Old 01-24-2013, 12:16 AM   #1
Amtrakdavis22
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Default Soft Images with 24-105

Recently I've noticed some images (usually taken with my 24-105L) that have been coming out a little soft. I don't think it would be the lens fault but I was wondering if you had any ideas. My specs are usually 1/800th, F7.1 and ISO 200 (give or take a little depending on the light). I use "continuous shooting" and AIFocus. About half the time I spot focus (choosing a particular dot to focus) and the other half I let the camera focus for me (choosing amongst the 7 or so AF points). Any tips there that could help sharpen up those images? Here are a few examples:

http://www.railpictures.net/viewreje...66&key=9676981
http://www.railpictures.net/viewreje...89&key=5099371
http://www.railpictures.net/viewreje...87&key=9229101

I use a Canon XSi and Lightroom 3 if that makes any difference. Let me know if you have any ideas on what might be going on. Could it be the particular lens I have is just a tad bit soft? I wouldn't think thats the case as I have other images that are sharp as a knife. Seems like it might be a slow focusing type issue or shutter speed?

Thanks for the help guys.
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Old 01-24-2013, 12:41 AM   #2
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Try 400 ISO F10 1/500+ looks like you just don't have much DOF to me. The more I looked at them its post and not in camera. Shots are fine you just need to more Unsharp Mask?
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Old 01-24-2013, 01:02 AM   #3
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I usually sharpen to around 115 to 130 for those who are familiar with the Lightroom ratios. I could play around with it. Maybe more "detail", "masking" or "clarity"?
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Old 01-24-2013, 01:05 AM   #4
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I usually sharpen to around 115 to 130 for those who are familiar with the Lightroom ratios. I could play around with it. Maybe more "detail", "masking" or "clarity"?
O never go higher then 95 my self maybe you putting in to much?
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Old 01-24-2013, 01:07 AM   #5
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O never go higher then 95 my self maybe you putting in to much?
I don't think so. I've gone above 95 many of times with good results. I try to leave it as low as possible but want to make it look right.
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Old 01-24-2013, 02:23 AM   #6
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Recently I've noticed some images (usually taken with my 24-105L) that have been coming out a little soft. I don't think it would be the lens fault but I was wondering if you had any ideas.
My 24-105 is soft on the wide end, but that's only because Canon screwed up when they fixed it a few months ago (after my screw up of dropping it).

Not that it helps with your issue at all.
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Old 01-24-2013, 02:25 AM   #7
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Use a single focus point and you could up your f stop.

I usually am at ISO 200, f 11 at
1/250.

But the trains I usually shoot are 35-50 MPH.

A 70 MPH train would require 1/500 or faster.
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Old 01-24-2013, 06:29 AM   #8
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I wish I could go up to ISO400 but with an XSi that gets a little shaky. I have the money right now for a 7d but I want to wait as it has been rumored a 7d mark ii will be announced next month. Maybe by graduation I can have my hands on the new hip camera.

Anyways, what I think I've heard here is that I should boost my depth of field up to around f10/11ish. I guess I could start shooting more 1/500th and f10 on most days. Thanks for the advice guys.
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Old 01-24-2013, 09:15 AM   #9
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Lightbulb I shoot slow trains mostly.

The issue is, if you miss your intended focus point, at f-7.1, less of the remainder of the image is in focus, than if you shot it at f-11.

If you don't need the shutter speed to freeze the action, it might be better to increase the depth of field.
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Old 01-24-2013, 11:41 AM   #10
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Anyways, what I think I've heard here is that I should boost my depth of field up to around f10/11ish. I guess I could start shooting more 1/500th and f10 on most days. Thanks for the advice guys.
No reason to do that. I shoot at either f4, f5.6 or f8 exclusively and that works fine for railroad photography.
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Old 01-24-2013, 01:11 PM   #11
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No reason to do that. I shoot at either f4, f5.6 or f8 exclusively and that works fine for railroad photography.
On top of that make sure the lens is at Infinity! or what are focusing on.
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Old 01-24-2013, 02:05 PM   #12
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I think RP just has a general obessession with sharpness. I now use glass that is considered to be quite sharp and I still have to sharpen the sh*t out of everything to get it accepted here.
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Old 01-24-2013, 03:43 PM   #13
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I think RP just has a general obessession with sharpness. I now use glass that is considered to be quite sharp and I still have to sharpen the sh*t out of everything to get it accepted here.

I agree. It's amazing just how much I have to sharpen files for here, versus printing.

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Old 01-24-2013, 04:06 PM   #14
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I agree. It's amazing just how much I have to sharpen files for here, versus printing.
I'm not sure that's entirely a fair comparision. At full resolution if the shot is in focus, it should be fine with just a little sharpening. But as you size down, you'll always need to sharpen a bit. Or a lot in some cases. And, of course, it depends on how you have the camera settings set up. I try to have my shots tack sharp as they come out, but it usually never really works out that way, and I have to apply a little here and there in post processing.
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Old 01-25-2013, 11:17 AM   #15
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No reason to do that. I shoot at either f4, f5.6 or f8 exclusively and that works fine for railroad photography.
Agreed, my 24-105 is on my 40D 95% of the time.

I also use * centre focus.
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Old 01-25-2013, 02:23 PM   #16
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I'm not sure that's entirely a fair comparision. At full resolution if the shot is in focus, it should be fine with just a little sharpening. But as you size down, you'll always need to sharpen a bit. Or a lot in some cases. And, of course, it depends on how you have the camera settings set up. I try to have my shots tack sharp as they come out, but it usually never really works out that way, and I have to apply a little here and there in post processing.
to clarify, I print 4x6's for my catalog and for sample use off my web sized files.

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Old 01-25-2013, 03:44 PM   #17
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I use this lens a lot for my photography, and find it works best from f5.6 and up (for shooting trains anyway). At f8.0 it's very sharp but still requires post processing sharpening. No getting around that. And yes, I always have the camera locked on the center focusing point. Excellent general purpose lens, you could use it for everything if you had to.
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Old 01-26-2013, 05:02 AM   #18
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You shouldn't have to shoot at ISO 400 or f/11 to get sharp images on a sunny day. Generally speaking ISO 200, 1/400th, and anything between f/5.6 and f/8 should get you some very good results. Obviously those numbers will vary with each photo. Going to the extremes suggested above just to get an acceptable photo tells me there is some other problem. Your lens may need to be sent in to Canon for calibration. It may just be a simple AF issue. For train photos I've found selecting a single AF point where I want the proper focus to be set works best. Single shot mode also helps keep that fous point correct when the train enters the scene.
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Old 01-26-2013, 05:07 AM   #19
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I agree. It's amazing just how much I have to sharpen files for here, versus printing.

Loyd L.
I'll third that motion. For some reason, it takes an inordinate amount of sharpening to placate the RP.net screeners. Yes, they have a fetish for sharpness in their photos (much like leveling within 1/2 degree... ).
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Old 01-26-2013, 05:53 AM   #20
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If your lens is soft, send the camera and lens in for a collimation and flange depth check.
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Old 02-01-2013, 11:45 PM   #21
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No reason to do that. I shoot at either f4, f5.6 or f8 exclusively...
Wow... do you date 3 women exclusively, too?

/Mitch
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Old 02-02-2013, 02:12 AM   #22
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Wow... do you date 3 women exclusively, too?

\Mitch
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f8 = A cup
f5.6 = C cup
f4 = DD cup

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