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Old 15-10-2011, 11:17   #1 (permalink)
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Nikon D100 photos soft

After a short photography break (due to having baby), I'm back to annoy everyone again with my stupid questions

My backup camera is an old D100.
I think I've posted before about its exposure issues, but it also seems to produce very soft images.
Is this typical of this model?
Is there anything quick and easy that I can do to make them a bit sharper?
TIA
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Old 15-10-2011, 11:52   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Nikon D100 photos soft

Welcome back Sassamax I trust that all is OK with you and your new addition to the family.

Is this issue with every image on every lens that you use? Are there no sharp areas in any of your shots?

Before looking at the camera for any potential faults you must eliminate camera shake, depth of field, and incorrect focusing as the cause(s) of softness.
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Old 15-10-2011, 11:55   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Nikon D100 photos soft

I did read a review that said the jpg sometimes came out soft but in Raw they are crisp, don't know how you shoot but worth looking into.

p.s. there's no such thing as a stupid question IMHO
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Old 15-10-2011, 12:58   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Nikon D100 photos soft

Any chance of posting an example especially a small crop from a frame.
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Old 15-10-2011, 13:13   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Nikon D100 photos soft

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dabhand16 View Post
Welcome back Sassamax I trust that all is OK with you and your new addition to the family.

Is this issue with every image on every lens that you use? Are there no sharp areas in any of your shots?

Before looking at the camera for any potential faults you must eliminate camera shake, depth of field, and incorrect focusing as the cause(s) of softness.
Thank you - yep it's all v hectic just now but settling down a bit

It does seem soft regardless of what lens I'm using - perhaps some more than others though. I'm not sure that any area of shots are properly sharp - there seems to be a general soft look all over.
Here's an example - I've just taken this and have a baby asleep on me so not the best, but this is the sharpest I could get:


And here is the same rainbow with my D90 - angle slightly different sorry


Both are 1/60 f5 ISO200 and using popup flash
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Old 15-10-2011, 13:17   #6 (permalink)
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Re: Nikon D100 photos soft

Quote:
Originally Posted by Helgrrr View Post
I did read a review that said the jpg sometimes came out soft but in Raw they are crisp, don't know how you shoot but worth looking into.

p.s. there's no such thing as a stupid question IMHO
Cheers
I'm shooting in jpeg just now for laziness - will certainly switch to raw to see if it makes any diff

Quote:
Originally Posted by jake View Post
Any chance of posting an example especially a small crop from a frame.
Just done this
Prob not a great example - could take a bigger frame and crop if that helps
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Old 15-10-2011, 17:38   #7 (permalink)
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Re: Nikon D100 photos soft

You need to use a smaller aperture to get sufficient depth of field to cover your subject and that first image is focussed on the red ring. To get maximum depth of field you should be focussing about a third of the way in which would be around the blue green junction. The second picture is focussed around that point but again f5 is too large an aperture to cover your subject and the red ring is slightly out of focus. Hope3 this helps
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Old 15-10-2011, 18:46   #8 (permalink)
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Re: Nikon D100 photos soft

1/60 is kind of slow too even with a pop up flash you could get some camera shake if this is hand held
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Old 15-10-2011, 19:50   #9 (permalink)
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Re: Nikon D100 photos soft

Thanks for this!
So I will try a smaller aperture and shorter shutter speed then - assume then I will need to bump up my iso - or maybe the flash will be enough. Will give this a shot.
How come there is such a difference in sharpness between the 2 cameras?

