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D3100 blurry pics???

John E , Sep 20, 2011; 06:25 p.m.

I just purchased a D3100 and noticed the pics look blurry from what appears to be camera shake. I've included a sample pic. I shot in raw, 125speed,f8 200ISO using center focus, I've tried shooting in vivid, neutral and portrait, the lens is automatic and VR was set to "on". I shot indoors with one main light. I've tried sharping under camera settings but pics are still blurry. I first thought that perhaps the lens that comes with the 3100 kit the lens is 18-55mg dx . anyone have any suggestions.


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John E , Sep 20, 2011; 06:27 p.m.

here's the pic

John E , Sep 20, 2011; 06:30 p.m.

third try.

Large photo attachment:
(sample -- 617 x 1200 photo)

Lorne Sunley , Sep 20, 2011; 07:03 p.m.

looks like camera shake ... VR will only do so much to reduce camera shake. Spend some time practicing holding the camera steady, place your left hand under the lens to hold it steady.

Richard Snow , Sep 20, 2011; 07:29 p.m.

Which Lens are you using? The 18-55mm does not have VR so it can't be that lens.

If you're using the 18-105mm on the long end @ 1/125 sec than it would no doubt be camera shake. VR is good, but if you're not using proper technique it's basically useless.

Do as Lorne suggests and also try the following:

Increase ISO to 800
This will allow a much faster shutter speed...1/500 sec should be good for hand holding.
Focus point doesn't really matter, but center is the best way to ensure accurate focus.

Hope this helps,


Thomas Lozinski , Sep 20, 2011; 07:59 p.m.

Rich, that 18-55 is available (and common) with VR.
Throw the camera on a tripod to eliminate camera shake blur and go from there. . .

barry goldberg , Sep 20, 2011; 08:20 p.m.

Sorry but being practical, carrying a tripod is a not a solution for most people. It's more about setting up the camera correctly for the conditions and developing good shooting habits.

To solve blurring pictures
- Look at your speed. If the subject is not moving, shoot at least 1/60 (the higher, the less likelihood of blurred pictures). If the subject is moving (such as taking pictures of a volleyball game), set the speed to 1/500. Of course if you push the speed up, as others said you will need to raise your ISO to compensate.
- Develop good shooting habits to remove blur from moving the camera. Keep the camera as still as possible, if you don't use a tripod, if possible, lean against a wall, do whatever you can to make sure that you are not introducing blur. Follow the advice from Lorne.
- Make sure that you are focusing correctly. Use the AF settings on the camera. When taking sports pictures, I prefer single point focus as it allows me to focus on exactly what I want. For example, with the picture of the volleyball, I would focus on the letters on the ball.
- Like you are doing, leave VR turned on (however don't use VR for anything above 1/500)

John E , Sep 20, 2011; 08:48 p.m.

to clarify. I was using a Paul buff strobe and I was shooting at 1/125 I was using single point focus and try to focus on the eye or teeth. I've been doing this a long time with my d70 same set up etc. I've been shooting at 1/60 with d70 and same paul buff strobe never had this problem while using flash as main source of light. the subjects were posed in front of a green screen standing still.

Richard Sperry , Sep 20, 2011; 08:53 p.m.

That sure looks like camera shake to me.

It appears to be more up and down, than side to side. Probably introduced from shutter release technique.

John E , Sep 20, 2011; 09:07 p.m.

won't the flash freeze any shaking? I've been doing this for 15 years and never had this problem using strobes. Here's another sample of a pic I took with the same camera same set up except I had setup a back light. the image is much sharper. same camera same settings same flash same technique etc. I've shot under various conditioins where I'm falling off balance or had to track one of the special needs kids and still never had this problem with camera shake while using strobes. I"ve never had to hold the camera perfectly still when using strobes. and I've never used a tripod. I shoot a lot of kids that move around a lot and have until recently been shooting at 1/60s. could the vr be causing the problem???

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