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Kristie3

Sharpness/focusing

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Hey, I'm using my Canon Mark 6d with a 24-70 Tamron lens and I feel like I'm struggling to get the sharpness I want and having focusing issues. How can I achieve the sharpness n focusing issue? I photograph a group of 8 and they were all very soft. Any recommendations? TIA!

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For these 8 people, what Aperture were you set to? Let’s start there. Can you post some examples? 

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My aperture was set at 5.6 or somewhere around there. 

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Without an example to see, couldn't tell you what happened. Sometimes, Tamron Lenses just do this. They will be fine and all of a sudden, boom! they don't focus on anything. Then magically start working 10 minutes or so later.

It's no secret that I'm a Nikon OEM Snob, and in your case (if it was me,) I'd be a Canon OEM Snob. I don't like Tamron lenses. Or Sigma. Chances are, your Tamron lens might need to be adjusted by Tamron. Not sure how much that will cost and how COVID-19 would come into play for repairs.

Since it's f/5.6, you might have needed to be at f/8 or f/11, depending on how close you were to the subjects,  and how "deep" they were to you. Again if it didn't focus on anything, this isn't a DoF problem, but a lens problem. The only other thing I can think of is that somehow your camera got switched to manual focus, but I'm not thinking this is the case. Of course, you'd be the one to know this.

What would I buy if it was me?

One of these lenses: Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM Lens or even this lens: Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS II USM Lens.

Yes, there is a difference between a Canon OEM and a Tamron. I know people will flat-out refuse to hear my opinion, and that's fine. Yes, I know the OEM stuff is way more expensive. I have the receipts to prove it. :D  

Unfortunately, it's 2021 and there is a chip shortage, amongst other things and we are still dealing with COVID-19. To complicate matters, both Nikon and Canon are Mirrorless Happy and are phasing out their DSLR camera bodies and lens line-ups. Everything seems to be out of stock or on back-order, at least as far as buying new is concerned. They have been bleeding money the last few years as DSLR sales have slowed and the interest in Mirrorless has changed their focus on what they are releasing next.

I guess at this point, keep an eye on the lens. If you are shooting professionally, as in charging people money for your services and you NEED to ensure you gear works every time, start saving or look to purchase used gear, just in case. If you do get a Canon 24-70, make sure it's the Version II of the lens. DO NOT BUY THE VERSION I of the Canon 24-70 f/2.8!! That lens was junk and very unpredictable. Canon decided to rebuild the lens from the ground up with the Version II and that lens has been a clear winner all this time.

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Hey Brian, thanks so much for the information on the lenses.  I do think that I was just at a low aperture for the amount of subjects I had.  I also was using an external flash that I felt like wasn't enough light as well.  Any images smaller then an 8x10 was fine but anything larger was very pixilated.  I tends to miss focus on subjects and its a struggle that I continue to try and perfect at all times.  Often times I get it but when its several subjects (4-5plus) I tend to miss my focus points or someone is in coccus while others are out or "soft".  Im currently only have a Tampon 24-70 2.8 and a Canon 50mm.  Im not sure if using back button focus will somewhat solve my problem or some single point focus or what.  I know now that with any groups making sure that I aperture increases by the amount of subjects, but still I miss focus.  

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On 8/13/2021 at 10:01 PM, Kristie3 said:

Im not sure if using back button focus will somewhat solve my problem

Back Button Focus is kinda like "Frequency Separation" with Photoshop. It is not the end-all-be-all technique that it's made out to be. Sometimes the situation calls for it, others it does not. I did let a co-worker of mine use my Nikon 70-200 who was using a Tamron lens. He was impressed on how the Nikon lens quickly locked on Focus and didn't "hunt." It focused every time. He agreed that "...there was a difference," but he couldn't afford spending $2000+ right now. Though the lens is now on his "Short-List," LOL!! I'm very good at spending other peoples money.

On 8/13/2021 at 10:01 PM, Kristie3 said:

 I also was using an external flash that I felt like wasn't enough light as well.

That is also part of your problem. Camera focus systems use a "Contrast Swing" between lights and darks to lock on focus. So the less of this contrast swing, the harder it is for a camera to focus. Combine that with your Tamron lens, and you will have more issues like this. Also, set your camera to "Rear Curtain Sync" (or whatever it's called.) What this does is let more ambient light in and then fires the flash just before the shutter closes. This helps with movement and freezes things with your flash.
 

On 8/13/2021 at 10:01 PM, Kristie3 said:

I tend to miss my focus points or someone is in coccus while others are out or "soft".

Not all focus points are created equal. Especially when it comes to Canon Bodies. You want to read your manual, or look online for "Cross Point Sensors." Actually, skip that. I can answer that question for you...there is only ONE of these Focus Points with your 6D, and that's the center AF Point. All other AF points can be hit or miss and ONLY the Center AF Point will be the most consistent. Want more Cross Point Focus Points? Buy a better camera body. Remember, the 6D is a "Entry Level" full frame. If you are shooting professionally and find yourself in this situation often, start saving money and get a better camera body. Even a used 5D Mark III would be better than a 6D.

You also need to learn Depth of Field and not use "f/2.8 all the things." I know you probably weren't at f/2.8 but I think you get what I mean. With Groups, f/4 would be the widest aperture that I go, but would probably recommend f/8 or even f/11. Of course, you'll need a better flash on top of your camera that has enough power to illuminate things .With groups, I tend to find a spot between the 1st and second row, stop down to f/5.6 or f/8 and take a few test shots. I zoom in on the eyes to see who is in focus and then adjust my Aperture from there. Chances are I will also be increasing my ISO as I stop down. Oh if you are using a TTL method with your flash, no matter what Shutter Speed and Aperture that you use, the Flash will automatically compensate. So if you want more Ambient Light in, you will need to slow down your shutter speed, set your flash to manual and adjust the power that you need to illuminate your subjects. 