Sent from my Desire HD
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Old 15-10-2011, 20:27   #10 (permalink)
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Re: Nikon D100 photos soft

Technology has moved on quite apart from one being 6MP and one being 12MP
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Old 15-10-2011, 21:52   #11 (permalink)
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Re: Nikon D100 photos soft

Quote:
Technology has moved on quite apart from one being 6MP and one being 12MP
Good point lol

Sent from my Desire HD
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Old 15-10-2011, 22:18   #12 (permalink)
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Re: Nikon D100 photos soft

Quote:
Originally Posted by sasamax View Post
How come there is such a difference in sharpness between the 2 cameras?
I think it is more to do with the point of focus/depth of field.
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Old 15-10-2011, 23:10   #13 (permalink)
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Re: Nikon D100 photos soft

Quote:
Quote:
How come there is such a difference in sharpness between the 2 cameras?
I think it is more to do with the point of focus/depth of field.
Sorry to be really thick but how come the depth of field varies so much with the same settings? Possibly I did focus better in the 2nd shot, but I did really struggle to get any of the 1st shot in focus at all. If I try autofocus, it often fails altogether.
Is the d90 simply more fool-proof?

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Old 16-10-2011, 07:57   #14 (permalink)
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Re: Nikon D100 photos soft

For the same focal length lens the depth of field will be the same on both cameras. The lens will only focus on one point but for some distance either side of that point it will be sharp enough to give an acceptable image. What has happened here is the point at which the critical focus was set has changed but the depth of field from that point would have been the same. I assume both lenses were the same focal length.
I don't know your cameras but would assume the autofocus would have improved over the time difference between the two.
In certain situations autofocus will be more difficult, your camera manual should give you more details
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Old 16-10-2011, 11:44   #15 (permalink)
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Re: Nikon D100 photos soft

Quote:
Originally Posted by jake View Post
For the same focal length lens the depth of field will be the same on both cameras. The lens will only focus on one point but for some distance either side of that point it will be sharp enough to give an acceptable image. What has happened here is the point at which the critical focus was set has changed but the depth of field from that point would have been the same. I assume both lenses were the same focal length.
I don't know your cameras but would assume the autofocus would have improved over the time difference between the two.
In certain situations autofocus will be more difficult, your camera manual should give you more details
Thank you for this
The problem is that I'm finding it very hard to focus properly on any point in the frame, at all, with this camera - and not at all with other cameras.
Even the most sharp sections don't look very sharp to me.
I'll try to get some more examples today with smaller aperture and faster shutter speed, and focussing on the same point with both cameras.
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Old 16-10-2011, 11:55   #16 (permalink)
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Re: Nikon D100 photos soft

I know this is pretty basic but is the viewfinder adjusted to your eyesight?
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Old 16-10-2011, 12:02   #17 (permalink)
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Re: Nikon D100 photos soft

The depth of field will vary with the focal length of the lens and the selected aperture. Wide apertures will have a very small depth of field, and short focal length lenses have a wider depth of field than a long focal length lens. You can get depth of field calculators from the internet and there are loads of apps too.

Whatever the depth of field is, it will extend roughly one third in front of your point of focus and two thirds behind it.

Although we do no know the range that you took these two shots, I'm guessing it would not be more than about 10 feet, so I'll do two illustrations. As you will see, the distance to the subject also affects the DoF.

Assuming a range of 10 feet:

So with your two images, the one at 42mm at f4 has a DoF of between 8.5 to 11.5 feet, so 3 feet and this will be 1 foot in front of the focus point and two feet behind.

The other 40mm at f5 has a DoF of between 8.5 to 12.5 feet with about 16 inches in front of the point of focus and 3 feet and eight inches behind - a much bigger DoF.

At 5 feet range the total DoF for both pictures is about 8 inches and just under 1 foot respectively, and this will be 1/3 in front of the focus point and 2/3 behind.

I hope that you will see the importance of selecting your focus point and the aperture you will be using.
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Old 16-10-2011, 12:48   #18 (permalink)
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Re: Nikon D100 photos soft

Quote:
Originally Posted by jake View Post
I know this is pretty basic but is the viewfinder adjusted to your eyesight?
Yes it is (although that's the sort of thing I could have knocked off and forgotten to check so thanks)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dabhand16 View Post
The depth of field will vary with the focal length of the lens and the selected aperture. Wide apertures will have a very small depth of field, and short focal length lenses have a wider depth of field than a long focal length lens. You can get depth of field calculators from the internet and there are loads of apps too.

