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Beginners beautifully blurry pictures
Ive been testing out my first DSLR. all I seem to be getting is blurry image mostly. I know these aren't great but I was expecting a little more detail and sharpness for my effort. what do I need to do different or what did I do wrong?http://www.flickr.com/photos/23082724@N07/sets/72157603861554751/.

Thanks..

Comments (28)

Oh and these where taken with a 17-85 IS lens..

Comment #1

Virtually everyone is disappointed with their first DSLR - because unlike point and shoot cameras, a DSLR will not take a good photo for you - you have to tell it HOW to take a good photo of what you want. You're in control now. Get a good book on basic photography and or exposure and start learnin and shootin. BTW, the images you took don't look blurry to me. They could have been done better - but that's up to you to figure out how .

PhotonFiend wrote:.

Ive been testing out my first DSLR. all I seem to be getting isblurry image mostly. I know these aren't great but I was expecting alittle more detail and sharpness for my effort. what do I need to dodifferent or what did I do wrong?http://www.flickr.com/photos/.

Even if you can't donate, please help spread the word...

Comment #2

They dont? hmm, maybe I just have to high expectation for $1000. i've seen much better here although with better zoom and better glass I suppose... maybe it's my eyes? :-\..

Comment #3

1. DSLR shots are only modestly sharpened by default in camera (to suit those who may wish to PP their shots)You will find that you can improve your output by increasing the sharpening settings a notch..

2. Looks like you have not set the calendar/clock on the camera (Date taken is shown as May 2007).

3. Most of your shots would have had more impact if you had zoomed in more. With wildlife that may not be easy. But you can always crop the photo later..

4. With Flikr there is no exif info in your photos so it is difficult to give more advice without writing a whole book for you..

P.S. You are best advised to put a few individual photos directly into your post and give camera, shutter speed, aperture, ISO and focal length. You are far more likley to get constructive replies that way..

Chris Elliott.

*Nikon* D Eighty + Fifty - Other equipment in Profile.

Http://PlacidoD.Zenfolio.com/..

Comment #4

Almonds wrote:.

What camera are you using?.

It says on Flickr - Canon EOS 40D.

Chris Elliott.

*Nikon* D Eighty + Fifty - Other equipment in Profile.

Http://PlacidoD.Zenfolio.com/..

Comment #5

ANSWER

Comment #6

As some of the others have said, I cannot see any unusual blurring at the maximum size in Flickr. Some possible reasons for you seeing blurring:.

1. If you are viewing the images full size on your screen every fault will be magnified and the apparent depth of field will be reduced. Try printing an image at, say, 10x8 and see how it looks.2. As others have said, try sharpening the image..

3. There are out of focus areas in some of the images in spite of your using f8.4. A lot of the images are shot at ISO 1600 and you may be seeing noise.5. You can get motion blur from a bird's wing even at 1/500.5. You may have very acute eyesight.Chris R..

Comment #7

To my eyes at least there's no *major* issues of sharpness, although I'd agree with the other guys about screwing it up a notch or two in PP..

To me there's more of an issue with exposure, saturation and contrast, which you can also fix with PP..

And, bear in mind, it will take some time to get the "feel" of the camera, and work both within it's limitations  as well as to the maximum limits of it's technical capabilities. It can be a fine line..

Cheers ..

Comment #8

From what we can see on you site they are NOT that soft however the image is so small that may be deceptive..

I will tell you one thing that I found on my camera. I bought and was using a very cheap UV filter to protect the lens. You get what you pay for. All my images appeared not as sharp as I expected. Not bad but certainly not as crisp as I had seen others take with the same camera. Then I did an experiment.

The filter is now at the bottom of the lake and my images are MUCH shaper. It wasn't the camera or lens..

Now I don't use a filter unless it is specific to what I am trying to do and I spend the $$ to buy good quality filters..

MaddogOlympus E-510 and a bunch of stuff to hang on it...

Comment #9

PhotonFiend wrote:.

They dont? hmm, maybe I just have to high expectation for $1000. i'veseen much better here although with better zoom and better glass isuppose... maybe it's my eyes? :-.

More experience, better lenses, etc... contribute to better pictures. There's a reason why some lenses cost $600 and some cost $7000. The 17-85 is not going to get you good bird in flight images... a $7000 600mm F4L IS will... if you know how to use it..

If you want to take good pictures you have to understand your gear, and the principles of photography. It's all about exposure!.

Think of cameras as cars. Point and shoot cameras are every day street cars. Anyone can use them, and they'll get the users where they want to be. A digital SLR is like a Formula one car, you will not find a car that will perform better anywhere in the world, but if you or I get behind the wheel, we'll look like we've never driven a car in our life. Put a seasoned pro like Michael Schumacher behind the wheel and you have a thing of beauty..

