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D5500 image query

Discussion in 'Nikon Chat' started by Loofah, Dec 23, 2019.

  1. Loofah

    Loofah Member

    I have a NikonD5500 and it's a good camera for me in the main. When using the sigma 17-70 lens I'm finding that to get really sharp shots I have to use the macro mode which is infuriating! For example when out shooting the kids at a party or whatnot I've used A mode with f4 or so, ISO around 100-200 and a flash gun but the image comes out a touch soft. Shoot the same in macro mode and the image is crystal clear. Shutter speed was around 1/60 for the macro mode but used a variety including 1/60 and faster in A mode. It's not motion blur, or smudged glass, simply when using the macro mode the image is sharper
    Is this a quirk or what. I feel I must be missing a setting but for the life of me I can't think what
  2. IvorETower

    IvorETower Little Buttercup

    (grabs his used D5500 and used Sigma 17-70 C lens).... "Macro mode"?? Are you on "Scene" setting on the dial, then "close-ups" ? I can't find a macro mde.

    Suggest you go to "Shooting menu" then "Picture Control" and check what sharpness value is set.... I find that Nikon's default values tend to be very soft.
    Another thing to check is that the shutter value is not falling too slow when you use A mode for flash because the camera thinks that there is not sufficient light - have you tried using S at 1/60 or M mode when using the flash - which in any event is preferable to A when shooting indoors with flash
    Loofah likes this.
  3. PeteRob

    PeteRob Well-Known Member

    You'll need to read the manual to see what you call macro mode does but I'd guess it opts to use the smallest aperture it can. Many lenses are soft wide open which your 17-50 probably is at F4. Given that you are using flash I'd expect it could go a couple of stops down if the exposure time is similar. That might well give sharper results.
    Loofah likes this.
  4. Loofah

    Loofah Member

    Well I feel sheepish as I never knew that part of the menu was there! and yes, it's the close up mode within Scene; it's got the same icon as most macro things so assumed that was the right term...
    Will have a muck about with the settings and see what happens (current sharpness is set to 3 and clarity +1, everything else at 0) and switch to shutter priority for indoor work. Thanks for the tips :)
  5. PeteRob

    PeteRob Well-Known Member

    Macro is a widely misused term. Close-up is a better generic name as it encompasses a wide range of magnifications whereas macro can narrowly mean 1:1 reproduction which requires extremely close focussing. Lenses tend to mark their closest focus distance as macro, irrespective of the magnification. The closer you are the more depth of field you need so a close-up scene mode will try to push the camera to F11 or so on a crop sensor if light allows. As you go to smaller apertures still you may start to lose sharpness again through diffraction - it depends on the physical diameter of the aperture rather than just the F number.
  6. Loofah

    Loofah Member

    Pretty complete answer :)

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