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Old Jan 28, 2007, 8:38 PM   #1
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Well, I just wrote a long post about metering and it got ate lol. So here we go again.

I've been shooting a lot of stuff outdoors lately and I'm not satisfied with the results.I'm thinking that metering is my problem. I'm very new to the world of photography so I know nothing about metering or the settings I should use.The pics Ive been taking seem to be fuzzy but not blurry. I took a couple of these horses as tests and shot a sign as a test as well. Taken with K10D sigma 135-400mm at 400mm in AV mode using the multi metering mode.I've tried different aps and the results seem tjhe same so Im thinking metering could do the trick. Now the question is........When shooting a particular subject, like a horse or whatever should I use spot metering or center weighted metering as opposed to multi metering? How about indoors taking portraits? I'm assuming when shooting landscapes or wide angle shots I should use multi, but Im confused when spot and center weighting is best? Any help would be much appreciated.
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Old Jan 28, 2007, 8:40 PM   #2
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Adjusting the levels helps a bit but not all that much. I left these as shot though to show whats happening.
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Old Jan 28, 2007, 8:44 PM   #3
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And finally a sign I used for testing peuposes. I shot at different aps and the results looked the same or very close to it.
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Old Jan 28, 2007, 9:50 PM   #4
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I'm not the best person to answer this - I'm really struggling right now.

The first one has way too much dynamic range for the camera - I think it did pretty well since most of the time cameras underexpose snow scenes. The black on the horse caused it to blow out the white. If you had used center-weighted or spot you would have either seriously underexposed (metering off the snow) or blown out the snow completely (metering off the horse).

I usually keep the camera at center-weighted but I usually check the picture and if it hasn't exposed right, I'll changeto another mode (whatever seems to be appropriate). I do that partly because I like high contrast scenes and usually have something in mind when I shoot. For general snaps with uncomplicatedcontrast matrix works well.

My first thought when I looked at them is that the lens is pretty soft, but I wouldn't know that for a fact since I don't have any experience with it.

Second thought - you don't say whether you were shooting these with a tripod or not. If you were handholding, then I think there could be a bit of camera shake - I can barely hold a 300mm lens steady at 1/350 (even with SR) so I doubt I could do as well as you did with these.

Sorry I can't be of more help.
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Old Jan 28, 2007, 10:12 PM   #5
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These were shot using a monopod from inside my car lol. I screwed up my back and am getting ready to have surgery so walking and standing arent too comfortable atm. I just jam the monopod between the seat and the door and try to steady the cam that way. I just got the lens so I hope it isnt that. I paid a pretty penny for it and I have seen others around post pics using it and was impressed so hopefully it's just the settings or lighting thats creating the problems. Thanks for responding. hopefully I can learn a few things and get some good shots after my recovery. It should be spring by then and maybe I can get some good birding in.
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Old Jan 28, 2007, 11:42 PM   #6
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Judging from the last picture, I'd guess it's a lens issue. Are the lens elements clear? Might be one of the elements badly aligned or even loose. Try the same type of shots with another lens or try the same lens on another camera and compare.

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Old Jan 29, 2007, 2:12 AM   #7
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I also think that it's a lens issue - perhaps even a Sigma lens issue. I have a Sigma 28-135mm which I use as a walk about lens - reasonable results - not outstanding, but just recently, it's produced blurred results even with a shutter speed of 1/250S.

I haven't bottomed it out yet, but I believe that it's likely to do with the lens being wide open at infinity where the lens is either front or back focusing.

Anyway, post processed, your sign looks quite sharp:



And these horses also come up better:


Not sure about the squirrel


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Old Jan 29, 2007, 2:28 AM   #8
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Spiritbro77 wrote:
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These were shot using a monopod from inside my car lol.
I hope they were shot through an open window - otherwise that could be the problem.
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Old Jan 29, 2007, 3:00 AM   #9
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Yeah the window was down lol The lens is so long it would have to be

I'm going to do a test today indoors using my DL and K10 with the lens and a tripod. At 400, 300, 200 and 135 at a couple different f stops and see whats up. If the lens is soft at different settings and with both cams then Ill send it back for replacement.I've seen sharp images with this type lens so if it IS fubar maybe I got a bad one.
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Old Jan 29, 2007, 2:16 PM   #10
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Well I did a test and I'm returning the lens for another one. I lit up an area with my light set and took pics of a statue we have. I shot at 400-300-200- and 135 using both my DL and K10, tripod mounted and using a shutter release. I shot one at each focal length at f5.6 and one each at 9.5. Almost all the pics were soft although I got a good one at 300 with the dl at 5.6 but the one at 9.5 was soft. I got a good one with the K10 at 200 at 9.5 but the 5.6 was soft. Just doesn't seem to be ryme nor reason about when it will be soft, but it ususally is so........I called and they said I could get it exchanged for another one. If thats soft too Ill just return it for good, but I have seen some really sharp pics here with that particular lens. Wish me luck, I hope it works out.

Oh and thanks for all the help. I appreciate the input!
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