1. Welcome to NikonCafe.com—a friendly Nikon camera & photography discussion forum!

    If you are thinking of buying a camera or need help with your photos, you will find our forum members full of advice! Click here to join for free!

Problem w/ new D80

Discussion in 'Nikon DX DSLR Forum' started by Slingher, Aug 8, 2007.

  1. Slingher


    Jun 30, 2007
    Titusville FL
    I had borrowed a D50 with a Nikon 70-300mm ED VR. I was very happy with the results. So I decided to buy my own camera and lens. I bought a brand new D80 and a brand new Nikon 70-300mm ED VR. I went out shooting and I was not impressed with the results at all. The images were not near as sharp as they had been with the borrowed equipment. I thought the image would be sharper with the increased megapixels but that is not the case. I think there might be a problem with the camera or the lens. Also, I shot all day in aperture priority mode, but when i got home the exif said all the pictures were in shutter priority. Anyone heard of problems?

  2. gadgetguy11


    Nov 16, 2005
    Can you post an example? In answer to your question, I shoot in aperture priority most of the time.
  3. Slingher


    Jun 30, 2007
    Titusville FL
    Here are a few shots that I took today.

    Although, the light wasn't the greatest today, I certainly was expecting better quality images from the camera.

    This shot was cropped and sharpened, and was the one of the best shots that I took today, and it's not that good.

    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)

    Here is Full EXIF Info
    Date/Time 08-Aug-2007 00:52:26
    Make Nikon
    Model NIKON D80
    Flash Used No
    Focal Length 300 mm
    Exposure Time 1/320 sec
    Aperture f/10
    ISO Equivalent 200
    Exposure Bias
    White Balance
    Metering Mode matrix (5)
    JPEG Quality
    Exposure Program aperture priority (3)

    Also noticed that on pbase it says I shot in aperture priority, so my program is wrong on that. and not an issue with the camera. ( I think)

    This next picture I only posted to demonstrate what the camera and lens are capturing. There was no post editing. I will provide the link and then you can see the original and the exif.


    Here is an image that I took with the borrowed D50 and same lens type. It is cropped and sharpened but I still think it is of better quality.

    View attachment 110195

    Full EXIF Info
    Date/Time 11-Jul-2007 12:53:39
    Make Nikon
    Model NIKON D50
    Flash Used No
    Focal Length 300 mm
    Exposure Time 1/250 sec
    Aperture f/13
    ISO Equivalent
    Exposure Bias
    White Balance
    Metering Mode center weighted (2)
    Exposure Program aperture priority (3)

    I would appreciate any help. Thanks

  4. Sunesha


    May 3, 2007
    Malmoe, Sweden
    I would say more pixels lead to unsharper photos. I was a bit disapointed before got hang off it.

    The D80 photo seems to have less good light, would guess the subject was in shadows or cloudy day. The D50 photo has execellent lighting, sun lighting up the subject so the colors really shine off the birds. The D80 photo has diffrent background making the bird less nice, the d50 makes good contrast

    I dont shoot alot off birds but here is snap I took long ago

    I guess it always about moment and get the subject sharp. Something that makes image to look clearer and sharper is good contrast and lighting. The D50 got execellent background and lighting. While D80 photo just got blue water, midday time I would guess.

    If the first photo D50 photo was also taken by D80 at same time with the same lens, it would also be great photo.

    My photos that are thrown away is mostly because I shoot to much photos in bad lighting.

    F/stop 4.4, iso 400, 18-70mm kitlens. Late day afternoon.
  5. yamo


    Jun 28, 2007
    Santa Cruz, CA

    Greetings. Just a thought... comparing sharpness on two lenses while shooting moving targets at 300mm and shutter speeds around 1/300th (even with VR) can be a bit tricky... comparing two cameras with different sensor sizes can also be tricky (is 100% to 100% really an apples to apples comparison? especially when trying to compare something like sharpness which is dependent on pixel to pixel differences while remembering that the visual space that a pixel from the D50 is portraying is larger than that of a D80?). Also I didn't notice if you were shooting RAW or not, if shooting jpegs, all those setting will make a difference as well.

    In any event, my recommendation is to forgo the comparisons for a while until you've spent a goodly time with your new camera... it will give you time to explore the large number of variables in settings and conditions which effect sharpness. The D80 is a fine camera, and I'm sure you can get sharp images (I shot with a D80 for about 9 months, before upgrading to a D200). If you want warm fuzzies (er, warm sharpies :wink: ?) about sharpness read the reviews that test such things... such as:


    Look at the comparison pages for sharpness comparisons...

    Just some things to consider...


  6. 'photobucket ' is under maintenance so i can't post the samples but when i got my new 70-200 f2.8 lens I noticed similar 'softness' in my images until i realised that the pictures were sharper behind the subject . I sent the D80 and lens to Nikon and they 'adjusted sensor position and computer callibrated focus ' .
    The focus screen is above the mirror , after focusing the mirror flips up and exposes the image on the sensor . if the sensor is not the exact same distance as the screen then there will be focus issues . It may need callibrating .
    Do a test shot on a tripod at a 45 degre angle to the floor [ maybe a pencil on a newspaper ] . You may notice that the writing behind the pencil is in focus which will tell you the sensor needs adjusting ...
    ok here are some samples ": Before adjustment ...

    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)

    After adjustment :

    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 9, 2007
  7. SoCalBob


    Feb 9, 2006
    Riverside, CA
    Jessie - Even though the 70-300VR is just a little bit soft at 300mm, you should be getting much sharper results than the sample you posted above and the one you linked to on Pbase (viewed in original size, that one is worse than fuzzy, it's downright "furry").

    So may I pose what might seem to be a couple of dopey questions? When you half-press the shutter release, are you allowing the VR the second or so that it needs to stabilize the image before you take the picture? Also, given the fact that the least bit of sudden camera movement at 300mm magnification can defeat the VR stabilization for an instant and cause motion blur, are squeezing the shutter release very gently rather than stabbing or pushing it?

    I ask because motion blur appears to be the culprit in both your pictures. For an example of the sort of sharpness you should expect from the D80 and 70-300VR at 300mm, this is one of my very first shots right after I got the lens.

    70-300VR on the D80, 200mm, Aperture priority, center-weighted metering, 1/320 @ f/8, -1.0 EV, ISO 200
    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
  8. jak2


    Mar 14, 2007
    In line with SoCallBob's thoughts on motion blur, when I recently moved from a D70 to a D200 I did notice, as I had been forewarned, the higher resolution is a little less forgiving of motion at shutter release... an "opportunity" to improve my technique!

    Remember the good old days when "opportunity" generally meant a good thing was about to fall in your lap? LOL, like everything else these days, now it just means I need to work harder.

    If it indeed is motion blur, the good news is you will learn to adjust to shooting that D80 and then that greater resolution will help you achieve more stunning images than your pre-D80 days. I look forward to perhaps seeing some of your future stellar images posted here.
  9. Slingher


    Jun 30, 2007
    Titusville FL
    Thanks for your help. Things have not gotten much better.

    I do wait for the VR to kick in when I hit the shutter release button. And I am not sure how hard I am hitting the button. However, on some shots I have been using the delay on the shutter release button, but when I do this I think the VR turns off before the shutter is released.

    I have only one keeper of all the shots I have taken since I got my new lens. :frown: Now to be honest, the lighting hasn't been good here; it has been quite hazy. Most of the the shots I have taken have been @ 1/250s. yesterday, I went out in the morning and it wasn't so hazy. I tried to shoot ONLY shots where the sun was good. I got one keeper out of 200. :frown:

    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)

    Now this image seems very sharp on top of his head and his bill, but his eye and neck seem soft??? Perhaps I am being too picky.

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.