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Old Sep 27, 2008, 10:53 PM   #1
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Please critique exposure, sharpness and contrast. This is my first time shooting manual with my D80. I find myself adding sharpness on most of my pics. I do not know why my set us not sharp?
D80 with Tokina 80-200 F2.8.
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Old Sep 27, 2008, 10:54 PM   #2
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Old Sep 27, 2008, 10:56 PM   #3
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Old Sep 27, 2008, 10:56 PM   #4
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Old Sep 28, 2008, 11:00 AM   #5
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Angel,

Just sticking to the technical aspects:

1. White balance looks off in all of them. I see you used a 'cloudy weather' WB. I would suggest leaving it on auto.

2. Sharpness is off. Shot 4 is probably the sharpest of the lot but they're all off - especially evident in shot 3. I'm guessing you were shooting through the fence? How close was the lens to the fence? You want to be right up against it - and of course if you're shooting at an angle through the fence that could cause problems. My suggestion is to take some shots WITHOUT the fence in the way - someone standing on the outside with you and compare those pictures with the pictures you take of the players. That will help determine whether the fence is playing a part in the lack of sharpness or something else (i.e. equipment or technique). Also, there's a question of how you are "adding sharpness". I.e. what tool or technique are you using. USM (unsharp mask) is probably themost widely usedmethod - typically standard 'sharpening' tools in software or cameras do a very poor job.

3. Contrast / exposure. The exposure is OK but the colors are flat and dull. That can and should be fixed in post processing. Using levels or curves adjustments will make your whites whiter and darks darker which will help with the contrast. But the off white balance is contributing too. Go back to auto WB and then use levels or curves to adjust and you'll notice a huge improvement. Unfortunately part of photography is working in the darkroom - whether it's chemical or digital. If you want good photos you still have to put in the time in the darkroom. Todays cameras are great but no match for your brain and a good editing program.
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Old Sep 28, 2008, 9:17 PM   #6
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Thank you as always, your comments are most appriciated. I notice the colors are dull, the shoot eas very cloudy and overcast. I thought cloudy white balance would reproduce more natural colors?

Is there anything in the camera settings that would couse for the lack of vivid colors?

I am using picasa for editing, I have lightroom, but I find picasa so much easier to use.

As for sharpness, I was not shooting thru the fense. I wonder if my lense needs to be stopped down to F8 or similar to be sharp?


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Old Sep 29, 2008, 5:22 AM   #7
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Are you shooting JPG or RAW? If you're shooting RAW the sharpness and vivid settings on the camera will have little or no effect when you process in Picasa
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Old Sep 29, 2008, 8:25 AM   #8
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I am shooting jpeg, I have yet to experiment in raw.
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Old Sep 29, 2008, 12:23 PM   #9
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Well, I tried to find any decent reviews of the lens in question. All I could find out is it's not a current lens - everything I see is around 2005 or earlier. Photozone doesn't have a review. I do, however, have an old printout from a sight that brought in Photodo and PHotozone tests for Canon mount lenses. Optical quality was supposed to be good and AF speed performance poor. Given your subjects aren't moving in/out of the focal plane the AF thing shouldn't be an issue here.

One other possibility - I know sometimes resizing really degrades sharpness. Do the originals on your computer look sharper than the ones in this post?

The focus/sharpness should not be that far off. No way should you have to step down to f8 to get sharp results. And besides, F8 wouldn't give you fast enough shutter speeds. Am I to assume you bought the lens used? Have you tried it for other purposes and gotten better sharpness?

As to the colors:

1. Switch back to AWB - you'll get better results

2. Sometimes there isn't an in-camera solution to get colors to pop. You simply have to post process the images. Simple levels adjustment will do the trick as long as the WB is better coming out of the camera. If all you want is vibrant colors, bump up the saturation a notch. But often it's that flat histogram that keeps colors from popping. If you drag in the left and right sliders on the histogram (every tool I've worked with allows you to adjust levels this way) the colors will pop a bit more.


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Old Sep 30, 2008, 9:36 PM   #10
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The Tokina 80-200 is used, it appears to be in very good condition, at f2.8 looking thru the lense is clean and there are no scratches. How can I simply check the sharpness of the lense? The primary purpose of this lense is for baseball. I will post some portrait pics to check for sharpness.

Can it be crop factor of the D80 with a full frame lense contribute to lack of sharpness?

I am using single area wide AFC locked in the center with Af assist on?

I also do not think there is a color slider tool in Picasa?

I am getting better results from my old F717..

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