D3100 blurry pics???

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by john_e|2, Sep 20, 2011.

  1. I just purchased a D3100 and noticed the pics look blurry from what appears to be camera shake. I've included a sample pic. I shot in raw, 125speed,f8 200ISO using center focus, I've tried shooting in vivid, neutral and portrait, the lens is automatic and VR was set to "on". I shot indoors with one main light. I've tried sharping under camera settings but pics are still blurry. I first thought that perhaps the lens that comes with the 3100 kit the lens is 18-55mg dx . anyone have any suggestions.
  2. here's the pic
  3. third try.
  4. looks like camera shake ... VR will only do so much to reduce camera shake. Spend some time practicing holding the camera steady, place your left hand under the lens to hold it steady.
  5. Which Lens are you using? The 18-55mm does not have VR so it can't be that lens.
    If you're using the 18-105mm on the long end @ 1/125 sec than it would no doubt be camera shake. VR is good, but if you're not using proper technique it's basically useless.
    Do as Lorne suggests and also try the following:
    Increase ISO to 800
    This will allow a much faster shutter speed...1/500 sec should be good for hand holding.
    Focus point doesn't really matter, but center is the best way to ensure accurate focus.
    Hope this helps,

  6. Rich, that 18-55 is available (and common) with VR.
    Throw the camera on a tripod to eliminate camera shake blur and go from there. . .
  7. Sorry but being practical, carrying a tripod is a not a solution for most people. It's more about setting up the camera correctly for the conditions and developing good shooting habits.
    To solve blurring pictures
    - Look at your speed. If the subject is not moving, shoot at least 1/60 (the higher, the less likelihood of blurred pictures). If the subject is moving (such as taking pictures of a volleyball game), set the speed to 1/500. Of course if you push the speed up, as others said you will need to raise your ISO to compensate.
    - Develop good shooting habits to remove blur from moving the camera. Keep the camera as still as possible, if you don't use a tripod, if possible, lean against a wall, do whatever you can to make sure that you are not introducing blur. Follow the advice from Lorne.
    - Make sure that you are focusing correctly. Use the AF settings on the camera. When taking sports pictures, I prefer single point focus as it allows me to focus on exactly what I want. For example, with the picture of the volleyball, I would focus on the letters on the ball.
    - Like you are doing, leave VR turned on (however don't use VR for anything above 1/500)
  8. to clarify. I was using a Paul buff strobe and I was shooting at 1/125 I was using single point focus and try to focus on the eye or teeth. I've been doing this a long time with my d70 same set up etc. I've been shooting at 1/60 with d70 and same paul buff strobe never had this problem while using flash as main source of light. the subjects were posed in front of a green screen standing still.
  9. That sure looks like camera shake to me.
    It appears to be more up and down, than side to side. Probably introduced from shutter release technique.
  10. won't the flash freeze any shaking? I've been doing this for 15 years and never had this problem using strobes. Here's another sample of a pic I took with the same camera same set up except I had setup a back light. the image is much sharper. same camera same settings same flash same technique etc. I've shot under various conditioins where I'm falling off balance or had to track one of the special needs kids and still never had this problem with camera shake while using strobes. I"ve never had to hold the camera perfectly still when using strobes. and I've never used a tripod. I shoot a lot of kids that move around a lot and have until recently been shooting at 1/60s. could the vr be causing the problem???
  11. A suggestion: put the camera focus point to single area. Focus on your subject, then 'on-the-lens' turn off auto-focus...and proceed to shoot your image. [The D3100 has no AF/MF switch on the body, so you may want to use the switch on the lens.]
  12. John,
    You're at f/8 at 1/125, you're not going to freeze time with that. There is tons of photographic time after the strobe goes off initially to pick up camera shake.
    For instance, point the strobe in your face, and watch it pop. There is still a lot of light given off after the initial pop. You're capturing that. It's t-50 this that or the other, I dunno what they call it(don't care either), but it's there. And you are picking it up with what appears to be you jambing down the shutter button. My guess.
    Try a test shoot again. Turn up the strobe power. Go to 1/250. And stop down to f/16. And see if it's still there.
  13. The flash won't necessarily freeze shaking if there is a lot of ambient light. Was there?
    I would increase your shutter speed (to the camera's maximum flash sync speed) and try again to see if that helps.
  14. could the vr be causing the problem???​
    Could be.
    I did a senior shoot back in April, and I swear I could feel and see the VR trying to compensate for some of my shots, and those shots were the most blurry(not out of focus).
    I am not sold on the VR, actually(on my lens I use with it). Do a shoot without it, and see if there is a difference for you.
  15. Richard: I think you might be correct on that. I've been shooting for 15 years with an old d70 at 1/60s f8 using my Paul buff and hand holding the camera. these shots were in a Gym the only light source was from my strobe. the only thing that seems to be different is I'm now using a lens that came from Nikon with the VR set to on. I've shot at speeds less than 1/60th in low light conditions and was able to freeze the action with a strobe. I'll turn off the VR and try.

