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Opportunity Flys Away with OOF camera??

Discussion in 'General Technical Discussion' started by corns5, Sep 24, 2008.

  1. corns5


    Mar 21, 2008
    Hi all,
    During the past month or so, I have been helplessly watching and wondering as a fairly new digital person (oldie to 35mm film), whether its me or are all my photos oof??? At the beginning of August I was taking some birds off of our boat and the AF stopped working altogether, although briefly. Later I switched to AF-on in the menu so I can use that back button to continually focus. BUT, much to my chagrin, both using the shutter release to focus and the back button I think produces some slight oof photos, all of them, always, with all my lenses. Or is it just me, am I too picky? It seems there is now a difference before that incident, I am thinking and after. Is it time to bring in the camera, or do these seem oof to you too? Heres some from today, and one from this weekend. Or maybe it's operator error at this point in time, or I need new glasses!! Thanks!
    This weekend, just slightly off, .... but I thought it could be better at f/8:

    These taken today (opportunity flys away!!) at f/5.6

    (face not in focus??)
    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)

    View attachment 256835

    View attachment 256836

    and slightly cropped, as the red shouldered adult hawk let out a loud yell to his buddy to fly away:
  2. Carol those Gulls look fine (maybe a bit under exposed)

    the first Hawk shot looks like you focused on the fence in between the two birds - the other shots look fine
  3. TomaS


    Aug 3, 2006
    Corrales, NM
    1. DOF on a telephoto lens, even at f8 is very narrow. (I assume you using the 700-300VR near the long end for these)
    2. Capture NX will show you the focus area (look under the 'view' menu) when you use AF.
    3. AF may not work properly in low light, complex scenes (those with a busy background as with the hawk), or low contrast situations.
    4. that last image looks excellent to me. some of the others are a bit soft on the main subject.
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 25, 2008
  4. How much sharpening are you applying? Most of your shots look to be in focus except that in #2 the focus point looks to be between the two birds. Even in-focus shots will look soft if you don't apply enough sharpening.
  5. corns5


    Mar 21, 2008
    Thanks Paul. I didn't realize I had focused on the fence. I do not have Nikon Capture anymore (the demo) but that encourages me!

    I didn't know that! What will give a better dof on a telephoto lens, and yes this is mhy 70-300VR. Thank you for your input, Tom...

    I don't have Capture NX anymore, that did occur to me. I do have Photoshop Ele. 6.0. In talking to a photographer (experienced) today at a friend's home, she told me to save and get the CS4 that will be coming out soon. She said if I am serious about this hobby, it is much better than CS3--- will that show a focus point as well? In the meantime it all takes time to learn!!

    Thank you, I wasn't aware of that either!! I do have an old Nikkormat film camera, and only used the manual focusing. I may go back to trying that out in these situations.... as I have come as of late to discover just what you mention above.

    I too like the last image, and I believe the others are SOFT on the main subject, which is my concern in the first place. I think perhaps using a higher dof from 8 may help, and getting the contrast up and/or sharpening the image in Photoshop. Having come from film where I didnt work the images after all was done has kept me in that mode where I feel funny about changing alot in Photoshop.... but from what I read here, it is perfectly acceptable. :) 

    Thank you all for very helpful answers. You all are encouraging! And I continue to learn, and strive to be better!!
  6. As you probably know some sharpening (either in camera or during post processing) is necessary with most digital cameras. This is to correct for the filter over the sensor which introduces some softness into the digital image. Apply too little and properly focused shots will be a bit soft. This is not considered changing the image in Photoshop, but is an integral step in digital image capture.
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