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Old Jan 15, 2012, 10:09 AM   #1
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Default Problem with vibration reduction - VF?

Hi,

Can someone tell me why this is happening?

1) I have a canon point and shoot camera sx-130 with 12 x optical zoom (about $200 retail).
I am comparing it to my D5100 with the 55-200 mm lens.

2) At full zoom (which are pretty darn close to identical in the 2 situations) the canon pictures are much more clear.

3) settings for each camera
-Canon sx-130: 1/60 iso 200 - image stabilization on - hand held
-D5100: 1/125 iso 320 - VR on - hand held

4) I am taking a picture of a ball.
-With the canon I can clearly read the "made in china" words on it
-With the D5100 the "made in china" words are a blur that cannot be read.

5) When I turn the VF "OFF" (yes OFF), I can read the "made in china" words much better, but it is still not as clear as the $200 canon point and shoot.

Can anyone help me with this situation?
Is the Nikon VF known to be not as good as the Canon image stabilization?

With a slower shutter speed and costing $600 less than the Nikon setup, I would expect the Canon pictures to be worse than the Nikon, but the canon shots are clearly better.

Are SLR's with relatively cheap lenses known to be inferior to point and shoot zoom lenses?

Is my lens defective?

I hope someone can help me clarify the situation.

-In the images below, I listed from worse quality to best.
Left, is Nikon with VF ON
Middle, is Nikon with VF OFF (I am NOT mixing the two up. I do NOT have it reversed - these are the results I get each time - I can see the VR trying to stabilize things while I shoot, but these are the results I get every time)
Right, is Canon sx-130 point and shoot with IS on.

Thanks!
Juggernaut
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Old Jan 15, 2012, 11:14 AM   #2
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First, motion blur due to camera shake is almost always directional. That's not what we're seeing in your sample shots, so I doubt that the difference has much if anything to do with motion blur due to camera shake.

Second, while the Nikon 55-200 VR is reasonably sharp for a consumer grade telephoto zoom lens, it doesn't do very well when stopped down too much. You didn't mention the aperture you used for these shots, but if you used an aperture of f/16 or smaller (numerically larger), that could cause what you're seeing.

JOOC, do you have any other lenses for the D5100?
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Old Jan 15, 2012, 11:19 AM   #3
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When you shot these did you use a tripod. If so, then turn VR off when using a tripod. Other than that the cheap camera gives a clearer sharper image. But is the overall image good as compared to the Nikon with VR turned off? Type might look good when its nice and over sharpened too much, while the rest of the image might not look so good. Personally I would never buy a lens with VR. If I cant hold the camera steady enough then I use a tripod.
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Old Jan 15, 2012, 11:29 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TCav View Post
First, motion blur due to camera shake is almost always directional. That's not what we're seeing in your sample shots, so I doubt that the difference has much if anything to do with motion blur due to camera shake.

Second, while the Nikon 55-200 VR is reasonably sharp for a consumer grade telephoto zoom lens, it doesn't do very well when stopped down too much. You didn't mention the aperture you used for these shots, but if you used an aperture of f/16 or smaller (numerically larger), that could cause what you're seeing.

JOOC, do you have any other lenses for the D5100?
Hi,

I used F/5.6.

I also have the kit 18-55 and a prime lens 50 mm f/1.8.

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Old Jan 15, 2012, 11:36 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bynx View Post
When you shot these did you use a tripod. If so, then turn VR off when using a tripod. Other than that the cheap camera gives a clearer sharper image. But is the overall image good as compared to the Nikon with VR turned off? Type might look good when its nice and over sharpened too much, while the rest of the image might not look so good. Personally I would never buy a lens with VR. If I cant hold the camera steady enough then I use a tripod.
Hi Bynx.

Both cameras were hand-held - neither used a tripod.

I am not sure how to answer the question about the overall quality, but I was able to post larger images on another forum - maybe you can see those & let me know what you think.
http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/re...ssage=40331768

In my opinion the canon point and shoot looks better overall.
There is definately a loss of sharpness in the nikon shots in the grass beyond the ball, which does not happen with the canon.
I see the f/stops are the same for all the images so I did not think it was an aperature issue - but could it be?

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Old Jan 15, 2012, 11:54 AM   #6
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Hi,

In taking a look at the photos posted on preview, my take is that the lens on your d5100 is focused in front of the ball and NOT on the ball.

Try using single point center point AF-S on the D5100 and see what you get.

One other point, I believe the D5100 has the ability for the sharpness setting to be adjusted. The default simply may need to be boosted up a notch or two.