Some cool cats that can use your helphttp://www.wildlife-sanctuary.org.

Even if you can't donate, please help spread the word...

Comment #10

Lots of useful comments above. I can;t see any major sharpness issues either, apart from wings of birds in flight, which is not surprising..

One suggestion: try something simple to start with. Birds in flight are NOT simple to photograph well. How about your car, your kids, your house... and do two things:.

1. Check the histogram immediately after you take the photo. This will tell you if there are under- or over-exposure problems (very easy even with auto metering). Some of your pictures have areas of sky in them which can lead to underexposure of the main subject. Use exposure compensation as necessary and repeat until the histogram goes to both ends without being cut off sharply. (Make sure your shutter speed is reasonably fast, at least 1/60 sec.



2. Get photoshop elements (version 5 is very cheap now that 6 has come out) and play with it. A few simple clicks to improve contrast, exposure, colour/saturation levels, sharpness etc. can work wonders if you didn't get it exactly right in the camera to start with. There isn't much point having a good DSLR and then not getting the most out of the pictures by applying the final touch with post-processing. (If you get the camera set up exactly right, and expose / compose perfectly, you may not need post-processing.



Best wishesMike..

Comment #11

I think you have had enough replies here to confirm that any problem is not 'blur-based'. Essentially you're attempting the impossible in the weather conditions that pertained at the time of shooting. Also that lens is never going to reach far enough to permit you to capture wild birds at large enough size. You're going to want 600mm (often acheived with a teleconverter), a tripod and a lot of patience..

Post processing with sympathetic use of curves and USM - download the Focus Magic plug-in if you find USM too baffling at first - will help you a lot, but you need attractive well composed images to begin with..

I think you need to take that camera and lens combination on a sunny day somewhere where the wildlife is a lot closer to hand. A zoo or sanctuary perhaps? Maybe something like this:.

Image control:Zoom outZoom 100%Zoom inExpand AllOpen in new window.

Crop tightly to the subject in your viewfinder - and often tighter still is even better..

John.Please visit me at:http://www.pbase.com/johnfr/backtothebridgehttp://www.pbase.com/johnfr/digital_dartmoor..

Comment #12

Thats an interesting suggestion as I have been keeping a promaster uv filter on the lens to "protect" it mostly. I put it on I suppose so ease my nerves a bit until I am more confident about handling this thing! it is more bulky, heavy, and EXPENSIVE than I am used to handling and I just dont want to, in fumbling with this camera (as a first time SLR user), damage it while I'm learning. I will take some test shots without and see what that does.thanks..

Comment #13

If you're worried about fumbling it, get a handstrap. Helps you keep a nice grip on your camera..

PhotonFiend wrote:.

Thats an interesting suggestion as I have been keeping a promaster uvfilter on the lens to "protect" it mostly. I put it on I suppose soease my nerves a bit until I am more confident about handling thisthing! it is more bulky, heavy, and EXPENSIVE than I am used tohandling and I just dont want to, in fumbling with this camera (as afirst time SLR user), damage it while I'm learning. I will take sometest shots without and see what that does.thanks.

Some cool cats that can use your helphttp://www.wildlife-sanctuary.org.

Even if you can't donate, please help spread the word...

Comment #14

If you're worried about bashing the front lens element on something, keep the lens hood on - it works just as well and it doesn't matter it gets a knock.Mike..

Comment #15

Two pictures of a burst. not what I was hoping for in the capture, but only the first turned out "clean" albeit not a great picture;.

Here the first image turned out ok:.

Image control:Zoom outZoom 100%Zoom inExpand AllOpen in new window.

But then... somethings a bit off....

Image control:Zoom outZoom 100%Zoom inExpand AllOpen in new window.

Aperture priority1/500f/5.6ISO 800Neutral tone200mm focal length (borrowed lens)..

Comment #16

Tell us what the settings are - pictures by themselves only tell us so much..

The second image looks like motion blur from the camera, but without knowing the settings I really can't say. Even if you use image stabilization that doesn't mean you won't get motion blur - IS only 'minimizes' motion blur - it cannot eliminate it completely. Holding the camera very still is still very critical..

Some cool cats that can use your helphttp://www.wildlife-sanctuary.org.

Even if you can't donate, please help spread the word...

Comment #17

I dont have a lens hood. maybe I should have got that instead of the filter, sounds like it would be more practical:-) would that have reduce the flare I get in some of the pics?..

Comment #18

Chris R-UK wrote:.

4. A lot of the images are shot at ISO 1600 and you may be seeingnoise..

I chose ISO 1600 because I wanted a fast shutter to stop, or at least minimize wing blur, which I was expecting. and I actually kinda like the amount I got, not to much but not so little that it looked unintentional  From all the comments I guess there not as bad as I though. I am my worst critic!..

