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ALL ARTICLES, PHOTOGRAPHY TIPS

BLURNESS IN PHOTOGRAPHY: MY TIPS TO AVOID IT

I have written this personal article with the intention to put togheter all my knowledge in form of a diary for myself and my friends and to put togheter many different things i have learned year by year

BEWARE:  THIS IS NOT A PROFESSIONAL GUIDE

Before reading i want to make clear that this article wants to be only a simple diary for myself and my friends…..if you want to read it and you find it useful i’m very glad…..if you find any error i will be pleased if you let me know…..Anyway, do not consider it as a professional guide!

It’s very important that before and after reading my guide, you always refer to your official instructions manual for the correct usage of your camera to avoid any damage.

I am not affiliated with any camera brands, and my tips, which come from my practical experience, should not be considered in any case as officially recognized by any camera brand.

A COUPLE OF WORDS ABOUT ME

I am Moyan Brenn a 10 years experienced photographer who works with Creative Commons license. Basically i produce pictures and allow other people to use them for free for any purpose, commercial also. I do it to contribute to the world of free resources, since i am a great user of Wikipedia and similar free things.

Thanks to my license and my effort to produce good results, my pictures have been appreciated and used by famous names like Adobe, Lonely Planet, CNN, Alitalia, Huffington Post and more, and also on more than 300 websites, based on the google stats i have gathered.

Since some names and brands have decided to still pay me for my effort, most of these money have been donated to third parties associations like Save The Children, for a grand total of many different hundreds of dollars

My gallery has received almost 30 millions of views and I have won an international photography award called “Global Encounters”. I am a guy more on “experimental” side of photography, and i like to participate to photography communities like Flickr

Since 2005, I have undertaken a long path to better understand my camera equipment, to reach a good level in both quality and sharpness, and to solve all the issues that i have found day by day

THE ARTICLE IS MORE “NIKON” BASED

I own a Nikon D7000 with which I am very happy, therefore I usually talk in a Nikonian language…..

BEGINNING

My article is divided into short paragraphs, each one talking about a specific issue which I encountered during my experience causing a “blurry result”.

RECOGNIZE THE LIMITATIONS OF THE AUTOFOCUS ON REFLEX

In the past I was too much confident about the capability of autofocus system on reflex cameras. Instead, today I believe it’s one of the most limited features.

Personally, I believe the very first step to do is to recognize the 2 different autofocus systems available and their aspects.

They are called Phase Detect (PDAF), and Contrast Detect (CDAF).

Following are some Pros and Cons aspects i learned

  • Phase detect (PDAF): autofocus system used when i focus through the viewfinder.
    • Pros:
      • incredibly faster
      • better dark focus capability
    • Cons:
      • less accurate
      • susceptible to uncalibrated lenses and bodies
      • susceptible to artificial lights by causing back focus or front focus
      • susceptible to light glares and counterlight
  • Contrast Detect (CDAF): autofocus system used when i turn on the LCD display to focus
    • Pros:
      • very accurate
      • no problem with artificial lights
      • a bit more reliable in counterlight/light glares situations
    • Cons:
      • slower than PDAF (except in some cameras, especially compact cameras or micro 4/3)
      • struggles while focusing in low light

PDAF

NOTE: as per today (June 2014) Canon has released some brand new reflex cameras like the 70D where even the screen autofocus seems to use the Phase Detect, although it seems integrated with the sensor instead of being separated, a property which should make it more reliable.

THE IMPORTANCE OF AN ACCURACY TEST BEFORE USING NEW REFLEX BODY OR NEW LENSES

For technical reasons i don’t want to explain to not complicate my writing, I’ve found from some tests that the Phase Detect is more sensitive to lenses misalignment, and lenses misalignment looks not so much as a rare thing. Infact, maybe because I am an unlucky guy, I have already bought 2 misaligned lenses (officially recognized as misaligned by the Nikon support when I brought them to assistance)

I’ve found that the problem is exacerbated whenever I use a wide aperture which creates deep blur effect, commonly referred to as bokeh, due to the very limited amount of depth of field, which probably makes any error more evident. In turn, if I shoot a landscape at f.11 or f.13, with a wider depth of field, I couldn’t notice the problem, although that doesn’t mean my lens is properly calibrated, but just that I have unconsciously masqueraded the misalignment

