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Old Jul 13, 2006, 4:14 AM   #1
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Hi everyone,

As a new user of a Pentax *ist DL2 (about one month) I am still getting used to it and experimenting to get the best quality from it. As such, I am now playing with the RAW mode and trying to learn a bit about Photoshop CS2 to process the pictures properly.

I took some pictures yesterday of some wildlife thinking I was getting some quite nice shots, but when I got home and looked at them on the computer I was dissapointed. One of the pictures is attached, and as you can see it looks soft. Does anyone have any suggestions as to why this is. Is it just camera shake due to the setting on the camera being wrong or is it the lens that is not as sharp.

Lens used: Sigma 70-300 APO (NOT the DG model)

The camera settings are

Exp: 1/250 @ f4.5
Exp mode: Auto
Exp Program: Aperture Priority
ISO speed: Auto (200)
Focal length: 160 (240 in 235mm film)


Would I have been bettter off manually setting the ISO speed to a higher setting so that I could use a faster shutter speed.

Thanks for any advice, I'm open to any suggestions



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Old Jul 13, 2006, 6:37 AM   #2
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i think this is just camera shake as the exposure seems fine. i had that lens and also had probs with shake at first. technique is a must.. keep using it and start thinking about how you are bracing yourself and the cam.. it's a big long lens and it'll blur with any movement.. 1/250 should have been enough but who knows. also this lens is not the sharpest at f4.5.. i found it best at f8-11. try avoiding 300mm also. i found it sharper at 260-280mm.. adjust your iso to compensate for the shorter shutter speed.

roy
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Old Jul 13, 2006, 7:18 AM   #3
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Sometimes we get a little excited when something interesting comes along. I find that camera shake is my biggest issue for sharp pictures once the focal length gets to about 200mm or so. Practice holding the camera and get a monopod (makes a big difference).

Better luck in future.

Ira
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Old Jul 13, 2006, 9:03 AM   #4
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I always shoot at ISO 400 for moving subjects to keep the shutter speed up and unless you have a very sharp prime, shooting wide open like that will usually make for soft images.

Tom
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Old Jul 13, 2006, 1:31 PM   #5
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Monza76 wrote:
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Sometimes we get a little excited when something interesting comes along. I find that camera shake is my biggest issue for sharp pictures once the focal length gets to about 200mm or so. Practice holding the camera and get a monopod (makes a big difference).

Better luck in future.

Ira
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Old Jul 13, 2006, 1:49 PM   #6
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I am no guru. But I would suggest you taking the pict again on this setting

*iso 800 & 1600 definitely on manual. You will be surprised that even 1600 pict is quite decent for DL.
* at F8-11 (for consumer grade zoom f8 is not better)
* 1/250s is fine (set 2 s timer if the duck does not move fast)
* focal length 160 is fine as long as it is no higher than 200mm for a consumer grade zoom.

Pl post again and c if that helps.

Daniel

RussellS wrote:
Quote:
Hi everyone,

As a new user of a Pentax *ist DL2 (about one month) I am still getting used to it and experimenting to get the best quality from it. As such, I am now playing with the RAW mode and trying to learn a bit about Photoshop CS2 to process the pictures properly.

I took some pictures yesterday of some wildlife thinking I was getting some quite nice shots, but when I got home and looked at them on the computer I was dissapointed. One of the pictures is attached, and as you can see it looks soft. Does anyone have any suggestions as to why this is. Is it just camera shake due to the setting on the camera being wrong or is it the lens that is not as sharp.

Lens used: Sigma 70-300 APO (NOT the DG model)

The camera settings are

Exp: 1/250 @ f4.5
Exp mode: Auto
Exp Program: Aperture Priority
ISO speed: Auto (200)
Focal length: 160 (240 in 235mm film)


Would I have been bettter off manually setting the ISO speed to a higher setting so that I could use a faster shutter speed.

Thanks for any advice, I'm open to any suggestions


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Old Jul 13, 2006, 2:15 PM   #7
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Put it on a tripod. One shouldn't judge lens softness without this critical step. Most of my softness issues are due to camera shake, especially after my morning cup of coffee.

RG
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Old Jul 13, 2006, 6:09 PM   #8
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I would have boosted the ISO as others have stated. The other settings are ok. If the light is bad, then use a monopod or tripod. Either one will work....cheers.......Don.
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Old Jul 13, 2006, 6:21 PM   #9
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Thanks for all the advice guys, it is very much appreciated.

From now on I will definately be taking the ISO setting off of auto and setting it manually to keep the shutter speed up (or is it down:-)). I do have a tripod but normally, once you have it set up the moment has gone. I do however like the idea of a monopod and I shall be looking around for one this weekend.

Thanks once again for your help


Russell


PS. how do you get the picture attachment to actually appear in the post rather than just as a link?
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Old Jul 13, 2006, 6:59 PM   #10
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I'm tentatively planning a hike this weekend to try out the walking stick/monopod I bought last weekend at the REI store. REI is an outdoor store originally started by some climbers as a co-op. You don't have to join (they sell to anyone) and they also have a website. Their monopod seems really sturdy and I have the option of keeping the cork top on and using it as a walking stick, then I can either put the camera on it directly or use a head. I wanted to make sure I bought something that I would actually use, and I had doubts abouteither a light-weight tripod or a monopod that I would have to carry. I haven't tried it yet, so I don't know how practical it will be.
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