Critique Honest sharpness opinion please

Jun 12, 2007
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Nikon D810 and Nikon afs80-400mm lens @400mm distance about 100 yds away or there abouts

I have put this up because on another forum the member keeps saying everything I take is out of focus. Aove the spot metering was on the lower corner roof tiles. Now to me it being a hand held shot it looks ok. Could I please have an honest opinion as I believe this person on the other site is pixel peeping to much so as to find fault with all my photos
full exif data

Standard Information
Model: NIKON D810
Software: Ver.1.14
ImageSize: 7380x4928
CreateDate: 2020:08:22 15:54:32
ModifyDate: 2020:08:22 15:54:32
DateTimeOriginal: 2020:08:22 15:54:32
ExposureTime: 1/400"
Aperture: F11.0
MaxAperture: F5.7
DepthOfFocus: 131.95 m (124.73 - 256.68)
CircleOfConfusion: 0.030 mm
HyperfocalDistance: 484.10 m
ExposureProgram: Shutter speed priority AE
ExposureBiasValue: 0
MeteringMode: Spot
Flash: Off, Did not fire
ISO: 1600
WhiteBalance: Flash
FocalLength: 400.0 mm
FocalLength35efl: 400.0 mm (35 mm equivalent: 400.0 mm)
SensingMethod: One-chip color area
SceneType: Directly photographed
ColorSpace: Adobe RGB
NoiseReduction: Off
Contrast: Normal
Saturation: Normal
Sharpness: Normal
ShutterCount: 16004
LensSpec: 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6 G VR

GPS Information

Other Information
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AFAreaMode: Single Area
AFInfo2Version: 0100
AFPointsUsed: C6
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Brightness: -124
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CropHiSpeed: On (7384x4928 cropped to 7380x4928 at pixel 0,0)
CustomRendered: Normal
DateDisplayFormat: D/M/Y
DaylightSavings: Yes
DigitalZoomRatio: 1
Directory: C:\Users\barry\Desktop
DirectoryNumber: 26880
EffectiveMaxAperture: 5.7
ExifByteOrder: Little-endian (Intel, II)
ExitPupilPosition: 113.8 mm
ExposureBracketValue: 0
ExposureDifference: 0
ExposureMode: Auto
FNumber: 11.0
FOV: 5.1 deg (15.07 m)
FileInfoVersion: 0100
FileModifyDate: 2020:08:22 15:54:34+01:00
FileName: _DSC2652.NEF
FileNumber: 23562
FileSize: 74 MB
FileSource: Digital Camera
FileType: NEF
FilterEffect: Off
FlashExposureBracketValue: 0.0
FlashExposureComp: 0
FlashInfoVersion: 0107
FlashMode: Did Not Fire
FocalLengthIn35mmFormat: 400 mm
FocusDistance: 167.88 m
FocusMode: AF-S
FocusPosition: 0x04
GainControl: High gain up
HighISONoiseReduction: Normal
HueAdjustment: -124
ISO2: 1600
ISOExpansion: Off
ISOExpansion2: Off
ImageHeight: 4928
ImageWidth: 7380
JpgFromRawLength: 3218552
JpgFromRawStart: 1226752
Lens: 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6
LensDataVersion: 0204
LensFStops: 5.67
LensID: Unknown (B7 44 60 98 34 3C B9 0E)
LensIDNumber: 183
LensType: G VR
LightSource: Flash
LightValue: 11.6
MCUVersion: 185
MakerNoteVersion: 2.11
MaxApertureAtMaxFocal: 5.7
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MaxFocalLength: 403.2 mm
MinFocalLength: 80.0 mm
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MultiExposureVersion: 0100
Orientation: Horizontal (normal)
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PhotometricInterpretation: Color Filter Array
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SubfileType: Reduced-resolution image
SubjectDistanceRange: Unknown
TIFF-EPStandardID: 1 0 0 0
Timezone: +00:00
ToningEffect: Unknown (0x4)
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VRInfoVersion: 0100
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Last edited:
Sep 13, 2007
Northern VA suburb of Washington, DC
Looks fine to me. I would never even think of suggesting that it's lacking sharpness.

I infer from your post that only one person on the other site is complaining about the sharpness in your photos. If that's correct, that in itself should be sufficient indication that nobody else has that criticism. Similarly, there used to be a person participating at the Cafe that never had anything good to say about any of my photos and only posted comments finding faults with them. When that happens, just consider the source of the critique, ignore him or her, and move on both literally and figuratively. Maybe even use the website's ignore capability.
Last edited:
Jun 12, 2007
thanks for the reply I think this person has a touch of the green eyed monster "jealousy". This particular person does take good photos, I won't deny that. I have now left the site because of him and his constant "anti" attitude over several months. I could say a lot more but will spare you that
Sep 19, 2011
Don't see anything wrong with this either, 300ft is a decent distance so this is in line with what I would expect.
Although disheartening to suffer that kind of feedback you shouldn't give in to the bullies bud.
May 5, 2005
It’s sad that someone would try to take the joy of photography away from someone else. Most of us don’t make a living at it or compete in contests....we just enjoy the hobby. It’s nice to support each other, help when help is requested, encourage when it isn’t.