    Elliot: I was shooting in a poorly lit gym. Same conditions I've been shooting in for 15 years with same equipment. except the new camera and lens with VR.
  16. To debug the situation
    Put your camera on a tripod and set the aperture to f2.8. And set focus to spot focus. Make sure you have enough light (no strobe) so you can set the camera to the lowest ISO possible. Make sure you have a subject with lots of detail and remember where you focused.
    Take a few frames and then adjust the ISO upward (will have to increase shutter speed) and understand the effect of ISO setting on image quality and 'sharpness'
    If the image is sharp at the focus point and slowly gets worse with raising ISO, then it is unlikely to be a camera problem.
    You can not shoot moving people at 1/60 and expect to get sharp pictures. VR is primarily designed to compensate for camera motion and not subject motion. When I want sharp pictures of things, people in action, I will push my shutter up to 1000 sec or higher even if I have to push the ISO up to do.
  17. I've caused this exact look by having VR turned on and getting the shot off before the VR had settled down. The VR itself can certainly cause this sort of apparent camera movement during the exposure. Check the camera's menu settings for how shutter release priority is set up.
  18. If you use liveview start using the viewfinder, that is more stable.
  19. "You can not shoot moving people at 1/60 and expect to get sharp pictures" You can if you are shooting with flash in a fairly dark area as the flash freezes the action. Which is why this blur is kind of odd. Also the kit lens is not a f2.8 lens.
    Turn the VR off and try the same settings. If that does not correct the problem, you may have to send your camera and lens in for service. If it does correct it, you will know that the VR is the culprit and you should probably send that in for service as this behavior is not normal.
  20. thanks for the input. I will try your suggestions. Elliot, I agree, you can freeze the action at 1/60th in dark areas. my first camera was a pentax 1000 and 1/60 was the fastest speed at which it would sync. and never had this issue.
  21. If you are in a situation where you don't need VR, turn it off. I've been burned too many times.
  22. I just did a shoot of 100 girls and turned off the VR before I started. The pics are much, mush better, but not razor sharp. Would an expensive prime lens prduce sharper images than the G lens that came with the camera??? I'm considering the sigma 50mm 1.4 , because I've heard the bokeh is better than the nikon.
  23. I have the exact same problem. I cant say enough what a complete and utter disappointment the d3100 has been for me. i bought it immediately when it came out. I have been taking pictures with an SLR my entire life and have never had a problem with blurry photos.

    The d3100 consistently takes blurry photos.

    Its the entry level SLR so everyone will write you off, everyone will tell you that you are holding it wrong, or that you moved, or the subject moved or some other reason, but the bottom line is that its the camera.

    i have a $200 canon coolpix that consistently takes clearer pictures.

    After months of self doubt i finally proved it to myself and you can too. Just put it on a tripod and take 10 pictures of the same static subject. Force it to refocus after every shot. Look at them and see how many are blurry. My old nikons have almost zero. the d3100 shoots about 40% (or more) of them blurry. thats on a tripod! take it off the tripod and the chances of you getting a nice clear shot drop dramatically. when it gets it right the pictures are beautiful, but i cant take it any more.

    Manually focused the pictures are beautiful but there is some kind of flaw that with it that cant be fixed. search around there are plenty of people mentioning this.
  24. Joesph: when you describe you problems with the D3100, you're not mentioning which lens you're using, and (critically) how/whether you have VR engaged.
  25. Maybe it's me, but when VR is on, the lens twitches badly through the view finder when it spins up. Because of that I
    keep it off. None the less on a tripod I would expect this to not be a problem.

    I have two lenses each perform about the same. 18-55 and the 85-300. I went through a period where I thought one
    was better than the other and that perhaps it was a lens issue but after a while I realized they are about the same.
    Which points to camera. I actually sent it in for servicing after having a lengthy discussion via email with tech support
    but they checked it out and said that everything was fine.

    Again, I have a canon pocket camera that i use with reckless abandon, and in just about every photo the pictures are
    crystal clear, I can see fine detail in eyelashes. But with the d3100 I get so many photos that are blurry I've given up
    on it.

    I have even been extra cognizant that somehow after having purchased this camera the way I have shot photos for
    the last 25 years is suddenly wrong or has changed. To that end I have been extra diligent about making sure I hold
    the camera extra still. It's pointless. again, how can my pocket canon outshoot the nikon every time. I will also use the old d70 on some days side by side with the d3100, again the d70 shoots great pictures, but the 3100 has consistently blurry photos.

    I wish I was still within the return window but that opportunity has passed. For months I blamed myself and only after it
    was too late I realized that it wasn't me.
  26. Joseph,
    thanks for responding. I've been taking pictures as a professional for 15 years and I too was told that I was holding the camera wrong etc. I used the D70 with no problems. what I found is that when I turned off the VR the pictures with the d3100 improved dranatically but they're still not very sharp. I don't believe that it is the way we are taking pictures. LIke I said I've used the d70 for years in the same way and never had a problem indoors using strobe. As far as that goes, when I started I used to shoot at 1/60 indoors with white lightening strobes and never had blurry pics. Now with the d3100 I shoot at 1/200 and was getting blurry pics which for the most part I think was because of the VR being turned on. But, even with the VR turned off the pics are still lacking and I find myself going back to my d70 .
  27. yep. i agree 100% with everything you say, the d3100 is a downgrade in quality.
    i would love to just return mine but its too late. if you just got yours you should return it. its not going to get any better. learn from my mistake, its not you.
    anyone with even a moderately critical eye would agree after using it for a short period of time.
    spread the word, the d3100 is a lemon.

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