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Author Topic: Updated - New QC procedures as a result of persistent failures  (Read 12823 times)

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lisafx

« Reply #25 on: May 11, 2009, 13:03 »
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Sorry, I meant the 24-105L; the 100-400 is also an IS L. It came in between the 5d2 going back to the repairer and the new one coming, so I only had a chance to try it out yesterday.

I am pretty p****d with Canon: 2 faulty 450Ds, a 40D which needed two repairs within its first three months (electrics), a 5D2 which had to be replaced within a month, and now goodness knows what. And it all costs money, having to be sent Special Delivery & insured.  >:(

Wow.  If you are using L glass then your experience doesn't mirror mine at all.  My images are insanely sharp using the kit lens.  And I also shoot handheld. 

Please forgive an obvious question, but did you make sure the IS is turned on? 

FWIW I have gone through the ringer with Canon too awhile back.  I went through four 10D's before getting a good one.  Never have been happy with the sharpness of my 40D either.  I have been very fortunate to get superb examples of the 5D and 5DII though.

One other question - are you shooting RAW or jpeg?  When I got the 5DII I was noticing jpegs were a bit mushy.  I forgot I had the default sharpening setting in my 5D to +1 and the default on the 5DII was 0 or -1, I think.  The +1 seems to make the jpegs very sharp if all else is working properly.  I shoot mostly RAW for stock, though, so that's a non-issue.
« Last Edit: May 11, 2009, 13:05 by lisafx »


« Reply #26 on: May 11, 2009, 13:11 »
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The set-up will be no use to me if it only works on a tripod: I'm going to Botswana in July and most of my shooting will be from mokoros (poled canoes). The 100-400 IS L has often been recommended for safaris, where in general you have little chance of using a tripod; with my 350D I was fine with the Sigma 100-300 EX IF DG, but of course, that isn't full frame compatible. I'd imagine at least 95% of my non-isolated-on-white iStock port was hand-held. Obviously the 'set up' stuff needed a tripod.

You should be OK provided you accept that you might need to downsize the images back down to 12MP to get them sharp. You can up the ISO of course ... but then that'll increase the noise ... so then you'll need to downsize again. I have the 100-400 IS myself but ended up buying the 70-200 2.8L IS as, when I got the 1Ds, I wasn't satisfied with the results.

The trouble with 23MP is it shows everything up __ but only when you are 'pixel peeping' at 100%. I find downsizing is no great loss anyway as I get very few sales above the IS Large size. The ability to crop or downsize has rescued many a best-selling image for me.

ShadySue

« Reply #27 on: May 11, 2009, 13:20 »
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The set-up will be no use to me if it only works on a tripod: I'm going to Botswana in July and most of my shooting will be from mokoros (poled canoes). The 100-400 IS L has often been recommended for safaris, where in general you have little chance of using a tripod; with my 350D I was fine with the Sigma 100-300 EX IF DG, but of course, that isn't full frame compatible. I'd imagine at least 95% of my non-isolated-on-white iStock port was hand-held. Obviously the 'set up' stuff needed a tripod.

You should be OK provided you accept that you might need to downsize the images back down to 12MP to get them sharp. You can up the ISO of course ... but then that'll increase the noise ... so then you'll need to downsize again. I have the 100-400 IS myself but ended up buying the 70-200 2.8L IS as, when I got the 1Ds, I wasn't satisfied with the results.

The trouble with 23MP is it shows everything up __ but only when you are 'pixel peeping' at 100%. I find downsizing is no great loss anyway as I get very few sales above the IS Large size. The ability to crop or downsize has rescued many a best-selling image for me.
Well, more checking/testing obviously needed.
The 5d2 was bought specifically with the intention of doing editorial e.g. Alamy. I've gone as far as I can with iStock, with no models. Set-ups bore me to tears, and are bad for my dodgy back, and less usual wildlife gets nowhere unless (and sometimes even if) it's American. If I was staying at iStock I'd have stuck with the 40D for a while.
I might get out and about in a wee while, and tomorrow I'll try some targets via a tripod stuff.
Lisa: yes, the IS was switched on, but I just checked one of my very obviously mushy shots and the EXIF says 38mm; 100ISO; 1/200 @f10, which should be pretty good even without!
Shooting RAW, and have already set the JPG options off/neutral in case for any reason I want to shoot JPG.
« Last Edit: May 11, 2009, 18:12 by ShadySue »

