Focus issues...me, equipment, or paranoia?

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spiritcat Forum Member • Posts: 50
Focus issues...me, equipment, or paranoia?

So I seem to be having focus issues with a lot of my shots, and I have been trying to diagnose exactly what the problem is...especially whether it is me or equipment, or whether I am just imagining things. I would appreciate comments from those here more experienced, especially wildlife photogs. So the first of the puffin is typical of the kind of thing I've been getting, and it happens pretty often. Using Nikon D850 and Sigma 150-600, which surely should be a sharp combination when properly deployed. I have included a 1:1 close up of the puffin's head. Not exactly sharp! Very disapppointing. But what went wrong? This was 600mm at f 6.3, 1 /1250, so shutter speed should not have been an issue. I have also included two photos which seem sharp-ish to me, but perhaps not the pin sharp I had been hoping for. Do you concur? On the other hand, if you consider these ones sharp, does that mean that the problem is me, rather than the camera  / lens / callibration, etc?  Even with the puffin it is hard to imagine a better scenario. He was pretty much still. Plenty of light. I had plenty of time. So far as I recall the center focus point was right on his head. What went wrong? To what degree are these other pictures out of focus or unsharp in your eyes? In the Arctic Tern one, I have definitely pulled the sliders some in Lightroom.

In a recent outing, literally dozens and dozens of pictures were akin to the puffin one. Whatever it is, I have to get to the bottom of it. It's driving me nuts.

Nikon D850
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