Shutter Speed (and ISO) = Control Ambient Light
Aperture Value = DoF and Flash Power Used.

Sometimes you need to be on a "Continuous" Focus Method, especially if you have shaky hands. I'd learn ALL of the focus modes with your camera and know which one to use for a particular situation. 

#knowyourgear

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Hey, thanks so much for the feedback. I appreciate it. My external flash was ok but to me was a little flat. My camera was a regular 6d. I know have the Mark 6d with a 24-70 lens and I often times still fall short on getting images all in focus. When I review the image in camera when I go around f8 or f11 the images start to look very noisy. I do good with couples, infants or family 5 and under but when it's larger I tends to miss focus. I still practice with my camera and still understanding it. 

 

I will try to upload the image later. I've tried twice to upload it but it continues to fail.

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10 minutes ago, Kristie3 said:

I will try to upload the image later. I've tried twice to upload it but it continues to fail.

Sounds like you're trying to upload full images?  That's not what we need, only the 700x700 crops.

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19 hours ago, Kristie3 said:

go around f8 or f11 the images start to look very noisy

It sounds like you are using some sort of Auto ISO Setting and as you stop down, the camera is bumping up the ISO to compensate to keep the Aperture and Shutter Speed. Every camera has a "Falling Apart" stage. This is when the images, regardless on how expensive the body is, start to get too noisy or just plain "fall apart" quality-wise. I don't care what Chart or what a Measurebator on a website claims, ISO 6400 is still kinda tough for a lot of camera bodies, especially in tricky lighting situations. Even more-so the more Megapixels you have on the camera's sensor. I can not stand my Nikon D850 at ISO 6400 or above. Those 45.1MP all crammed together help create noise / sensor grain which is such a PITA to deal with.

Damien is correct, if you are zooming in at 200% or more in Photoshop, you aren't going to be happy. DSLRs are good up to about 100%. If you want something good at 300% or 400%, then we are talking about you getting into Medium Format, and taking out a Second Mortgage to pay for it. Seriously, Medium Format STARTS around $25,000 for the camera body itself. LOL!! But I'm digressing. Without seeing the images you are talking about, Damien and I can only guess at what you are experiencing. So please post SOMETHING. I promise, only Damien or Myself (or one of the Admins) can chime in this thread. My Ask Brian section is set up that way on purpose.

To upload a file, make sure it's a JPEG and click the "Choose files..." link just below the comment box.

1678929068_ScreenShot2021-08-16at8_13_09PM.png.3591e56ba72a1c2f244a8578e63e2605.png

Then after the image loads, hover the mouse cursor over it and click the "+ in the Circle" and it should add it to the comment.

730158261_ScreenShot2021-08-16at8_13_26PM.thumb.png.be47f63bf0dd27faa551c2e95c3803d1.png

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19 hours ago, Kristie3 said:

My external flash was ok but to me was a little flat

Yeah, the distance between your flash and subjects, and what modifier that you use, can produce flat-looking images. Also, if you are using a stupid pop-up flash, those type of flashes don't make things look good at all, period. The reason is, the smaller the light source, or the further back you are, the more "Flat" and "Flashy / Contrasty" your images will be. Nothing beats a huge modifier that's close to your subjects. But that's a whole other thread. ;)

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Hey there, so sorry for the late response to my questions several weeks ago.  I have attach one of the image that the focus was off on the image.  I was using at the time of the session a Canon 6d with a 50mm 1.8 with an external flash. I thought that I was using the Tamron but realize I didn't have the lens then.  Any way to achieve a look for a sharpness? Thanks a bunch!

Marion Family 2020-19.jpg

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OK, I need the details:

Aperture | Shutter Speed | ISO

Which focusing Mode and where was your focus point? Because the only reliable Focus Point with a 6D is the Center AF Point. (I mentioned this above.)

Plus it doesn't help that you look to be in a small space, so I'm thinking f/8 or even f/11 might have been a better choice. f/5.6 may not give you enough Depth of Field. Which is what I'm really leaning towards in this photo. From what I can tell, it's about 4-5 feet between the front row of faces and back row. That's a lot content that you want in focus.

Oh, I need a 700x700 crop of the original photo of where you put the AF point. Follow these instructions:

https://www.damiensymonds.net/2013/09/grabbing-700x700px-100-crop.html

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Also, what lights where you using? Alien Bees? Flashes? Strobes? What power were they set to?

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for this session I was using a Neewer Speedlite Nw-670

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Hey there, sorry for the delay. I've been super busy today.  I no longer have the file on hand as this was so long ago. Like over six months ago.  I would try to find it and upload it.  Also, you want me to upload using Bridge or Adobe PS or does it not matter.  Im not fully aware of how to use Bridge or PS yet.

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Hey there, I was able to save it as Jpeg but unable to attach it.  Im going to continue to try to upload it for you.  

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Hey there, I uploading it using the information you provided.  Let me know if I did it correct or if I will have to do it again.  Thanks a bunch!

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Hey, this is what is appearing on me end as I go to save it.  I am following all the steps needed but I may be missing something.  May you please help with what I need to do or don't do when uploading the file? Thanks again 🙂

Screen Shot 2021-09-08 at 9.06.21 AM.png

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Why are you saving at a quality of 3? I’d like you to use 10. 

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