ShadySue

« Reply #28 on: May 12, 2009, 10:54 »
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Here I am again.
I've posted an example here (not that I submitted: even I can see it's mushy and the lower notice especially is well out of focus. ).
http://www.v-liz.com/iStock/church.jpg
It's a full size crop taken from a RAW file tweaked only for a bit of contrast. It's the one I mentioned above, IS0100; 5DMk2 (3 days old); 38mm; 1/200@f10; IS on. Handheld, admittedly, but like I said, I shoot most things handheld, and if it won't do this sort of thing handheld, it'll be no use to me at all. What's the point of an IS lens if you can't handhold it - you have to switch it off when you have it on the tripod anyway!
OK, so I'm asking for feedback as to whether the mushiness of this photo is me (what should I do better?) the lens or the camera.
(I had a photo taken with the same set up about ten minutes later accepted on Alamy today. One of the photos I took yesterday evening is so bad I can't see where I imagined I was focussing, others aren't so bad, maybe even OK.)
I'm just going to see if I can find some even light anywhere (very unlikely in 'leaf' season) to do a tripod test on some print.
TIA

RT


« Reply #29 on: May 12, 2009, 12:56 »
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Here I am again.
I've posted an example here (not that I submitted: even I can see it's mushy and the lower notice especially is well out of focus. ).
http://www.v-liz.com/iStock/church.jpg
It's a full size crop taken from a RAW file tweaked only for a bit of contrast. It's the one I mentioned above, IS0100; 5DMk2 (3 days old); 38mm; 1/200@f10; IS on. Handheld, admittedly, but like I said, I shoot most things handheld, and if it won't do this sort of thing handheld, it'll be no use to me at all. What's the point of an IS lens if you can't handhold it - you have to switch it off when you have it on the tripod anyway!
OK, so I'm asking for feedback as to whether the mushiness of this photo is me (what should I do better?) the lens or the camera.
(I had a photo taken with the same set up about ten minutes later accepted on Alamy today. One of the photos I took yesterday evening is so bad I can't see where I imagined I was focussing, others aren't so bad, maybe even OK.)
I'm just going to see if I can find some even light anywhere (very unlikely in 'leaf' season) to do a tripod test on some print.
TIA



Having just taken a quick look at the photo you've linked to I'm going to make an educated guess here and suggest you send the lens of to be calibrated, I don't think it's the camera. The photo isn't blurred it looks to me like the red/green channels aren't aligned.

« Reply #30 on: May 12, 2009, 16:19 »
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I'm not so sure __ it's a dark subject and the noise shows up too badly to really see the sharpness. I can absolutely confirm that shooting at 1/200 held-held with a 23MP camera is nothing like fast enough to eliminate camera-shake.

You need to do some proper test shots Sue with the camera tripod-mounted and set to ISO100 __ IS switched off obviously. You need to eliminate all influencing factors apart from the lens and the sensor. I thought IS was marvelleous when I was shooting with a 6MP 10D but as my cameras have improved I am less & less happy with most of the results I get from it nowadays.

I've tried shrinking the image by half, to more or less replicate it at the size it would have been on a 12MP sensor but it's still not clever.
« Last Edit: May 12, 2009, 16:21 by gostwyck »

« Reply #31 on: May 12, 2009, 17:10 »
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Well so far Ive been getting 100% acceptances irrespective of whether I upload with a 10MP E420 or the Olympus E30 - of course both cameras are using top quality glass. Ive had images accepted including up to ISO 800, which on a small sensor is pretty high.

