwards.

    So, to do a re-take of this shot I'd suggest:
    - Moving the camera a tad to the right, ie lose the Xmas tree as the bit visible is more of a distraction than an enhancement.
    - Make sure the lens VC is OFF
    - Set your maximum ISO to 400
    - I'd still use Aperture Priority @ f8-f10
    - Pose your wife and daughter and pre-focus on your wife's eyes
    - Take some test shots and check the focus and DOF
    - Adjust settings if necessary
    - Sit yourself down and take some more test shots

    One of the joys of the digital age is that you don't have to pay for your practice shots or stuff-ups.

    Oh, and your posted shot wasn't a total write-off. It will never be a candidate for enlargement but with a bit of PP you may get a useable 6" x 4" print from it.

    DSC_0116 - Copyedited3 - Copy.jpg
    Last edited by Cage; 29-12-2014 at 3:03pm.
    Cheers
    Kev

    D600 : D7200 and too much stuff to list

  14. #14
    Member
    Threadstarter
    MadMax1412's Avatar
    Join Date
    24 Aug 2010
    Location
    Newcastle
    Posts
    52
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Cage View Post
    To my eyes. looking at the first shot, I can't find a point of sharp focus and that is almost certainly because the VC was still activated.
    Yes this is probably the case, although I've noticed recently that even when I'm doing hand held shots with Vibration Reduction turned on that when I look over my photos on a PC that I have difficulties finding a really sharp edge anywhere when I zoom in. I put it down to either my hands being a little bit shaky at the time of the shot (although I try very hard to be still at the moment of completing the half-press of the shutter button) or me being picky and assumming that the camera can get a sharp edge and that any digital photo will show slightly blurred edges if zoomed in too much on a PC monitor.

    The following is an example. We were at Sydney Central train station and I decided to get the camera out and do a quick shot. I think it was set to "Portrait" mode so basically the camera chose all the settings, but as you can see, her face and ears all look at bit blurred and I can't see exactly what the camera focused on. I just put it down to me being not quite still at the moment of the shot as it was only at 1/100 sec. I can't see any EXIF data which tells me what lens I was using. BTW, this was resized in Paint.NET to meet upload requirements but still gives you an idea of what I mean.

    2014-05-25_004.jpg

  15. #15
    A royal pain in the bum! arthurking83's Avatar
    Join Date
    04 Jun 2006
    Location
    the worst house, in the best street
    Posts
    8,185
    Mentioned
    2 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Personally I'd leave the VC on. (Obviously VR if a Nikon branded lens).

    70mm and 1/60s .. should be easily handholdable, but you'd need good technique. VC will simply help to maintain a bit of steadiness.

    VC(or VR) in itself won't contribute to any lack of sharp detail rendering. You could deliberately try to muck up the system with violent shaking of the camera and lens whilst you're taking shots if you insist on placing the image stabilisation under pressure .. but that'd really be about the only time you could blame VC for a lack of sharpness.

    I can see what appears to be some sharp area in the 100% crop. That particular area, in the crop is on the man's Tshirt, (his) left shoulder where the A in the EAR(or word FEAR) looks reasonably well focused on.
    If you used Auto focus point selection in the camera, and you had no control over where the point of focus was set .. then it makes sense that this area could have been the focus point.
    If viewed from the point of view of the camera(or camera's focusing system), the man's Tshirt represents the most easily focused on area in the scene, with the highest scene contrast.

    A note: if you manually set the camera's focus point to be on the young girls face(which would seem to be the most obvious point), then there is a possibility that the camera/lens have misfocused.

    The other aspect to consider about the idea of no obvious point of clear sharp focus is the high ISO value used coupled with some strong noise reduction, which is known to smother fine detail into a mushy appearance.
    This is why it's regularly recommended not to use 'in camera' NR.
    Newer cameras are a bit more capable ... but still very rudimentary in the way they do NR.