Cafe Ambassador
Apr 8, 2008
Rutledge, Tennessee
Real Name
This image doesn't seem to be a good one to judge overall sharpness of this camera and lens combo. The shutter speed is "just" 1 over the focal length so that is the bare minimum. Steve Perry recommends a much high shutter speed. I'd try 1/600 or 1/800. Were you on tripod? Also, the 80-400 is not at its sharpest at 400mm.

Spot metering does not set the focus point. Did you mean the focus point was on the corner of the eave? Is this the newer 80-400 AF-S lens or a prior one? Is this straight out of the camera? Native raw files will be a tad soft. Was any sharpening applied?

I've not noticed a problem with your other postings, so I'm not sure what is going on with this particular image. So, not to start a fight, but this image looks soft to me.
Nov 14, 2005
Winter Haven, florida
Looks fine to me. I shot with the 80-400 and it is not the sharpest lens in the line- but it is fine.
A couple of thoughts. If you want to check sharpness you have to use a tripod. Handholding a 400mm lens at 1/400 sec does not always give the sharpest images on the newer high density sensors. The new sensors are never softer than the older sensors- but they have the capability of being even sharper. I find I often need 2-3x the focal length to be really sharp. On my sony a7riv at 600mm I try to get 1/3000 of a second or 5x focal length if I can. Slower than that and I can sometimes see a little blur/softness.
f11 will cause some diffraction. Not a lot, but a little. F8 was sharper for me with that lens than f11.
I will say the only people that care about sharpness are other photographers. Other artists , and what I call non-combatants or non-artists do not care.
Jay Maisel has a famous quote that I just love. I don't care about the pixels, I care about the picture.
Just go shoot.
Sep 13, 2007
Northern VA suburb of Washington, DC
This image doesn't seem to be a good one to judge overall sharpness of this camera and lens combo. The shutter speed is "just" 1 over the focal length so that is the bare minimum. Steve Perry recommends a much high shutter speed. I'd try 1/600 or 1/800. Were you on tripod? Also, the 80-400 is not at its sharpest at 400mm.

I didn't get the impression that the OP is using this image as an example of overall sharpness of the camera and lens, though I agree with you that this shot would not be a good candidate for making that determination. If the lens has VR (I think it does) and if it was turned on, there should be no need for a higher shutter speed. The OP indicated in the first post that the shot was made handheld.
Jun 12, 2007
It is so nice to come here and receive honest opinions. when you constantly get " Your photos are crap",yes he did actually say that . I did use my Nikon D800 for shot of a bird in flight. the abuse was amazing because of a dust bunny. What he didn't realise it was the D810 sensor I had cleaned and went on to say I should sent the camera to a proper expert to have it cleaned. Any little thing he picked on. i don't want to swear but a***hole comes to mind.
You can tell by my posted how much he dragged me down

Thans so very very much for all the replies, really boosted me up
Nov 14, 2005
Winter Haven, florida
Although we can not really tell here, there is always the possibility that the lens is slightly out of focus. I had to tune most of my lenses with the d850. Tough to do with a zoom, but I could get it closer. You can find lots of methods on line. I use the dot-tune method or software called focal. You might want to take a couple of minutes and actually test- then you will know for sure. Otherwise we are just kind of guessing.
Oct 9, 2005
Moscow, Idaho
To me it looks OK, for a 400 shot at 1/400, handheld. As noted, there is a bit of haze takes the edge off objects and the lighting is a wee bit flat. At f/11 the building is all within the depth of focus, while the background is nicely blurred! But unsharp—NO!
Jun 12, 2007
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only just had that lens overhauled. small plasic guides had broken inside . It is almost impossible to fine tune a lens with that mm range but I did fine +4 seemed to be about the best I could get
Dec 7, 2005
Nick above just sneaked in exactly what I was going to say. Flat lighting - relatively low contrast - bit of haze are all taking away from the 'bite' but that doesn't mean it isn't sharp.

Honestly, take a look at some of the great images in the history of photography - most of them would be panned on the www for not being 'sharp'.
Jun 12, 2007
Hey I really mean it. What an absolutely great lot you are, never ever had so much advice help and encouragement before. No nasty comments "fantastic" helpful pointers "brilliant" thank you so much. That photo was unedited to show actually how it is
Apr 18, 2008
Fairfax, Virginia
Barry - I copied the photo, cropped various portions of the roof tiles in LR at 1:1 and even 2:1. The sharpness looks fine to me. I also did a name search and looked at some of the photos you have posted. I didn't seen any sharpness issues with the ones I looked at, e.g., young sea gull, hummingbird hawk moth. I didn't take a comprehensive look at everything you have ever posted but from what I saw you are doing fine with your focusing technique.
Jun 12, 2007
Thank you John for checking it is appreciated. some were done with different lenses ie Tamron 90mm macro, but the same still applies.
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