If you;re getting rejections on Alamy its probably due to your post processing technique - they like images with no sharpening, no Noise Reduction and properly upsized. Of course you also need to be sure that the image is properly sharp when you capture it. I suspect that Chromatic Aberration will lead to rejections, so these need to be corrected particularly on something like the 5DII where I suspect theyre rather more obvious viewed at 100%.

Im starting to get a trickle of sales too - not enough for a payout each month, but then Im only doing editorial RM images and only have about 250 photos online there, so overall I must say Im really happy with Alamy at the moment. I sold a photo for use in a publication in the Russian Federation there this morning.. happy days!

ShadySue

« Reply #32 on: May 12, 2009, 17:18 »
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I'm not so sure __ it's a dark subject and the noise shows up too badly to really see the sharpness. I can absolutely confirm that shooting at 1/200 held-held with a 23MP camera is nothing like fast enough to eliminate camera-shake.

You need to do some proper test shots Sue with the camera tripod-mounted and set to ISO100 __ IS switched off obviously. You need to eliminate all influencing factors apart from the lens and the sensor. I thought IS was marvelleous when I was shooting with a 6MP 10D but as my cameras have improved I am less & less happy with most of the results I get from it nowadays.



Clearly I should have done more research before buying this camera.

I did some tripod tests which seemed fine. Big deal.

I went out for a walk this evening and took some random shots and some of them seemed better. Example here, full size crop, converted to jpeg, no other alterations:
http://www.v-liz.com/iStock/newhouses.jpg
Not yet perfect; ISO100; 105mm; 1/250th@f6.3
The sun was down when I took these gravel chippings, slightly tweaked for contrast:
http://www.v-liz.com/iStock/gravel.jpg
Not 'bitingly' sharp, but shot on 100ISO; 28mm; 1/30@f4, so obviously should be able to do better.
Don't know when I'll be able to try that church again, though.

« Last Edit: May 12, 2009, 17:40 by ShadySue »

KB

« Reply #33 on: May 12, 2009, 17:40 »
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I can absolutely confirm that shooting at 1/200 held-held with a 23MP camera is nothing like fast enough to eliminate camera-shake.
I respect your opinion, and your experience, but I must disagree with such a blanket statement.

If good technique is used, then I see no reason at all why someone couldn't shoot handheld at, say, 100mm or shorter with IS on and get sharp images at 1/200. (The 5D2 is 21MP, by the way -- not that that makes any difference.) Some people can probably get away with even longer focal lengths.

Now, OTOH, if by "camera shake" you meant blurriness due to poor shooting technique, then, sure, I'd agree with that. If someone just picks it up with one hand and presses the shutter while moving around a bit, then no way is 1/200 going to be enough to compensate for that, even at 24mm.

« Reply #34 on: May 13, 2009, 16:18 »
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I will say it again...Alamy QC department has become HOSTILE. Besides that, how many posters here are actually selling any images in the sea of 17 million?  Don't waste your time.

Maggie

RT


« Reply #35 on: May 13, 2009, 16:55 »
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Besides that, how many posters here are actually selling any images in the sea of 17 million?  Don't waste your time.
Maggie

Couldn't agree more, my advice to anyone is to put your stuff on a site like Featurepics or Naymicro

lisafx

« Reply #36 on: May 13, 2009, 17:15 »
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I'm not selling a lot there.  Maybe one or two images a month.  But at those prices you don't need a whole lot of sales to get a decent return.

« Reply #37 on: May 13, 2009, 18:49 »
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I will say it again...Alamy QC department has become HOSTILE. Besides that, how many posters here are actually selling any images in the sea of 17 million?  Don't waste your time.

Maggie

Hostile?
Good grief, I think I've had maybe one reject from thousands of images submitted. That's including photos from cameras like a Canon G7. I can't even begin to guess how many I've had from micros.

« Reply #38 on: May 14, 2009, 09:55 »
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Besides that, how many posters here are actually selling any images in the sea of 17 million?  Don't waste your time.
Maggie

Couldn't agree more, my advice to anyone is to put your stuff on a site like Featurepics or Naymicro

Yep or you could try Luckyoliver - I think that's the perfect site for you.

