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Old Jan 14, 2011, 2:08 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by TCav View Post
The other lenses you've got far surpass the quality of the 18-200. It may be convenient to use, but it's not a very good lens. Can you correlate your satisfaction with the images you capture with the lenses you've used to capture them?
I wouldn't spend a dime on better lenses until we have a better understanding of what's going wrong.

I've spent some time using a Nikkor 18-200mm, and it's sharpness is really not bad when stopped down a tad from wide open (and it sounds like the OP is already doing that, given the comments about using Aperture Priority to control DOF).

Yes, it has it's faults. But, it's color and contrast is pretty good, sharpness isn't bad with it stopped down some, and frankly, I'd rate it's flare resistance as being better than the [much] more expensive Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 (blasphemy, I know).

So, I'd suggest that the OP post some samples so we can figure out why he thinks the images aren't good enough and see if it's just something simple that's being overlooked.

Personally, I'm not convinced that the lenses (or camera body) has anything to do with it from what I've read in this thread so far.
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Old Jan 16, 2011, 2:57 PM   #22
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What media are you viewing on that you consider the results to lack sharpness?

Your monitor or prints or both?

What monitor are you using? CRT, LCD, size, resolution?

I really have a hard time accepting it is your Nikon gear and would also like to see an example.
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Old Jan 16, 2011, 3:28 PM   #23
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Well the canon 60D is pretty simple to use, front dial controls aperture in Av mode, shutter speed in Rv mode. The back dial controls EV. And iso, AF mode, and burst mode is put the according button, and turn the dial to the on you desire. So it is pretty simple to use like my film bodies before all the tech if you want.

Only played with the d7000 couple of time, did not like the layout as much with button on both sides but the dial controls were pretty easy to used as well.
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Old Jan 18, 2011, 9:34 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by frank-in-toronto View Post
I think this is it and a little batch pp will make everything ok. but, of course, let's wait to see a typical "pop-less" image.
OK, back in the saddle after a successful trip over the weekend. I will upload a couple of images later today (once I figure out how to do it) and let's see if we can get this solved. I'm already immensely grateful to those who've made suggestions.

I just received the D200 body and 18-200 lense back from Nikon after both were fully calibrated and tested so we'll see if there are any changes. I just spent $500 on this service and I'm hoping I don't have to fork over another dime until a clear path is formed on how I should proceed.
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Old Jan 18, 2011, 10:58 AM   #25
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Originally Posted by frank-in-toronto View Post
Maybe i'm obstinate, but I'd first want to see one of these "not so sharp" photos before proposing a solution. Just one.
OK, here are a couple of pictures at random, which are very typical of my results. The first two are from before the camera was shipped off to Nikon for repair and the second two are from just this morning. Nothing is crisp or razor-sharp.
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Old Jan 18, 2011, 12:36 PM   #26
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Can you post the EXIF info for the first two shots please?

I can see the EXIF for last two.
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Old Jan 18, 2011, 2:32 PM   #27
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OK, here's a link to a representative sampling of what I like to shoot.

http://s291.photobucket.com/albums/l...mple%20Images/

Last edited by PeterD; Jan 19, 2011 at 12:06 AM.
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Old Jan 19, 2011, 6:10 AM   #28
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I guess this is it and a little batch pp will make everything ok. but, of course, let's wait to see a typical "pop-less" image...
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Old Jan 19, 2011, 9:00 AM   #29
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Peter...

If the file size or dimensions for an image you upload exceeds the maximum sizes allowed here (longest dimension should be 1024 pixels or less, file size should be no larger than 253.9KB), then the forums software will still allow you to upload them, but it will downsize and recompress the images (resulting in loss of quality), and strip out the EXIF at the same time.

When you use the paperclip icon to manage attachments when making a new post, you'll see those limits by the file types when the screen with a browse button pops up. So, it's a good idea to make sure they don't exceed the maximum allowed sizes if you don't want the EXIF information stripped out. Usually, a JPEG quality setting of around 80% (or 8, depending on the editor used) will keep the file sizes within the maximum allowed *if* the image has been downsized so that your dimensions in pixels are within the allowed limits. See my earlier post about resizing images for posting here for one way to approach it:

http://forums.steves-digicams.com/wh...ml#post1189993

If the EXIF is in the first two images you uploaded when viewing them on your PC, that's probably what happened (forums software stripped out the EXIF and recompressed the images), because no EXIF is in the first two images. So, we can't tell what may have been going wrong by checking focus point, etc.

As for the last two images, it looks like you took the photo of the squirrel at 200mm with the aperture wide open at f/5.6. That lens doesn't do as well on it's longer end with the aperture wide open. So, for better sharpness, you may want to stop it down a bit (for example, use f/8 or f/11 on it's longer end).

But, keep an eye on shutter speeds (as you may need to increase ISO speed to prevent blur from subject movement).

It does look a bit "drab". But, if the lighting is dull, the photos are usually going to look dull, too. ;-)

As for the last image of the dog, it's overexposed. But, that's because you had Exposure Compensation set to +1.33 EV (telling the camera to expose it brighter than metered). My guess is that you used that setting for the snow images (which is often a good idea if you don't want gray snow), and forgot to change it back when taking the photo of the dog (causing an overexposed image).

Another observation... Your focus point looked fine for the last two images (I can't tell for the first two, since no EXIF is in them). But, I couldn't help but notice that you're using AF-C (Continuous Autofocus). Normally, I wouldn't set a camera that way for relatively stationary subjects.

Now, that's not to say it won't work. But, that is an odd setting to use unless you're trying to track rapidly moving action. So, you may want to experiment using the default focus modes (for example, go with AF-S for single shot AF) and see if you find a difference in focus accuracy, in case it's doing something like trying to make a "best guess" prediction of where your subject is going to be (not realizing that it's stationary), since sometimes it can take a couple of shots before Continuous Autofocus becomes more accurate when shooting action (since it's trying to determine subject direction and speed of movement and may it take two or more shots before it's algorithms have "settled in" for better accuracy).
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Old Jan 21, 2011, 3:43 AM   #30
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Interesting article...

http://www.luminous-landscape.com/es...of_focus.shtml

And why I will never-ever buy another DSLR that does not have AF microadjustment.
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