Slight Blur to my Photos

Discussion in 'Beginner Questions' started by mckenna_oliva, Dec 16, 2008.

  1. Hello fellow photo forum friends :)
    I just had a childrens photoshoot on Sunday and I think my pictures turned out great (for being a beginner) - feedback appreciated! However, they have a slight blur, if I zoom in they are not as clear as I am used to. I shoot with a Canon XSI and I used my 28-80mm Tamaron lens. I made myself shoot Manual (to ensure I am learning) ISO 400.
    This 1st picture: 5.6 aperature, 1/30 Shutter Speed.
    Is this a lens focus issue? an ISO issue? help please!
  2. It's hard to tell with a sampled-down image as above, but I can tell you that at 1/30th for your shutter speed, you're likely seeing movement of your subject, or of the camera, or both. If you need to shoot with that long a shutter speed, definitely use a solid tripod. Or, open up the aperture on your lens so that you can achieve a faster shutter speed. A wider aperture will cost you some depth of field, but you don't really need that green foliage in perfect focus, right?
  3. Others will chime it to explain it more eloquently, but your ISO is too fast and/or your shutter speed too slow. Either your camera or your subject moved slightly.
  4. James G. Dainis

    James G. Dainis Moderator

    I don't see any blur. I can see an eyelash and texture in the child's shirt. Are you talking about the out of focus leaves in the background?
    I don't understand your comment about the ISO being too fast. A lower ISO would require even a slower shutter speed, (aperture remaining the same).
  5. I think that when he mentions a higher ISO, he's referring to the loss of detail that comes with having the camera (or software, later) perform noise reduction on the image. At high enough ISO settings, something has to give.

    But while I can see that eyelashes are there, I'm not seeing them clearly, or well defined. We'd need to see a piece of the image at 100% in order to tell what's really going on, though. But when someone mentions 1/30th, camera movement is always the first thing to check.
  6. Spearhead

    Spearhead Moderator

    It takes a lot of practice to get "sharp" at 1/30. Use a little flash pop, maybe set FEC to -2, and even at 1/30, you should see a lot better photo.
  7. An old rule-of-thumb says that the minimum shutter speed used to avoid blur due to camera shake should be the reciprocal of the lens focal length being used.
    In plain English that means that if you're using a 100mm lens, your minimum shutter speed would be 1/100 sec. A 55mm lens would require 1/55 sec., etc.
    Given a 1.6 conversion factor, your zoom, at 28mm, frames like a 45mm lens on the cameras used to develop this rule. So, you should be using a minimum shutter speed of 1/45 sec. If your camera goes by standard f/stops, then 1/60 sec. is probably your nearest equivalent. At 200mm, you should be thinking about 1/320 sec., or 1/500 sec. standard.
    Rules-of-thumb are general guidelines. You might find that you can hand-hold shots at lower shutter speeds and get acceptable results -- or you might need to use higher speeds.
    However you slice it, I agree with the other posters that even at your widest zoom setting, 1/30 sec. with a non-stabilized lens is asking for some degree of blur from camera shake, subject motion or both.
  8. It rather looks like out of focus. Maybe focussed to short. Since you did manual, this can easily happen. Anyway, you should also choose a shorter shutter speed.
  9. "Hello" Brandis,
    I had the same problem a week ago and it was due to slow shutter speed. My subject or myself moved a tiny bit just enough to cause a slight blur or fuzzy look. I bumped up my shutter speed. I shot at aperature 5.6 and shutter speed of 1/125 and it took care of the problem.
    Grant is correct about the rule of thumb. Good luck!!
  10. This is great everyone! I really appreciate your responses. I too now think the shutter speed was my problem, I will have it a little faster in the future because you are right I probably slightly moved it or the child moved. And yes this picture is a bit hard to tell, I should have posted it zoomed in, but when I do zoom in around her dots in the hood it's not as crisp as I would have liked.
  11. I would recommend under-exposing at a lower ISO and adjusting in post using DPP or other RAW adjustment app. You can't fix a blurred photo in post but exposure is easy!
  12. At 1/30, mostly, because of shakes. Try to shots more. On tripod and using timer at any length and speed. Clean your lens first. If you get pretty sharp images then you are the problem.
  13. In addition to the 1/focul-length rule, I have to adjust to a faster shutter speed when I shoot digital, simply because I have very bad wrists and the digital body is heavier. The 'rule' is just a guidline. You may have to go faster, or you may learn to hand-hold slower. Try it out and pay attention to how you shoot. You'll find out just how slow you can go. Great image otherwise.

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