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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Posts
    74

    Canon 40D Image Quality

    I've had my 40D for a little over a month now and for the most part all the pictures I've taken turn out a bit blurry and or soft, over all focual lengths.
    Pictures are mostly nature/landscape variety.

    I'm shooting in manual mode with both camera and lens.
    The lens is a Canon EF28-135mm F3.5-5.6 IS USM.
    The IS is on when taking the pictures
    Haven't been using a tripod at this point as I'm just taking pictures as I'm walking around.
    Tripod would help I'm sure but, I don't carry a tripod everytime I want to take a picture.
    With the IS feature on the camera that should eliminate the need for a tripod in some instances right?

    I'm not doing any creative(silhouette, panning) shooting at this point.
    I know how to get a correct exposure and I know that aperture and shutter speed are important when in manual mode.
    When not experimenting with aperture, shutter speed and exposure, I don't take the shot unless it shows a correct meter reading and the focus light is on.

    I have a Canon S3 and use manual mode with that and right now, the S3 is taking much better pictures between the two cameras.

    So what I'm wondering is, can clear sharp pictures be taken with the 40D without having to use a tripod or doing some post processing?

    Are there some settings in the camera I can change to help with the image quality?

    Is the learning cure that steep between a S3 and 40D?

    I suspect the problems I'm having are to do with not choosing the right aperture for the circumstance at the time.

    Any suggestions would be appreciated.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Dallas, Texas
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    can you post a few examples? i'm guessing you're using fast enough shutter speeds for hand holding(faster than 1/15s or so), right?

    your lens could be front/back focusing. do you have another lens to try on it?
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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Somerset, England
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    718
    It's not a normal issue for the camera. Take some photos in very bright light to make sure it isn't a shutter speed issue...Then try taking photos manually focussing the lens. If you can get the images sharp using manual focus, then it's an issue with the autofocus of the lens.
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  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Charleston, SC
    Posts
    2,364
    It's the lens.
    Shoot at f/8 on a tripod with IS off and at ISO100 and you will see it is the lens.

    The 40D is not an issue, it's a cheap, consumer zoom lens at fault.
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  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Canada
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    1,153
    Quote Originally Posted by viewfinder View Post
    I'm shooting in manual mode with both camera and lens.
    The lens is a Canon EF28-135mm F3.5-5.6 IS USM.
    Pardon me if i misunderstood, english is my 3rd language, but do you mean you are already using the Lens in Manual Focus ?

    If so, it could simply be a diopter adjustement on the Viewfinder messing with your vision, Manually focusing lenses on the EOS Dslrs aren't very precise in normal conditions.

    Less you get a nicer focusing screen, Focus confirmation from the camera.

    I do miss the split image focusing from my old pentax.

    I would agree that the lens is bad, but it shouldn't bad enough to the point where all the pictures are always blurry and super soft. (Images would be helpful) If anything a cheap lens would have a tendency to not focus exactly everytime, thus actually causing SOME shots to be sharp.

    Less there was a huge front/back focusing problem between the lens and body.
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  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Posts
    74
    Quote Originally Posted by adam75south View Post
    can you post a few examples? i'm guessing you're using fast enough shutter speeds for hand holding(faster than 1/15s or so), right?

    your lens could be front/back focusing. do you have another lens to try on it?
    If this turns out right here is the shooting exif for the pictures from first to last.
    TV AV ISO FOCAL LENGTH
    1/800 4.0 100 41mm
    1/20 22.0 100 28
    1/1600 5.6 100 33
    1/25 22.0 100 28
    1/13 22.0 100 80
    1/20 29.0 100 28

    Pictures 1&2 were taken early in the morning.
    The rest were taken mid to late afternoon.
    All pictures were taken with camera and lens set to manual mode.
    I had a polarizer filter on in pictures 4&5 and probably didn't use it properly.
    At this time I don't have any other lenses to use.
    I plan on getting a 50mm soon though.

    Sorry about the exif information layout. How it appears is not how I did it up.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    God's Country - Australia
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    10,424
    your shutter speeds are a little too low, i'd always be trying to get it to 1/60s as a minimum. your apertures in some cases are also too small. anything past around f11 starts to suffer from diffraction, once you hit f22 and beyond you;ve lost half your image sharpness.
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  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Charleston, SC
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    2,364
    Shoot at f/8, IS0 100 and outside at daytime tomorrow.
    Find a twig, branch, brick wall...you get the point.

    As Rooz said, your shutter speeds and small aperture will also contribute to soft images.
    US Navy--Hooyah!

    Nikon D700/D300|17-35 f/2.8, 24-70 f/2.8, Sigmalux, 80-200 f/2.8, 16 f/2.8 fisheye,

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  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Posts
    8,163
    Quote Originally Posted by viewfinder View Post
    I had a polarizer filter on in pictures 4&5 and probably didn't use it properly.
    If it was cheap, get rid of it. If it came with the lens, it was cheap. Nobody includes good filters with consumer lenses for free.

    1 & 3 look fine to me. Those are the ones with the high shutter speeds. Keep your SS up (the 28-135 IS is only good for about 1-2 stops, not 3-4 like the new lenses) and watch for shake. Don't feel bad though, I still neglect my shutter speed sometimes.
    Last edited by cdifoto; 10-04-2009 at 08:17 PM.
    Ouch.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Posts
    74
    Quote Originally Posted by Rooz View Post
    your shutter speeds are a little too low, i'd always be trying to get it to 1/60s as a minimum. your apertures in some cases are also too small. anything past around f11 starts to suffer from diffraction, once you hit f22 and beyond you;ve lost half your image sharpness.
    I'm a bit confused about the small aperture suggestions.
    I was under the impression that the smaller the aperture, the better the depth of field, the better depth of field means more of the image is in focus.
    That's what I was going for in the last image.
    If diffraction starts around f11, why have such smaller apertures available on a camera?

    I'm just starting out with DSLR photography so I apologize if that question comes across as something basic that should be known.

    As far as the slow shutter speeds go, I'll explain why that is.
    I'm taking a photography class and the person who's teaching it (he's a professional) said that he usually chooses aperture first before taking his pictures.
    So, keeping that in mind, that's how i'm approaching any pictures I take.
    Once I pick the aperture value, then I adjust the shutter speed until I get a correct exposure.
    If my meter reading isn't at the right point after adjusting my shuttter speed, then the picture will be either under or over exposed if I understand what I've been taught so far.
    I guess I've picked the wrong aperture in some of the photos?

    The class i'm taking is for 7 sessions and so far we have yet to do a field trip or have any pictures of ours reviewed by the pro.
    Which is getting a bit frustrating to me.

    I'm going to a class tonight and one of the things I'll be asking is how do you determine what is the proper aperture before taking a picture.
    I've asked him that once before and he really couldn't give an answer other than for him it's based on experience.
    Maybe he can give some specific guidelines to go by.

    As far as the circular polarizer I have, it's a Marumi.
    I know you can spend big bucks on filters but for the lens this goes on, I thought $70 was enough to spend on the filter.
    I had never heard of the Marumi brand but that's what the camera store I'm dealing with sells.
    Apparently it's a common brand in Europe and other areas overseas.

    Thanks to those of you who replied and offered your tips and suggestions.

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