not happy with sharpness - lens or camera?

Started Mar 21, 2007 | Discussions thread
Shop cameras & lenses ▾
ForumParentFirstPreviousNextNext unread
Flat view
Veteran MemberPosts: 3,756
not happy with sharpness - lens or camera?
Mar 21, 2007

I've got a D200. My most used lenses are (in this order): 17-55, 85/1.4 and 70-200. I'm not blown away by sharpness and don't think it's a question of user error.

Below are test shots I took on a tripod using each of those lenses, all shot without flash at f5.6, mirror up and shutter release cord. Full size versions are at .

I've always thought the 85/1.4 was the sharpest of the bunch, certainly sharper than the 17-55, and for a long time now I've been wondering if perhaps I have one of the not so great copies of the 17-55. However, all three shots are close to equal sharpness (I shot them RAW with no in-camera sharpening, and applied fairly conservative USM - amount 150, radius 1.6). And looking at them, I just don't feel that any of them are that sharp.

Do you agree the pictures aren't sharp, and if so, do you think it's the camera, lenses or me? I think that because the 3 shots with different lenses are fairly close in sharpness that the problem (if there is one) is either me or the camera. Back in September I did a front/back focusing test ( ) and the camera seemed to be okay.

I'd appreciate your comments, and if you think I'm just being too picky or if you think this is a problem of user error, by all means let me know.

Here are the shots (smugmug large size - but you can view full size ones at( ).




-- hide signature --
ForumParentFirstPreviousNextNext unread
Flat view
Post (hide subjects)Posted by
ForumParentFirstPreviousNextNext unread
Keyboard shortcuts:
FForum PPrevious NNext WNext unread UUpvote SSubscribe RReply QQuote BBookmark post MMy threads
Color scheme? Blue / Yellow