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Author Topic: 5D3 sharper images when using manual exposure (allegedly!)  (Read 18860 times)

Viggo

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Re: 5D3 sharper images when using manual exposure (allegedly!)
« Reply #15 on: March 11, 2014, 07:33:57 PM »

In Tv mode, it's nice when shooting a fast lens to be able to set a max aperture to maintain sufficient DoF, for example.

Then again, M mode with exposure compensation would more or less make the other modes pointless. Oh... 1DX has that too.

You really think you can adjust with exposure comp between frames at 12 fps of a dude running in and out of the shadows or between flickering lights at a concert or the two combined?

I worry about comp/framing, AF , not exposure in a burst or when tracking a subject.
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Re: 5D3 sharper images when using manual exposure (allegedly!)
« Reply #15 on: March 11, 2014, 07:33:57 PM »

flowers

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Re: 5D3 sharper images when using manual exposure (allegedly!)
« Reply #16 on: March 11, 2014, 09:55:21 PM »
There is no reason to use Av mode for anything. Manual exposure will always give better results and is not slower. You set the exposure at the beginning of the game and leave it at that. If something crazy like the weather turning from full sunshine to a thunderstorm happens you can easily adjust the shutter speed or aperture, takes no time at all. I don't think Av mode has any advantage and for football or other sports it makes no sense at all. For sports you would use Tv priority because shutter speed is more important to freeze motion, but again manual exposure is less of a hassle than Tv and EC. Human perception of sharpness is based on contrast. Auto exposure overexposes leading to less contrast and softer appearance.

Agree about using Tv as the preferred autoexposure mode.  How much football have you shot?  I've shot many games, and it's pretty common for part of the field to be in the shadow of the stands/bleachers.  The action moves from sun to shade and back constantly, and autoexposure can be very helpful in that scenario (whether Tv mode or manual mode with Auto ISO).  FWIW, much of my sports shooting was in the film days, when autoexposure was brand new, autofocus was way over my budget, and changing ISO on the fly was a pipe dream. 

As for, "Auto exposure overexposes," that shouldn't normally be the case.  If your camera consistently overexposes in the autoexposure modes, perhaps it needs to be serviced.

I don't shoot sports so I happily give the floor to those who do, I just commented based on common sense applied to sports. Of course experience trumps my common sense. I have never used the Auto mode in my camera so I don't know if it overexposes or not. I've used the Av and Tv mode (which are Auto mode with a twist) a few times and based on that I'd say that the camera very rarely (if ever) gets it right out of the box and figuring out if you need + or - EC in each situation would probably be no less trouble than setting the exposure manually. I also don't shoot JPG unless someone is holding a gun to my head so someone being in a shadow is no problem if it's within the RAW latitude. Of course pushing is less desirable than pulling so setting the exposure correctly for the necessary latitude both ways is important. Auto ISO in manual mode is useful if your camera supports it properly. When it comes to concerts it depends on whether I'm shooting video or taking photos. I don't think anyone would even dare think of changing exposure during video, and during photos it's a consideration to itself if you want to chuck the photos in the shadows, fix them by dodging or curves or if you really want to get photos where the shadows are correctly exposed and the stage lights are either pure white or overexposed by so much they look like pastels (with a clipped red channel). The latter isn't necessarily the best option but a lot depends on whether the subject is wearing light or dark clothes. If the subject is wearing black then it's probably best to expose for the clothing and let the lights blow. If you shoot JPGs in challenging lighting situations like concerts I don't know what to say. If you have or rent a 1-D X you have nothing to worry about, my comment was more general and not dependent on the camera model. The minimum shutter speed up to 1/8000 feature is great. It's always best to nail the exposure exactly for most latitude (and less post processing) but it's not always worth it to give up control of the other variables because that can lead to missed shots just as well. The ability to set the minimum shutter speed to 1/250 is not much to brag about when shooting sports by the way, if you have the feature you should be able to set it a lot higher, otherwise it's little more than a gimmick and only marginally useful.
« Last Edit: March 11, 2014, 09:57:51 PM by flowers »

