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Soft focus


New Member
Just got my D100 and I must say I'm disappointed at best. EVERY picture is soft. My little Sony Cybershot takes far better pictures.

Using the standard Nikon 28-80 AF lens.

Any questions/suggestions or menu adjustments to try? Or do I need to send it in to Nikon ?
I have a D70 and the pictures are soft sometimes
and I use Nikon PictureProject to auto edit the pictures and the difference is incredible. Give it a try.

Mike I.
Hi Jim,

Digital SLRs are designed so that the pictures are to be manually manipulated in software after they are shot and before printing. (just like if you were printing film in your own darkroom) The softer low contrast file gives more range of manipulation. Point and shoot digital cameras pump up the contrast and sharpness in all of thier images so they look good enough for most people without any further manipulation but that limits the manipulation that you can do if you want to further improve the photos.

Some in-camera sharpening and contrast adjustments are possable with the D70 but that too will limit post processing.

Remember, even if you drop off film at the drug stoor, a lot of manipulation is done to your imabe in that one hour processor before it is printed.

Thanks Ron,

The more I read about this, the more I am understanding that post shoot processing is a matter of course. Not that that's a truly bad thing, but I plan to use this camera for pleasure (family) as well as business. It would be nice to just pop the pics on a disc and give them to a family member or friend without having to touch up.

I am also sure that some of my difficulties are a result of "newbieitis". As with all new toys, it will take some time and a bunch of pics to get used to it and find out the optimal parameters.

Having done B&W processing in my cellar for a lot of years, I know exactly what you mean about processing of film.

I will probably buy another lens that may help out my soft focus problem...... I really do like the camera, it has good feel and now with the capacity to take thousands of pics on a single memory chip - well, let's just say I've gotten lazier as I've gotten older !

Thanks again for the info - I'm going out to shoot right now and see what happens in the sunlight.

but I plan to use this camera for pleasure (family) as well as > business. It would be nice to just pop the pics on a disc and give > them to a family member or friend without having to touch up.

Hi Jim,

I know what you mean. When I do the family pictures, I shoot in RAW plus JPG and have a custom curve like "White Wedding" loaded. The Custom Curve modifies the JPG directly and you can print the JPG even at a one hour lab. The Custom Curve only tags the RAW instead of modifying it so the curve can be removed from the RAW file later and you have full post processing capability on the raw. If you want the best out of camera results, do a search on "Custom Curves".

I sometimes think that my images look a little soft with the D100 when I first look at them with Nikon View on the computer but when I then print them on the Epson Matt 11.7 x 16.5 paper with my Epson 2200 printer they are extremely sharp.
I suppose it could be your lens or slight movement? Lou
Viewing a 6MP image on the computer screen at 72 dpi at 100%, one is viewing the equivalent of a 42"x28" print from reading distance. A print that size would normally be viewed from several feet away. When all that information is scrunched down and printed to an 8x10 at 300 dpi, the perception is vastly different. Things that seemed prominent - almost isolated - on the screen are integrated into the print, no longer catching our attention.

The human eye is just not a high-resolution device. At 300 dpi at reading distance, all the pixels nicely blend together into the continuous tone we know and love. As the print grows large, we can drop the resolution of the print, since we will be viewing from a greater distance, and it still looks great.

The converse is also true. I was absolutely awe-struck with the first print I made off a medium format negative, scanned with my Epson 4870. Flatbed scanners are not supposed to be capable of prints that would impress the most picky clients in the world. If I had this print made at a top pro lab, no one would complain at a $150 to $200 charge for it. Epson claims a maximum optical resolution of 4800 dpi, but since there is no standard way to measure this, it could be a much inflated claim. This print was stunning.

I found there was a forum devoted to these scanners, so I joined. Someone had just written that he had paid to have a professional wet-mounted drum scan made of a negative, that they also scanned on the Epson. He said that on the screen at 100%, the drum scan showed much more and crisper detail. He had prints made of each, and everyone who saw them together, said that the Epson-scan was the better print. The great detail of the drum scan was lost when boiled down to 300 dpi, and the gradients and nice shadow detail of the Epson scan won over the extreme resolution of the drum scan.

As photographers, we are judged by the images we present. If the print LOOKS sharp - it is. If the image on the web knocks out the viewer, it is great even at 640 x 480. No one sees our work at 100%, so that is of no relevance. Only the final image counts.

larry! http://www.larry-bolch.com/ ICQ 76620504