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35mm sharpness

Discussion in 'Everything Film' started by chrisg, Sep 14, 2001.

  1. chrisg

    chrisg Member

    I am wondering what to expect from 35mm... I have a Nikon F60 body and 300mm F4 EDIF prime lens (amongst others). I was disappointed with the results from the 70-300G lens that came with the camera, so I decided to invest in some quality glass. However, I can't say that my investment has yielded significantly better results. I have shot several rolls of film including E100VS, SW, Provia 100F, Velvia, Sensia 100, and whilst I see differences in colour and grain, sharpness remains pretty much the same, to my eyes.. slightly soft. My subjects have been siberian tigers at Marwell Zoo shot using the 300mm lens used at f4, f4.8, f5.6 and f6.7, shutter speeds anywhere from 1/500th to 1/90th all on a tripod, of course. Discounting the duff shots, the best ones do seem a little soft, not around the edges but the whole frame. Is my F60 body to blame or am I expecting too much from 35mm?

    Thanks for any advice.

    Chris
     
  2. TimF

    TimF With as stony a stare as ever Lord Reith could hav

    Is your tripod stable? This is the first thing to acertain. You haven't said what model it is.

    Elsewhere on this site (in Camera chat?) there is a discussion on tripods. you may care to read/re-read it, and try the tapping test described therein. The lens IS a good'un so this is one possibility. Another is your own technique-are you using a cable release or pressing the shutter release manually?

    Get out and get shooting!!
     
  3. SCT

    SCT Well-Known Member

    Tim, he is here using an F60 so can't use cable release. I would therefore suggest to use the self timer thingy.

    Steve C Thompson IRIPN
     
  4. Col. Hogan

    Col. Hogan Well-Known Member

    Or is there a remote control release for that camera?
     
  5. Brian

    Brian Venerable Elder

    Chris,

    I have just looked at your web site and I fail to see why you are asking the question re 35mm and sharpness. You are obviously a photographer of some experience and one whom I would have thought could have answered the question which you have asked.

    Unless of course you are trying to enlarge your negatives to wall size for the first time. That's the only reason I can think of in respect of," Am I expecting too much from 35mm".

    Brian.
     
  6. SCT

    SCT Well-Known Member

    No it does not. I have an F60 (N60 in USA) and that is one of the bug bears of this a nice simple body.


    Steve C Thompson IRIPN
     
  7. Reading

    Reading Well-Known Member

    How did changing the lense cause a difference in grain? Surely grain is just a characteristic of the film used and the exposure.

    I can see massive difference in sharpness between my 'consumer' and 'pro' lenses. Perhaps you need to stop down further? Some lenses dont come intotheir own until F8.

    I wouldnt have thought detail of the tripod or use of remote releases etc would make much difference at 1/500th.

    The only other thing I can think is poor focussing...
     
  8. BigWill

    BigWill Gorgeous oversensitive Nikon-loving cream puff

    Could be a combination of a light camera body, perhaps a tripod that is too light, and pressing the shutter manually without a cable release. Even if you use the self timer you will still get vibration if the camera and tripod are too light and unstable. A good solid (as in "HEAVY") tripod is worth its weight in gold when using long lenses. I can only advise that a heavy tripod is employed (sling your camera bag under it to increase the weight) and that the shutter is "squeezed off" as one would a rifle trigger to try and ensure a camera shake free shot. Light weight may be good to carry around but it is the sworn enemy of the telephoto enthusiast!
    BigWill
     
  9. TimF

    TimF With as stony a stare as ever Lord Reith could hav

    This is true. I can only plead not being at all familiar with said model (or remotely interested in it-the F60 that is-either!)

    Get out and get shooting!!
     
  10. Obmitty

    Obmitty Member

    One other thing that may affect sharpness is the mirror's momentum as it swings out of the lights path. F60's probably don't have a mirror lock up funtion. I use it all the time on my EOS 30 and I find it invaluable. Not sure of its worth when shooting at 1/500 sec though.

    Tim:)
     
  11. chrisg

    chrisg Member

    thanks for all your responses... i am trying to shoot wildlife, specifically tigers, which means i need a fairly high shutter speed. i have a sherpa750 tripod, a trade off between solidity and lightness, but I am aware that it is not wholly stable. it also needs to be light enough for backpacking travel. the F60 does not have a cable release system and as the subject is wildlife, the self timer is not really an option. So perhaps, as Brian suggests, i have answered my own question!
    Reading: sorry, i meant differences in grain and colour of each different film, nothing to do with the lens there. i would love to stop down further, but the subject very often doesnt lend itself to the slower shutter speeds.
    Brian: Thank you for your kind remarks! Unfortunately, I don't have the means to be knowledgable enough about different SLR bodies, in fact the F60 is my only body so I have nothing to compare against. I am judging my shots on a light table using a loupe, so I haven't even got as far as enlarging!

    Chris
     
  12. Brian

    Brian Venerable Elder

    O.K. Chris, why don't you eliminate the doubt. Use your normal set up, but replace the Tigers with a nice rough brick wall, preferably with nice strong side lighting. Run a whole roll of film through the camera at all combinations of shutter speed and aperture taking careful notes. Then examine the film, if it's still soft throughout, get some new specs or throw the wretched lens into the nearest dustbin. If it is sharp then try having a word with the tigers and seek their cooperation in sitting still.

    Brian/img/wwwthreads/smile.gif
     
  13. TimF

    TimF With as stony a stare as ever Lord Reith could hav

    It might not be the lens, but the tripod! Don't do this on a windy day though, or it won't mean jack!

    Get out and get shooting!!
     
  14. SCT

    SCT Well-Known Member

    You want sharp pics of tigers. If I was shooting the buggers they would not be sharp, cause I be hot footing on the other directions.

    There's a nice pusey cat have a tin of kitakat.

    Steve C Thompson IRIPN
     
  15. TimF

    TimF With as stony a stare as ever Lord Reith could hav

    So which one of the muscle-men in the ad were you Steve?<img src="/img/wwwthreads/smile.gif"> miaow!

    Get out and get shooting!!
     
  16. SCT

    SCT Well-Known Member

    Sorry don't get it. Please explain to a thickey

    Steve C Thompson IRIPN
     
  17. TimF

    TimF With as stony a stare as ever Lord Reith could hav

    Sorry, forgot you were in Austria!! To be honest I can't remember what the ad was for (no surprise), but it involved several tigers being released into a fenced-off exercise area. Maybe Nat might know it (unless he fell asleep)<img src="/img/wwwthreads/smile.gif">

    Get out and get shooting!!
     
  18. Brian

    Brian Venerable Elder

    Tim, I would have thought that using a loupe of sufficient power, movement would have been easily seen.

    Brian.
     
  19. SCT

    SCT Well-Known Member

    Not in Austria now. Finished about two weeks ago. Still waiting for the next contract.

    Steve C Thompson IRIPN
     
  20. Glenn Harper

    Glenn Harper Well-Known Member

    Some good answers so far, although at a 500th you should be able to get sharp pictures handheld. Are you shooting through glass at Marwell Zoo ?

    I have a 300mm f4 lens which renders razor sharp results, although it cannot be used whatsoever at slow shutter speeds unless very firmly supported. However, handholding in reasonable light is nearly always possible in conjunction with a medium speed film.

    I can't believe for a second that your lens is anything but superb. Just one razor sharp picture will prove it's worth - after that the battle is all yours !

    Glenn
     

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