neuroanatomist

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Re: 5D3 sharper images when using manual exposure (allegedly!)
« Reply #17 on: March 11, 2014, 10:21:24 PM »
I have never used the Auto mode in my camera so I don't know if it overexposes or not. I've used the Av and Tv mode (which are Auto mode with a twist) a few times and based on that I'd say that the camera very rarely (if ever) gets it right out of the box and figuring out if you need + or - EC in each situation would probably be no less trouble than setting the exposure manually.
For Av, Tv and M+Auto ISO, I'd call all of them autoexposure modes - you're selecting one or two of the three exposure parameters, and the camera is adjusting the other(s) to give the metered exposure (modified by any applied EC).

I guess we have different ideas/experiences of the accuracy of the camera's metering.  I have found that in most situations, the camera does a pretty good job - that's definitely model-specific, though.  The T1i and 5DII didn't do as well as the 7D, and the 1D X is quite accurate (plus, with the 1-series you can apply AE Microadjustment to tweak the metered exposure to your liking, up to a full stop in 1/8-stop increments).

I also don't shoot JPG unless someone is holding a gun to my head so someone being in a shadow is no problem if it's within the RAW latitude.
Depends on the shadows.  Sometimes they're pretty extreme, e.g. (not my image):



I don't shoot jpg, but I believe it's not uncommon for deadline-driven sports photographers. 

If you have or rent a 1-D X you have nothing to worry about, my comment was more general and not dependent on the camera model. The minimum shutter speed up to 1/8000 feature is great. It's always best to nail the exposure exactly for most latitude (and less post processing) but it's not always worth it to give up control of the other variables because that can lead to missed shots just as well.
Sometimes it helps to concentrate more on composition and timing than on exposure variables, to the extent that you can rely on the camera to handle those details.  In many situations, a blown highlight or blocked shadow is preferable to missing the peak of action or cutting an athelete's limb out of the frame.


The ability to set the minimum shutter speed to 1/250 is not much to brag about when shooting sports by the way, if you have the feature you should be able to set it a lot higher, otherwise it's little more than a gimmick and only marginally useful.
Agreed, and since they've added the feature to the 1D X (even though it didn't really need it, since it was possible with another setting), I hope that capability trickles down the line. 

I really don't think Canon had sports/action in mind for that feature.  Rather, the intent of a minimum shutter speed in Av mode was to compensate for the fact that in an autoexposure mode, the camera applies the 1/FL 'rule' (or 1/1.6xFL for APS-C).  So for example, zooming a 24-xx lens to the wide end on FF, in Av mode the shutter speed will drop to 1/25 s (and only then will the camera raise ISO, if that's set to Auto) - that means even 'still' people will have some subject motion blur.  The min shutter in Av setting compensates for that, and 1/250 s is sufficient to stop motion blur for people moving 'normally'.  At least that's what I think Canon was thinking...
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flowers

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Re: 5D3 sharper images when using manual exposure (allegedly!)
« Reply #18 on: March 11, 2014, 10:48:53 PM »

For Av, Tv and M+Auto ISO, I'd call all of them autoexposure modes - you're selecting one or two of the three exposure parameters, and the camera is adjusting the other(s) to give the metered exposure (modified by any applied EC).
It makes sense to call them all autoexposure modes, you're right.


I guess we have different ideas/experiences of the accuracy of the camera's metering.  I have found that in most situations, the camera does a pretty good job - that's definitely model-specific, though.  The T1i and 5DII didn't do as well as the 7D, and the 1D X is quite accurate (plus, with the 1-series you can apply AE Microadjustment to tweak the metered exposure to your liking, up to a full stop in 1/8-stop increments).
That model specificity is what makes it something I'd rather not get used to unless for some reason I have to.