    If you can, can you send me a copy of the raw file(if shot in raw), and I'll see what CNX-D can do with it in terms of NR.
    Technically CNX-D uses similar or same noise reduction processes as do the more modern Nikon cameras.
    Some of the most recent camera, use (in Nikon speak) the 'Better Quality 2013' version of noise reduction.
    Many of the older model cameras use what Nikon calls the 'Faster' method. The difference is night and day!
    If you shot in jpg mode, then this is it. You may be able to squeeze 1 or 2% more quality out of this image, but as a jpg, it's now cooked like this and that's about it.
    With an NEF file, the ability to eke out more detail is quite significant.

    As Andrew(I@M) mentioned, at f/14, you also have diffraction to add into the equation of lacking sharpness!

    Finally .. don't expect 200mm f/2 lens type sharpness from a superzoom such as the Tamron 18-270mm lens!
    The lens's ability lays squarely in it's focal length range.
    While it's not the worst lens in history .. you should expect that sharpness will not be in the top half of sharp lens list!

    So, if you add a not particularly sharp lens with a diffraction causing aperture value, plus some strong noise reduction into a single equation and AF-A(auto) mode .. the answer to this situation will be an image that is difficult to determine a specific 'sharp' point of focus.

  16. #16
    Still in the Circle of Confusion Cage's Avatar
    Join Date
    25 May 2010
    Location
    Hunter Valley
    Posts
    5,350
    Mentioned
    3 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Just a thought.

    Are you waiting until the VC 'locks on' before you press the shutter button?

    I don't have your particular lens, but i do have the 24-70 and the 70-200 Tamrons with VC, and it is quite obvious in the viewfinder when the VC locks on.

    I have my camera set to back button focusing so I use my thumb to focus and my index finger to activate the shutter button. I also almost exclusively use single point focus.

  17. #17
    Still in the Circle of Confusion Cage's Avatar
    Join Date
    25 May 2010
    Location
    Hunter Valley
    Posts
    5,350
    Mentioned
    3 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by arthurking83 View Post
    Personally I'd leave the VC on. (Obviously VR if a Nikon branded lens).

    VC(or VR) in itself won't contribute to any lack of sharp detail rendering. You could deliberately try to muck up the system with violent shaking of the camera and lens whilst you're taking shots if you insist on placing the image stabilisation under pressure .. but that'd really be about the only time you could blame VC for a lack of sharpness.
    Arthur, if you were referring to my statement to turn VC off, I was only suggesting doing that when using a tripod.

    Max, there is a free noise reduction program available here..... http://www.imagenomic.com/download.aspx

    Go to the bottom of the page and download the Noiseware Community Edition Standalone v.2.6

    Here is your group shot using the custom setting with +4 sharpening. Set it to 'Portrait' then move the 'Sharpen'
    slider to whatever and 'Portrait' will then default to 'Custom'. Click 'Go' and here's the result.

    DSC_0116 - Copy - Copy_filtered+4.jpg

    Just for fun I ran your train station shot through the program using +3 Sharpen. As there was negligible noise, the main difference was in the sharpening.

    2014-05-25_004 - Copy_filtered-3.jpg

    As I said in my previous post, make sure the VC locks on before you press the shutter button. If you use single point focus, the VC only has one point of reference to lock onto.

    Another thing that can have a big influence on your results is how you hold your camera. If you haven't developed a good technique yet, have a read of this. http://www.ausphotography.net.au/for...ld_your_camera

    And, practice, practice and more practice.

  18. #18
    Ausphotography Regular bitsnpieces's Avatar
    Join Date
    01 May 2014
    Location
    St Albans
    Posts
    1,131
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Arthur is correct, and Cage has a point also - there can be various reasons why the image doesn't turn out the way we thought it would.

    So something to check again is to see how your auto focus is set on the camera, is it wide? Centre only? Free to choose? etc

    If it was on wide, as Arthur said, the camera sometimes focuses on the wrong part of the image (like for your daughter, the focused area is the bottom corner bit of her jacket - I think the button just above the bottom one)
    Usually the camera will recognise a face, but misfocus can happen.

    I'm guessing it's not centre as the focused area isn't in the centre, and the other possibility is, you're manually choosing one of the points to focus on, and you may have used it for a previous shot and forgot that it was on the side of the camera somewhere, and not centred.

    However, one variant is that you used portrait mode, I'm not sure what it may have put your auto focus on, it probably would have automatically switched to wide.

