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Why all my adapted shots look so damn crappy

Discussion in 'Adapted Lenses' started by alaios, Aug 18, 2013.

  1. alaios

    alaios TalkEmount All-Pro

    Jan 11, 2013
    Düsseldorf
    Alex
    Dear all,
    I am having hard problems with my two adapted lenses, to get some nice quality pictures ... Either two hard to focus.. or not too much light and the shutter speed would make me have a shaky image... Especially that tele lens drives me crazy... :(.....

    These are the two lenses I have.

    Auto Revuenon MC 1:2.8 f=135mm 52o Japan, PK to NEX adapter
    Minolta MD 50mm 1:1.7 Japan 49omm, MD to NEX adapter

    Regards
    Alex

    I will try to share some shots here... I have to find a way to share my smugmug shots here somehow.
     
  2. davect01

    davect01 Super Moderator

    Aug 20, 2011
    Fountain Hills, AZ
    Dave
    1- The 50mm is generally well regarded, the other one, I have no idea about.

    2- Peaking takes some time to get good at. Plus some lenses are just easier to focus with.

    3- You also occasionally get bad lenses. I had a 135mm that came highly regarded, but my particular lens was bad.
     
  3. Bugleone

    Bugleone TalkEmount Veteran

    210
    Aug 21, 2011
    ALWAYS set your iso according to the light (or lack of it).....look at teh screen when camea set to 'A' and increase iso until you get shutter speeds you are happy with......And PRACTICE a good technique......

    ...... PRACTICE making a smooth shutter release......

    ........... PRACTICE focussing quickly and simply.........

    ................PRACTICE keeping lens focussed and set to hyperfocal distance
     
  4. ChangshaNotes

    ChangshaNotes Super Moderator

    Aug 15, 2012
    China
    Colin
    Alex, post some photos with your shot information and maybe someone can help you more.
     
  5. ponyslaystation

    ponyslaystation TalkEmount Regular

    46
    Oct 20, 2012
    Read Understanding Exposure by bryan peterson. If you can't articulate the supposed problems then its usually user error.
     
  6. dixeyk

    dixeyk TalkEmount All-Pro

    Jun 18, 2012
    Bellingham . WA
    Kevin
    I can assure you that adapted lenses and the NEX are a good combo (I shoot nothing but adapted lenses). I don't even have any native lenses anymore. It's much tougher to work with a tele than something like a fast 50. I would say practice holding the camera steady with the fifty first. I also think the Peterson book is a good idea if you've never read it.
     
  7. macro

    macro TalkEmount Regular

    152
    Feb 3, 2012
    New Zealand
    Danny Young
    You see that right there in the quote. Read it carefully and follow it ;) then, practise, practise and practise some more until you are blue in the face :)

    Reminds me of Colin a mate I have that shoots birds as well. Goes like this.........

    "You want to take bird photos, get close, get real close, nope closer than that, I said GET CLOSER !!. You are still not close enough".

    Same thing with what you want, practise, learn the settings that work, use high shutter speeds, have the sun at your back and practise some more. LOL, you can see how this is going huh.

    Now, what exactly are you trying to take shots of, what is your interest with the tele lens??. I own nothing under 300mm and all manual focus. As others have said, post a few dud shots to show us what you are trying to do.

    Don't worry about posting rubbish shots so we can see what you are after. I can assure you, I have worse shots than you will ever take :) Every mistake you make, I'll bet I've done a dozen times at least, LOL.

    Danny.
     
  8. Amamba

    Amamba TalkEmount All-Pro

    Apr 13, 2013
    SE MI
    I assume you're using focus peaking, right ?

    MD50/1.7 is awesome, I just did an entire trip to Chicago with it.

    Generally, for manual lenses, I set the camera to S mode to control shutter speed, set aperture on the lens, and let the camera set the ISO based on EC setting. Stopped down to f2.8 it's already sharp, and at f4 very sharp. But I use it wide open without hesitation, if needed.