I also don't shoot JPG unless someone is holding a gun to my head so someone being in a shadow is no problem if it's within the RAW latitude.
Depends on the shadows.  Sometimes they're pretty extreme, e.g. (not my image):


Actually, after I wrote that I realized that my mind was too much on nice diffuse shadows created by sunlight filtered through tree branches (conveniently soft and light enough) and I started thinking about some more extreme shadows. I admit that image you posted puts it into perspective, I've never seen that in real life (the type of shadow yes, but not the stadium or the game) so it didn't occur to me.
I don't shoot jpg, but I believe it's not uncommon for deadline-driven sports photographers.
In that case it's understandable, they probably want to print the photos as soon as possible.
If you have or rent a 1-D X you have nothing to worry about, my comment was more general and not dependent on the camera model. The minimum shutter speed up to 1/8000 feature is great. It's always best to nail the exposure exactly for most latitude (and less post processing) but it's not always worth it to give up control of the other variables because that can lead to missed shots just as well.
Sometimes it helps to concentrate more on composition and timing than on exposure variables, to the extent that you can rely on the camera to handle those details.  In many situations, a blown highlight or blocked shadow is preferable to missing the peak of action or cutting an athelete's limb out of the frame.
Oh, you're right. I think the problem is that I don't really shoot sports so I might be applying things to sports shooting that aren't applicable.

The ability to set the minimum shutter speed to 1/250 is not much to brag about when shooting sports by the way, if you have the feature you should be able to set it a lot higher, otherwise it's little more than a gimmick and only marginally useful.
Agreed, and since they've added the feature to the 1D X (even though it didn't really need it, since it was possible with another setting), I hope that capability trickles down the line. 

I really don't think Canon had sports/action in mind for that feature.  Rather, the intent of a minimum shutter speed in Av mode was to compensate for the fact that in an autoexposure mode, the camera applies the 1/FL 'rule' (or 1/1.6xFL for APS-C).  So for example, zooming a 24-xx lens to the wide end on FF, in Av mode the shutter speed will drop to 1/25 s (and only then will the camera raise ISO, if that's set to Auto) - that means even 'still' people will have some subject motion blur.  The min shutter in Av setting compensates for that, and 1/250 s is sufficient to stop motion blur for people moving 'normally'.  At least that's what I think Canon was thinking...
You're probably right. Personally I'd prefer it if it didn't use the 1/fl rule exactly but gave it a bigger margin to begin with, assuming some movement rather than using the smallest possible value.

sanj

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Re: 5D3 sharper images when using manual exposure (allegedly!)
« Reply #19 on: March 12, 2014, 12:47:06 AM »
He's not telling you the whole story.  You can get sharper RAW images with manual exposure, but only if you take the shots by pressing the shutter release on the battery grip instead of the body, while standing on your left foot, on Saturdays within three days of a full moon.

hahahahahahahahahahaha. Neuro! Too funny. :) :)

sanj

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Re: 5D3 sharper images when using manual exposure (allegedly!)
« Reply #20 on: March 12, 2014, 12:49:31 AM »
All other things being equal, sharpness is a result only off proper focus and appropriate shutter.

Nothing to do with how exposure is calculated/set.
« Last Edit: March 12, 2014, 12:54:50 AM by sanj »

GuyF

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Re: 5D3 sharper images when using manual exposure (allegedly!)
« Reply #21 on: March 12, 2014, 02:09:46 PM »
Thanks for all the comments.

Got further info from my colleague today - sticks to ISO 400 unless it's really bad light. Keeps shutter speed at 1/800th or faster. Reason for using Av and f2.8 was to ensure max isolation of subject from background - he wants to separate the player(s) on the ball from the distracting background of others on the pitch.

I suggested that the improved sharpness is simply a case of him having used smaller apertures without consciously realising at the time. I also pointed out the changing sharpness depending on where in the zoom range he is (including the changing DOF for a given aperture and distance to subject).

I've had to AFMA all my gear but he claims his lens doesn't need it. Hmmm, it could happen....

Thanks again.

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Re: 5D3 sharper images when using manual exposure (allegedly!)
« Reply #21 on: March 12, 2014, 02:09:46 PM »

flowers

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Re: 5D3 sharper images when using manual exposure (allegedly!)
« Reply #22 on: March 12, 2014, 04:21:15 PM »


I suggested that the improved sharpness is simply a case of him having used smaller apertures without consciously realising at the time. I also pointed out the changing sharpness depending on where in the zoom range he is (including the changing DOF for a given aperture and distance to subject).
I have no doubt some of the perceived sharpness came from using smaller apertures. I don't know about the specifics of zoom lenses other than that they tend to be softest at the extremes (a 70-200 would be softest at 0mm and at 200mm)

I've had to AFMA all my gear but he claims his lens doesn't need it. Hmmm, it could happen....

