Blurry photo again

Discussion in 'Beginner Questions' started by jiwooseok, Sep 21, 2020.

  1. I'm having a hard time getting my model's eyes focused like dead-on..
    NIKON D850 Focal Length: 1050/10 Shutter Speed Value: 10287712/1000000 Exposure Time: 1/1250 Aperture Value: 9.9 F-Number: 9.9 ISO Speed Ratings: 5000 Flash: 0 Metering Mode: 5 Exposure Mode: 1 White Balance: 0 Focal Length In 35mm
    I used Sigma 105mm 1.4f @ at 1.4f in a bedroom with just a regular light for a test on a tripod.

    I can see the clarity and details in the viewfinder but when I take the shot, 10 out of 10 come out blurry.
    Is it because of the lack of lights? What am I doing wrong?
  2. Focus looks to be good, but shooting at ISO 5000 means that noise is obscuring the fine detail.

    Drop your ISO to 800 and have another go, that should still give you a shutter speed of 1/125.

    Otherwise, you're going to need more light.

    Shutter speed does not need to be so high, 1/250 should be fine, any higher and you're wasting light.
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  3. William Michael

    William Michael Moderator Staff Member

    The image is not blurry. The extreme right of the RH Eyelashes are in Sharp Focus.

    The image exhibits a lot of noise, that's mainly because of the high ISO used.

    The image has a very shallow Depth of Field: if it is a full frame crop, then the camera was about 3ft/1mtr from the Subject, the DoF around the Plane of Sharp Focus would be about 2/10th inch or 4mm when using F/1.4.

    If you had (enough) more light and/or slowed the Shutter Speed, you could close the Aperture a bit and also drop the ISO, resulting in a larger DoF and less noise.

    In any case most if not all lenses will not render their best image quality when used wide open.

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  4. F/1.4 is extremely difficult to get focused exactly. It doesn't take much movement of the subject to throw them completely out of focus.

    The only way to get exact focus at f/1.4 is to use magnified Live View. Neither AF nor just looking through the viewfinder are accurate enough IME.

    Of course using Live View is slow, and there's always the chance that the subject will move between focussing and pressing the shutter. Welcome to the challenges of using a wide aperture lens!

    Personally I'd get more light on the subject and close the aperture to a more practical value. Otherwise you won't be able to get the model's nose and lips in focus at the same time as both eyes.
    Not only that, but most mains-powered artificial light flickers at 100 or 120Hz. This means that your exposure may well vary from frame to frame, or from top to bottom of the frame with a shutter speed higher than 1/100th of a second.

    1/60th is plenty short enough for a static subject and with the camera on a tripod.
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2020
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  5. PN is at its best when it's giving out helpful information like this.
  6. Thank you all for the information. Very helpful!
  7. "I used Sigma 105mm 1.4f @ at 1.4f in a bedroom with just a regular light for a test on a tripod."

    Which is it? Were you shooting at f9.9 or f1.4.

    I'm going to assume it was f1.4. As noted above, the primary problem with the image is noise which you can alleviate. The tripod isn't helping you because the head that you are shooting can also move in and out changing where the plane of focus falls on the face. You're using a long, fast, lens and focusing very close as well. All of that adds up to a very difficult capture.
  8. It was 1.4. I'm not sure how 9.9 was registered.
  9. Tony Parsons

    Tony Parsons Norfolk and Good

    I can find no reference to a Sigma 105mm macro lens with a max aperture of f1.4 - they all seem to be f2.8. Have I missed something here ?
  10. There's a Sigma 105mm f/1.4 'Art' lens, but it's not billed as macro.
  11. Tony Parsons

    Tony Parsons Norfolk and Good

    Thanks, did not know that. I wasn't aware of the existence of the lens, since it is so far out of my budget !
  12. I agree, not blurry, just off focus. The LHS of the eyebrow is razor sharp.
  13. William Michael

    William Michael Moderator Staff Member

    For those interested: [LINK]
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  14. Yep. The OP has dropped about 4.5K in £££s (at least) on gear. Not bad going for a raw beginner.
    Tony Parsons likes this.
  15. Hey, at least they'll have 'room to grow'...

    I must admit, seeing all these multi-thousand $£€ setups makes me wonder how I ever managed to get results with a charity shop Zenit B and 'sunny 16'
  16. I saved up my pocket money for weeks to get a Ferrania 12 on 120 single shutter speed and two aperture box of sh*t. The Praktica VF with Meritar lens I got after I started working was barely an improvement. Then I bought a used Steinheil Quinon f/1.9 lens for it and a veil was lifted. All water under many bridges now.

    Whoa! I see divots are paying over 300 quid for a Quinon lens now.
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2020
  17. Tony Parsons

    Tony Parsons Norfolk and Good

    Practika (Nova 1) with Meritar 50mm f2.9 (why 9 ?). That take me back - to 1969 ! All negs lost in fire - maybe the fire did some good after all !!
  18. A Cosmic 35 - with a USSR slide film. Heaven, 36 pictures! Later, a Zorki 4k, for £19,99.

  19. (Positively Leicaesque Yashica FX-D)
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  20. I feel bad when I see a newbie spending that kind of $$. He's listed almost $5,000 worth of gear. They often end up very disappointed that this expensive stuff doesn't produce good images when they start to use it. What I tell people is that expensive gear in the hands of a novice produces photos that look exactly like they were taken by a novice.

    But on the positive side, the 850 is a fabulous camera, so he won't have to worry about outgrowing it.

    Recently, a friend looked at a bunch of photos I have on exhibit. Most were taken with a Canon 5D Mark III. His favorite? A 13 x 19 print of an image taken with a Lumix LX-100, which you can buy new for about $600.
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