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Old Jan 31, 2005, 4:38 PM   #1
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I've had the D-70 for a few months now, and have been getting inconsistant photo quality (soft pictures) I'd say 50% of the photos are soft. I've changed camera bodies, lenes and have gone to the custom settings for sharpness and contrast with mixed results. Indoor shots with either the built in flash or the SB 600 seem to be more affected that outdoors, but also have soft shots outdoors. Whether shooting in the auto mode, or program mode doesn't seem to make a difference. I just shot approx 70 pictures both indoor and out and some of the shots were great while others were not sharp enough. Any suggestions? Lens: Nikon 24-120 3.5-5.6 VR and also Tamron 2.8 28-105 lenes. Same results with both.

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Old Jan 31, 2005, 6:21 PM   #2
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Are you using autofocus or manual? I actually prefer the manual focus most of the time.

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Old Jan 31, 2005, 6:38 PM   #3
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Most of the time, I am using autofocus, but on limited occassions, I have used manual focus. One problem that I've found, is that usually if you miss the focus area, there is something in the photograph which is in sharp focus. However there are photographs where I can not find any areas that are sharper in focus than others. As I have said the majority of the time it's in auto focus in either the program mode or shutter priority mode with the same results.
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Old Jan 31, 2005, 8:08 PM   #4
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So many things could be up with the softness issue:

1. Are youholding the camera still enough for the focal length/light?... if you are in Any-mode... your pics may be exposed correctly but if you are not steady (but just almost steady enough), they will be soft. Longer the focal length- stiller you must be: 1/focal length is about minimum avg. what the shutter speed should be forhandheld shots (results may vary). If you are close, using flash- this is not an issue so much but still applies... shutter speed must be high enough to overcome camera shake 1/60 is usually not fast enough if you are longer than about 35mm-50mm.

Personally, I can handhold at speeds too low for most people but often if I am not paying attention, Some shots are soft.

2. What is your aperture/subject?...the more open A, the more critical your focusing must be. Usually there is a happy medium aperture for handheld shots- not too open and not too closed.

3. Subject- is it moving or still?... moving faster shutter needed (more light).

4. Are you asking you lens to get a sharpness that is beyond it's capabilities? This is one reason why some people buy very expensive glass.

5. Properly exposed pictures- very important. If the important part is too dark (you/camera may have metered incorrectly for your intended subject), you may be able to correct it in P-Shop but by doing so, new problems arise such as noise and softness.

6. Incorrect use of P-shop

7. incorrect focusing mode (AF-C), orusermalfunction.

8. Lenses are out of calibration

9. Body is out of calibration

Did you accidentally leave the ISO setting too high or on auto ISO?

*You'll need to set up some tripod shots.

...And of course D70 pics are somewhat soft to begin with (or rather- not over-sharpened) try re setting your sharpness to normal and start over. Only use "unsharp mask"... and there are many other PS stuff for brightening up your pictures without degrading them.

What processing software are you using?


~The Nikon 24-120VR is a fine "general purpose" lense. However if your light is good enough to hand hold- turn off the VR, or your images may be soft (this includes using the speedlight- turn off VR). This lense does have a bit of distortion and it isn't the sharpest of zooms nikon makes... I tried 4 different copies of the 24-120VR and could not find one that was sharp, it's selling point seems to be the VR. I strongly recommend picking up a new Nikon 50mm f/1.8 (if you don't have one) as they are very inexpensive- this lens will be sharp! and will tell you quickly if there is a problem with you, lense,or d70 body. It is also a nice lense to own & to use. I have no knowledge concerning the other lens you listed.

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Old Feb 1, 2005, 2:06 PM   #5
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Bjane, I appreciate the time you took to reply and will attempt to answer your questions in order>

1. I'm aware of the focal lenght vs shutter speed and always attempt to keep the shutter speed at least as much as the focal lenght.

2. Aperture: When shooting outdoors for general shots I try to keep in the the 8 - 11 range for most shots.

3. Subject is Still with the some shots being soft.

4. I believe my expectations are not beyond the capibility of the lens. Some shots are absolutly great, able to count the hairs on a person head, while others are terrible.

5. All the phots seem to be propertly exposed, with some maybe 1/2 stop under.

6. I'm not using p-shop, I'll review the photos on the computer and then have a professional lab process them and make the corrections as necessary

7. The setting for the AF is always on AF-S.

8. The lens is a new Nikon 24-120 VR with the VR in the off position. I'm getting the same results with a aftermarket lens. Tamron 2.8 28-105

9. Body has been exchanged recently by Ritz Camera

Again I'm only an amature, but have had a little experience, since I've owned f-70 and f-100 and a few point and shoot cameras.

Thanks for taking the time to reply

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