    So with that assumption, I have 3 things, 1 is as Arthur said, the camera chose that spot, 2 is as Cage said, it fired off before completely focused correctly, and 3, is back to what Arthur said, or along the lines of, when he said that it misfocused.
    I wonder more about that and wonder if there could be a little bit of front focus happening.

    So when you focused on your daughter, I don't know if the Nikon system has a way of letting you know if something is focused on or, like on Canon, I know their viewfinder has a quick flash of red in the little box where it's focused, Sony has the box turn green, not sure on Nikon, but if your focus was dead on your daughter's face, and this was the result, it's a possibility, 2 actually - as you took the shot, you moved a little, and the VC/VR compensated for the movement so it's not blurry, but that slight shift in view just so happened to put the corner bit of her jacket at the right spot to be in focus, or there are front focus problems.

    How the movement could have happened is 2 things, just you generally moving (it can be hard holding still, I struggle too, but as Arthur said, there are techniques to help), or when you pushed the shutter button as you had mentioned, as that push usually causes slight movement.
    Something you can try is setting a 2 second timer. So when you push the button, you have time to release, hold still, and let the camera take that shot.

    So regarding the front focus, there are charts to test it with, but you can also just try setting the camera on a table (tripods can be unstable if it's a cheap one), turn off any vibration reduction assists, put something in the middle but on an angle, like a book lying down, but with one of it's corners pointed to the camera, rather than a side, centre that point, take a shot. If the point is focused, no problems, if it isn't, you'll see if there's front focus or not as the table just in front will be focused a little more.

  19. #19
    Member
    Threadstarter
    MadMax1412's Avatar
    Join Date
    24 Aug 2010
    Location
    Newcastle
    Posts
    52
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Cage View Post
    As I said in my previous post, make sure the VC locks on before you press the shutter button.
    Yep, I half press until I hear the beep and then continue to press (that's for focus). I gather VC stands for Vibration Control? If so, I am not sure what you mean by "VC locks on". Unfortunately I can't remember what focus method was used (wide, single point, etc) but it probably was whatever the default is.

  20. #20
    Still in the Circle of Confusion Cage's Avatar
    Join Date
    25 May 2010
    Location
    Hunter Valley
    Posts
    5,350
    Mentioned
    3 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by MadMax1412 View Post
    Yep, I half press until I hear the beep and then continue to press (that's for focus). I gather VC stands for Vibration Control? If so, I am not sure what you mean by "VC locks on". Unfortunately I can't remember what focus method was used (wide, single point, etc) but it probably was whatever the default is.
    As said previously, I almost always use single point focus. I don't have a very steady grip and when I focus on something I can see the focus point dancing around in the viewfinder for about 1 second, then I feel a 'click' when the focus locks on and the focus point stabilises.

    My theory is that by using single point focus, and the appropriate aperture to get the desired Depth Of Field, I relieve the camera of the task of doing the many calculations and adjustments required with multiple focus points.

    When I bought my first DSLR about six years ago, after about thirty five years of playing around with 35mm film cameras, I tried all the automatic 'bells 'n' whistles' modes and made the decision to stick with what I knew. As I have a reasonably good understanding of the 'Sunny 16 Rule' I shoot almost exclusively in 'Manual' mode. Having said that I will also set the camera to 'Auto' and take a test shot if I have a scene where I'm not at all sure of what settings to use, just to get a benchmark.

    To me, the ability to be able to immediately review my shots, along with the huge range of available ISO settings, are the main advantages over the old 35mm era. Oh, and the improvements in lens design is also a huge benefit.

    From reading your posts I get the feeling that you want to be more creative with your photography than using camera pre-sets allow. My tip is to familiarise yourself with the 'Sunny 16 Rule'. It doesn't matter if you are using the most basic 'Point & Shoot', or the most expensive high-end DSLR, all their operating algorithms are based on that rule.

    If you're not familiar with the rule, it is basically this.

    "On a sunny day set aperture to f/16 and shutter speed to the ISO setting for a subject in direct sunlight"

    Now this is a very basic rule of thumb, and subject to many operational variables, but it is still the benchmark for camera settings.

    Max, my best advise is to keep practicing, and keep asking questions.

    Cheers

    Kev

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •