Should I expect sharper than this?

Discussion in 'Nikon DX DSLR' started by Steve S, Jun 9, 2005.

  1. Steve S

    Steve S

    Feb 1, 2005
    SE Florida
    I'm not so sure if it's me, (probably), or if the cam's got a focusing issue. This is my 2nd D2X body. My 1s one is in for some real oerceived focusing problems. It was a very early production number. This 2nd one is a later number, but I not so sure about it either. It's so hit & miss with this one (and the other) at distance. These are about 50% crops, and were panned using tripod + Wimberley head using Dynamic Area AF. I just don't know what to do to get better flight shots @700mm, which is also the longest I've ever shot at. I will send this body in to get checked out too when I get the other back. Any thoughts?
    btw, these shots were from about 400 ft away.

    original.

    Nikon D2X

    Focal Length: 700mm

    Optimize Image:

    Color Mode: Mode I (sRGB)

    Long Exposure NR: Off

    High ISO NR: Off

    2005/06/09 18:02:18.1

    Exposure Mode: Aperture Priority

    White Balance: Auto -1

    Tone Comp.: Less Contrast

    Compressed RAW (12-bit)

    Metering Mode: Multi-Pattern

    AF Mode: AF-C

    Hue Adjustment: +3°

    Image Size: Large (4288 x 2848)

    1/1250 sec - F/7.1

    Flash Sync Mode: Not Attached

    Saturation: Normal

    Exposure Comp.: -0.3 EV

    Sharpening: Normal

    Lens: 500mm F/4 D

    Sensitivity: ISO 800


    original.

    Nikon D2X

    Focal Length: 700mm

    Optimize Image:

    Color Mode: Mode I (sRGB)

    Long Exposure NR: Off

    High ISO NR: Off

    2005/06/09 18:02:24.0

    Exposure Mode: Aperture Priority

    White Balance: Auto -1

    Tone Comp.: Less Contrast

    Compressed RAW (12-bit)

    Metering Mode: Multi-Pattern

    AF Mode: Manual

    Hue Adjustment: +3°

    Image Size: Large (4288 x 2848)

    1/3000 sec - F/7.1
     
  2. Hi Steve

    You should be able to do better. Have you tested your body and lens on a static target like a newspaper? On the flight shot it looks to me like the focus is on the near wing.

    If you can shoot at 1/1250s, you might want to go for a smaller aperture and a slower shutter speed to get a little more DOF.

    Rory
     
  3. jfenton

    jfenton

    Jan 26, 2005
    Haverhill, MA
    Steve

    Hi Steve...

    Without seeing something like a crop of the beak at 200%, my "just woke up" eyes swear they are seeing some vertical motion blur here.

    Look hard at something like the tip of the beak and check it out, because when I've looked really closely at a couple of mine that were oof...even at 1/1250, this is exactly how they've appeared.
     
  4. Steve S

    Steve S

    Feb 1, 2005
    SE Florida
    Have not done any static tests yet,

    but I plan to. The Dynamic Focus Area along with AF-C is in question here. I'm also finding that the point of focus isn't always perfectly within the reticle, (the center reticle). See my relpy to Jim in next thread if you want to see the 100% crops.
     
  5. Steve S

    Steve S

    Feb 1, 2005
    SE Florida
    Re: Steve

    ok, if you'll take a minute to check out these 100% crops I uploaded to pbase and tell me what you think. Also, the focus lock doesn't happen when my target's perfectly within the center reticle.
    http://www.pbase.com/sshyone/image/44587461/original
    http://www.pbase.com/sshyone/image/44587460/original
    Edit: the 2nd shot in the field of daisys looks like the cam's front focusing, as the daisys in front of the GBH are in perfct focus. I wonder what Berger Bro's exchange policy is?
     
  6. Jerry Snider

    Jerry Snider

    390
    May 8, 2005
    Steve,
    Berger Bros. are working with me currently to resolve my "softness" issues. Our verbal agreement was that if any issues appeared within the first couple of weeks they would help resolve it. Sound like really nice folks there, but I am becoming extremely nervous re their slow followup. Will give them the benefit of the doubt for another couple of days.
    Indeed, set up my D2X and my D70 yesterday afternoon to photograph identical subjects, identical setup, identical lenses, tripod mounted, etc.
    The pics from the D70 required sharpening radius in the 0.4 range (and this was a tad too much), pics from the D2X required sharpening radius in the 1.3-2.3 range. This doesn't bode well!
    Good Luck
    Jerry Snider
     
  7. jfenton

    jfenton

    Jan 26, 2005
    Haverhill, MA
    Steve

    Now that I've seen the crops it obviously isn't vertical motion blur.

    Your camera appears to be exhibiting exactly what my first D2X was doing.

    Thankfully, my curent camera doesn't exhibit this.
     
  8. I'd check your camera on a stationary target before I would worry. Also, find someone to ride a bicycle at a relatively uniform rate and shoot this (easily repeatable :).

    Good luck, let us know what you find out!
     
  9. twig

    twig

    745
    May 23, 2005
    Posts like this make me quite glad I don;t have the moeny for the D2X yet.
    Granted 700mm birds in flight is a tough scenario, but clearly there are problems with your d2x ... again is it?