RacePhoto

« Reply #39 on: May 14, 2009, 15:01 »
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I'm not so sure __ it's a dark subject and the noise shows up too badly to really see the sharpness. I can absolutely confirm that shooting at 1/200 held-held with a 23MP camera is nothing like fast enough to eliminate camera-shake.

You need to do some proper test shots Sue with the camera tripod-mounted and set to ISO100 __ IS switched off obviously. You need to eliminate all influencing factors apart from the lens and the sensor. I thought IS was marvelleous when I was shooting with a 6MP 10D but as my cameras have improved I am less & less happy with most of the results I get from it nowadays.



Clearly I should have done more research before buying this camera.

I did some tripod tests which seemed fine. Big deal.

I went out for a walk this evening and took some random shots and some of them seemed better. Example here, full size crop, converted to jpeg, no other alterations:
http://www.v-liz.com/iStock/newhouses.jpg
Not yet perfect; ISO100; 105mm; 1/250th@f6.3
The sun was down when I took these gravel chippings, slightly tweaked for contrast:
http://www.v-liz.com/iStock/gravel.jpg
Not 'bitingly' sharp, but shot on 100ISO; 28mm; 1/30@f4, so obviously should be able to do better.
Don't know when I'll be able to try that church again, though.




It's not the camera! But I suppose people will think I'm being mean by mentioning that? It might be the lens?

The picture of the church was underexposed and you lightened it to bring out the shadows. If anything you need to over expose 1/3rd stop so you have some room to move around. Problem is, you have that stone pillar which is brightly lit, and would be blown out, if you exposed properly for the shadows. It's noisy and soft. Is this the edge of the image? I see distortion at 32mm.

sure 100 ISO and 200th at f/10 should have been fine, except if the proper exposure was 1/200th at f/6  ? I'm not sure I understand the Program Parameters being set at 2, since it was a RAW to start with?

What kind of monitor are you using? Is it calibrated?

Original



Someone who understands these better than I do, please tell me what you think of the graph? (from original, not my edit)


Here's a very quick edit with Elements 7


Oh wait... the camera is junk, I'll take it off your hands for fifty bucks.  ;)

If anything on the safari site is yours, (or the site is yours?) darn good and really amazing. Very nice.
« Last Edit: May 14, 2009, 16:18 by RacePhoto »

ShadySue

« Reply #40 on: May 14, 2009, 16:00 »
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Quote
It's not the camera! But I suppose people will think I'm being mean by mentioning that?

Nope, not mean at all.
If that's the case, what would be the point of saying otherwise!

Quote
The picture of the church was underexposed and you lightened it to bring out the shadows. If anything you need to over expose 1/3rd stop so you have some room to move around. Problem is, you have that stone pillar which is brightly lit, and would be blown out, if you exposed properly for the shadows. It's noisy and soft.

Ah, it's true I did lighten it  :-[ - It's a very dark church - but the noticeboard was blurry before I did.
But I'd rather it was an idiot user than another faulty camera.
Still, nothing that I've taken so far/handheld seems 'bitingly' sharp.
The tripod tests were 'acceptably' sharp.

Quote
sure 100 ISO and 200th at f/11 should have been fine, except if the proper exposure was 1/200th at f/8 ?

The EXIF says f10.



Quote
Oh wait... the camera is junk, I'll take it off your hands for fifty bucks.  ;)

Dream on!
I'll just have to learn to be a techie.   :-\

Quote
If anything on the safari site is yours, (or the site is yours?) darn good and really amazing. Very nice.

Tx. The whole site is mine, but the pics are mostly heavily scrunched down scans from slides from when I was on wet-string dial-up. It was never intended to be a photogallery. (And I'm two trips behind.)

ShadySue

« Reply #41 on: May 14, 2009, 16:46 »
0
Quote
It's not the camera! But I suppose people will think I'm being mean by mentioning that?
Nope, not mean at all.
If that's the case, what would be the point of saying otherwise!

