Much Ado About Something That Might Be Nothing

I don't think I'm having any sharpness issues with my 70-200 f/2.8. This one was ISO 3600, f/3.2, and 1/320 second.

I’ve been riding an emotional roller coaster since adding the D7000 to my camera arsenal.

First, I was ecstatic over the image quality, particularly at high ISOs.

ISO 6400

Then, I was crushed by an apparent lack of sharpness in my images.

This one isn't sharp where I expected it to be sharp. Plus, my once ultra-dependable 17-55 f/2.8 lens seems to be producing lackluster colors on the D7000, which is why I put a sepia wash on this.

But then I was excited again after fine-tuning all of my lenses.

My old 35mm f/2.0 lens came out of the fine-tuning process looking very sharp, with good contrast and color too.

And then I freaked out because the camera would not turn off – a condition I now believe was caused by a bad memory card.

So I went into last night’s rehearsal of It’s A Wonderful Life (Radio Version) at the Ojai Art Center Theater feeling exhausted and hypersensitive to possible camera focus/sharpness issues.

I spent a big chunk of last night and this morning reviewing the photos. At this point, I’m still not sure if there are focus or sharpness malfunctions, but I’m impressed by the overall look of the high ISO images in general, and the pleasant rendering of people in particular. I also remember that with each new camera – D70, D200, D300, and now D7000, it’s taken some time for me to learn how to adapt to its idiosyncrasies and get the best results.  This is the highest resolution digital camera I’ve owned, and that will exaggerate any lens or focus shortcomings.

But here’s the kicker: For all my handwringing and whining about the images that didn’t look good, I realize that I came out of this event with a higher than usual percentage of keepers. Very encouraging.  I guess I’ll have to do less testing and more shooting.

ISO 3600

Of course, give me three flash units, a wide-angle lens, and f/9.0 and I'll give you a sharp image even when I'm teetering atop a couple of loosely mounted theater seats.

Spoiler Alert: Clarence does get his wings.

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Filed under Camera Gear, Camera Settings, Dance and Theater, Low Light

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