    It's interesting to see soo many people with so many problems with d2x bodies, and I seriously doubt it is user error here, Steve knows what he is doing, as did Jim, Jerry, who else maybe 10 or 15 people here alone that have sent them back.

    hmmm, I wonder when d2h meters were blowing left and right if everybody said that was user error too.

    I hope you have great dealers, because most I work with would tell me to deal with Nikon and it's not their problem.

    Who the hell wants to have to check every focus sensor laboriously on their new d2x? The alternative seems to be in the right place for your critical shot and THEN finding out the focus is wacky. BOth qalternative suck IMO.
     
  10. Steve S

    Steve S

    Feb 1, 2005
    SE Florida
    This is my 2nd D2X body, the 1st 1 is @Nikon

    for the same issues. when I get THAT 1 back, I'll send this 1 to them. The front focussing on the landing heron shot is so obvious in the full size image link I posted. I focussed exactly on it's head, yet the daisys in front of it are in perfect focus. What's funny, or not, is that these were the BESt of the bunch. So shots up close, like a bug or a flower, it doesn't seem to be displaying this sh@tty behavior.
     
  11. twig

    twig

    745
    May 23, 2005
    Steve, FYI I have seen people's tests of the D2x (you have too I bet) where each of the 11 sensors each had some degree of front or back focus (no correlation) and the focus point could also be slightly above or below or not centered on the iondicated point in the viewfinder.

    So, perhaps your focus point is front focused and a tad low, who knows.

    Not that these are bad photo's but I must say that I have seen a lot of poor photographs from a lot of fantastic photographers with the D2X, ie photos showing neat subjects and incredible details but clearly back focused etc. These are the kind of things I would expect to see from an average Joe, but not Ron Reznik, know what I mean?

    Did everybody spend weeks testing the individual focus sensors on the d2h again a brick wall and their daughters on bicycles?

    Anyway, I hope it gets resolved for you Steve. Keep us posted.
     
  12. OK, so I know I'm not a rocket surgeon...but...

    Second shot, you posted used---- "AF Mode: Manual "

    Manualy focused and we are blaming the auto-focus system?

    I'm perhaps misreading something.
     
  13. Steve S

    Steve S

    Feb 1, 2005
    SE Florida
    Well, I have no clue as to how THAT happened!

    All of the previous shots, all done in the C-L mode were AF-C, but this one, and the one right before this one do indeed show AF-Manual mode. Must be an exif reading error. How could I possibly reach around to the front of the camera and switch focusing modes while in the midst of a shooting burst?
    That said, I did a silly, probably meaningless focus test using a tape measure sitting on the kitchen counter. Shot on tripod, with timer, with my 85 1.4, wide open, in Continous AF, Dynamic Focus Area, (like I use on flight shots), and the center focus reticle positioned precisely around the number 12, at a distance of about 3 ft. I see some rear focusing, but nothing in front of the number is in focus. What do you all think?

    original.

    Model NIKON D2X
    Flash Used Yes
    Focal Length 85 mm
    Exposure Time 1/180 sec
    Aperture f/1.4
    ISO Equivalent 200
    Exposure Bias
    White Balance (4)
    Metering Mode matrix (5)
    JPEG Quality (6)
    Exposure Program aperture priority
     
  14. Which reticle is lit up in NC for that shot?

    Dynamic area means the camera chooses which reticle to use, right?
     
  15. Ok, 85 mm, 3 ft, F/1.4 gives you (with a CoC of 250 microns) a DoF of .228 inches; This DoF looks bigger, are you sure you were not farther away?

    And, based on looking at your image, I think what I see makes me think that at least for this reticle, you are within spec.

    If you use Thom Hogan's CoC for this size sensor (160 microns, I think), you get even a smaller DOF. But as Thom and Bjorn have pointed out, given all that is going on and in play.. we may need to rethink DoF with these new sensors.
     
  16. Steve S

    Steve S

    Feb 1, 2005
    SE Florida
    Center Reticle

    And no, from the way I understand Dynamic Focus Area, the surrounding reticles help to hold the focus lock if you momentarily lose it.
     
  17. Steve S

    Steve S

    Feb 1, 2005
    SE Florida
    My bad, I measured the distance @5 ft

    What does this CoC mean?
     
  18. twig

    twig

    745
    May 23, 2005
    Steve,
    From comments elsewhere, the front or back focus may vary from lens to lens, so your 85 1.4 could focus perfectly at 3 feet but be off at 300 feet,

    Likewise your 85/1.4 could be spot on and your 500/f4 could be way off.
     
  19. Sorry, CoC means "Circle of Confusion"
     
  20. jumbocrab

    jumbocrab Guest

    Re: Well, I have no clue as to how THAT happened!

    I suggest you investigate further on the unexpected AF-Manual. There is at least one condition others have discovered that can lead to this (that is not documented in the manual). See this:

    https://www.nikoncafe.com//forums/viewtopic.php?t=4881

    You may not want to write-off this as an exif reading error. Maybe you have discovered another condition?
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 15, 2017
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