Quote
The picture of the church was underexposed and you lightened it to bring out the shadows. If anything you need to over expose 1/3rd stop so you have some room to move around. Problem is, you have that stone pillar which is brightly lit, and would be blown out, if you exposed properly for the shadows. It's noisy and soft.
Ah, it's true I did lighten it  :-[ - It's a very dark church - but the noticeboard was blurry before I did.
But I'd rather it was an idiot user than another faulty camera.
Still, nothing that I've taken so far/handheld seems 'bitingly' sharp.
The tripod tests were 'acceptably' sharp.

Quote
sure 100 ISO and 200th at f/11 should have been fine, except if the proper exposure was 1/200th at f/8 ?
The EXIF says f10. But I'll give the +1/3 exposure a try.

Quote
Oh wait... the camera is junk, I'll take it off your hands for fifty bucks.  ;)
Dream on!
I'll just have to learn to be a techie.   :-\

Quote
If anything on the safari site is yours, (or the site is yours?) darn good and really amazing. Very nice.
Tx. The whole site is mine, but the pics are mostly heavily scrunched down scans from slides from when I was on wet-string dial-up. It was never intended to be a photogallery. (And I'm two trips behind.)

« Reply #42 on: May 15, 2009, 19:17 »
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Well, ok, had two images rejected, only the first was inspected (100% size crop attached below).  They said "Soft or lacking definition".  I don't think it is any closely bad as the example they give here in their guidelines page. 

What do you think?  These images are a bit of a stretch indeed (originally 7MPix), but it is difficult for me to judge softness/definition when I see an upsized image. 



ShadySue

« Reply #43 on: May 16, 2009, 04:17 »
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Well, ok, had two images rejected, only the first was inspected (100% size crop attached below).  They said "Soft or lacking definition".  I don't think it is any closely bad as the example they give here in their guidelines page. 

What do you think?  These images are a bit of a stretch indeed (originally 7MPix), but it is difficult for me to judge softness/definition when I see an upsized image. 


I think the image is really soft, and the upsizing hasn't helped. This may not be relevant to your image, but I've found that autofocus has a really hard job focussing on wet mud. I 'lost' a series of photos of a buffalo in a mud wallow for that reason.
(I'm having fun playing 'spot the eye' on this ele )

« Reply #44 on: May 18, 2009, 09:51 »
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It looks as if QC can be WRONG...found this...http://alamyqcrejects.blogspot.com/ [nofollow].

Mag

« Reply #45 on: May 19, 2009, 16:21 »
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It looks as if QC can be WRONG...found this...http://alamyqcrejects.blogspot.com/.


Nobody is suspended for having ONE image rejected, isn't it? 

I agree his is rejection looks less valid than mine.

RacePhoto

« Reply #46 on: May 20, 2009, 13:25 »
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It looks as if QC can be WRONG...found this...http://alamyqcrejects.blogspot.com/.


Nobody is suspended for having ONE image rejected, isn't it? 

I agree his is rejection looks less valid than mine.


No (or is it yes) Nobody is suspended for having one photo rejected. It takes multiple rejections and they are also given a warning. If the uploads of failing images continues, then they are given a vacation. At least that's what the Alamy guidelines say. Of course someone emailing, phoning and setting up a blog to criticise Alamy might be like a buy one get one free deal?  ;D

It appears that soft or lacking definition includes blown highlights, (which would be lacking definition?) and other flaws, lack of contrast, and not just "fuzzy". Somewhere I'm imagining that people are using higher ISOs and something like Neat Image, for noise reduction, which makes the photos soft.

The new recommended camera list doesn't include the D100 or 10D anymore. That doesn't mean they won't pass or can't be used. It just suggests that using a 6MP camera, you need to be very careful with editing and use low ISO ranges. As cameras have improved, the standards have gone up. Images that passed in 2007 may no longer pass in 2009. QC has adjusted to match the equipment and customer demands. It isn't necessarily tighter QC, it's just staying level with the quality of equipment.


 

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