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Thread: The reason for soft pics from a D90

  1. #1

    Default The reason for soft pics from a D90

    Hi
    I'm a newbie. I bought a nikon D90 in August 2009 and have been using it regularly. I've made some good pics with it, sharpness was reasonably ok to my eye. Now, however I see a softness in my pics. I'll try to post a few pics of soon.
    I know it could be due to my own "proper focussing" inexperience. But, other than that, I want to know what else can contribute to this. I know about camera shake and the use of a tripod. With the tripod I have had good sharp images before, but now most times they are not as sharp as the pics taken previously.
    Can the UV filter I use have an effect? I still have the steinziser filter I bought at the point of purchase. Should I change this? Then again I did make some sharp pics with this filter.
    Could it be the polarizing filters I use. They are cheap ones.
    Any ideas anyone on what I should be checking? I'm thinking of taking the camera to nikon and asking them to check it for me.
    Thanks
    devin2010

  2. #2
    Moderator daredevil123's Avatar
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    Default Re: The reason for soft pics from a D90

    Quote Originally Posted by devin2010 View Post
    Hi
    I'm a newbie. I bought a nikon D90 in August 2009 and have been using it regularly. I've made some good pics with it, sharpness was reasonably ok to my eye. Now, however I see a softness in my pics. I'll try to post a few pics of soon.
    I know it could be due to my own "proper focussing" inexperience. But, other than that, I want to know what else can contribute to this. I know about camera shake and the use of a tripod. With the tripod I have had good sharp images before, but now most times they are not as sharp as the pics taken previously.
    Can the UV filter I use have an effect? I still have the steinziser filter I bought at the point of purchase. Should I change this? Then again I did make some sharp pics with this filter.
    Could it be the polarizing filters I use. They are cheap ones.
    Any ideas anyone on what I should be checking? I'm thinking of taking the camera to nikon and asking them to check it for me.
    Thanks
    devin2010
    Blur pics checklist:

    1. Do you use your CPL on top of your UV? If you do, stop. Take off the UV, put the CPL on when you are using the CPL.

    2. Is your tripod stable? If not, get a stable one. And also do not extend the ceter column.

    3. Is your lens focusing ok? Test with a focus test chart, remember to use stable tripod.

    4. If your filters are too cheap, they may cause flare. Borrow a good quality filter. Try it to see if it improves.

    5. When you shoot handheld, to reduce camera shake, make sure your shutter speed is at least 1/(focal length). Adjust ISO and Aperture to get it.

    6. Get a better shooting stance. See here

    7. When shooting at night, be sure to remove all filters.

    8. When shooting exposures longer than 1/20s, and the camera mounted on a stable tripod, fire the shutter off using a remote. Or use the timer mode.


    HTH.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Numnumball's Avatar
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    Default Re: The reason for soft pics from a D90

    Quote Originally Posted by devin2010 View Post
    Hi
    I'm a newbie. I bought a nikon D90 in August 2009 and have been using it regularly. I've made some good pics with it, sharpness was reasonably ok to my eye. Now, however I see a softness in my pics. I'll try to post a few pics of soon.
    I know it could be due to my own "proper focussing" inexperience. But, other than that, I want to know what else can contribute to this. I know about camera shake and the use of a tripod. With the tripod I have had good sharp images before, but now most times they are not as sharp as the pics taken previously.
    Can the UV filter I use have an effect? I still have the steinziser filter I bought at the point of purchase. Should I change this? Then again I did make some sharp pics with this filter.
    Could it be the polarizing filters I use. They are cheap ones.
    Any ideas anyone on what I should be checking? I'm thinking of taking the camera to nikon and asking them to check it for me.
    Thanks
    devin2010
    Friend, do note that some cheapo uv filter will have a tendency to degrade pic quality.. Invest in gd ones (not all gd ones are expensive)

    And CPL as well..

    Maybe u can post some of the pics u claimed to be soft and provide us with the EXIF info so we can help u further
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    Moderator daredevil123's Avatar
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    Default Re: The reason for soft pics from a D90

    By the way, yes Steinzeiser sucks. One managed to come into my possession. I looked at under the light, and it seems there is either no multicoating, or the multicoating is very lousy. How to tell? Simple, use the glass to get a reflection of a fluorescent light. The reflection should normally be green or pinkish or purplish. If the reflection has no color tint, it usually means the glass is not coated. Steinzeiser's looks white (no tint), or either that, the tint is very very faint. I keep it in my dry cab for now. Will bring it out and use it when I bring my camera/lens to the beach or some dirty conditions.

