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Old Jun 7, 2010, 12:49 AM   #1
BDD
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Default Zooms vs. primes

I've noticed recently that when I use my 70-300 VRII to shoot indoors I'm getting varying degrees of haze in my photos. Depending on what time of day I'm shooting. Obviously the closer I am to midday the more haze.

Yet, looking back at photos I've taken in the past and present I seem to get away with photos with no haze using either my 50 or 85 mm primes. I have yet to find some photos with haze shooting indoors. My subject being my dog (readily available).

Today, I might be picking up the newest version of the 105 micro VRII. I'm guessing I'll have similar results as I got with my 2 primes...meaning no haze shooting at any time of the day.

Will test more today.
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Old Jun 7, 2010, 7:37 AM   #2
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Can you post some examples of the images you're not pleased with?
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Old Jun 7, 2010, 7:44 AM   #3
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As TCav suggested, post some examples of what you mean by haze.

Do you mean a "washed out" look to images? If so, that sounds like loss of contrast from flare (a.k.a., veiling flare), normally caused when you have bright light sources in the frame. But, indoors, that would be a rare problem unless you're shooting towards a Window. Are you using a filter (UV filter, etc.). If so, try removing it, as it's not uncommon for a filter to cause a flare problem.

Are you sure you're not talking about motion blur from subject movement (if you're trying to shoot a dog indoors with a lens that dim without a flash, motion blur would be expected unless it's perfectly motionless).

Again, post some downsized examples and we can tell what you're talking about. See this thread:

http://forums.steves-digicams.com/ge...oto-forum.html
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Old Jun 7, 2010, 8:19 AM   #4
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Ok guys here are the 3 test shots. Same pose, lighting (only light source coming from left...outside light), and all 3 shot at F/5.6 1/30. The first was shot using my 70-300, followed by my 85mm and then my 50mm.

All 3 lenses have filters on them. The 70-300 has a Tiffen 812 warming filter, 85mm has a UV (so this photo will look brighter...esp on the white portion of my dog's coat...didn't bother using a 812 filter at the time), and the 50mm also the Tiffen 812 warming filter.

By "haze" I did mean a slightly "washed out" look. The degree of "washed out" depends on the time of day I took the shots. These 3 test shots were taken just before 8 AM. Some sunshine outside. But no direct sunlight entering the room.
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Old Jun 7, 2010, 8:34 AM   #5
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I'd try it without the filter and see what you get, in case it's causing an issue.

How much were you zoomed in with the 70-300mm? I can't see the EXIF info to tell more about it (focal length, focus points, etc.), since the editor you used for downsizing stripped it out of the image.

But, if you were zoomed in much, note that most lenses tend to be softer with lower contrast at their widest aperture settings, and camera shake may have been an issue at longer focal lengths at shutter speeds that slow, too (even with VR, depending on how much you were zoomed in, as it won't be as effective filling the frame from closer ranges).

Depth of Field may have also been an issue filling the frame that much with a smaller subject (as it appears to be a bit front focused, getting blurry by the time you get to the dog). I have seen some filters cause AF accuracy problems, too (although that's rare unless it's a polarizer, it still happens with other filter types, as the type of light being seen by AF sensors can cause problems from time to time).

So, I'd be careful of your focus point filling the frame that much with a smaller subject and try it without that filter on it.

If you've got a way to downsize them without stripping out the EXIF, I could see that kind of thing (focus point used, focal length, etc.). If using Photoshop, don't use Save for Web (use Save As instead). Or, use a free program like Irfanview to downsize them, as it can retain the EXIF info (look under Image>Resize Resample to downsize an image, then make sure the retain EXIF boxed is checked when you use File>Save as to save a downsized copy using a different filename so you don't overwrite your original).
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Old Jun 7, 2010, 8:46 AM   #6
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P.S.

Some Tiffen filters tend to be about as bad as they get for degrading image quality and causing problems like loss of contrast (if I had to use a filter, it would definitely not be a Tiffen).

Although without any direct light sources in the frame, that would be rare problem, I wouldn't be surprised if it's causing an issue, especially since the way you're describing the problem sounds like it gets worse as the Sun is brighter in the sky; and you probably have more light coming in through Windows then.

So, again, I'd try it without the filter on it to see what you get as a first step.
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Old Jun 7, 2010, 8:51 AM   #7
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Hello JimC,

The 1st photo, with the 70-300, was shot at 135mm.

I will try it without a filter. Didn't know some Tiffen filters are known for degrading the contrast. I do have a ND filter for my 70-300. Will try that one too. Might by a Hoya PRO filter or another Tiffen.

Here are two shots taken with my 50mm prime and the Tiffen 812 warming filter. So I'm not sure it's the Tiffen brand degrading the contrast. Though, this shot was taken at another 45 degree position.

Has none of the "washed out" look. Contrast seems to be intact.
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Old Jun 7, 2010, 8:59 AM   #8
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Well... it's not usually much of an issue unless you have more direct light hitting one. But, some of them are pretty bad. Here's a test of a lot of different UV filters. Guess which brand was worse when comparing images for problems like loss of contrast from flare (at least to my eyes)? ;-)

http://www.lenstip.com/113.24-articl...n_72mm_UV.html

Personally, I never use a protective filter on a lens, as I don't want to degrade image quality; and if I wanted a warmer looking image, I'd either adjust White Balance or handle it in an editor.

How a filter works with a given lens can also come into the equation (type of coatings, how much glass surface, etc.). Again, I've also seen some odd issues with some filters impacting AF sensors.

So, I'd try it without the filter and see what you get before assuming any other issue with it.
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Old Jun 7, 2010, 9:16 AM   #9
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It's the filter!! LOL!! Here are two samples using my 70-300. First shot with the Tiffen 812 warming filter ON 2nd shot OFF.

I put the filter on to protect the surface of the lens and to get the warming affect. Is there a filter I could put on to protect and get the warming affect.

Looks like the Hoya filters did well in general. Especially the PRO UV filter. Maybe I should consider a Hoya "warming filter". Or just not use a filter with the 70-300.

Interesting I would get this with the Tiffen 812 warming filter on my 70-300 but not on my 50mm.
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Old Jun 7, 2010, 9:30 AM   #10
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That's what I figured, given your symptoms. ;-)

Personally, I never use a protective filter on a lens, so I don't risk degrading image quality. Anytime you add more glass in front of a lens, you risk degrading image quality. IOW, why buy an expensive lens and put a cheap filter in front of it that's generic versus being engineered to work with the optics of the lens. ;-)

The Hoya Pro filters are usually pretty good as filters go. But, personally, I don't use protective filters with digital at all, period (since UV isn't a problem with modern digital cameras like it can be with film, and a UV/Haze filter is more likely to cause Haze than help with it). I keep a hood on a lens to help protect it -- that's it.

If you want a warmer look, try adjusting your White Balance. For example, use the cloudy or shade settings when outdoors or when lighting is closer to the temperature of daylight. Unlike film (where you'd use different film for different lighting), your camera is trying to adjust the image for the temperature of the lighting with Auto White Balance. So, trying to use a filter to adjust it can cause more problems than it helps (since it's adjusting it to make it look neutral from the light it sees through the lens and filter). But, you can adjust White Balance manually if desired.

Or, just use an editor to tweak the look later. Many free editors like Google's Picasa have white balance sliders that let you make an image look warmer or cooler as desired.
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