It is also important for me to remake the test everytime I buy a new body or a new lens, or in case my equipment should fall on the ground

The market presents some tools to do it more professionally. However, since sometimes I’m low in budget, I prefer to do it for myself with one of the methods explained below

HOW I MAKE THE AUTOFOCUS ACCURACY AND CALIBRATION TEST:

There are several ways to make it. I’m listing my favourite ones below

NOTE: For me there’s no need to do this test with CDAF, which presents a greater accuracy. It seems like it doesn’t suffer in anyway from lens misalignments

FIRST CHOICE: THE OFFICIAL NIKON INSTRUCTIONS

I can decide to follow the official instructions by Nikon reported at the link below which include all the steps to do both the accuracy and the eventual calibration test with the AF-Tune.

I suppose the same applies also to other brands, but obviously, there could be some differences in the camera controls and settings names

“HOW TO CALIBRATE AND USE THE AF-TUNE FUNCTION BY NIKON”

SECOND CHOICE: BRING THE EQUIPMENT TO THE ASSISTANCE CENTER

If someone is not confident, it could be an option to refer to an assistance center. When i brought my lens to the Nikon centre to check for misalignment they made a test with their professional equipment.

AN ALTERNATIVE “AF TUNE BASED” METHOD TO CALIBRATE MY CAMERA:  THE “DOT TUNE TEST”

As an alternative to previous options, i’ve found on the web a method called DOT-TUNE, which more or less, requires the user to find the edge values in the AF-TUNE on both positive and negative ranges (AF TUNE is a scale from -15 to +15), among which the PDAF is still capable to focus and to produce the “beep” sound by showing the green confirmation dot. Once these edges are found, an average number value must be choosen, and that will be the calibration value.

An example:

Let’s say that I move the AF TUNE back and forth and find that my camera produces a beep only from -8 to +1. Well, the perfect value to calibrate my lens should be around -4

Here is a link to a post on the Fred Miranda website related to this test:

http://www.fredmiranda.com/forum/topic/1187247

Here is a link to a video on Youtube which explains it:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7zE50jCUPhM

IMPORTANT NOTES ABOUT THE AF TUNE FUNCTION

NOTE 1: from my reads AF TUNE seems to be a delicate function. It has some limitations too. The first one is to not exaggerate. Values greater than -7 or +7 can be excessive by even making the autofocus unable to make the “beep”

NOTE 2: AFTUNE allows to only set one value per lens. Therefore, when I find that the level of misalignment is different along the focal lenght of a specific lens, I don’t know any solution yet (although I found that some expensive cameras allow to set specific values for specific focal lenghts like the Nikon D4).

For example, when I find that at 18mm the misalignment is acceptable, let’s say around -1, while at 105 there is a -6 misalignment, it seems that I can only put -3 as a “middle way” by accepting the compromise. Anyway, bringing the lens to assistance center and ask for help it’s the best thing to do in my opinion

NOTE 3: for my experiencethe test is valid only if made under the sun light. As also confirmed by a Nikon engineer with whom I have personally spoken, it seems that artificial lights tend to fool the Phase Detect, and back or front focus issues in this case should be considered normal. If Nikon told me this, I can only believe it, and reality seems to perfectly confirm it. From my test, i have found that PDAF it’s very problematic especially under very warm light with wide aperture lenses, like the case of using a 35mm f1.8 under the lights of a city in the evening or under that of a desk lamp. If during sun light i just need a -2 calibration on this lens, in the night or with the light of a desk lamp I need to push the AF TUNE to -7 because the back focus becomes stronger. No problem anyway, when the night comes, i enter the menu and change the AF TUNE value from -2 to -7…that’s it.

