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Help get sharp images using a sony NEX 6

Discussion in 'Open Discussion' started by izzikiorage, Nov 9, 2013.

  1. izzikiorage

    izzikiorage TalkEmount Veteran

    323
    Jul 30, 2013
    Hi everyone

    I've been submitting a few images to shutterstock and a few other microstock sites and quite a few images of mine tend to raise the OOF flag (ie the 100% crop is not sharp in focus) or is rejected on the basis of noise. I'm using the sony NEX 6 with the 16-50 lens

    Here's an example
    Ue5Gp7y.

    100% crop
    lPRjKaU.

    This was shot at ISO 200, f/5.6, 1/160 and 43mm in RAW and then post processed in lightroom. I usually have to push the noise reduction in luminiscance to around 60-70 to get all the noise cleared (with detail set to around 80).

    Where am I going wrong, both in terms of sharpness of the 100 crop and the noise performance?

    Thanks in Advance
     
  2. WoodWorks

    WoodWorks Super Moderator

    Dec 12, 2012
    Ashland, OR, USA
    David
    I could be wrong, but that looks more like movement blur than out of focus to me. In any case, it looks directional, not fuzzy, if you you know what I mean.
     
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  3. Bill

    Bill TalkEmount Veteran

    339
    Oct 22, 2012
    Brisbane, Australia
    Bill
    At ISO 200 your noise should be negligible. My 6 is pretty clean at at that point. In any case, putting the noise reduction to 60-70 will be softening your image quite significantly. Is your OSS on?

    Hope that's of some help.
     
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  4. Poki

    Poki TalkEmount Hall of Famer

    Aug 30, 2011
    Austria
    Make sure your focus is spot on - and don't use noise reduction. I mean, heck, why do you bother with noise reduction at ISO 200 (!) ? I don't even apply noise reduction to most photos I take with ISO 6400 with my old NEX-5.Then, turn off OSS and put the camera on a tripod.

    As for shutterstock - they're one of the pickiest stock photo sites I know. If you want to be sure they won't reject your photo, you probably won't come around buying even a modest studio setup for stock photography.
     
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  5. -et-

    -et- TalkEmount Veteran

    205
    Jan 26, 2013
    Southern California
    Tom
    My comments are essentially the same as others have mentioned:

    (1) Are you using auto-focus and letting the camera select the "wrong" focus point?

    (2) Your use of strong noise reduction at ISO 200 does not sound at all appropriate. I suspect that you are chasing a phantom and creating a blurred image in the process. Can you post any image samples that you have not massaged in post-processing?

    (3) Have you shot with more than one lens and had the same issue with all lenses?

    - Tom -
     
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  6. izzikiorage

    izzikiorage TalkEmount Veteran

    323
    Jul 30, 2013
    movement blur at 1/160? I certainly hope not. Will give my OSS settings a check though


    I'll start clicking on spot focus from now, although I do use DMF and focus peaking to ensure that the focus is just where I want it

    Will post a few samples of unprocessed images here, although I guess if you shoot in jpeg you don't need noise reduction, but RAWs generally are pretty noisy, even at the lower ISOs

    Haven't purchased any other lenses, so can't say if it's a lens issue or not.
     
  7. photoluminaire

    photoluminaire TalkEmount Regular

    29
    Oct 7, 2013
    The 16-50 isn't a sharp lens but the noise reduction you are using is much higher than you should need (I'd use 0 at ISO100).
    How much sharpening are you applying? That will make any noise worse.
    Are you sure its ISO200, not auto ISO taking over? Are you exposing it well or having to increase exposure in Lightroom?
    Are you lighting with tungsten light? You'd get better quality images with daylight balanced lighting.
    2 second timer after manually focusing for perfect sharpness.

    Andrew
     
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  8. izzikiorage

    izzikiorage TalkEmount Veteran

    323
    Jul 30, 2013
    I don't usually apply a lot of sharpening, as they trends to distort the image. But i do play around a lot with the exposure in lightroom, perhaps that is my problem

    I m usually shooting in natural light only, what is daylight balanced light?

    I guess a tripod and remote shutter release is a necessary evil now


    Sent from my GT-I9300 using Tapatalk 2
     
  9. HabsFan

    HabsFan TalkEmount Veteran

    258
    Apr 10, 2013
    Ontario, CAN
    I don't own this lens but I'd say 43mm at 5.6 is probably wide open and probably not a very sharp setting for this lens. I know my 18-55 is not very sharp wide open toward the tele extreme. Try even stopping down to 6.3 and see if you get an improvement.
     