    Are you shooting raw ? I found that most manual lenses require clarity boost in LR - the detail is there, but microcontrast needs to be bumped up.

    Sent from my EVO using Tapatalk 2
     
  9. NickCyprus

    NickCyprus Super Moderator

    Oct 11, 2012
    Cyprus
    Nick
    Alex, I'm too having a difficult time understanding how can you not get good shots, especially with the MD 50 1.7 - that's one of the easiest to use Minolta lenses I've ever had. Post some samples and settings you used

    :)
     
  10. ajm80031

    ajm80031 TalkEmount Regular

    35
    Jul 16, 2013
    It would help if you posted some details on how you're going about setting focus. Are you using focus peaking? Are you using the focus assist (magnified image)?

    My first attempts with focus peaking were disappointing as I got a number of not-quite-focused shots. It took a while to realize that the highlights don't guarantee that you're dead-on but just that you're somewhere in the range. Adjusting the focus through the range so you find where an edge starts to shimmer, then how far you can go before it stops shimmering, and then setting your focus to be right in the middle between those to points (as best as you can estimate) will usually do the trick.

    As far as shaky images, that simply sounds like you're either using too small an aperture or too low an ISO setting (or both). Set the aperture based on the amount of depth-of-field you desire (more open for shallower depth of field), then adjust the ISO setting as needed until you can get a reasonable shutter-speed.
     
  11. alaios

    alaios TalkEmount All-Pro

    Jan 11, 2013
    Düsseldorf
    Alex
    what is the hyperfocal distance? I will post some photos tomorrow, too tired ...

    A
     
  12. WoodWorks

    WoodWorks Super Moderator

    Dec 12, 2012
    Ashland, OR, USA
    David
    From wikipedia:

    Definition 1: The hyperfocal distance is the closest distance at which a lens can be focused while keeping objects at infinity acceptably sharp. When the lens is focused at this distance, all objects at distances from half of the hyperfocal distance out to infinity will be acceptably sharp.

    Definition 2: The hyperfocal distance is the distance beyond which all objects are acceptably sharp, for a lens focused at infinity.

    I know that others here have advised you to use a depth-of-field calculator, which will give you all the info you need to use your lenses to their best. I agree with their advice. Most of your lens questions will be answered if you used one.
     
  13. alaios

    alaios TalkEmount All-Pro

    Jan 11, 2013
    Düsseldorf
    Alex
    I can not have a depth field calculator outside.. and I still do not understand the terms there. I have been asking for some time now some book with printed examples to help me understand the issue.
    A.
     
  14. alaios

    alaios TalkEmount All-Pro

    Jan 11, 2013
    Düsseldorf
    Alex
    I see this is what Bryan Anderson says in his bbook. Focus at one third of the distance at high aperture. Well does not work on me.

    Time for some examples to share for my 135mm lens where I had always a shutter speed over 1/160 to follow your recommendation

    Bad #1: Not Sharp at all. After the bridge the sharpness is really bad.
    [​IMG]

    Bad #2: No good focus at the green leaves and they also look a bit blurred
    [​IMG]

    Bad #3: Not sharp from start to the end. Also noisy shot. Iso was not that high
    [​IMG]

    Bad #4: Have a look how blurry the fountain is and the water drops there...
    [​IMG]

    Bad #5: Here intentionally underexposed the leaves to give the main focus at the fountain... but still the water drops and the fountain there is not that sharp and there is so much noisy/shaky shot
    [​IMG]

    Bad #6: Again fountain not at focus even though I am using this rule for 16 or 22 apertures and focusing at 1/3
    [​IMG]

    Please try to comment on a picture by picture basis.

    Regards
    Alex
     
  15. Bimjo

    Bimjo Super Moderator

    Oct 28, 2011
    Washington State
    Jim
    I have not read Bryan's book, but I think you have misunderstood what he is saying. You don't focus 1/3 of the distance into a scene. What he's saying is that if you focus on an object and the depth of field for your lens settings is 21 meters deep then the depth of field in the picture will be from 7 meters,(1/3) in front of the object you focused on to 14 meters (2/3) behind the object.