For cameras not having the AF TUNE capability, I have also found a forum where a guy reported an improvement of the issue by putting a coloured Hoya filter in front of the lens to change the light temperature. By doing that, he got less back focus. The topic of this guy is HERE

As a last option, I can still bring the lens to assistance and ask for help, although I have the impression that they can only make a “one time” calibration to match an average value between sun and artificial light, by using as a reference the pictures with the back focus that i show them

NOTE 4: Nikon recommends to use the AFTUNE as less as possible. This is an extract from the official D7000 manual

“AF tuning is not recommended in most situations and may interfere with normal focus”

NOTE 5: when I buy a lens, I always try to ask for a test directly at the shop with my camera body, so that before giving away my money, I can check if the lens is good or not for me. If I buy the lens online instead, sometimes it is possible to keep the product for some days, during which it can be sent back. The same is valid when I decide to buy a used lens. I ask to the owner if he allows me to make the test on the fly before giving him my money

NOTE 6:  as already stated, for me a calibration is valid only for a pair of lens and body, and it should be repeated after changing a component

A FURTHER LENS MISALIGNMENT ISSUE: UNBALANCED CORNER SOFTNESS

For the same reasons behind the lens misalignment, sometimes i’ve found different and unbalanced blurness level along the 4 corners

HOW I CHECK FOR IT

I usually like to do the following:

  • put a newspaper perfectly perpendicular in front of my camera
  • mount the camera on a tripod
  • take multiple CDAF focused pictures with different aperture values
  • repeat the test at different focal lenghts

Now I check the pictures on my monitor at 100% of the size and compare the 4 corners to see if they are equally sharp or not

Should I find any incongruence, I can decide to live with it or to contact my assistance.

As a workaround, I could use a greater numeric aperture value like f.11, which, thanks to its greater depth of field can masquerade a little bit the defect, except if i need more light in dark conditions

FULL ORIGINAL SAMPLE IMAGE:

8273660863_d12ede1f82_o

SIMULATION OF THE PROBLEM:

THE UPPER LEFT AND BOTTOM LEFT CORNER RESULT MORE BLURRED THAN THE OTHERS

Immagine

FURTHER PROBLEMS I HAD WITH THE REFLEX AUTOFOCUS SYSTEM

Apart from misalignments, i’ve found also other problems to consider

USE THE AUTOFOCUS SINGLE POINT MODE

In the viewfinder there are several points available which can be manually selected with the cursor or automatically managed by the camera itself. In particular the latter option is terribly misleading. Infact, the camera is not intelligent enough to understand which is the subject of my pictures, and often, it happened that the background was in focus, and that my subject, a human for example, was blurry (the same didn’t happen by focusing with the “face detect” function through the CDAF”

Cattura

So, for me it’s good to check the camera manual and learn how to activate the Single Point Mode. After enabling this function, this is how i usually proceed:

  • ensure that a specific point on the viewfinder is selected. In my case it is the center point
  • aim the point to the subject i want
  • half press the button. I will hear a beep as a confirmation that the camera has correctly focused
  • keep the button pressed
  • i compose my picture as i like more
  • now i shoot by deeply pressing the button

In conclusion, although my subject is on one side of the camera while i have selected the center point, using this technique I’m 100% sure of the result

DISABLING CONTINUOUS AF MODE IF IT’S NOT NEEDED

The autofocus, in case of fast moving subject, allows me to select a special mode by which, when I keep the button half pressed, instead of producing the confirmation beep, it continuously focus on it. However, when I have accidentally enabled this function, i got out of focus pictures, because I was unable to apply the technique explained in the previous paragraph

It’s good to check the manual to understand how to disable the continuous AF mode, except if one needs it for fast moving subject, which is a different situation and beyond the scope of this article.

I PROTECT THE LENS WITH MY HAND WHILE FOCUSING IN COUNTERLIGHT

The autofocus PDAF, (as personally suggested me by the same Nikon engineer I talked above) like a real human eye, can get dazzled when i take pictures in counterlight, by producing out of focus results.

I’ve found that using the lens hood included in the package to reduce “flare” is not enough in most cases. Instead, i’ve found and applied a trick which is working very well, because after many tests the percentage of back/front focused pictures in counterlight dropped down dramatically.

