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Great ben4321 2007-09-01 12:44

Hi David,
At the size of image posted here, differences in lens quality shouldn't really be noticeable - it's only when you start to print big that the difference between a cheapo kit lens and a £1000+ piece of pro glass will become apparent. I can't see any problem with sharpness here, but it was no doubt a lot easier to see at full resolution.
The Nikon 12-24 has a great reputation, although I've heard that it's a lot sharper at 24mm that at 12.
Another thing that can affect sharpness is if you focus on infinity, you're 'wasting' a lot of the depth of field at any given aperture. We're starting to stray into hyperfocal focusing territory here, so I won't complicate matters (it's impossible to do accurately with a zoom lens anyway - they lack hyperfocal depth of field markings).
Usually focusing about a third of the way into a scene is better than focusing on infinity for producing front to back sharpness, but it's different for every lens so you need to experiment to find what works best. Just stay away from that infinity setting!

I like this shot, although I think I'd have preferred less of the rocks in the foreground. Never been a fan of square crops either, although sometimes it can work well.
It looks like an amazing landscape, and you've photographed it in great light, but the expanse of lichen covered rock looks a bit featureless (at this size anyway, they'd probably look better on a large print), and I think if you could have found stronger foreground interest in this barren landscape the shot would have worked better.
I think you've done well here though, and other than my reservations about the foreground I like this shot a lot.


Cheers,
Ben

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Old 09-02-2007, 06:13 AM
banyanman banyanman is offline
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Join Date: Jun 2005
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Default To ben4321: Hyperfocal focusing

Thanks for your detailed comment on this, Ben. Given your advice, and what others have said in their critiques, I am coming to the conclusion that perhaps the aperture setting was only a small part of this. I suspect not using a tripod at 1/80th may have been more significant, and also the fact this was shot at 12 mm. The softness to which I was referring is more apparent on the background mountains than the foreground, so perhaps focusing on infinity, and not using hyperfocal focusing was not a big factor in this case. I totally agree with you when you say that itís different for every lens (and every shooting situation too) so you have to experiment to achieve the best results Ė there are no hard and fast rules for every situation, so thatís why we can never stop learning.

Cheers . . . David

PS: Like you, Iím not a big fan of the square format, but I shot this in landscape format and had to crop away the right hand third otherwise the lichen would have been in the middle, and there would have been far to much foreground on the right hand side. Maybe I should have cropped away the bottom one third completely to restore this to a landscape format, but of course that would have removed the lichen. At the time, I was concentrating on including the lichen in the frame (this was my first trip to the Arctic so I was quite fascinated by its bright colour), and that was influencing the composition more than perhaps it should have.
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