soft images from nikon 18-55 VR

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by luis_passos, Aug 19, 2014.

  1. Hi,

    I'm new to this forum and this is my first question. Any help would be appreciated. I own a d3000 and 18-55 VR. A few images are coming very soft from this set up even when lens is at f/8. I decided to compare the same camera with nikon 35mm 1.8G. Images from 35 are way sharper, with lots of texture detail. For comparison I've attached two images: one taken with 18-55 at 35mm, and another taken with 35mm 1.8 g. Both images are f8, 1/40, ISO 100
    dsc_4203 35mm 1.8g
    dsc_4204 18-55mm at 35mm
    Sometimes images are ok, sometimes soft. It has been very difficult to me to narrow down what the problem is.
    What is the problem with the 18-55?[​IMG]
  2. Welcome Luis !!!
    Is not showing your images ....
    I have both lenses and I can tell you that with a good light I can get sharp images with both, with my D3200 and D7100, specially at f8. I was thinking to upgrade my 18-55 but I can't see any good reason yet besides the speed, may be my copy.
    If you're using tripod try to turn off VR on 18-55.
  3. If the problem is intermittent, I wonder if the auto focus is to blame. Could the lens's AF be misbehaving or overshooting? Have you tried to see if manually focusing works better?
    I have a D3200 with the 18-55 VR lens, and it does pretty well, and is reasonably consistent. When carefully set up, I get slightly sharper results from old MF primes, but the kit lens is better on the fly. So I don't think it is a problem of bad lens design.
    With that said, I should also mention that the multi-point AF on my D3200 often makes mistakes, and it may make more with a slow lens. I stick with single point AF almost all the time. It is also ridiculously easy to accidentally hit the control on the back and move the focus point, for which there is no lock. If you are using auto focus, you need to keep an eye on that. I lose a fair number of shots when I forget to double check the focus point.
    I notice that on the D3300, the control has been moved down, perhaps because of this problem.
  4. Try a faster shutter speed than 1/40, 1/500 for example, to eliminate any possibility of camera shake.
  5. Try turning off the VR. You probably don't need it at those focal lengths anyway.
  6. Sometimes images are ok, sometimes soft.​
    Probably not a lens defect, per se if is sometimes behaves well. Could be focusing errors or VR misbehaving (although I disagree with the person who says VR is not useful at those focal lengths. It can be often.
    That said, if you pixel-peep, the excellent 35mm f1.8G is going to most likely be sharper than a kit zoom every time. That lens is really extraordinary.
    But I can't see your photos, so I'm not sure.
  7. Another vote for 1/40 simply not being fast enough, or try a tripod if there is some reason why you have to shoot at ISO 100.
    You'd have thought that the VR would have covered it, but there are many situations in which it may not do what you expect.
  8. Since we can't yet see the pictures themselves, another question it seems worth asking is whether any part of the bad images is better focused. If you can get the lens to misbehave on cue, it would be informative to know if it's simply hitting the wrong focus point or actually failing to be sharp at all.
    It seems more likely to be a setup or operator error here, but an AF Zoom lens is an awfully complicated thing. The one thing that makes me wonder about that is that if the camera is set to AF, and the lens to AF, the camera will simply not shoot unless the camera's own AF sensor thinks it's on focus. If the other lens works consistently, then that pretty much rules out the camera as culprit. So if this problem occurs in AF mode, it's likely it's focusing on something, and if it's blurred either it's focused on the wrong thing or you're moving the camera.
  9. Can you post a sample picture? That would help tremendously. Without, it is probably due to your low shutter speed.

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