Foggy/pixelated images Nikon D70

Started 2 months ago | Questions
BrokenCrayons New Member • Posts: 3
Foggy/pixelated images Nikon D70

I am trying to get a reasonable macro image of an object to send for evaluation to someone over seas. What I'm running into is when the picture is enlarged there is a fog/pixelation to it.

I have tried different ISO and different shutter speeds. I have taken photos both indoors and out doors of the subject but there doesn't seem to be a change in image quality. I use a tripod and timer.

Here is an example of a section of the photo enlarged to close to the needed size.

I am shooting in raw, large format, and the ISO for this one was set at 200. I have done both manual and preset auto selections with the same results.

Am I just at the limitations of my camera? If so, then how can a 2mp camera take a clearer picture than what I have taken?

Or is there something I'm missing?

I am just a casual user, so you may have to explain things to me in easy terminology.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

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blueknigh7 Regular Member • Posts: 162
Re: Foggy/pixelated images Nikon D70
1

What lens are you using? What distance to your subject are you shooting?

Are the symptoms just when doing macro? What about a regular landscape or indoor photo?

My first thought is that you may be trying to take macro pictures from a lens that isn't a macro lens. All lenses have a minimum focusing distance. The lens will not focus when targeting anything shorter than this distance (focal plane to subject). Bringing the camera closer to the subject will not improve anything, and just make everything out of focus and "foggy".

You may also be experiencing shallow depth of field.   The example you gave is back focusing - or it's focusing on things that are behind the closest part of the object.   When doing macro, you have a shallow depth of field, or a small area where items are in focus, and other things are out of focus.  Anything not in focus could also be described as foggy or not sharp.

Have you tried manually focuses and seeing if other objects become sharp?

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OP BrokenCrayons New Member • Posts: 3
Re: Foggy/pixelated images Nikon D70

I'm using a 28-80 mm lens with a macro setting. The picture is clear as a bell at a normal size, it's only when you enlarge it. I am photographing the subject about 6-8 inches away. Manual focusing does not change anything.

I have not needed to take long distance pictures and blow them up. This is to get details for examination on a coral specimen.

The lens isn't having any issue with focusing, that I can tell. And yes, I am shooting at a narrow depth of field because I am only wanting to capture small sections of the subject at a time. Those small sections are what will be examined.

I have my auto focus set to center.

The subject I'm shooting is about 2 inches tall. The polyps in the example photos are about a single mm in size.

The picture I posted is enlarged from a shot 400% +.

David Lal Forum Pro • Posts: 11,216
Not the way to do it!
2

BrokenCrayons wrote:

I'm using a 28-80 mm lens with a macro setting. The picture is clear as a bell at a normal size, it's only when you enlarge it. I am photographing the subject about 6-8 inches away. Manual focusing does not change anything.

I have not needed to take long distance pictures and blow them up. This is to get details for examination on a coral specimen.

The lens isn't having any issue with focusing, that I can tell. And yes, I am shooting at a narrow depth of field because I am only wanting to capture small sections of the subject at a time. Those small sections are what will be examined.

I have my auto focus set to center.

The subject I'm shooting is about 2 inches tall. The polyps in the example photos are about a single mm in size.

The picture I posted is enlarged from a shot 400% +.

This is not the way to do it!

Ideally you should be using a proper macro lens that will give you at least a 1:1 reproduction ratio (i.e. lifesize magnification) and possibly 2:1 (two times lifesize 'magnification'). The 28-80mm is not a brilliant lens - at least, mine wasn't.

You should not be trying to 'enlarge' the image taken: aim for achieving the right size image at the point of taking the photograph in the first place and for proper macro photography never use autofocus. One does not 'select' depth of field. DOF is an attribute or consequence of chosen aperture and reproduction ratio. Use aperture priority and see what the image looks like at F8 to F11. You may need to decrease this to F22 although the increased depth of field comes at the cost of image degradation due to diffraction.

Macro photography at this kind of magnification makes use of a tripod mandatory and look to your lighting as well: flash is usually necessary and will help make your final image look nice and contrasty (less fog, sharper outlines).

I haven't got any coral polyp macros but here is my image of the head of a (live) common housefly, Musca domestica at a reproduction ratio of about 3.5x lifesize:

D70; Sigma 105mm + reverse coupled Tokina 24mm + some flashguns

OP BrokenCrayons New Member • Posts: 3
Re: Not the way to do it!

This is not the way to do it!

Ideally you should be using a proper macro lens that will give you at least a 1:1 reproduction ratio (i.e. lifesize magnification) and possibly 2:1 (two times lifesize 'magnification'). The 28-80mm is not a brilliant lens - at least, mine wasn't.

Well, it's what I have. I am not a hobbyist and I am not a professional. I am trying to get a clear photo.

You should not be trying to 'enlarge' the image taken: aim for achieving the right size image at the point of taking the photograph in the first place and for proper macro photography never use autofocus.

The image has to be enlarged. It will not be viewed at normal size. Unless I had some type of microscope camera (low level) I wouldn't be able to get the view I'm wanting.

Second. I *can't* get that close. This is a living animal that exists in sea water. I am limited by a piece of glass between me and it. Granted the animal is as close as possible without impeding it, it's still in the water. Above shots aren't any better because of distortion and I still can't submerge the lens.

One does not 'select' depth of field. DOF is an attribute or consequence of chosen aperture and reproduction ratio. Use aperture priority and see what the image looks like at F8 to F11. You may need to decrease this to F22 although the increased depth of field comes at the cost of image degradation due to diffraction.

As I said before, I have tried doing the image at many, many different F settings as well as ISO and using the fastest shutter that I can when the image is visible and not dark.

Macro photography at this kind of magnification makes use of a tripod mandatory and look to your lighting as well: flash is usually necessary and will help make your final image look nice and contrasty (less fog, sharper outlines).

As I also said. Yes, I used a tripod. Yes I used a timer.

I haven't got any coral polyp macros but here is my image of the head of a (live) common housefly, Musca domestica at a reproduction ratio of about 3.5x lifesize:

And that photo would still have to be blown up for what I am needing. I would need to be able to zoom in on something like the eye facets. I can photograph the coral as a whole, or a section as a whole, reasonably clear. But what I am photographing can't enlarge to 400x without degrading at a level that seems a bit extreme for a 6mp lens, especially when a cheap 2 mp, that doesn't have a macro lens, appears to take better photos. And before you tell me to use that one, it's in Australia and I'm in the states.

I'm hoping a firm ware update will help with this, but finding a way to do that is proving difficult since Mac no longer supports whatever archive they are using and I am receiving an error when I unzip the file.

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