My ongoing struggle with unsharp photos

8 months 7 hours ago #707756 by Esseff
Been experimenting a lot with all the different settings and generally making good progress (thanks to all the tips I got here) but one thing I just cannot get right: image sharpness. Really don't know what else to do. Is it the lens? Is the 18-55mm lens just not capable of achieving the sharpness I want? I'm thinking it's probably not the lens but who knows.


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8 months 6 hours ago #707764 by db3348
Could be numerous issues ;  there are  various kinds of unsharpness – focus ,  camera shake or subject movement , fogged lens , poor lens quality . . .

Do  you always  use  tripod ? ,  that would almost rule out camera shake .

Can  you  post an example ?


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8 months 6 hours ago - 8 months 6 hours ago #707768 by Nikon Shooter

db3348 wrote: …  camera shake or subject movement…


Camera or subject movement would create blur, wouldn't it?
Like in this example of a sharp AND blurry picture:



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8 months 5 hours ago #707773 by Esseff

db3348 wrote: ... focus...


Maybe this. I generally don't wear my specs when I go out wandering so maybe I just can't see if it's properly in focus.

db3348 wrote: ... camera shake...


I always use a tripod. Its a good one too so I know its sturdy.

db3348 wrote: ... fogged lens...


No

db3348 wrote: ... poor lens quality...


Maybe. 18-55mm Canon EF-S. Camera is a Canon 600D. Is that good or bad?

db3348 wrote: Can  you  post an example ?




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8 months 3 hours ago #707780 by db3348

Nikon Shooter wrote : Camera or subject movement would create blur, wouldn't it?
Like in this example of a sharp AND blurry picture:

Of course ,  NS .  That looks very much like subject movement .


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8 months 2 hours ago #707783 by db3348
Esseff ,

On my computer , that example  looks like a focusing problem .  What's your focusing routine – autofocus or manual focus ?

If autofocus , do you choose particular AF point settings :  single or zone ? 
What  did  you want focused on here – bridge,  trees, river, rocks ...?  To me  it  looks like  camera  focused  on little tree in bottom centre – it appears the sharpest .

You  should be getting better sharpness than that , even with the 18-55 lens ,  while it's not the sharpest in Canon's range .

And this triggered another idea :

Esseff wrote :   ...I generally don't wear my specs when I go out wandering ...

Have  you tried adjusting the little "dioptric adjustment" knob above the viewfinder window ,  which  is for people  who have specs and  eyesight issues ? 


Just some "food for thought " to consider .

db3348


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7 months 4 weeks ago - 7 months 4 weeks ago #707803 by Esseff

db3348 wrote: ... What's your focusing routine – autofocus or manual focus...


Manual.

db3348 wrote: You  should be getting better sharpness than that , even with the 18-55 lens ,  while it's not the sharpest in Canon's range .


On a slightly different track, what is a/are good lens/es for landscapes and buildings?

db3348 wrote: Have  you tried adjusting the little "dioptric adjustment" knob above the
viewfinder window ,  which  is for people  who have specs and  eyesight
issues ? 


Never even noticed that. Let me google and play around with it...


Cheers!


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7 months 4 weeks ago #707810 by Esseff
Playing around with the dioptric setting, getting a better result already. I know this is an indoor close-up shot with lighting and all but I can read all the writing around the knobs and that's already a huge improvement. Even when I zoom in its better. Gonna have to try some outdoor shots next.  :)



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7 months 4 weeks ago #707811 by Esseff
btw the attached image seems to loose a lot in definition. Looks a LOT better on my screen...


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7 months 4 weeks ago #707814 by Nikon Shooter
I see that your problem is really a focusing one. To start with
the diopter in the VF was a brilliant idea for manual focus.

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7 months 4 weeks ago - 7 months 4 weeks ago #707839 by db3348
Esseff ,

Esseff wrote :  On a slightly different track, what is a/are good lens/es for landscapes and buildings?

The point I was making  that the focus ability should have been better with the 18–55 mm  than what that example image  has demonstrated .  This case  appears to be  more of a focusing thing  than the lens quality thing .

Any focal length (s) can be "good for" landscapes & buildings ,  from the right camera position . 

From a quality perspective ,  the Canon's 'L" series of lenses with the red band around the front ,  are  (allegedly) their premium quality range , although somewhat more expensive than the kit lenses .  Suggest you check these out . 
But  the focusing / unsharpness issue  will still persist  with any lens  if  you  don't get  your focusing technique  sorted ,  and discipline yourself to take and use your specs more often ,  or the dioptric knob if it helps .

Almost forgot,  that diagram was out of the Canon 600D manual which I downloaded .  Did  you not get an instruction manual  with  your Canon 600D ?   https://gdlp01.c-wss.com/gds/0/0300004720/02/eosrt3i-eos600d-im2-c-en.pdf          The dioptric knob 'procedure' is on about page 39 


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7 months 2 weeks ago #708967 by selena18
Try these options below for improving sharpness:
1. Use a better lens
2. Use a remote cable release
3. Turn vibration reduction of
4. Use mirror lock-up


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5 months 3 weeks ago #712669 by Esseff
Firstly a HUGE thanks to all those that responded. I haven't been active much here lately (due to real-life stuff) but I do pop in on occasion to see what's new.

Secondly the information in this thread and other areas of the forum has been awesome. The histogram, the various settings like ISO and how to use them, that little dioptric knob... it's all been a huge help and the quality of my photos has improved massively. Been going out and practising constantly and I'm very happy with the results I'm getting now. Still not 100% but that'll come with time. At least now the focus issues are more or less dealt with.

I have noticed that there is quite a lot of play in the lens itself i.e. the focus ring at the end of the lens. Not a very good fit. I don't know if this is normal or maybe it has gotten knocked about. I don't have another one to try out and compare.

Anyway I revisited a previous location and took some new photos as a comparison. Unlike before the detail is excellent. Very pleased with the result.







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5 months 3 weeks ago #712698 by db3348
Glad that you're on the right track and getting more satisfying results .

Good exposure on # 1 .


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5 months 1 week ago #714150 by WCaswell93
you can assign that little button on the front of your camera (near the lens mount) to a custom function. On my 5D Mark iii I have it set to switch between “One Shot” and “AI Servo”. So I never have to change the settings when I’m in a hurry. I just hold that button down to switch.


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