Here are the detailed steps of the trick to shoot in counterlight with the viewfinder (PDAF):

  • ensure to select Autofocus Single Point
  • put a hand in front of the lens as one would do with his eyes while looking at the horizon, by leaving uncovered just the center point of the viewfinder used to focus (don’t touch the lens with fingers anyway)
  • find a nicely contrasted subject to focus on.
  • Now half press the button to focus and keep it pressed all the time
  • Only now leave the hand from the lens to clear the view from it (still keep the button half pressed)
  • Now compose the picture as I like more (still keep the button half pressed)
  • Shoot

NOTE: another trick could be to turn around, find a subject, half press the autofocus, then turn back again in counterlight and shoot. By I personally don’t like it. I prefer this technique, since my tests were very positive

FOCUS ON REPETITIVE PATTERNS OR OBJECT AND SURFACES WITH STRONG LIGHT GLARE

Objects with strong reflections, repetitive patterns and texturized surfaces should be avoided. They make the autofocus prone to errors, as also officially confirmed by Nikon on their website autofocus FAQs (link to the FAQs below)

Some examples are:

  • Flowers fields
  • Textures
  • Buildings with very close glass windows in sequence
  • Tree Foliage
  • light reflecting in puddles
  • light reflecting in cars bodies

To solve the problem I ensure to follow one of these tips:

  • focus on subjects without strong reflections
  • focus on a different subject which is outside my composition but still at the same distance of my subject before shooting
  • use the manual focus function through the LCD and zoom button
  • try to reduce the margin of error by using a narrow aperture like f.11 which increases the depth of field and partially masquerades the problem

This is a link by Nikon where it officially explains this:

Nikon Tips on using Autofocus

FOCUS ON HIGH CONTRAST OBJECTS ON THE SAME PLAIN

I find useful to focus on a subject with contrasted elements. Focusing on smooth color surfaces, on the water, tree foliage, flowers field, and in general on confused subjects without clear contrasted elements usually brings me to bad results.

The same is true if I choose a point composed by 2 areas at a different distance, like for example, the edge of a table with a distant background.

These tips are also explained in the Nikon FAQs here Nikon Tips on using Autofocus

Concluding, a nice subject to focus on is one with 2 contrasted colors which areas of contrast are on the same plain

EXAMPLE: the eyes of a human are a typical good example of this. Black in the middle, white around, and on the same plain

In the following pictures, green squares are example of points where i focus, red squares points to avoid for the reasons explained above

9327905439_fb18bd1ca9_b

USE THE LCD LIVE VIEW WHEN POSSIBLE

In case I’m taking a very important shot which includes a static and relaxed subject, like in the case of a mountain landscape or a human posing for me, I usually prefer to rely on the Contrast Detect, more reliable and precise than Phase Detect.

I personally believe that using the Live View (or CDAF), is not only a question of taste and comfort, but also of reliability.

RECALIBRATE THE PDAF UNDER ARTIFICIAL LIGHT

It doesn’t matter if my camera takes perfect pictures under sun light. When I take pictures under artificial light with the viewfinder, there is a very high risk of back focus or front focus, no matters what lens or Nikon body i used. I’ve found this issue to be common on multiple products

I have received confirmation of this issue by the Nikon itself, through an engineer with whom i talked. He told me that the Phase Detect (viewfinder) is by default calibrated with a neutral light similar to that of the sun, therefore any different light can’t guarantee the same amount precision

I have personally found 4 possible options to face this issue:

1) Use the Contrast Detect (CDAF): this autofocus method is not affected by this issue and helps me very much, although slower than PDAF on my reflex.

2) Recalibrate the lens with the AF-Tune: let’s say that I’m taking pictures during day in a city and everything is fine. Then in the night I want to take pictures of street lights. I should recalibrate the lens before doing it because they differ from the sun. I usually take a couple of test shots and calibrate the lens, then I start to shoot. Very easy after all. When I go back under sun light, I need to not forget to reset the AF-Tune again

3) Ask to assistance for a recalibration:  If my camera doesn’t have the AF-Tune capability I can still ask to the assistance to do that, although it seems to me that they can only do it “one time for all lights”, reason why for me it’s good to have the AF-Tune on board of the camera

4) Use a coloured lens filter: this trick can help in case of a camera without the AF-Tune. I have read of a test made by a guy at this link. Basically he has found that by putting a Hoya coloured filter in front of the lens to counter balance the artificial light, it got good results without back focus issues. It looks interesting.