    If you are using the hyperfocal distance and it happens to be 2 meters then everything in the picture from 1 meter to infinity will be in acceptable focus. Only you can decide what acceptable focus is for each shot though. What is acceptably sharp to me may not be for you. It all depends on what your goal for the shot is.

    If I'm shooting off a tripod I prefer to focus on my subject to ensure it is as sharp as the lens and camera can make it. If I'm walking around to shooting things that are moving fairly quickly I use the hyperfocal distance and accept that everything in the picture may not be as sharp as it might possibly be.
     
  16. macro

    macro TalkEmount Regular

    152
    Feb 3, 2012
    New Zealand
    Danny Young
    Okay, what you have here is a problem with focal length and DOF. Seems like you are expecting wide angle DOF, but using a longer focal length. That simply won't work.

    In bird shots we use this as a benefit and a feature of long focal lengths and wide open lenses. It isolates the subject by the use of very slim DOF. Head on with a long tele lens we often see with a bird head on, where the head and eyes are sharp in focus, but the tail can be out of focus. So the further away the subject is, the more is in focus, but not by a lot with longer focal lengths.

    You are going to have the same problem unless you stop the lens down considerably, that's not going to be easy with the lighting conditions you face in these shots.

    Light is everything !!. Underexposing will result in more noise, shadows will always show more noise, that's normal.

    So the idea with longer lenses is not to always get max DOF, that is not what they are for, that's where wider angles come into it. For what you are taking I would use a wider angle lens that will give you more DOF and if needed, crop into that image, but not by too much.

    We do all work differently though.

    All the best and all just IMO. Looking here, you really do need more light and that will also give you less noise and hopefully with a low ISO.

    Danny.
     
  17. alaios

    alaios TalkEmount All-Pro

    Jan 11, 2013
    Düsseldorf
    Alex
    Hi,
    I think I should start by a thanks on your time. Secondly I need to read a bit as I do not understand all the technical terms here... Googling is ofcourse one way. A decent book a more preferable one. I will wait to get more comments from other too. Then I will visit some bookstore

    Alex
     
  18. ChangshaNotes

    ChangshaNotes Super Moderator

    Aug 15, 2012
    China
    Colin
    Better and more knowledgeable photographers than I have commented already but I'll try to tell you what I see.

    Looks like you focused on the ducks in a row. Everything there and a little farther back towards you are in focus. The leaves of the overhanging tree are also pretty much in focus. What did you want in focus? What aperture did you shoot at? Very little light so fairly wide open so you can't get the whole scene in focus unless you use a tripod and a much higher aperture and a wider angle lens.

    This looks like exactly what I would expect with a 135mm pretty wide open.

    The people and the bird are too far off the plane of the fountain to get them all in focus and the shutter speed isn't high enough to freeze the water or the bird. 160 will control camera shake but not moving objects. I try to keep much higher than that with wider lenses doing street shooting.

    I like this shot.

    Ok, you under-exposed the leaves to emphasize the fountain but you focused on the leaves not the fountain.

    You focused on the reflection not the fountain.

    You are shooting at a wide aperture to compensate for the lack of light and so your depth-of-field is shallow, especially with a long lens. You are also not focusing on the subject. I'm not sure why. You seem to want to focus away from the subject and let the depth-of-field carry your subject into focus but that doesn't work at wide apertures.

    Why don't you focus on the subject?
     
  19. NickCyprus

    NickCyprus Super Moderator

    Oct 11, 2012
    Cyprus
    Nick
    Pretty much agree with everything that Colin wrote :thumbup:

    #1 is actually a pretty nice shot.
    What's in focus (ducks, leaves) are pretty sharp. The bridge and every thing after the bridge aren't sharp cause I imagine you're using a wide aperture to compensate the lack of light.
    That's a pretty good bokeh IMO ;)

    Do you shoot RAW?