Soft pictures with 45 f1.2 PRO

lucanus81

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Hello guys,
today I went out with my family. The idea was to come back home with some tipical "autumn-like" photo.
I wanted maximum sharpness, so I took with an M1 Mark II with the 45f1.2.
Once I got home I was really disappointed. Not a single image (from a set of 66) was tack-sharp. I tend to think that this problem might be related to my camera, however I don't really know what I did wrong.
I was usually shooting from around 3 meters (so I should have had enough DOF). All pictures were basically like the one attached.

(This one had the following settings: ISO 250, 1/320 SS, f1.2, AF-C, small focus point, eye-af/face recognition disabled). My camera shows that the focus was right on my son's face, so I don't really know why they weren't sharp.
Do you have any idea?
 

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Hard to tell on my phone but it looks ok to me, just what I’d expect at that aperture and distance. Any chance you could upload a full sized copy (or better still RAW) on Dropbox or something so we can take a better look?
 
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I think it’s a combination of shallow depth of field and possibly shutter speed.

There are parts of the photo that appear sharp (label at the bottom of his shirt, a couple of grass stems on the left side of the photo) but the subject is slightly off.

At this distance and those settings your dof is roughly 10cm. Easy for a kid to move that far whilst you’re composing.
 

lucanus81

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I think it’s a combination of shallow depth of field and possibly shutter speed.

There are parts of the photo that appear sharp (label at the bottom of his shirt, a couple of grass stems on the left side of the photo) but the subject is slightly off.

At this distance and those settings your dof is roughly 10cm. Easy for a kid to move that far whilst you’re composing.
Interesting. They are all good points! However for a toddler that was really only moving a little, do you think 1/320 wasn't fast enough?
I agree with DOF. I used f1.2 because he was really in front of me, so I thought DOF to be fine.
Anyway, thanks a lot for your answer! I really appreciate your help!
 
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Hello guys,
today I went out with my family. The idea was to come back home with some tipical "autumn-like" photo.
I wanted maximum sharpness, so I took with an M1 Mark II with the 45f1.2.
Once I got home I was really disappointed. Not a single image (from a set of 66) was tack-sharp. I tend to think that this problem might be related to my camera, however I don't really know what I did wrong.
I was usually shooting from around 3 meters (so I should have had enough DOF). All pictures were basically like the one attached.

(This one had the following settings: ISO 250, 1/320 SS, f1.2, AF-C, small focus point, eye-af/face recognition disabled). My camera shows that the focus was right on my son's face, so I don't really know why they weren't sharp.
Do you have any idea?
Do you use the centre focus point, achieve focus and recompose? Most people do.

When you focus, if you are positioning the centre focus point over your son's face, then tilting to recompose, you have so little DOF that his face will be out of focus because the plane of focus is flat not curved.
 

lucanus81

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Do you use the centre focus point, achieve focus and recompose? Most people do.

When you focus, if you are positioning the centre focus point over your son's face, then tilting to recompose, you have so little DOF that his face will be out of focus because the plane of focus is flat not curved.
Hi, no. I was using the small focus point in AF-C, and all the time I was keeping it on his eye.
 

Mack

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I agree with comment23 in that the shutter speed may be too slow. You can see blur in the front wisp of hair on his forehead compared to others to the sides indicating movement or perhaps wind. Sometimes an eye blink is so quick it can make the shot look soft.

Could be your lens AF fine tuning is off too. I did a recent calibration on one of mine and found out I needed a +2 from where it was last calibrated in the Spring. Might be the colder weather affecting the change, but it is better now.
 

lucanus81

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I agree with comment23 in that the shutter speed may be too slow. You can see blur in the front wisp of hair on his forehead compared to others to the sides indicating movement or perhaps wind. Sometimes an eye blink is so quick it can make the shot look soft.