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  10. Poki

    Poki TalkEmount Hall of Famer

    Aug 30, 2011
    Austria
    A few things about noise you seem have misunderstood: The ISO value is not the only thing that affects the noise. In fact, the quality and brightness of the light are much more important. Furthermore, every little exposure compensation (+, so brightening) in post processing will greatly enhance noise.

    Shoot at f/8 or f/11 when you use the kit lens, use a tripod, a wireless shutter release and focus manually. Shoot at ISO 100 and set the camera's exposure compensation to +0,3 or +0,7 to avoid any noise. Apply basic sharpening to all photos (RAWs are totally unsharpened) but don't use ANY noise reduction. In the best case, use either some constant daylight temperature light sources or a couple of flashes to keep the shutter speed fast, which is an advantage even on a tripod. Turn OSS off when using a tripod, otherwise you won't get any sharp image.

    And if it's still not sharp, buy a better lens (you might have a very bad sample of the kit zoom). Good options for stock photos are macro lenses, so depending on your budget, both the Sony 30mm f/3.5 and the Zeiss Touit 50mm f/2.8 should be great options.
     
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  11. photoluminaire

    photoluminaire TalkEmount Regular

    29
    Oct 7, 2013
    Natural window light is good. Household tungsten or energy saving fluorescent, not so good.
    Tungsten light underexposes the blue channel, you'll see more yellow colour noise. It still shouldn't be bad at ISO100/200 for a well exposed image though.
    For every stop you have to boost in Lightroom it's effectively increasing the ISO, so ISO200 boosted two stops afterwards will be similar to ISO 800.
    I'll shoot a similar image for comparison if that would be useful?



    Sent from my iPad using TalkNEX mobile app
     
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  12. izzikiorage

    izzikiorage TalkEmount Veteran

    323
    Jul 30, 2013
    Please do post that image, it would help a lot
     
  13. photoluminaire

    photoluminaire TalkEmount Regular

    29
    Oct 7, 2013
    Sorry for the delay.
    Taken by very dim window light (1 second exposure) tried to get the coin about the same size. Used f4.5 to better match your shot but could have done with being stopped down a little more if you want full DOF from top to bottom of the coin.
    Exposed so the histogram was just touching the right hand side, you can go brighter than that with RAW sometimes. ISO100, for still life, why not?
    The 35/1.8 lens is that bit sharper than the 16-50, especially if you frame your subject off centre.

    http://www.photoluminaire.co.uk/posted/DSC00006.jpg

    The quality at 100% is good on this 16MP sensor at low ISO, no noise reduction applied, some sharpening applied to the coin.
    http://www.photoluminaire.co.uk/posted/DSC00006b.jpg

    Andrew
     
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  14. izzikiorage

    izzikiorage TalkEmount Veteran

    323
    Jul 30, 2013
    Thanks for the example, it looks like I've been killing my files by shooting at high ISO and then pushing them higher in post. Will try out your advise today and let you know how things go
     
  15. shaolin95

    shaolin95 TalkEmount Top Veteran

    942
    Jul 3, 2013
    I got curious about this and submitted some images, some not totally clean of noise, more like little film grain like stuff and some completely clean and yes indeed they are picky.
    This is one of only 3 they approved! :D
    [​IMG]
    Version accepted by Shutterstock by GabrielG2k11, on Flickr
     
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  16. izzikiorage

    izzikiorage TalkEmount Veteran

    323
    Jul 30, 2013
    am working on improving the focus and sharpness. Stuff that's worked

    - use lowest ISO
    - use a tripod
    - use remote release (the remote app)
    - no pushing exposure in post processing

    here is a better result

    10761838845_764b5fc7d8_c.
    Strings of happiness by Amlan Mathur, on Flickr
     
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  17. gmutt26

    gmutt26 TalkEmount Regular

    41
    May 14, 2013
    How do you change the noise reduction?


    Sent from my iPhone using TalkEmount
     
  18. izzikiorage

    izzikiorage TalkEmount Veteran

    323
    Jul 30, 2013
    I think there is an option in settings to take it from high to low. Although I was talking about noise reduction in post processing the raw files

    Sent from my GT-I9300 using Tapatalk 2