Thanks again.
Actually, I think it sounds just as suspicious if you've had to afma ALL your gear. Are you sure your camera is okay or that your lens supplier isn't supplying you with lemons? I don't think it's normal that you don't get a single perfect lens. A big reason for buying high end lenses, among others, is that they tend to be better calibrated in the factory and the tolerances for quality control are higher.

mackguyver

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Re: 5D3 sharper images when using manual exposure (allegedly!)
« Reply #23 on: March 12, 2014, 04:30:40 PM »
I've had to AFMA all my gear but he claims his lens doesn't need it. Hmmm, it could happen....

Thanks again.
Actually, I think it sounds just as suspicious if you've had to afma ALL your gear. Are you sure your camera is okay or that your lens supplier isn't supplying you with lemons? I don't think it's normal that you don't get a single perfect lens. A big reason for buying high end lenses, among others, is that they tend to be better calibrated in the factory and the tolerances for quality control are higher.
I guess I'm confused by both comments - first of all "had to AFMA all my gear" - we lived without AFMA for a while and were okay, so I don't think it has to be done.  On the other hand, I have chosen to AFMA all of my lenses and all but one of them were in the +2 to +5 range and one was +9.  Keep in mind that all of my AF lenses are f/1.2 to 2.8 and I calibrated extenders as applicable, I think that's pretty good.
To me that is more indicative of camera bodies that are slightly out of tolerance and lenses vs. having lemons, especially the f/1.4 and f/1.2 lenses. 

The only lenses I've ever had that were at "0" were my 400 f/5.6 and my 70-200 f/4 IS, which is more a result of their aperture vs. some level of exceptional quality.  Obviously Canon provided this capability because their manufacturing tolerances aren't tight enough to give a "0" for every lens/body combination out there, so I certainly wouldn't consider a lens a "lemon" if it needs some AFMA.  I had a 135 f/2 that was beyond +20, so I sent it to Canon and they corrected the optical alignment, but it was still a +2 afterwards.
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Viggo

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Re: 5D3 sharper images when using manual exposure (allegedly!)
« Reply #24 on: March 12, 2014, 05:56:28 PM »
I've had to AFMA all my gear but he claims his lens doesn't need it. Hmmm, it could happen....

Thanks again.
Actually, I think it sounds just as suspicious if you've had to afma ALL your gear. Are you sure your camera is okay or that your lens supplier isn't supplying you with lemons? I don't think it's normal that you don't get a single perfect lens. A big reason for buying high end lenses, among others, is that they tend to be better calibrated in the factory and the tolerances for quality control are higher.
I guess I'm confused by both comments - first of all "had to AFMA all my gear" - we lived without AFMA for a while and were okay, so I don't think it has to be done.  On the other hand, I have chosen to AFMA all of my lenses and all but one of them were in the +2 to +5 range and one was +9.  Keep in mind that all of my AF lenses are f/1.2 to 2.8 and I calibrated extenders as applicable, I think that's pretty good.
To me that is more indicative of camera bodies that are slightly out of tolerance and lenses vs. having lemons, especially the f/1.4 and f/1.2 lenses. 

The only lenses I've ever had that were at "0" were my 400 f/5.6 and my 70-200 f/4 IS, which is more a result of their aperture vs. some level of exceptional quality.  Obviously Canon provided this capability because their manufacturing tolerances aren't tight enough to give a "0" for every lens/body combination out there, so I certainly wouldn't consider a lens a "lemon" if it needs some AFMA.  I had a 135 f/2 that was beyond +20, so I sent it to Canon and they corrected the optical alignment, but it was still a +2 afterwards.