Comment #19

Which image do those settings apply to? It can't be both because the second one is lighter than the first..

Some cool cats that can use your helphttp://www.wildlife-sanctuary.org.

Even if you can't donate, please help spread the word...

Comment #20

Make sure you're not focusing on the foreground, leaving the background very slightly out of focus. Unlike a P&S camera, DSLRs have much narrower depth of field..

When doing landscape photography, it's best to manual focus on infinity, or at the hyperfocal distance if you want to be cute about it...

Comment #21

Oops, dont know why I missed that?.

Image 1:Aperture priority1/800f/5.6ISO 800Neutral tone200mm focal length (borrowed lens).

Image 2:Aperture priority1/500f/5.6ISO 800Neutral tone200mm focal length (borrowed lens)..

Comment #22

The key here is that you used the word BURST. I assume by that that you mean you held the shutter button down and took 2 pictures..

First did you have continious focus turned on?.

Second in a burst mode you will often get errors in focus particularly if you are moving the lens which you clearly did in these shots..

Third what did you have the autofocus set for. When I due continious focus I always use the center focus point only so I am absolutly sure what the camera is using..

Hope this helps..

MaddogOlympus E-510 and a bunch of stuff to hang on it...

Comment #23

Maddogmd11 wrote:.

The key here is that you used the word BURST. I assume by that thatyou mean you held the shutter button down and took 2 pictures..

Yep, that is correct. Sorry if I misused terms, that sounded like a good word to me:-).

First did you have continious focus turned on?.

I used AI servo. Not real sure what the difference/use for AI focus and AI servo are. thats of course what I was trying out. and why I asked my question. I was expecting him (the goose) to do a little more than just a plop in the water, but things turned out bad enough with that. things would have really gone wrong I suppose if he had done anything more dramatic:-).

Third what did you have the autofocus set for. When I due continiousfocus I always use the center focus point only so I am absolutly surewhat the camera is using..

I had auto focus set to center point. I know what I wanted I just did not execute very well. knowledge, understanding, and execution are three completely different things! as I have shown:-)..

Comment #24

Practice makes perfect. Everyone of my shots is outstanding...after I trash all the really bad ones!  .

The first one looked really sharp. Which camera are you useing?? Did you shoot it with the filter off the camera??.

MaddogOlympus E-510 and a bunch of stuff to hang on it...

Comment #25

Canon 40D. actually this last pic(s) where with borrowed lens but I did have a polarizer on it. you really CAN see through the water much more with the polarizer! however this shot does not benifit much from it I dont think..

Comment #26

You've got some good advice, but I don't think it's the kind of advice you would benefit from NOW..

What I see in the images provided (not only those two) is a beginner trying to control too many new variables. Don't do that. You'll fail, and feel bad about it..

Just a short list of things gone wrong: lighting, composition, dynamic range. Motion blur, camera blur probably. Bad usage of focus modes. Too difficult a subject atempted - birding..

Again, don't do that..

First, read the book, learn the words. Start with exposure triangle (ISO/time/aperture). Learn what metering does, what the several metering modes do and how..

Put a prime on the camera if you have one, or just use one focal lenght with a zoom. Shoot in manual mode, controlled conditions, static subject. Pick good light (sunrise or sunset). Then advance from there..

Don't even attepmt to shoot fast moving subject (especially birds) without knowing what focus mode do AND how they work..

Your goal is to get the camera to work for you. Not to struggle with it, not to think what settings you need to use. It's like being a gunslinger: the camera comes out, in the process it gets started, the lens cap removed and the hood put on if there is time, settings are automatically chosen (by you), shot is taken, camera is back to the bag (or to your neck). But if you attempt to do that, you'll fail. You need to learn every bit at it's time..

What you are doing is like learning the guitar by starting trying to play Surfing with the alien. Not good. Start with the scales..

Good luck..

/d/n..

Comment #27

The reply above contains some sound advice. I would differ only on one point..

Stick the camera into Tv or Av mode (Shutter Priority or Aperture Priority) rather than full manual so that you control one parameter and the camera controls the rest..

Next I think you will get more focussed advice in the Canon Forum than here. There will be a few sites around with suggested settings for a 40D which you can use until you know the cam wellThey will know where. (Perhaps someone can chime in here with that info?).

Just try some mainly static objects to find your way round the cam. (I went round a war museum and photographed tanks etc as a first outing with my present cam but a zoo sounds a better idea or some street theatre artists)..

Chris Elliott.

*Nikon* D Eighty + Fifty - Other equipment in Profile.

Http://PlacidoD.Zenfolio.com/..

Comment #28

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This question was taken from a support group/message board and re-posted here so others can learn from it.

 

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