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Could this be a focus problem


Well-Known Member

I have started to notice a what I think is a focus problem, where areas appear to be sharper than where I was focusing. My attempt was to focus just above the body and catch the contrast of the neck above the birds body. It appears to me that the reeds in front of the bird are sharper than the head / neck of the bird. So I would value any opinion.


this pic also has banding and is in this thread
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*Please post* any banding related comments here:
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lens 150-500 with 1.4x sigma ex tc with Feisol monopod
raw hi
center point focus
manual focus -- green light confirmation in viewfinder
Image Dimensions: 13.9 MP (2640 x 1760 x 3)
File Size: 9.13 MB
Capture Date: 4/26/2009 11:28:23 AM
Exposure Mode: M - Manual Exposure
Exposure Compensation: 0
ISO Setting: 400
White Balance Setting: Auto
Color Mode: Unknown
Flash: Off
Shutter Speed: 1/1600s
Aperture Value: F9
Metering Mode: Center Area Metering
Focus Setting: M - Manual Focus
Focal Length: 700 mm (210-700)
Resolution: HI
Drive Mode: Continuous Shooting
Camera: SIGMA SD14 01014535
Firmware Version: SD14 1.08
Saved X3F Settings
Exposure: -0.4
Contrast: +1.0
Shadow: -0.4
Highlight: +0.0
Saturation: +1.5
Sharpness: +0.9
X3 Fill Light: +0.4
Color Adjustment: 0

Thanks for viewing,



Well-Known Member
Hi Robert,
It was hard for me to tell the minute difference in sharpness from the crane to the reeds in front. I was going to say that it might have been an issue with camera shake since the reeds seem a bit out of focus as well, but at 1/1600s that wouldn't make sense.
In that case to me it seems like the reeds and the crane were in the far edges of the hyperfocus range or depth of field and you were focused even closer to where your perceived point of focus was.

I haven't had any experience with Sigma teleconverters but I do find I have the softness issue when I use them on other cameras.

I hope this helps!


Well-Known Member
Re-checking the image the clump of reeds by the bird's reflection seem to be sharper. And the reeds down at the bottom of the image seem to have the same amount of softness as the neck and body.


Well-Known Member
Following this thread, I remembered that, for some situations - a relatively static scene, focus issues can be remedied in software. (I do realize that this can't really be applied to wildlife photography.)

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( Freeware :) Command line :uhoh: ) and
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performs both exposure and focus blending.

To achieve a good depth of field, there is an example on both web pages of an image going from 2 inches to infinity, you'll need to shoot a succession of images each with a different focus while overlapping the depth of fields.

Both TuFuse and TuFuse Pro can process X3F files directly when you also put the DCRaw.exe program into the TuFuse directory.


Well-Known Member

it is a small difference, thanks for confirming on where the sharper focus is .... it is what I thought I was seeing too.



Well-Known Member

Thanks for the input on max lyons, I have used it already for a couple of years. My favorite is the depth of field calculator. Using my best guess for distance, this shot should have 6 and a half feet of depth of field. It should be enough for the bird.

I had tried imagestacker before to increase dof on macro. Works great on statics.



Related to the above,I like to mention "Helicon Focus" as well.
But as said,works best on statics