Whatever the depth of field is, it will extend roughly one third in front of your point of focus and two thirds behind it.

Although we do no know the range that you took these two shots, I'm guessing it would not be more than about 10 feet, so I'll do two illustrations. As you will see, the distance to the subject also affects the DoF.

Assuming a range of 10 feet:

So with your two images, the one at 42mm at f4 has a DoF of between 8.5 to 11.5 feet, so 3 feet and this will be 1 foot in front of the focus point and two feet behind.

The other 40mm at f5 has a DoF of between 8.5 to 12.5 feet with about 16 inches in front of the point of focus and 3 feet and eight inches behind - a much bigger DoF.

At 5 feet range the total DoF for both pictures is about 8 inches and just under 1 foot respectively, and this will be 1/3 in front of the focus point and 2/3 behind.

I hope that you will see the importance of selecting your focus point and the aperture you will be using.
Thank you - this is really well explained and helpful

OK the sun came out so the rainbows are a bit different today but here is another go with both cameras and identical settings. Both are 35mm ISO200 shutter 1/125 f7.1. Presumably the fast shutter speed, small aperture and wide-ish angle should ensure a large depth of field.

They are a bit bright so I should really have changed the settings but I have about 2 mins until baby wakes up so in a hurry to take them

I think you can see from this the huge difference in exposure between the cameras (no idea why this is and I've given up trying to work it out) but also the focus is still much sharper with the D90

ETA the colours are much more true in the 2nd shot

D100


D90
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Old 16-10-2011, 13:49   #19 (permalink)
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Re: Nikon D100 photos soft

Quote:
Originally Posted by sasamax View Post
I think you can see from this the huge difference in exposure between the cameras (no idea why this is and I've given up trying to work it out) but also the focus is still much sharper with the D90

ETA the colours are much more true in the 2nd shot
The EXIF data shows that you are not using the same metering or exposure modes on both cameras. It is also showing that the D90 has minus .33 EV exposure compensation (as has the other D90 shot). It is showing that with the D100 a flash was fired too If the EXIF from the D100 is not correct, maybe there is a problem with the camera.

The colour differences could be as a result of the different camera settings that you are using for the two cameras and if you are shooting in jpg and the camera jpg settings are not identical.

At 5 feet range the DoF is 1.8 feet at f7.1 at 35mm. That is around double that of the first two shots.

On my old laptop screen that is far from good I don't see that the D100 is vastly inferior to the D90 - but hopefully someone who does not desperately need new glasses will add some input soon
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Old 16-10-2011, 14:02   #20 (permalink)
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Re: Nikon D100 photos soft

Thank you.
I need to read this again to understand. I haven't dialed in any exp compensation at all. A flash was fired with both shots.
Do you think the depth of field is bad in both shots?
I don't usually have an issue with the d90 at all but I was in a terrible rush taking the pics so it was probably me rather than the camera.

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Old 16-10-2011, 14:19   #21 (permalink)
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Re: Nikon D100 photos soft

I have shown the differences in the settings in bold - except the 2mm difference in focal length in #1.

EXIF from the D100 pic #1

Camera Maker: NIKON CORPORATION
Camera Model: NIKON D100
Image Date: 2011-10-15 10:53:37 (no TZ)
Focal Length: 42mm (35mm equivalent: 63mm)
Aperture: f/4.0
Exposure Time: 0.017 s (1/60)
Exposure Bias: none
Metering Mode: Center Weight

Exposure: Manual
Exposure Mode: Manual
White Balance: Auto
Flash Fired: Yes (Auto, red eye reduction mode, return light detected)
Color Space: sRGB
GPS Coordinate: undefined, undefined
Software: Ver.1.01


EXIF from the D90 pic #1

Camera Maker: NIKON CORPORATION
Camera Model: NIKON D90
Image Date: 2011-10-15 13:11:02 (no TZ)
Focal Length: 40mm (35mm equivalent: 60mm)
Aperture: f/5.0
Exposure Time: 0.017 s (1/60)
ISO equiv: 200
Exposure Bias: -0.33 EV
Metering Mode: Spot
Exposure: Manual
Exposure Mode: Manual
White Balance: Auto
Flash Fired: Yes (Auto, return light detected)
Orientation: Normal
Color Space: sRGB
GPS Coordinate: undefined, undefined
Software: Ver.1.00

Differences in exposure bias and mode, and flash mode.