IMPORTANT NOTE: I’ve found that this issue is more evident with larger apertures like f2.8 or f2.0 in general, (and also with narrow aperture in macro photography), due to the smaller depth of field which emphasizes any lackness of precision of the autofocus

HOW I CHOOSE MY CORRECT EXPOSURE SPEED TO AVOID BLURNESS

Choosing the right exposure speed for me is foundamental

NOTE: choosing the right exposure for fast subjects is beyond the scope of this article. Here i talk about the blurness produced by the handshaking

Some times ago I found and tested the following trick. I consider it quite reliable since most of the times i always get sharp shots at 100% of size

  • Rule: While using aperture priority mode, when I select a focal lenght, I keep the exposure speed in a range of values which is double the focal lenght, by playing with ISO and aperture in a gradual manner (considering that by playing with ISO i can cause more noise, while by playing with aperture i can cause a reduction of the depth of field)
  • Example: using aperture priority mode, if I use a 50mm focal lenght, I ensure that the speed will be at least 1/100, or even greater by playing with ISO aperture. If I use 70mm, I ensure the speed will be 1/150 or greater (more or less)

By applying this technique I have an advantage. I know when I really need or not a tripod, instead of mounting it all the times.

WHAT I DO IF NEED A SLOWER SPEED DUE TO INSUFFICIENT LIGHT

If the light is very low and i can’t respect the rule above, i  usually like to proceed as follow:

If I’m still able to keep the exposure in a range of values equal to or half of the focal lenght (Es: 50mm, speed in the range of 1/25 or 1/50) i do the following:

  • be extremely steady
  • turn on the stabilizer
  • hold my breath while shooting
  • carefully check every single picture i take

If I’m unable to do this, and the speed is even smaller than the half of the focal lenght (Es: 50mm, speed less than 1/25, like 1/10, 1/5 and so on), I follow these points:

  • use a tripod with stabilizer turned off
  • put my arms on a windowsill or a table while shooting

That’s it

USE THE EXPOSURE DELAY OPTION

In addition to the previous paragraph, in many situations, when the speed becomes very low apart from the focal lenght used, the internal mirror of the camera, that thing that makes the “clak” sound, seems to produce some vibrations.

To avoid this, in case after checking pictures there is some strange blurness, there is a simple trick, to activate the “Nikon exposure delay mode”

exposuredelay

What it does is to rise up the mirror, wait a longer instant, and than take the shot to avoid the vibrations. Anyway, this trick is not the best when one needs to be faster, and i usually use it on my 16-85mm VR when i reach a speed below 1/30. Furtherly, from some tests i’ve found that on the 55-200 VR it is useful to enable it below 1/80 (anyway further tests needed to confirm this)

TURN THE STABILIZER OFF IF THE EXPOSURE SPEED IS ENOUGH HIGH

The issue i’m writing here has born from a statement to which I stupidly believed in the past:

“the lens stabilizer is a great thing. Why should i turn it off? it can always help me. Just leave it on all the time”

Wrong!

The stabilizer, at least on my camera and my lenses, when the exposure speed is enough high, tends to blur my pictures.

I’ve found that if the speed of the exposure is enough high to take a handheld picture respect to the focal lenght used, if I still keep the stabilizer turned on, it will make my pictures blurred. At least, this happened to me with different VR Nikon lenses like the 55-200VR and the 16-85VR, on bodies like D90 and D7000 (it could happen also on other bodies and other lenses, but I personally don’t know)

I suppose that the stabilizer is something that is continuously moving to be prepared to compensate for my handshake. However, if I’m steady almost like a tripod, its compensation movements become counterproductive

In particular, there is a precise range of speed at which it happened to me, which is the range between 1/80 and 1/300 depending by the lens and the focal lenght used to take the shot

My workaround: to solve this problem, i’ve learned to consider the rule of thumb to calculate the exposure explained in the previous paragraph. So, if the speed is 2 times the focal lenght used (50mm, let’s say 1/100), i keep the stabilizer off. Otherwise, when the speed drops down to a value equal or smaller than the focal lenght (50mm, let’s say 1/40), then i turn it on again

Following are 4 handhelded images, 2 with VR turned on at exposure speed of 1/160 and 1/100, and the same 2 with VR turned off.

