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DPChallenge Forums >> Tips, Tricks, and Q&A >> My photo quality sucks. : (
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10/14/2007 02:37:28 PM · #1
Hey, I was hoping someone will have an idea what's going wrong with my studio shots. I'm shooting at ISO 100, 1/60 - 1/100 shutterspeed on a tripod and my photos look terrible. They are RAW files from a Canon Rebel XTi with a EF-S 17-85 mm 1:4-5.6 IS USM lens. The files have not been dramatically altered to cause the noise, they are grainy and gross right out of the camera. Sometimes they look like they have the watercolor PS filter applied to them. Do you know what might be causing this? I the links are samples that are fullsize crops. The first ones is just about as good quality as I can get, which really isn't all that great to me. Thanks.

One

Two.

-Monica
10/14/2007 02:44:46 PM · #2
I don't have that camera but are you exposing to the right of the histogram or are you pushing the exposure with the raw file? If under exposed, when you bump the exposure or brightness of the raw file you will get lots of noise. You didn't mention the apature you used either which will effet image quality if wide open causing it to be soft.
10/14/2007 02:50:26 PM · #3
I'm pretty sure I shoot around f11-22 usually. I expose as far to the right as I can without blowing out the highlights then I adjust the exposure in Lightroom. These are well exposed photos, I don't know where the noise is coming from.
10/14/2007 03:00:43 PM · #4
number 1 doesn't look too bad but yeah number 2 is...well number 2 (crappy lol).

Did this just come about? I wonder if a setting is off in your RAW converter. Is it too late to shoot a RAW+jpg and see if the jpg is fine? Is this what you are talking about with the watercolor ps filter? I would try to reset all settings to factory default then start again. Maybe someone can take one of your RAWs and process it to see what they get...just an idea. Good luck, that has to be frustrating.
10/14/2007 03:15:59 PM · #5
Unfortunately I can't get back to the studio today to shoot and I have to show them in class tomorrow. I did just take a on camera flash shot of hair in RAW+Jpeg to compare them with the same settings on that I had in the studio, but I cleared the settings in the camera menu. : ( I can't even go in and check out my straight raw files right now because CS2 doesn't accept XTi's raw files. I'm downloading a trial of lightroom on here to look up close at the files. Maybe lightroom has some setting messed up on it at the school computers?
10/14/2007 03:24:07 PM · #6
what ISO do you use? the higher the ISO, the higher the noise.

I have the xti and never had something happen i wasnt responsible for.

Try it on f 4-6.5 and it will be a lot sharper, especially with the (crappy) kit lens.
10/14/2007 03:28:56 PM · #7
I'm not using the kits lens. I shot it at ISO 100.
10/14/2007 03:34:30 PM · #8
post the RAWS please
10/14/2007 03:41:52 PM · #9
I just opened RAW files from my camera today in CS2. I can't say why the second file is so grainy though. Are you sure the ISO was 100?
10/14/2007 03:43:06 PM · #10
You can open XTi raw files in CS2? It won't let me on either of my computers and when I googled it everywhere I looked said they were incompatible..?
10/14/2007 03:47:06 PM · #11
Yes I did. I shot about 20 for the macro challenge. You have to select File..,Open..., change the file type to Raw and you should see Thumbnails. Double click and the Raw editor should launch. If not, you can send me a raw file and I'll try to open if you wish.
10/14/2007 03:47:22 PM · #12
I'm sorry NstiG8tr, I'm not comfortable posting the raw files, they are from a nude assignment.
10/14/2007 03:58:16 PM · #13
Definitely check a jpeg under the same settings. RAW will have more noise, but from the settings you describe it shouldn't have that much noise. I don't know if the XTi has an auto-iso but check the iso in the image file to see if it was really shot at 100. If they were well-exposed, there just shouldn't be that much noise.
10/14/2007 04:05:10 PM · #14
I've been playing around with the same raw file in lightroom and it seems to be the sharpening that really brings out the noise. Even without sharpening or exposure adjustments there really seems to be more noise then there should be it also seems pretty soft for the settings. Metadata says 1/60 sec at f25 85mm ISO100. I will keep fiddling around and see. Maybe my lens just isn't cut out for studio shots. I will borrow a friend's lens next time I'm in there to see if there is much difference at the same settings. Thanks everyone for your help, I appreciate it.
10/14/2007 04:14:18 PM · #15
Dont shoot at f25! Thats your problem... lenses are usually sharpest between f8 ad f11, at f25 even the best lens is crap. For studio work just memorize iso 100, f8 or f11, 1/100 :-)
10/14/2007 04:17:11 PM · #16
what nico said. dont stop down past f/11 unless you really need to.
10/14/2007 04:21:54 PM · #17
Just looked up the SQF (subjective quality factor) on popphoto and the canon 17-85mm is sharpest at f/8.
10/14/2007 04:23:14 PM · #18
Originally posted by moniepenny:

I'm sorry NstiG8tr, I'm not comfortable posting the raw files, they are from a nude assignment.


That's OK then. Why would you be shooting @ F25? You shootin in Auto mode or something? Them just sound like settings Auto mode throws up.
10/14/2007 05:32:03 PM · #19
As some have posted, do try shooting at a larger aperture, f/8 or f/11. But that isn't what your noise pr9oblem is... the noise is certainly being accentuated by the sharpening in Lightroom. I'd advise turning it off, and doing all your sharpening in post.
it would help greatly to have some RAW files to deal with, but due to the nature of your current set, looks like you'd have to shoot something specifically for examples here. That's probably a good idea.
10/14/2007 05:36:09 PM · #20
I notice you've converted these to B&W - What method did you use? - Because some colour channels are cleaner than others for B&W conversion.
10/15/2007 12:47:04 PM · #21
Originally posted by moniepenny:

You can open XTi raw files in CS2? It won't let me on either of my computers and when I googled it everywhere I looked said they were incompatible..?


Goto adobes site and look for Adobe camera raw and make sure you are running the latest version. Then if you have photoshop open and goto file-> browse and select a raw file it will open it in camera raw and from there you can make some initial tweaks and further open it in PS.
10/15/2007 01:20:01 PM · #22
Linky, linky:
Camera Raw 4.2: Windows
Camera Raw 4.2: Macintosh

Just follow the instructions...
10/16/2007 05:57:23 PM · #23
this looks to me like sharpening artifacts that you can get from PS or Lightroom or any raw processing software ...
10/18/2007 02:57:37 PM · #24
If you have an image stabilizer and the camera is mounted on a tripod, you'll get bad results. Turn off the IS if you have it.

10/25/2007 09:12:51 AM · #25
looks like bad noise reduction to me.

How do you do your B+W conversion?

Noise becomes an issue in B+W conversion as you use more one channel than the others, therefore with with on average 3x less information, and up to 4x less with blue and red.

The best way to reduce noise is to reduce noise in the color file (using all color channels), then do noise reduction in photoshop (I find that lightroom and/or ACR do a pretty bad job). Then do whatever other change you want to make. Then only convert to B+W.

And, as the other said, don't stop more than f/11

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