Pic #2

D100

Camera Maker: NIKON CORPORATION
Camera Model: NIKON D100
Image Date: 2011-10-16 10:27:53 (no TZ)
Focal Length: 38mm (35mm equivalent: 57mm)
Aperture: f/7.1
Exposure Time: 0.0080 s (1/125)
Exposure Bias: none
Metering Mode: Center Weight

Exposure: Manual
Exposure Mode: Manual
White Balance: Auto
Flash Fired: Yes (Auto, red eye reduction mode, return light detected)
Color Space: sRGB
GPS Coordinate: undefined, undefined
Software: Ver.1.01


D90

Camera Maker: NIKON CORPORATION
Camera Model: NIKON D90
Image Date: 2011-10-16 12:30:29 (no TZ)
Focal Length: 34mm (35mm equivalent: 51mm)
Aperture: f/7.1
Exposure Time: 0.0080 s (1/125)
ISO equiv: 200
Exposure Bias: -0.33 EV
Metering Mode: Spot

Exposure: Manual
Exposure Mode: Manual
White Balance: Auto
Flash Fired: Yes (Auto, return light detected)
Orientation: Normal
Color Space: sRGB
GPS Coordinate: undefined, undefined
Software: Ver.1.00

I now see that in all cases the EXIF is showing a flash fired on both cameras, but in apparently different modes. What the EXIF does not show is the jpg settings of saturation, contrast and sharpening etc. I'm not sure if the D100 has the same metering system as the D90. In manual mode if the flash settings were the same it ought to make no difference (other than the exposure compensation difference) nor should the different metering settings
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Old 16-10-2011, 16:31   #22 (permalink)
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Re: Nikon D100 photos soft

I've just re-read this thread and noticed that in the second shots you say that you have used the pop-up flash. The camera and exposure modes are set on manual, but the flash mode is auto in both - albeit in different flash modes. This might well cause the differences in the exposures (as well as the exposure compensation) as you have no way of controlling the flash output and on auto, even shooting the same subjects from the same angle, there is no guarantee that the flash output is the same. If the auto flash is getting information from the camera exposure meter, the exposure modes are different too.
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Old 16-10-2011, 22:03   #23 (permalink)
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Re: Nikon D100 photos soft

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dabhand16 View Post
I have shown the differences in the settings in bold - except the 2mm difference in focal length in #1.

EXIF from the D100 pic #1

Camera Maker: NIKON CORPORATION
Camera Model: NIKON D100
Image Date: 2011-10-15 10:53:37 (no TZ)
Focal Length: 42mm (35mm equivalent: 63mm)
Aperture: f/4.0
Exposure Time: 0.017 s (1/60)
Exposure Bias: none
Metering Mode: Center Weight

Exposure: Manual
Exposure Mode: Manual
White Balance: Auto
Flash Fired: Yes (Auto, red eye reduction mode, return light detected)
Color Space: sRGB
GPS Coordinate: undefined, undefined
Software: Ver.1.01


EXIF from the D90 pic #1

Camera Maker: NIKON CORPORATION
Camera Model: NIKON D90
Image Date: 2011-10-15 13:11:02 (no TZ)
Focal Length: 40mm (35mm equivalent: 60mm)
Aperture: f/5.0
Exposure Time: 0.017 s (1/60)
ISO equiv: 200
Exposure Bias: -0.33 EV
Metering Mode: Spot
Exposure: Manual
Exposure Mode: Manual
White Balance: Auto
Flash Fired: Yes (Auto, return light detected)
Orientation: Normal
Color Space: sRGB
GPS Coordinate: undefined, undefined
Software: Ver.1.00

Differences in exposure bias and mode, and flash mode.