Could be your lens AF fine tuning is off too. I did a recent calibration on one of mine and found out I needed a +2 from where it was last calibrated in the Spring. Might be the colder weather affecting the change, but it is better now.
You might be right. Maybe he was moving faster that I thought. I was wondering: do you think the issue I am seeing might be related to the quality of light? We were in the shades, only natural light, no flash, and where I live is autumn already (temperature was around 18C).
 

Replytoken

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If you want to rule out your camera/lens from your technique, I would recommend shooting a static subject at around F/2.8 to f/5.6 at 125th or faster. If the image looks as you would expect, then the issue was related to your technique and/or that specific shoot. If not, then I would drag out a tripod and test the lens again. I suspect it was a combination of technique and that specific shoot, but it is always good to rule out other issues.

Good luck,

--Ken
 

wjiang

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I think you'll have fewer but more accurate results by using S-AF with eye-detect enabled, releasing the shutter as fast as possible once eye-AF is locked.

C-AF is not that accurate, so you'll need to stop down to get some leeway (I stop down my 56mm f/1.4 to f/2.8 or more if I'm using C-AF on my three year old running around). I usually use f/1.4 - f/2 only if they are keeping pretty still. S-AF is more accurate, but won't adjust for movement so you really have to release quickly. Eye-AF is actually more accurate than single AF point if it locks on.

Also, needless to say but f/1.2 is not going to be where the lens is sharpest... but for portraits that is probably irrelevant.
 

ijm5012

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If you want to see if it's a lens issue, shoot a stationary subject from a tripod with base ISO and electronic shutter. If the stationary subject is sharp, then you know it's not an issue with the lens.

It may also be that the lens needs to AF Fine Tune in C-AF mode. Place a ruler at an angle using the same technique as above, and take a photo. Then review the photo to see if the focal plane is in a different location from the number you focused on. If so, adjust the AFFT value until the focal plane falls where the AF point is indicating it is.
 

Steph

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For me it's the C-AF mode. Can you tell us wich scanner mode and AF sensivity you use on your em1 ? The AF can be quite volatile with a higher sensitivity ( even with stationary subjects)
Another point, if it's a SOOC picture you should check the Noise Filter setting.
 

lucanus81

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For me it's the C-AF mode. Can you tell us wich scanner mode and AF sensivity you use on your em1 ? The AF can be quite volatile with a higher sensitivity ( even with stationary subjects)
Another point, if it's a SOOC picture you should check the Noise Filter setting.
Hi,
So I am using mode 2, sensitivity set to +2, and release priority set to true.
 

Steph

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Hi,
So I am using mode 2, sensitivity set to +2, and release priority set to true.
Ok, I would set AF sensitivity to "0" or "-1" for portraits ( low number = sticky AF and less hunt/pulsing) and I would turn off release priority. Make sure you're not in Continious H because the AF will work on the first shot only.
 

lucanus81

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Release priority will lead to OOF shots. As the help for it would indicate, it allows shutter release when focus is not locked.
Hi. I have to apologise.
I have checked again my settings, and they are a bit different :D
So I have sensitivity to +1, AF scanner set to Mode 3, and release priority OFF.
 

lucanus81

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Ok, I would set AF sensitivity to "0" or "-1" for portraits ( low number = sticky AF and less hunt/pulsing) and I would turn off release priority. Make sure you're not in Continious H because the AF will work on the first shot only.
I am in Continuous Low all the time.
 

MMouse

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Mar 29, 2015
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I bought this lens recently and I noticed the first sample I had was not very sharp at f/1,2.
I returned it, bought another one and it appears to be much sharper at f/1,2.

But while the AF is usually accurate, I had some misfocused pictures, mostly because of slow shutter speed.

Usually, portrait lenses have good sharpness at medium distances. If you really want to check your sample's quality, better to test it at infinity.
 

Aristophanes

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Very shallow DOF makes autofocus tricky. It’s a reason why the new Nikon NOCT 58/0.95 is manual focus only. Working with less than 10cm DOF in CAF, with a moving taregt,is the challenge.
 
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