  5. #5

    Default Re: The reason for soft pics from a D90

    Thanks so much daredevil123 and Numnumball, for the extremely helpful suggestions. I will follow the suggestions. I'll also post some pics here tomorrow (now at work and do not have access to my photos).
    Any suggestion for a good UV filter? Should I go ahead and buy all nikon stuff?
    Thanks again
    Devin2010

  6. #6

    Default Re: The reason for soft pics from a D90

    Is Noise Reduction on? More then often too aggressive settings can smear the picture causing loss of sharpness.
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    Senior Member ovaltinemilo's Avatar
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    Default Re: The reason for soft pics from a D90

    Quote Originally Posted by daredevil123 View Post
    By the way, yes Steinzeiser sucks.
    I agree...hv 1 too...ghosting quite abit...
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  8. #8
    Senior Member Diavonex's Avatar
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    Default Re: The reason for soft pics from a D90

    Quote Originally Posted by devin2010 View Post
    Hi
    I'm a newbie. I bought a nikon D90 in August 2009 and have been using it regularly. I've made some good pics with it, sharpness was reasonably ok to my eye. Now, however I see a softness in my pics. I'll try to post a few pics of soon.
    I know it could be due to my own "proper focussing" inexperience. But, other than that, I want to know what else can contribute to this. I know about camera shake and the use of a tripod. With the tripod I have had good sharp images before, but now most times they are not as sharp as the pics taken previously.
    Can the UV filter I use have an effect? I still have the steinziser filter I bought at the point of purchase. Should I change this? Then again I did make some sharp pics with this filter.
    Could it be the polarizing filters I use. They are cheap ones.
    Any ideas anyone on what I should be checking? I'm thinking of taking the camera to nikon and asking them to check it for me.
    Thanks
    devin2010
    The default settings of most DSLR are generally soft.

    Increase your in-camera Contrast setting.

    You can also shoot RAW and up your contrast.

    Suggest you remove your Polariser when testing your camera settings.
    Last edited by Diavonex; 30th June 2010 at 06:12 PM.

  9. #9

    Default Re: The reason for soft pics from a D90

    Quote Originally Posted by daredevil123 View Post
    By the way, yes Steinzeiser sucks. One managed to come into my possession. I looked at under the light, and it seems there is either no multicoating, or the multicoating is very lousy. How to tell? Simple, use the glass to get a reflection of a fluorescent light. The reflection should normally be green or pinkish or purplish. If the reflection has no color tint, it usually means the glass is not coated. Steinzeiser's looks white (no tint), or either that, the tint is very very faint. I keep it in my dry cab for now. Will bring it out and use it when I bring my camera/lens to the beach or some dirty conditions.
    lol u make it sound like its some sacrificial filter xD
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  10. #10
    Moderator Octarine's Avatar
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    Default Re: The reason for soft pics from a D90

    Some filters tend to fog after some time and as result the entire picture loses sharpness and contrast. Remove all these add-ons, your camera and lens were designed to work best without anything put in front.
    Get good filters or go naked. Your lens can stand much more than you seem to think. But then again, it's common sales tactics to drum about "protection" and sell cheap filters as solution where alertness and care comes free.
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    Default Re: The reason for soft pics from a D90

    it may be the CPL that is not compatible with your lens..
    a close fren of mine bought a (screw-in type) CPL. every time he used it on his 55-250 lens, the focus was out.. sometimes it totally failed to focus..
    we tried it on other lenses then it was fine..
    as Octarine said, going naked will not cost additional but i don't have the guts to let the front glass exposed so need to spend on good quality filters
    Last edited by aungzawwin; 1st July 2010 at 11:02 AM.

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    Moderator daredevil123's Avatar
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    Default Re: The reason for soft pics from a D90

    Quote Originally Posted by killerslayer92 View Post
    lol u make it sound like its some sacrificial filter xD
    LOL, not sacrificial.... just a scape goat.

  13. #13
    Moderator daredevil123's Avatar
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    Default Re: The reason for soft pics from a D90

    Quote Originally Posted by aungzawwin View Post
    it may be the CPL that is not compatible with your lens..
    a close fren of mine bought a (screw-in type) CPL. every time he used it on his 55-250 lens, the focus was out.. sometimes it totally failed to focus..
    we tried it on other lenses then it was fine..
    as Octarine said, going naked will not cost additional but i don't have the guts to let the front glass exposed so need to spend on good quality filters
    If that is the case, and no other filter was used at the same time, that CPL might not be a CPL at all... It may be a linear PL in disguise.

  14. #14
    Moderator Octarine's Avatar
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    Default Re: The reason for soft pics from a D90

    Quote Originally Posted by aungzawwin View Post
    as Octarine said, going naked will not cost additional but i don't have the guts to let the front glass exposed so need to spend on good quality filters
    Get a lens hood. It really helps. And trust the coatings, they are not just some powder
    EOS

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    Default Re: The reason for soft pics from a D90

    Quote Originally Posted by daredevil123 View Post
    If that is the case, and no other filter was used at the same time, that CPL might not be a CPL at all... It may be a linear PL in disguise.
    aha..this might be the case..
    he may want to check it out.. thanks

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