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Photography Question 
Tom R. Fleeman

Some Photos Still Not Crisp

I have a Nikon lens 80-200mm F/2.8D without VR. When I go to post-processing my photos, the last thing I will do is sharpen a little. On some of my photos they are very crisp/sharp, and on al ot of them they are so far off when you go in to sharpen it looks way out of focus. Do you think my problem is in movement of camera (I use a monopod) or could I still not have shutter speed where it should stop all motion. Not real sure if there is a difference from 80mm and photos I shoot at 200mm. Help, I want my photos to be real sharp as I sell online to football parents. Can send some photos if that would help. Thanks Tom

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9/12/2011 7:23:05 AM

Gregory LaGrange
BetterPhoto Member Since: 11/11/2003
  Sharpening really isn't intended to make an out of focus picture look in focus. It can't do that. If it's out of focus, it's out of focus. Sharpening is for the slight edge softness that comes from the filter inside the camera that covers the sensor. Or it can make something with slight motion blur look better.
There's a difference in motion blur and something being blurry because it's out of focus. Put some photos in your gallery or add them to the discussion instead of sending them. Offhand, I think your problem could be you're just not getting things in focus.

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9/12/2011 7:38:22 AM

Sandy Hawkins
BetterPhoto Member Since: 9/17/2007
  Tom..what are you shooting? Sounds like football shots. For that you would need two things in order for them to be sharp..a fast shutter speed and an smaller aperture for better/sharper depth of field. However, with that smaller aperture you lose light, so you need that too! Confused yet? I shoot Nikon too..send me any photos so I can see better what you are not happy e-mail is

Sandy :-)

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9/12/2011 8:49:05 AM

Dennis Flanagan
BetterPhoto Member Since: 12/31/2005
  They are out of focus due to either camera shake, bad focusing, or too slow of a shutter speed to stop motion. Do you have auto focus? Do you have it set to "C" for continuous? Is the lens diopter set for your eye if using manual focus?

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9/13/2011 9:07:09 PM

Gretchen Yengst
BetterPhoto Member Since: 3/24/2007
  Hi Tom -- I am a Nikon shooter of events -- lots of action. I have D300, D7000 and the 80-200. One of the best focusing tips that I have received was from Paul Gero who teaches the wedding course here at BP. He suggested a helpful tip for better work is designating your AE-L/AF-L button on the back of the camera as your focusing agent, pressing it with your thumb to focus -- especially as you are tracking action, like sports etc. Then you finish the shot off with the shutter release. Go To: Menu>Settings>Controls>Assign AE/AF button>AF ON. This has really worked for me as I can track the subject visually maintaining focus with my thumb then fire the exposures in a non-jerky motion. BIG difference then doing it all half way down with the shutter button which can create a jerk -- especially when we see moment we want to take. This may take a wee bit of practice, but soon it will feel good. Hope this helps and improves your shooting -- AND thank you Paul, forever. Gretchen, Loving Focus Photography,

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10/4/2011 5:05:34 AM

Susan D. Royce
BetterPhoto Member Since: 11/8/2008
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  Hi Tom. I have shot ballet for several years, and agree with Sandy's comments. I get the best results by shooting in shutter priority, 1/160 if possible, with an f/2.0 prime. I started out shooting wide open, but the depth of field is too narrow, often resulting in the subject being just slightly out of focus. By using shutter priority, the aperture varies according to available light, usually giving you a bit more depth of field. You can also pump up the DOF by increasing the ISO.

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10/4/2011 5:47:18 AM

Tammy L. Bevins
BetterPhoto Member Since: 10/10/2003
  movement and action require a very quick shutter to stop action. You should be shooting at least 1/500 shutter to stop action. Also check the sharpness of your lens choice. Different lenses have varying degrees of sharpness. Also make sure your focus point is correct and I always use a tripod. It will take camera shake out of the equation as you investigate this.

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10/4/2011 6:31:28 AM

Tom R. Fleeman   I want to thank all of you this has helped very much and my photos reflect that. Gretchen you said to change button for focusing. I did that and it really made a difference on my football photos. Thanks again.


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11/30/2011 10:41:59 AM

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