Pic #2

D100

Camera Maker: NIKON CORPORATION
Camera Model: NIKON D100
Image Date: 2011-10-16 10:27:53 (no TZ)
Focal Length: 38mm (35mm equivalent: 57mm)
Aperture: f/7.1
Exposure Time: 0.0080 s (1/125)
Exposure Bias: none
Metering Mode: Center Weight

Exposure: Manual
Exposure Mode: Manual
White Balance: Auto
Flash Fired: Yes (Auto, red eye reduction mode, return light detected)
Color Space: sRGB
GPS Coordinate: undefined, undefined
Software: Ver.1.01


D90

Camera Maker: NIKON CORPORATION
Camera Model: NIKON D90
Image Date: 2011-10-16 12:30:29 (no TZ)
Focal Length: 34mm (35mm equivalent: 51mm)
Aperture: f/7.1
Exposure Time: 0.0080 s (1/125)
ISO equiv: 200
Exposure Bias: -0.33 EV
Metering Mode: Spot

Exposure: Manual
Exposure Mode: Manual
White Balance: Auto
Flash Fired: Yes (Auto, return light detected)
Orientation: Normal
Color Space: sRGB
GPS Coordinate: undefined, undefined
Software: Ver.1.00

I now see that in all cases the EXIF is showing a flash fired on both cameras, but in apparently different modes. What the EXIF does not show is the jpg settings of saturation, contrast and sharpening etc. I'm not sure if the D100 has the same metering system as the D90. In manual mode if the flash settings were the same it ought to make no difference (other than the exposure compensation difference) nor should the different metering settings
Wow - where do you find all this info?
That's really interesting thanks.
So I need to find out what the jpeg settings are
I def have the flash set to TTL on the d90 but haven't a clue where to find the flash settings on the d100 so off to read the manual.
I didn't notice I had the metering set to spot on one and counterbalance on the other, so I will make sure they are the same next time - obv if both flashes are on TTL this could be making a difference

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dabhand16 View Post
I've just re-read this thread and noticed that in the second shots you say that you have used the pop-up flash. The camera and exposure modes are set on manual, but the flash mode is auto in both - albeit in different flash modes. This might well cause the differences in the exposures (as well as the exposure compensation) as you have no way of controlling the flash output and on auto, even shooting the same subjects from the same angle, there is no guarantee that the flash output is the same. If the auto flash is getting information from the camera exposure meter, the exposure modes are different too.
Right - so I need to manually set the flash as well to achieve true like for like shots.
i will check the manuals for 'exposure modes' as well (whatever they may be )

Thanks a million - really appreciate this.
Perhaps all that is wrong with the d100 is a funny setting somewhere and if I can find it, it might sort out the strange exposure issues and the softness.
It doesn't help that the review screen is tiny and impossible to make anything out on - have to upload pics to computer to see them.
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Old 16-10-2011, 22:12   #24 (permalink)
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Re: Nikon D100 photos soft

Quote:
Originally Posted by sasamax View Post
Wow - where do you find all this info?
That's really interesting thanks.
I use Firefox and have an EXIF reader as an add-on. If the info is embedded in the image I can read it with a right click. If you use Photoshop and 'save for web' it strips out the EXIF data.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sasamax View Post
Right - so I need to manually set the flash as well to achieve true like for like shots. i will check the manuals for 'exposure modes' as well (whatever they may be )
Exposure mode = Spot, centre weighted, matrix.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sasamax View Post
It doesn't help that the review screen is tiny and impossible to make anything out on - have to upload pics to computer to see them.
You do know that you can enlarge the image on the camera, don't you? At least you can on a D70s which is similar to the D100.
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Old 16-10-2011, 22:19   #25 (permalink)
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Re: Nikon D100 photos soft

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dabhand16 View Post
I use Firefox and have an EXIF reader as an add-on. If the info is embedded in the image I can read it with a right click. If you use Photoshop and 'save for web' it strips out the EXIF data.



