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Old Oct 5, 2009, 1:02 PM   #21
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Yes, her ear and the hair around her neck are very sharp, but the eyelashes and eyebrows are soft. The composition is very nice, though (but I would try not to chop off the top of her head.)

And I may be wrong, but I think I see a color fringe on the white chair. You may have to watch out for high contrast areas. On this frame, it would be easy to crop out, but other times you might not be so lucky.
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Old Oct 5, 2009, 1:24 PM   #22
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Try to focus on the eyes. In general, the most viewers prefer to see the eyes sharp more than the outline of the face sharp.

I still feel that either you did not focus well (manual or auto), or you shook a bit.

I personally use auto focus most of the time.
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Old Oct 5, 2009, 1:58 PM   #23
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You're right about the top of the head -- I was so concentrated on making the eyes sharp I forgot about everything else.

Regarding the fringing, that's probably something you don't see in the viewfinder, right? If so, I'll just have to be aware of high contrast areas like you said.

Thanks a lot, TCav!
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Old Oct 5, 2009, 2:05 PM   #24
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I just now ordered a remote shutter release cable from Amazon. But I think it's not camera shake because I used self-timer mounted on a tripod. I think it's my manual focusing. My eyes aren't that great (I wear glasses) and find it very very hard to focus (the lens through the viewfinder). I took a couple and this one is the sharpest.

I guess my other option is like you mentioned autofocus with perhaps higher aperture.

Unfortunately, my model (daughter) has gone -- she was only here for the weekend to study. My next model, my son, is so zit-faced right now he probably won't want his photos shared just yet .

I see myself stealing portrait quality photos in group gatherings but I would certainly want to be able to shoot studio quality pictures someday, too.

Thanks a lot for the comments, Antony!

EDIT:
I forgot to add, I agree about viewers prefering sharp eyes. Right now I can't get enough of staring at the photos I took where I actually got the pupils to show. I wouldn't have known about the experience had I not posted here.

Last edited by vvcarpio; Oct 5, 2009 at 2:08 PM. Reason: Added "sharp eyes" comment.
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Old Oct 5, 2009, 3:47 PM   #25
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Manual focus used to be easier with manual focus cameras; in addition to the matte screen, they used to have the split image rangefinder and the microprism ring. Without those focusing aids, and without a DOF Preview, it's hard to focus manually. I'd use AF and choose my AF point carefully.

I don't think this is shake. If it were shake, you'd see the image of the ear stud smeared. That didn't happen.

You used an A350 on a tripod. Did you use 'Live View'? That's where 'Live View' shines.
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Old Oct 5, 2009, 4:24 PM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vvcarpio View Post
Regarding the fringing, that's probably something you don't see in the viewfinder, right?
It has to be REALLY BAD for it to show up in the viewfinder. In the storefront at the Ritz Camera headquarters in Beltsville, MD, the Sony A700 on display was wearing a Quantaray (Sigma) 18-200. That's the only time I ever saw CA in the viewfinder. I can only conclude that Ritz didn't want to sell any A700s.
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Old Oct 5, 2009, 11:22 PM   #27
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vvcarpio,

Since I also use Sony DSLR α350 myself, I would recommend investing this tiny accessory:
Sony Magnifying Eyepiece (FDA-ME1AM)

It improves α350's viewfinder magnifier from 0.74x to a more acceptable 0.85x.
I use this Magnifying Eyepiece even with autofocus.

Like TCav said, LiveView is very handy (I also use it often), however, in low light situations (e.g. at night), LiveView on α350 is pretty much useless I have to say.
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Old Oct 6, 2009, 9:05 AM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TCav View Post
Manual focus used to be easier with manual focus cameras; in addition to the matte screen, they used to have the split image rangefinder and the microprism ring.
I used to use a Minolta X-300 (entry-level film SLR) many eons ago and still have it. In fact I was looking through its viewfinder the other night (I was removing my protective 49mm Hoya filter because itís a perfect fit for my new Sony lens) and missed the matte and split focusing ring.

I had since switched to point-and-shoot when they came out with zooms (I guess the coolness factor overrode my sensibilities not that thereís anything wrong with p&s) then later with digicams. I have completely forgotten about SLRs and it is only now that Iím rediscovering them. And now I'm finding out all over again that SLRs (digital or film) do indeed take better pictures not to mention that people in public places don't seem to mind their pictures taken by a complete stranger as long as he is wielding a DSLR and not a point-and-shooter plus the unlimited number of gizmos and expansion possibilities for the body and lenses.


Quote:
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You used an A350 on a tripod. Did you use 'Live View'? That's where 'Live View' shines.

No I did not use liveview -- I actually craned my neck. I read somewhere that pros still prefer to use the viewfinder so thatís what Iíve been doing without really understanding why. In retrospect it sounds foolish now that I know that Live View can be useful and isnít just gimmick to draw point-and-shooters which if it was then I donít think is necessarily bad.

Thanks, TCav!
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Old Oct 6, 2009, 9:12 AM   #29
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Quote:
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I can only conclude that Ritz didn't want to sell any A700s.
Lol about the headquarters! I would have come to the same conclusion.
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Old Oct 6, 2009, 9:16 AM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by antony View Post
vvcarpio,

Since I also use Sony DSLR α350 myself, I would recommend investing this tiny accessory:
Sony Magnifying Eyepiece (FDA-ME1AM)
It improves α350's viewfinder magnifier from 0.74x to a more acceptable 0.85x.
I use this Magnifying Eyepiece even with autofocus.
Thatís a nice accessory. B&H Photo here in Manhattan is closed for the whole week (due to a Jewish holiday). I would like to visit the store first so I can try it out and see how much bigger the view is going to get. But that is just formality because Iím already sold.
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