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Old Jan 15, 2012, 12:37 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by zig-123 View Post
Hi,

In taking a look at the photos posted on preview, my take is that the lens on your d5100 is focused in front of the ball and NOT on the ball.

Try using single point center point AF-S on the D5100 and see what you get.

One other point, I believe the D5100 has the ability for the sharpness setting to be adjusted. The default simply may need to be boosted up a notch or two.

Zig
Hi Zig,

As per the viewnx2 program, the focus point was single and was right in the center of the ball.

I will have to look into the sharpness adjustments.

Any idea why the area distant to the ball is also out of focus on the D5100 shots? Is that the aperature setting? The area closer than the ball seems ok.

I am finding that if I can bump up the shutter speed to say 1/1000 or 1/2000 that I am getting more clear images. About as good or better than the point and shoot at 1/60.
This just gives me the impression that the VF is not particulary effective (or perhaps is defective).

hehe, I guess I am trying to figure out if I am better off taking my $250 lens or my $200 camera - close call so far, which is a MAJOR dissapointment...

I can accept that I might not have the settings optimized for the D5100 yet, but I am a bit concerned that I have a defective lens.

Thanks,
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Old Jan 15, 2012, 1:28 PM   #8
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It's possible that the Nikon 55-200 VR at f/5.6, just isn't as sharp at 200mm as the Canon SX-130 IS is at full zoom.

The 18-55 at 55mm and f/8 is probably the sharpest stabilized lens you've got. I suggest you try that, but of course, the trick would be setting the SX-130 IS at a 35mm equivalent focal length of 82.5mm (an actual focal length of 14.7mm.)

I disagree with Zig about adjusting the "Sharpness" in the camera. That doesn't actually change the sharpness of an image. (That's governed by the resolution of the image sensor.) The camera's "Sharpness" setting actually adjusts the Acutance, which is the edge contrast. Images with fine detail have a lot of "edge", so adjusting the Acutance will probably do some strange things to the image, none of which have anything to do with sharpness.
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Old Jan 15, 2012, 1:32 PM   #9
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If I got that lens and saw what you saw, I would also be tempted to send it back.

That doesn't mean its replacement would be any better, however.
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Old Jan 15, 2012, 2:43 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Juggernaut View Post
Hi Zig,

As per the viewnx2 program, the focus point was single and was right in the center of the ball.

I will have to look into the sharpness adjustments.

Any idea why the area distant to the ball is also out of focus on the D5100 shots? Is that the aperature setting? The area closer than the ball seems ok.

I am finding that if I can bump up the shutter speed to say 1/1000 or 1/2000 that I am getting more clear images. About as good or better than the point and shoot at 1/60.
This just gives me the impression that the VF is not particulary effective (or perhaps is defective).

hehe, I guess I am trying to figure out if I am better off taking my $250 lens or my $200 camera - close call so far, which is a MAJOR dissapointment...

I can accept that I might not have the settings optimized for the D5100 yet, but I am a bit concerned that I have a defective lens.

Thanks,
Juggernaut
Hi,

I keep looking at your image posted and continue to believe that the camera focused in front of the ball rather than the ball. The grass immediately in front of the ball is (to my eyes) is sharper than any other portion of the image.
If, as you say, that you used single point center and the focus point was squarely on the ball, than you may have a lens with a front focusing issue.

As for the aperture, yes depth of field, could and should be rather thin at f5.6.
You can google depth of field calculator and punch in the distance you were away from the subject, the type of camera and lens used and last the focal length used. The calculator will give you the depth of field or actual depth at which all will be sharp.
As an example, I punched in your settings and then guessed you were 10ft away. The actual area that everything will be in focus is about .16ft. That is not a very wide area at all.

Increasing aperture(stepping it down) will not only give you greater depth of field, but also should improve the sharpness of the lens- to a point.

Here is a link to SLR Gear.com which performs tests on all types of lenses;

http://www.slrgear.com/reviews/showp...ct/1088/cat/13

If you read this review carefully, you'll get the picture that this isn't the sharpest lens in Nikon's line of lenses.

and, finally, I would like to explain why the suggestion to adjust the sharpness
setting in the camera. Most compact cameras have significantly more aggressive value settings for sharpness, contrast, saturation etc. than do dslrs.
If you are used to a seeing an image that was taken from a compact camera, chances are it will "look" sharper than one taken with an dslr at factory default settings.

If you're concerned about the image quality of this particular lens, i would take it back to the seller and work out a replacement.
Zig
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Last edited by zig-123; Jan 15, 2012 at 2:45 PM.
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