Exposure mode = Spot, centre weighted, matrix.



You do know that you can enlarge the image on the camera, don't you? At least you can on a D70s which is similar to the D100.
Ahhhh - need to look for that add-on - thanks
Ah right - got you on the exposure mode.
No didn't know that - will have a look in the manual.

I've now set the flash to manual on both - assume the exposure mode makes no difference now as the camera isn't actually deciding anything any more
Will try for some more comparisons tomorrow - cheers
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Old 17-10-2011, 07:55   #26 (permalink)
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Re: Nikon D100 photos soft

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Originally Posted by sasamax View Post
Ahhhh - need to look for that add-on - thanks
I use FxIF 0.4.4.

There are others available, but this one has a good display compared to others that I've used.
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Old 03-12-2011, 08:52   #27 (permalink)
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Re: Nikon D100 photos soft

Hi..I Have a Nikon 28 - 80mm lens with a cheap external flash. I need to take some photos at the beach for some seniors in 2 days but when i take photos its too bright. Please Help!

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Old 03-12-2011, 09:37   #28 (permalink)
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Re: Nikon D100 photos soft

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Originally Posted by Dabhand16 View Post
I think it is more to do with the point of focus/depth of field.
agree with this, if you h\ave to shoot it at such a slow shutter pop it on the tripod, for a fair comparison it should be the same image at the same angle , focused on the same spot on the image.
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Old 03-12-2011, 09:39   #29 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by aaliyahaash View Post
Hi..I Have a Nikon 28 - 80mm lens with a cheap external flash. I need to take some photos at the beach for some seniors in 2 days but when i take photos its too bright. Please Help!
and im hoping this is a joke, cos as if you are putting yourself out there as a wedding photographer you should already know the answer
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Old 03-12-2011, 19:52   #30 (permalink)
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Re: Nikon D100 photos soft

Hi guys i have the SB 800 Flash, previous to buying the unit, i always work with Natural light, but when i read a little on the SB 800, i thought this would be good for a job i was booked to go on, it was a Wedding and the interior was really demanding, it had beautiful light areas, and some of the darkest i have ever came across in a Manor House, the kitchen was a scene from Upstairs Downstairs, and because the SB 800 was easy to use off Camera, there were a few shots with the bride i wanted printing quite large, so i visited the venue, had a tasty daytime snack, chatted with the owner, luckily he had time for me that day, he has is own Helicopter, and landing area, speed boat, etc etc, when he knew who i was he gave me the run of the place, this is when you can plan things, the things that can not go wrong on the day, take a lady friend with you, or even hire a model, or look for a model who wants cheaper portfolio, you can play with your hearts content, the main thing is you can plan the day, and i can really say i don't use flash much, but this i had to use flash, outdoors was not a problem using fill in, to be truthful everything i put the 800 up against it handled to my amazement, on one shot i had it under some stairs, and there was a large mirror, the bride was stood half way down the stairs, worked perfect, and i'm like i say not a flash person, so a week later i knew the light was going to be where it was at certain times of the day, and one shot at midnight on a pathway that was small lights along a path, i put the SB 800 in a Tree, and bingo it worked diffused through a table Napkin.

If you ever venture to North Wales, and you want an hotel close to the main A55 that runs through Wales
i think there rates are Aprox 80.00 DBL Room.
www.faenolfawrhotel.co.uk
Visiting a venue at your leisure is a great thing to do, on the day you will not have chance to check where you can park, what the light is doing, if you find yourself with a dark area light area, you need test shots, so you can work out your shot.

going back to the shots above, the first thing that struck me was, your using flash against a glass background, which can also give you problems if your using AF.

The flash mentioned SB800 Is for sale and the Nikon D50 + Lenses .
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