As shown, the 2 handhelded shots with VR turned off, strangely, are better

STABILIZER OFF (NIKON VR) WITH EXPOSURE SPEED OF 1/160: GOOD RESULT (100% CROP)

VR OFF (1)

STABILIZER OFF  (NIKON VR) WITH EXPOSURE SPEED OF 1/100: GOOD RESULT (100% CROP)

VR OFF (2)

STABILIZER ON  (NIKON VR) WITH EXPOSURE SPEED OF 1/160: BAD RESULT (100% CROP)

VR ON (3)

STABILIZER ON  (NIKON VR) WITH EXPOSURE SPEED OF 1/100: BAD RESULT (100% CROP)

VR ON (4)

IMPORTANT NOTE: this explanation is valid for steady shots on a steady ground. However, when I am in critical shaking situations like in a moving car, or in a moving train for example, or in general in situations where it’s easy for me to shake very much my hands, i tend to keep the stabilizer on all the time

Further reading: Thom Hogan in his article, talks about, more or less, the same thing, pointing out as well what i have said. This is his initial statement on his article:

“The first and most important rule of VR is this: never turn VR on unless it’s actually needed”

TURN THE STABILIZER OFF ON TRIPOD

This is the second situation where, for the same logic of the previous paragraph, I always keep the stabilizer turned off.

Again, the stabilizer with a camera on a tripod produces a countereffect by generating a bad blurness, because it continuously oscillates to prepare to compensate the human handshake, a movement which will never happen, because the camera is on the tripod, not in one’s hands. This will make the stabilizer counterproductive

STABILIZER

FOCUSING IN DARK LANDSCAPES

Sometimes if the subject is enough close to me i can use the onboard function which, in case of Nikon, is called “Built-in AF Illuminator assistant”

However, what can I do in case of a more distant subject? My options are the following:

  • If I am with a friend, I can ask him to get closer to the subject I want and to turn on his mobile LCD to focus on it
  • If I am alone, I use laser pointer and focus on the laser dot

I have personally tested the laser pointer with the CDAF of the Live View on my D7000 with good results, as long as the laser has enough power, good built quality, and the battery fully charged

LASER

As an alternative, I know of people using the trick of “infinity” symbol on their lens, but I don’t feel confident with it and I tend to avoid it, since the laser has worked nicely for me.

CHOOSE THE RIGHT APERTURE TO AVOID UNDESIRED BLURNESS AND DIFFRACTION IN LANDSCAPE SHOTS

The aperture is a value which determines the amount of light entering inside the sensor, and the depth of field. So, by choosing the wrong aperture, part of the composition could result too much blurred out

Following is a great link from Cabridge In Colour with a lesson about all the concepts related to the Depth of Field and Circle of Confusion:

CAMBRIDGE IN COLOR: TUTORIAL, DEPTH OF FIELD

The aperture is a scale ranging, depending by the lens properties, from f1.4 to f.36. The higher the number, the greater the depth of field

For this reason, the logic seems to be: if I want a sharp shot with enough depth of field, I only need to increase the aperture number as much as possible, because the higher the value, the higher the depth of field

It’s partially wrong

Often there’s a second blurness problem related to the aperture, known as “diffraction”

Basically if one exaggerates with the aperture number in the hope of increasing at maximum the depth of field, by narrowing too much the lens hole, something bad happens. Explained in very basic and generic terms, the hole which allows the light to enter inside the lens becomes so narrow that the light starts to rebounce instead of flowing inside, by interfering with the final result, and by producing a reduced amount of sharpness level

You can furtherly check this link from Cambridge In Colour for a better explanation about the diffraction phenomenon:

CAMBRIDGE IN COLOUR: LENS DIFFRACTION

SO, WHAT’S THE CORRECT APERTURE VALUE TO CHOOSE FOR A NICE LANDSCAPE?

More or less, from what I have seen on www.slrgear.com which provides the sharpness diagrams of most lenses in relation with their apertures, a good reliable and very generic value, representing a nice compromise between depth of field and diffraction, in my opinion, with most of the kit lenses out there, seems to be around f.11 (more or less)

After that, starting from f.13/16, diffraction seems to come out in a gradual manner.

