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Thread: Do I really have to get expensive lenses?

  1. #1
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    Default Do I really have to get expensive lenses?

    Hi guys,

    I just got my 400D(kit) and Sigma 70-300 APO recently, I dont think the photos I took are as sharp as what people have posted on the forum, I did try to use tripod but still...

    I use fast shutter speed to avoid hands shake, something like 1/60 or faster, bcos of that, sometimes I have to use higher ISO like 200-400, I'd not to use ISO800 and above cos the photo will look noisy.

    do I really need expensive lenses to get sharp photos? I know they cost a lot...

    p/s: I like to shoot nature.

    Thanks!

  2. #2

    Default Re: Do I really have to get expensive lenses?

    Why don't you give it a go for say another month or two.

    Your technique may have improved in which case your images should be sharper, regardless of lens used.

    Or you may be more pleased with your composition, in which case sharpness is secondary.

    IMO no point getting a boring subject tack sharp.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Do I really have to get expensive lenses?

    post your unedited photos for us to see? thanks

  4. #4

    Default Re: Do I really have to get expensive lenses?

    Quote Originally Posted by tiramzai View Post
    Hi guys,

    I just got my 400D(kit) and Sigma 70-300 APO recently, I dont think the photos I took are as sharp as what people have posted on the forum, I did try to use tripod but still...

    I use fast shutter speed to avoid hands shake, something like 1/60 or faster, bcos of that, sometimes I have to use higher ISO like 200-400, I'd not to use ISO800 and above cos the photo will look noisy.

    do I really need expensive lenses to get sharp photos? I know they cost a lot...

    p/s: I like to shoot nature.

    Thanks!
    Haha I just got my 400D too and having that problem too. I use the kit lens 18-55mm which many calls it a lousy lens. But then it takes alot of trial and error to get the various settings right. I keep a booklet to keep track of what settings are good for which environment and now with practice... I think I'm getting the hang of it.
    Last edited by ZDragon; 20th November 2006 at 11:08 AM.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Do I really have to get expensive lenses?

    Quote Originally Posted by tiramzai View Post
    Hi guys,

    I just got my 400D(kit) and Sigma 70-300 APO recently, I dont think the photos I took are as sharp as what people have posted on the forum, I did try to use tripod but still...

    I use fast shutter speed to avoid hands shake, something like 1/60 or faster, bcos of that, sometimes I have to use higher ISO like 200-400, I'd not to use ISO800 and above cos the photo will look noisy.

    do I really need expensive lenses to get sharp photos? I know they cost a lot...

    p/s: I like to shoot nature.

    Thanks!
    1/60 is definately not fast shutter speed. If you are using the 70-300, even though the lens is not that heavy, 1/60 is way too slow a shutter speed to use.

    shoot with a tripod, your pictures will be much sharper. Btw, not sharp enough, could it be out of focus?
    deadpoet
    my portfolio

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Do I really have to get expensive lenses?

    Try not using the largest aperture possible on your lens but two stops down.

    Have a look at this while your at it:

    Sharpness vs F/Stop

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Do I really have to get expensive lenses?

    Quote Originally Posted by tiramzai View Post
    Hi guys,

    I just got my 400D(kit) and Sigma 70-300 APO recently, I dont think the photos I took are as sharp as what people have posted on the forum, I did try to use tripod but still...

    I use fast shutter speed to avoid hands shake, something like 1/60 or faster, bcos of that, sometimes I have to use higher ISO like 200-400, I'd not to use ISO800 and above cos the photo will look noisy.

    do I really need expensive lenses to get sharp photos? I know they cost a lot...

    p/s: I like to shoot nature.

    Thanks!
    To avoid handshakes, the general rule for shutter speed is 1/(focal length x crop factor).
    Hence, for your 70-300 you'd need at least 1/100 for 70mm and 1/500 for the 300mm. With monopod or tripod, you can reduce the shutter speed. To a lesser extent, proper lens holding would also help.


    The bigger the aperture, the more costly a lens gets. Bigger aperture = more light entering the lens = greater shutter speeds.


    Having said that, good composition and techniques will still allow your 70-300 to turn out good pictures. Check out some magazines with reader's contribution. Quite a few are done using cheap equipment but still truns out nice.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Do I really have to get expensive lenses?

    WOW!! thanks for the fast replies!!

    Here are two of the photos I took recently.
    the photos seem to me a bit too smooth, arent they?




  9. #9
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    Default Re: Do I really have to get expensive lenses?

    Maybe you can try applying USM to it using PS?

    To do an example for you to cross-reference, I've used your photos and apply USM to it (if you dun mind).


    01




    02


  10. #10
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    Default Re: Do I really have to get expensive lenses?

    thanks! I can see the difference, more contrast, but what is USM?

  11. #11
    Senior Member zac08's Avatar
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    Default Re: Do I really have to get expensive lenses?

    Quote Originally Posted by tiramzai View Post
    thanks! I can see the difference, more contrast, but what is USM?
    UnSharp Mask.

    a sharpening tool in Photoshop
    Michael Lim
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  12. #12
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    Default Re: Do I really have to get expensive lenses?

    you're using a pretty good lens. I used a similar lens a while back and was pretty impressed by its sharpness. you can check out the last 4 galleries taken with the Sigma 70-300 APO Super Macro II:
    http://mpenza.clubsnap.org/gallery/2003

  13. #13

    Default Re: Do I really have to get expensive lenses?

    USM = unsharp mask
    most ppl use this tool to sharpen their pictures, regardless of what lens they use.
    Photo Album - Photo Album

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Do I really have to get expensive lenses?

    Quote Originally Posted by mpenza View Post
    you're using a pretty good lens. I used a similar lens a while back and was pretty impressed by its sharpness. you can check out the last 4 galleries taken with the Sigma 70-300 APO Super Macro II:
    http://mpenza.clubsnap.org/gallery/2003
    thanks! I feel more confident now!

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