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Images not as sharp as I'd expect them to be?


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Hey guys, recently I upgraded from my Nikon D3200 to the A6500. On the nikon I often shot with a 200 dollar 50mm prime 1.8, and honestly that camera and that lens somehow produced some of the sharpest images I've ever seen. 

 

Well this week I got my A6500 in, and the glass I chose is the Zeiss 55mm 1.8 Sonnar lens. By all accounts, this camera + lens combo should produce incredibly sharp pictures, however they seem soft to me. Definitely not even close to the level of sharpness that I get from my Nikon and cheapo prime lens.

 

Would you guys be willing to help me out to figure out if it's the lens (or camera), or me that's producing the soft images? I would greatly appreciate any help that you guys give me.

 

A little background on me since it might help you guys help me. I'm no pro, I do this as "a serious hobby." I do sometimes get paid by people to take photos, but it's not a vocation. I've been seriously into photography for the last few years, but I started back in 2007. I am still learning every day, but I'm not at "newbie" level I don't think.

 

Thanks guys and gals!

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I feel like I need to make a quick update to this:

 

I took a snapshot of some text on a piece of paper. I made the same image with the nikon and the sony. The sony is obviously sharper than the nikon when taking pictures like that...

 

Yet when I take portraits of people, the nikon seems much sharper in that situation. This makes me think there's something I'm doing making portrait style photos not as sharp as they could be.

 

Any help?

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Guest Jaf-Photo

Sounds like a focusing issue. For instance, if you're focusing on the tip of the nose, the rest of the face will be out of focus. Either you can use the flexible spot to focus on the nearest eye, or you can read the manual on how to set up eye focus.

 

If you're using face recognition focus, you'll need to stop down the aperture because you'll often get front or back focus with it.

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What settings are you using when shooting portraits? Are you using eye autofocus? face detect etc.?

 

 

I was not until reading your post. Using continuous eye autofocus definitely helped, but it still misses focus. The camera about 50% of the time puts the focus just in front of the subject. Sometimes the images are tack sharp (far sharper than the 3200 I referenced in the original post, I cross checked). I'm happy with the sharpness for sure when the camera nails focus, but the fact that it misses so often is discouraging.

 

I will update this post with some examples shortly.

 

With that said, last night I decided I'd upgrade, so I should be getting the A7 iii on the 10th of April. I still want to figure this out though, because if it's me I'll have the same problem even with that camera.

 

Thank you sincerely!

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Sounds like a focusing issue. For instance, if you're focusing on the tip of the nose, the rest of the face will be out of focus. Either you can use the flexible spot to focus on the nearest eye, or you can read the manual on how to set up eye focus.

 

If you're using face recognition focus, you'll need to stop down the aperture because you'll often get front or back focus with it.

 

 

Yes I've learned that there are some tricks with this camera/lens. What is your opinion of the focus in this shot? Seems ok sharpness to me? 

 

One thing I really don't like is the fact that there is so much color fringing that her hair looks pink in the top of the frame. You'd think a Zeiss lens would have control over that. Maybe I'm expecting too much?

 

This is straight out of the camera.

 

(I need to find a way to post the full res version)

 

 

Soon my A7iii will be here so I want to figure out if I'm doing something wrong, or if I need to manage my expectations first. So thank you!

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Guest Jaf-Photo

No photo but the 55/1.8 does have some CA. If you do manual CA adjustments, you'll be able to bring it down so it's no longer intrusive.

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