D800 with 50mm f/1.4 difficulty obtaining sharp pictures

sonyaalisonyaali Posts: 1Member
edited December 2013 in D6x0/D7x0/D8x0
I have a D800 that I'm using with a 50mm 1.4 lens, and am unable to get sharp pictures out of it. Have tried different auto-focus settings, ISO, and shutter speeds, and most of the pics look ok when I view in the camera, but once I increase the zoom in lightroom, they're all soft-focused. What am I doing wrong??
Post edited by Msmoto on


  • WestEndBoyWestEndBoy Posts: 1,456Member
    First, read the "Should I keep my new 50mm 1.4G even if it tests iffy?" Thread. I can't think of anything not covered in that thread.
  • sidewayssideways Posts: 54Member
    edited December 2013
    To see how good the camera and lens combo can perform, i'd eliminate all the potential problems and take a sample photo. Choose a well lit still life subject,.Set your iso to 100 or 200 to get good detail, set shutter speed to 1/200 th or faster, use a tripod or brace the camera to eliminate shake, AF-S on the central focus point, live view if you want to be really sure then take 4 frames : wide open and at f4, f5.6 and f8

    It won't get much better than that.

    The 50 f1.4 is not super sharp wide open but it improves dramatically as you stop it down. One stop makes quite a difference so you should see a big improvement at f4, then peak sharpness is somwhere around f5.6 to f8. Diffraction effects actually reduce the sharpness of lenses at very small apertures so expect it to get worse somewhere around f11 or f16
    Wide openand close up the depth of field is pretty thin so you need to be careful about focussing. The lens gives a nice bokeh and good isolation when used full open but you have to stop it down if your priority is sharpness.

    Try this and if it still disappoints, let us know and i'm sure someone here can talk you through autofocus fine tuning. I wouldn't touch the fine tuning until you have worked through the routine above though.

    Good luck
    Post edited by sideways on
  • WestEndBoyWestEndBoy Posts: 1,456Member
    The 2 meter thick steel reinforced concrete floor is brilliant. I am going to put out a tender on that to retrofit my home.
  • roombarobotroombarobot Posts: 201Member

    Sonyaali, stop down the lens a bit, try shooting at f/8 and check the sharpness. As noted above, make sure you are shooting at about 1/200th or so. Also try using LiveView contrast AF vs. the normal phase detect AF.

  • MsmotoMsmoto Posts: 5,396Moderator

    We really do not know what "sharp"means. Download to Flickr some full size images you do not see as sharp, make certain all the Exif data is available and let us see what you have obtained. Try to have as your subject either a face with eyelashes, a furry animal, or some pattern with fine detail.
    Msmoto, mod
  • PhotobugPhotobug Posts: 4,991Member
    Ironheart thanks for the laugh. Great concepts to get sharp pictures. This took some time and the links were excellent.
    D750 & D7100 | 24-70 F2.8 G AF-S ED, 70-200 F2.8 AF VR, TC-14E III, TC-1.7EII, 35 F2 AF D, 50mm F1.8G, 105mm G AF-S VR | Backup & Wife's Gear: D5500 & Sony HX50V | 18-140 AF-S ED VR DX, 55-300 AF-S G VR DX |
    |SB-800, Amaran Halo LED Ring light | MB-D16 grip| Gitzo GT3541 + RRS BH-55LR, Gitzo GM2942 + Sirui L-10 | RRS gear | Lowepro, ThinkTank, & Hoodman gear | BosStrap | Vello Freewave Plus wireless Remote, Leica Lens Cleaning Cloth |
Sign In or Register to comment.