Old 05-11-2012, 07:54 PM   #1
N. Herring
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Default Problem with equipment

I recently upgraded from a P&S to a Canon Digital Rebel T2i with 18-55 IS and 55-250 IS lenses. I have noticed though that all of my pictures are soft, and no matter how much I sharpen them, they still get rejected for unsharpened (soft). My question is: Is this a known problem with these lenses, and if so, how do I go about fixing it.

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Old 05-11-2012, 08:07 PM   #2
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Are you shooting RAW or JPEG?

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Old 05-11-2012, 08:38 PM   #3
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Quote:
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Are you shooting RAW or JPEG?

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I shoot them in RAW
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Old 05-11-2012, 08:40 PM   #4
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I shot at least half of my rp portfolio with the 18-55 IS and 55-250 IS on my XS. While they are not considered extremely sharp (in comparison to high dollar lenses) they did not suffer from being soft either. The 18-55 was a little more difficult to auto focus though.

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Old 05-11-2012, 08:44 PM   #5
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Hi Nathan,

Can you tell us how you've set up the focus on your camera? Are you picking the focus point, or is the camera doing it? Do you have a piece of software that will let you review your images and see where the focus points were on each. Whenever I encounter a shot that looks soft to me, that's the first place I go, to verify that I did get the focus point on the subject.

Also, are there any switches on your camera or lenses that turn off or otherwise alter autofocus? If so, check the positions of all of those.

Edit: Also, are there any settings on the camera that allow the shutter to be released without the subject being in focus? The Nikons have such options. I have mine set so the shutter will not release if the shot is not focused.

I am not a Canon shooter, but I would wager that the equipment you've mentioned is probably some of the most popular in the entire country. I don't think there are any systemic issues. It is also unlikely that you'd have the same problem on BOTH lenses. I would look for other causes.
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Old 05-12-2012, 02:19 AM   #6
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You should get good, sharp images with that set up. A couple of years ago that's exactly the camera and lenses I had. Are you letting the camera decide which of the 7 (or was it 9?) focus points to use? If so, it may be selecting whatever object is close to you to focus on rather than the train. Try setting it to use only the center focus point and then focus on the spot you want to be sharp before the train gets there. You can do that by putting the center dot on the spot and depressing the shutter button half way, then recomposing and shooting the train.

You can also set your * button to "back button" focus, which I think works really well. If you're not already familiar with the Photography on the Net forum for Canon users, you might check it out. You'll find lots of threads on how to do it. It's much simpler than it probably sounds.

http://photography-on-the.net/forum/...k+button+focus

Good luck! You'll love it once you get it all sorted out.

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Old 05-12-2012, 02:42 AM   #7
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Someone here showed me the * button focusing method and now I can't see how I lived without it, I for one highly recommend it.
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Old 05-12-2012, 03:49 AM   #8
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Also, what F stop are shooting at. A high F stop will also result in a softer image.

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Old 05-12-2012, 03:51 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nikos1 View Post
Someone here showed me the * button focusing method and now I can't see how I lived without it, I for one highly recommend it.
I personally can not stand it that way. I have tried it a few times and reverted back to the original way.

I do not recall but can you shoot raw and still use the "sport" and so on settings on the camera?
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Old 05-12-2012, 04:52 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by khalucha View Post
I personally can not stand it that way. I have tried it a few times and reverted back to the original way.

I do not recall but can you shoot raw and still use the "sport" and so on settings on the camera?
On a Canon you can shoot RAW on auto mode even. Why would you want to use sports do, I know a guy who insists on using sports mode because he doesnt want to learn manual, often with terrible results. The only time I take it off manual is when I know im about to get cloud f***ed and switch it to P so itll expose somewhat properly.

Before I used the * for focus the camera would decide that it wanted to try and refocus between shots and I ended up with more than a few horribly out of focus shots. I don't like having that uncertainty.
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Old 05-12-2012, 05:39 AM   #11
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You should be getting very sharp pictures with that camera set up.

For railroading, I use the center AF spot 90% of the time and the * button for nailing the focus where I want it. Later during the run by when I press the shutter button I don't want the camera "finding" another focus point.

If the shots are soft with both lenses, I would say you are being tripped up by your present AF settings or shutter speed. Motion blur is another cause of soft photos so make sure you are shooting at a high enough shutter speed. I suggest 500th and above for most rail action.

Aperture itself will not affect the sharpness of point where you have focused. It will affect your Depth of Field. Depth of Field is the area in front and behind the plane of focus that is acceptably sharp. The higher the number, the greater the DOF. The lower the number the lesser the DOF. A large aperture, say f/1.4 on a 50mm, yes, it will be harder to find and maintain focus than say a f/8 with a 17mm. But it will be sharp at that point.

Usually with the camera to train distance we shoot at, DOF is not really an issue.
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Old 05-12-2012, 07:43 PM   #12
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Oddly enough, I use the Canon EF-S 18-55 and 55-250mm IS lenses and haven't had issues with soft images. My images have always been sharp.
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Old 05-13-2012, 05:44 AM   #13
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Thanks everyone, I think it may be the AF thats tripping me up, I have changed a few settings and will go try it out again to see if I got the problem fixed or not
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