why is this not sharp ? please help me

Started Jul 4, 2013 | Questions
seilerbird666 Senior Member • Posts: 1,101
Shutter speed is too slow

1/250th is a very slow shutter speed. Forget all the comments about 1.4, shallow DOF and bad focusing, that is not the right shutter speed. It is very easy to shake a camera at that speed, and it is very easy for the subject to move. I have found that if sharpness is important then I need to be at 1/1000th or faster. Do a few test photos and you will see what I mean.

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cliik Regular Member • Posts: 128
Re: one other thing

This may not apply in your case but if you by chance have a UV or some such filter on the front of the lens for protection - take it off

This afternoon I dragged out an old Sigma 24mm f2.8 lens I used in the Minolta film days and compared the sharpness to that from my 24-70 f2.8. I was horrified. The old prime was tack sharp while the new lens was soft. I'd always considered the 24-70 to be a good performer. I then realised that recently I added a (very expensive) Hoya Pro1 UV filter. I took it off and the sharpness returned.

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Pentax K-7 Sony Alpha a99 Tamron AF 28-75mm F/2.8 XR Di LD Aspherical (IF) Tamron SP AF 90mm F/2.8 Di Macro Sigma 70-200mm F2.8 EX DG OS HSM +4 more
jackgreen Contributing Member • Posts: 805
Re: Shutter speed is too slow

Philippe, everything is relative. For some lenses 1/250 is fast and with other lenses its slow speed. For 50mm its very adequate speed. Keep in mind that Sony has anti-shake also built in. This blur is not motion blur and shutter speed wasn't the issue.

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Ralf B
Ralf B Veteran Member • Posts: 8,206
Shutter speed is not too slow

seilerbird666 wrote:
1/250th is a very slow shutter speed.

... for a 400mm lens eventually, but not in the case here:

At 50mm Fl, the good ol' rule of thumb would have been to use 1/125. Add SS, lack of mirror slap, lack of shutter slap, and the softness can clearly be traced back to many OOF parts in the shot combined with Jpeg NR at a so far unknown level (Lo or Hi?).


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Sony Alpha DSLR-A900 Sony Alpha DSLR-A700 Sony SLT-A55 Sony Alpha a99 Sony 16-35mm F2.8 ZA SSM Carl Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T* +14 more
RichV Veteran Member • Posts: 6,176
Re: why is this not sharp ? please help me

Philippe Laurens wrote:


I bought an a99, I used the sigma 50 1.4 that has good reviews for sharpness, I shot in 1600 ISO, which is OK for the a99, I shot in JPEG and not in RAW, ok, I know, but still... why is this photo not that sharp ?


Below is a quick edit of your file - just to see what's in there. I'm the "RAW" type, so whatever was lost in creating the JPEG in-camera is irretrievable. Still, the camera often doesn't do the job it could (it makes sense; you've got a lot more computing power in your home computer). This is just an idea of one of the possible flavors.

As a side note, in earlier days of KM shooting (they had a much nicer JPEG engine than what Sony's using, IMO) the JPEG shooters would play with backing off on the in-camera sharpening and/or contrast; you'll have more potential for detail in PP, that way.

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Sony RX100 Sony RX10 IV Sony SLT-A77 Sony Alpha a99 Sony 70-200mm F2.8 G +7 more
navajo58 Junior Member • Posts: 35
Re: why is this not sharp ? please help me

Hello Philippe,

The sony alpha A77 and A99 are highly advanced and innovative picture taking machines, and according to GARY FONG this camera can do things that both the Canon and Nikon cameras cannot do at this moment in time. Concerning your photograph and question, here is a link where GARY FONG deals precisely with what you are asking. -------- how to setup the camera, and the technique used to get the shot (shots ). On this video beginning from 11:40 until 16:50.


On this second video GARY FONG deals only with your specific question.


Note : Children can be very active and can move suddenly, even if the movement might be very small. To get sharp photos of children with a lens set to F1.4 ( very narrow DOF ) the EYES MUST BE NAILED 100%. Therefore I would think that this is ONE of the reasons that he uses multi-shot setup rather than depending on one single shot.


j0hna7oo Regular Member • Posts: 158
Re: why is this not sharp ? please help me

you should say "I shot in 1600 ISO, which is NOT OK for the a99".

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Sony Alpha a99 Sony Alpha a7 II Sony 50mm F1.4 Sony 135mm F2.8 (T4.5) STF Sony 85mm F2.8 SAM +5 more
OP Philippe Laurens New Member • Posts: 11
Re: why is this not sharp ? please help me

you should say "I shot in 1600 ISO, which is NOT OK for the a99".

Aren't u a bit hard here for the a99 ? I agreee that there is more noise on the shot that I'd like, but a99 is reported as being rather ok up to 3200.
I used Extra Fine Jpeg with low NR treatment for this shot. But yeah, result isn't amazing.

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