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Photography Question 
Sharon D. Ebert
BetterPhoto Member Since: 10/13/2007
 

How to get focus and clarity at 100%?


 
 
I took a photo that appears to be focused with good clarity and color. However, at 100% magnification sharpness & clarity is lost. What can I do to prevent the loss. I can think of a few things using tripod ( I did), better quality glass, high quality filter, remove filter, turn off IS. More pixels? Further possibilities?
For reference the photo is "The Embroiderer's Hand."


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10/17/2015 8:26:36 AM

 
Bojan Bencic
BetterPhoto Member Since: 5/29/2005
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  Hi Sharon,

Could you post a link to your photo? BP search does not show anything related to you.
Or at least give us the details of the equipment you are using?

Generally speaking:
- tripod - yes, including a remote trigger
- better quality glass - yes, probably the most important
- no filters
- more pixels - not necessarily, usually not helping

Other thoughts (just a few):
- focus - single point focus on the right spot
- depth of field
- better camera body (better sensor)
- low ISO
- mirror lock
- soft spot (sharpest aperture) of the lens
- clean lens and sensor
- sharpening in post processing
- jpeg compression...

Hope it helps,

Bojan


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10/18/2015 1:33:50 PM

 
Usman M. Bajwa
BetterPhoto Member Since: 4/11/2006
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  Just to add to Bojan's useful suggestions, you need to also use the right shutter speed for the available light to stop motion. Looking at the title of your above-mentioned image, which I am also unable to locate, I am assuming that the hands were in motion when you clicked and if the shutter speed was not fast enough, it would have introduced some movement blur. Just my two cents.

UB.


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10/18/2015 6:41:58 PM

 
Sharon D. Ebert
BetterPhoto Member Since: 10/13/2007
 
 
 
Here is the image I spoke of.


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10/18/2015 7:31:59 PM

 
Sharon D. Ebert
BetterPhoto Member Since: 10/13/2007
 
 
 
Thanks! Here is the photo. However, it is a reduced file size as the original image file is too large to upload to the forum.

The reason I ask the question is that some experienced stock photographers say not to bother submitting photos that don't pass the "100% magnification test" to istock, shutterstock, etc (the stock sites specify a minimum size file and have no reference to this "test").


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10/18/2015 7:40:25 PM

 
Sharon D. Ebert
BetterPhoto Member Since: 10/13/2007
 
 
 
Thanks! Here is the photo. However, it is a reduced file size as the original image file is too large to upload to the forum.

The reason I ask the question is that some experienced stock photographers say not to bother submitting photos that don't pass the "100% magnification test" to istock, shutterstock, etc (the stock sites specify a minimum size file and have no reference to this "test").


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10/18/2015 7:41:19 PM

 
Melinda F. Schneider
BetterPhoto Member Since: 8/14/2007
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  You've uploaded a very small size here. The forum will allow a larger size than this. Stock photography sites insist on large files because their customers want very sharp images for use in projects that may be quite large such as posters, coffee table books, etc. Some stock requirements are larger than others: Dreamstime requires larger files than istock as a rule, for example. Because BetterPhoto allows (even encourages) us to downsize our images quite significantly, we can get away with images that are lacking in top quality. (Sorry to say that but it's true.) Take some of the suggestions offered above, especially use of a tripod, to improve your photographs and you may have better luck submitting stock.


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10/19/2015 5:32:02 AM

 
Mary  L. Olson   Sharon, it is hard to know what the problem is without knowing your f stop, shutter speed, ISO, and the lens you used.

I know that you used a tripod, and you should. Are you happy with the tripod? I received a bit of advice that you need to spend as much as it takes to get a really solid tripod. If you don't you will end up replacing it so you might as well try to get it right off the bat. Check to see if the head is a little wobbly (you can tighten it), and if the legs are rock solid. I strongly prefer carbon fiber legs.

While the image you submitted is pretty small, I can see that you have a limited depth of field. Is there any part of the image that is sharp enough? And was the short DOF intentional? If not, you need to use smaller aperture (bigger number) but try not to go much beyond f16 or diffraction can start to degrade your image quality in a very subtle way. Most lenses perform at their best in the middle around f8 to f11 and in the middle of their zoom ranges. They tend to be softest at both ends. Prime lenses, those that do not zoom, are usually the sharpest, although some zooms (the pricey ones) are getting very close.

If you are on a tripod, consider using a remote release and/or setting the camera to delay tripping the shutter for a few seconds. Both reduce or eliminate shake from the pressure of your finger on the button. If your camera allows it, also set the camera to lock the mirror so you don't get the shake from the mirror flying up, which can create a little softness.You'll hit the shutter button twice once to lock the mirror and once to open the shutter. You cannot do this with a delayed exposure, however. Canon put a gear system on the mirror in its new 5Ds to take care of this issue, to facilitate rock-solid sharpness.

Hope this helps.


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10/19/2015 1:51:25 PM

 
Usman M. Bajwa
BetterPhoto Member Since: 4/11/2006
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  The photo is nice and looks just fine. The focus is where it should be, IMHO. I don't see anything to worry about in this photo.

UB.


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10/19/2015 8:34:30 PM

 
Sharon D. Ebert
BetterPhoto Member Since: 10/13/2007
  Here is the link to the actual photo.

http://www.betterphoto.com/gallery/dynoGallDetail.asp?photoID=15014577

Thanks for the feedback! It all helps to keep improving my photos.


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10/21/2015 10:48:20 AM

 
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