Of course in the case of macro photography the approach could be different. In fact the depth of field becomes so narrow that I find acceptable to use higher apertures. Infact, values like f8 or f11 could produce almost a non existant depth of field in this case and using values like f22 can become the only option

At the link below it is possible to use an online tool by Cambridge In Colour with which it can be precisely calculated the depth of field for a specific set of parameters, including the subject distance and other interesting influencing factors

CAMBRIDGE IN COLOUR: DEPTH OF FIELD CALCULATOR

THE TRICK OF HYPERFOCAL DISTANCE

Based on some readings, it seems that there is a perfect distance by which, focusing on it, I  can get a even greater depth of field by maintaining the same aperture value

Therefore, deciding to focus on something which is 3 meters away from the camera, or 50 meters, in a landscape shot seems to really make the difference

Instead of providing further explanations, here is another very interesting link always from Cambridge in Colour, where this phenomenon is nicely explained

CAMBRIDGE IN COLOUR: THE HYPERFOCAL DISTANCE

CLEANING MY EQUIPMENT

I still find lot of photographers with their lenses completely dirty and full of fingerprints, especially those using a compact camera or a phone camera.

This, of course, is a great reason for getting some blurness

The same is true for the camera body. Sometimes the sensor requires some cleaning too.

In general, cleaning a camera and its lenses can be risky. If one doesn’t feel confident, it is always possible to bring the entire equipment to an assistance center

ONE LAST POINT: THE BAD STORIES ABOUT THE D7000/D7100 AUTOFOCUS PROBLEMS

Some times ago I’ve read bad stories about the autofocus of the D7000. Altough many stories looked real, day by day i started to think that it was only a user fault, and i’m quite confident that a great part of these people blaming this model could solve their issues by simply following some tips like those i described here, especially those related to the VR stabilizer in handheld shots and the back focus under artificial light

If someone wants to ask me for help to solve his Nikon autofocus issues, I keep myself at disposition.

CONCLUSION

It required me some times to learn all these things, and I spent tons of hours in testing and testing.

However, this effort brought me to a great result. Today whenever i make some “pixel peeping” through my pictures at 100% of zoom on the screen to check hedge to hedge sharpness, i easily get happy of what i see

With this article, I have tried to put togheter all the mistakes and problems I have faced and solved day by day, although as said above, this is still NOT any sort of professional guide, but only a personal article talking about the result of my personal experience

Thanks for reading!

Moyan

Copyright © Moyan Brenn and Earthincolors.wordpress.com

Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Small excerpts or the pictures contained in the article may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Moyan Brenn and Earthincolors.wordpress.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content

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Discussion

10 thoughts on “BLURNESS IN PHOTOGRAPHY: MY TIPS TO AVOID IT

  1. Clicking the title in your message body brought me to a page on your blog that says Pagina non trovata, (page not found?) but I REALLY want to read this post. If you could direct me to it, I’d be most grateful!

    Date: Fri, 23 May 2014 16:13:24 +0000 To: karenmulhern@live.com

    Posted by SmallHouseBigGarden | May 23, 2014, 7:12 pm
  2. Your wealth of knowledge is unbelievable. Thank you for sharing all that you have learned and worked so hard to accomplish. I too have a Nikon D700 and have had several out of focus pictures lately. I am going to try all of your methods. Thanks again for all you have done to help improve the photography skills of others and to help those in need. May God bless you abundantly.

    Posted by kim | September 3, 2014, 9:01 pm
  3. This article is excellent! Thank you. I am headed to Iceland in a few days and will be reading this a second time through and trying these methods in order to take better photos. Thanks also for your “6 things you should know” article about Iceland, the bird tip made me laugh.

    Posted by pocheco | October 3, 2014, 5:24 pm
  4. Thank you, thank you, thank you! Sorry, I don’t know Italian or I would say it that way. ;) My Nikon D7000 has been giving me nothing but blurry pictures for several months. I could get a decent one here and there but nothing exceptional like I would expect from this camera. I am still an amateur so I was sure it was something that I did-a setting I changed, using the wrong ISO, fstop, etc. Reading your article gave me so much insight and helped me fixed a lot of issues (obviously operator error!). Thanks again!

    Posted by Lisa J | November 7, 2014, 11:19 pm
  5. thanks for sharing, this very usefull for me, that new learn in photography.
    nice posting, greeting for me photographer base on indonesia.. foto wedding semarang http://studiopelangi.com/
    i use nikon too

    Posted by harga foto wedding semarang | March 7, 2015, 8:20 am

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  1. Pingback: 6 THINGS TO KNOW BEFORE VISITING ICELAND | Earth in Colors - August 22, 2014

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