+1, to get optimal sharpness with a lens/camera combo, it almost always needs a +/- afma value. I've owned 5-6 bodies and 30+ lenses and only one copy of two lenses where no afma needed, and only on one body. If you have 6-7 lenses on one or two bodies, and claim none of them combos need afma, I dare say you are not doing the calibration well enough, or simply, happy with the slightly off results.
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neuroanatomist

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Re: 5D3 sharper images when using manual exposure (allegedly!)
« Reply #25 on: March 12, 2014, 06:23:14 PM »
I have three lenses that needed no adjustment on one body; each of them needed adjustment on two other bodies. In terms of absolute frequency, that's three lens+body combos out of ~50 combos tested.
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flowers

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Re: 5D3 sharper images when using manual exposure (allegedly!)
« Reply #26 on: March 13, 2014, 07:02:02 AM »
or simply, happy with the slightly off results.
This is certainly possible! I don't know to what accuracy you measure the results. I am happy if the AF works very well for practical results. I admit I don't measure if it works down to the last millimeter but if I focus on the eye and the eye is in focus I don't try to see if the focus is 0.5mm in front of or behind the eye if the eye is not blurry and not defocused, especially since I post process all my images. Sharpened/edge sharpened OOF area looks BAD. If you do your PP and it looks good (sharp, focused) then I don't think there's a difference if it's the tiniest bit off, if you can't see it in the final result (in practice).

Viggo

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Re: 5D3 sharper images when using manual exposure (allegedly!)
« Reply #27 on: March 13, 2014, 01:04:28 PM »
or simply, happy with the slightly off results.
This is certainly possible! I don't know to what accuracy you measure the results. I am happy if the AF works very well for practical results. I admit I don't measure if it works down to the last millimeter but if I focus on the eye and the eye is in focus I don't try to see if the focus is 0.5mm in front of or behind the eye if the eye is not blurry and not defocused, especially since I post process all my images. Sharpened/edge sharpened OOF area looks BAD. If you do your PP and it looks good (sharp, focused) then I don't think there's a difference if it's the tiniest bit off, if you can't see it in the final result (in practice).

Yes it depends on how much one care, I for one do not pay huge amounts of money to settle for sharp enough, when a little afma makes them the way they should be sharp like tack.

The best and most accurate way to do it, by far, is FoCal.
« Last Edit: March 13, 2014, 01:11:39 PM by Viggo »
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Re: 5D3 sharper images when using manual exposure (allegedly!)
« Reply #27 on: March 13, 2014, 01:04:28 PM »

mackguyver

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Re: 5D3 sharper images when using manual exposure (allegedly!)
« Reply #28 on: March 13, 2014, 02:08:43 PM »
or simply, happy with the slightly off results.
This is certainly possible! I don't know to what accuracy you measure the results. I am happy if the AF works very well for practical results. I admit I don't measure if it works down to the last millimeter but if I focus on the eye and the eye is in focus I don't try to see if the focus is 0.5mm in front of or behind the eye if the eye is not blurry and not defocused, especially since I post process all my images. Sharpened/edge sharpened OOF area looks BAD. If you do your PP and it looks good (sharp, focused) then I don't think there's a difference if it's the tiniest bit off, if you can't see it in the final result (in practice).

Yes it depends on how much one care, I for one do not pay huge amounts of money to settle for sharp enough, when a little afma makes them the way they should be sharp like tack.

The best and most accurate way to do it, by far, is FoCal.
Agreed and with most lenses, the difference is subtle, but the f/1.2 lenses show considerable differences in just a plus or minus 2 adjustments.
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GuyF

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Re: 5D3 sharper images when using manual exposure (allegedly!)
« Reply #29 on: March 13, 2014, 02:48:58 PM »
I didn't get a 300mm f2.8 IS mk1 and 500mm f4 mk2 (amongst others) for shots to be "slightly off". If I feel tweaking the AMFA by +1 or -9 or whatever is necessary to get razor sharp results then I'm fine with that.

Other people can settle for less if they want.

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Re: 5D3 sharper images when using manual exposure (allegedly!)
« Reply #29 on: March 13, 2014, 02:48:58 PM »