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I upgraded my kit to a Nikon D800E and all my QC problems began.

This happened to me but only on my first submission after upgrading. I was really surprised but when I looked at what I had submitted I know I was at fault. I screwed up with my hyperocal focusing which I have used on every other camera I've ever had. That was over 2 years ago and I've so far not had another failure. You can't treat the D800 and relatives as you would a smaller megapixel camera. They need special care in focusing and very good quality lenses. I did my own focus tests and learned how to use the camera - supersharp images with amazing detail with the right lenses and technique. I can't imagine using anything else now.

 

 

Michael, you initially experienced what a few of my compatriots experienced after purchasing the D800--thankfully for them, they, like you, worked out what was going on and adjusted. If ever a camera was designed to underline the relative importance of technique over equipment, this is it :-)

 

dd

 

 

Damn, I better stick to using Canon then.....and I was looking forward to all those extra pixels..... :)

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I upgraded my kit to a Nikon D800E and all my QC problems began.

This happened to me but only on my first submission after upgrading. I was really surprised but when I looked at what I had submitted I know I was at fault. I screwed up with my hyperocal focusing which I have used on every other camera I've ever had. That was over 2 years ago and I've so far not had another failure. You can't treat the D800 and relatives as you would a smaller megapixel camera. They need special care in focusing and very good quality lenses. I did my own focus tests and learned how to use the camera - supersharp images with amazing detail with the right lenses and technique. I can't imagine using anything else now.

 

 

Michael, you initially experienced what a few of my compatriots experienced after purchasing the D800--thankfully for them, they, like you, worked out what was going on and adjusted. If ever a camera was designed to underline the relative importance of technique over equipment, this is it :-)

 

dd

 

 

Damn, I better stick to using Canon then.....and I was looking forward to all those extra pixels..... :)

 

That is a very good idea Im seriously thinking of going back to using Canon when finances permit.

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I upgraded my kit to a Nikon D800E and all my QC problems began.

This happened to me but only on my first submission after upgrading. I was really surprised but when I looked at what I had submitted I know I was at fault. I screwed up with my hyperocal focusing which I have used on every other camera I've ever had. That was over 2 years ago and I've so far not had another failure. You can't treat the D800 and relatives as you would a smaller megapixel camera. They need special care in focusing and very good quality lenses. I did my own focus tests and learned how to use the camera - supersharp images with amazing detail with the right lenses and technique. I can't imagine using anything else now.

 

 

Michael, you initially experienced what a few of my compatriots experienced after purchasing the D800--thankfully for them, they, like you, worked out what was going on and adjusted. If ever a camera was designed to underline the relative importance of technique over equipment, this is it :-)

 

dd

 

 

Damn, I better stick to using Canon then.....and I was looking forward to all those extra pixels..... :)

 

 

I'm sure . . . no, I know . . . you are short-selling your skills sir. Stop it at once.

 

dd

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It's interesting how technical issues and quality have taken over content, really is it so necessary to have razor sharp images? i am so thankful that i supply a few agencies that are not looking at every pixel for detail and sharpness, and yes selling many more image than 2 of my suppliers that seem to just want technically perfect material.

I wonder how many buyers look at images at 100%, general small print media i would think not, images for poster and quality calenders yes.

99% of my images are used in small print media, therefore i am not so worried about producing 100% quality images that many buyers don't require.

 

After all i am in this business for myself and not photographic companies offering new so called better image quality gear every few months.

Paul.

Edited by Paul Mayall
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I upgraded my kit to a Nikon D800E and all my QC problems began.

This happened to me but only on my first submission after upgrading. I was really surprised but when I looked at what I had submitted I know I was at fault. I screwed up with my hyperocal focusing which I have used on every other camera I've ever had. That was over 2 years ago and I've so far not had another failure. You can't treat the D800 and relatives as you would a smaller megapixel camera. They need special care in focusing and very good quality lenses. I did my own focus tests and learned how to use the camera - supersharp images with amazing detail with the right lenses and technique. I can't imagine using anything else now.

 

 

Michael, you initially experienced what a few of my compatriots experienced after purchasing the D800--thankfully for them, they, like you, worked out what was going on and adjusted. If ever a camera was designed to underline the relative importance of technique over equipment, this is it :-)

 

dd

 

 

Damn, I better stick to using Canon then.....and I was looking forward to all those extra pixels..... :)

 

That is a very good idea Im seriously thinking of going back to using Canon when finances permit.

 

 

You really don't need to do that. If you're failing QC because your images are not sharp (this is what I'm presuming), it's probably either because your lenses are not adequate or your focusing technique is not correct. You can improve both simply by downsizing the images if you don't want to modify your technique or buy new lenses as the case may be. But good prime Nikkor lenses can be had quite cheap (in comparison to the price of the camera). I'm using relatively cheap slow Nikkor primes as I don't need fast lenses and they work very well.. 

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It's interesting how technical issues and quality have taken over content, really is it so necessary to have razor sharp images? i am so thankful that i supply a few agencies that are not looking at every pixel for detail and sharpness, and yes selling many more image than 2 of my suppliers that seem to just want technically perfect material.

 

I wonder how many buyers look at images at 100%, general small print media i would think not, images for poster and quality calenders yes.

 

99% of my images are used in small print media, therefore i am not so worried about producing 100% quality images that many buyers don't require.

 

After all i am in this business for myself and not photographic companies offering new so called better image quality gear every few months.

 

Paul.

 

It depends on what you want really. The D800 represents a massive technological leap over the D700. I am not even going to glance in the direction of a D810 though. It looks like a minor upgrade on  the D800E.

 

Personally I want as much detail as I can possibly get in my landscapes as I want to use them to illustrate geological or geomorphological features and I want to future proof my images as much as I can. I don't shoot solely with stock in mind. Too much detail certainly doesn't hurt whereas too little could. A decent computer with lots of RAM is essential though.

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As I said it's tough to have constant failures because I think we are being asked to jump much higher for a smaller income.  Of course there's actually no second division on Alamy . I just think they are raising the bar so that the slightly below par, 'second division ' people will disappear . I guess it's like shopping at Tesco . You wont find the personal service you do at a good farm shop, and Alamy being a large organisation are not going to waste their time advising you on image improvement/adjustments as a smaller specialized agency would . You just get a big submission of pictures failed because of one they don't approve of. Bottom line is if you don't like it go somewhere else .

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You just get a big submission of pictures failed because of one they don't approve of. Bottom line is if you don't like it go somewhere else .

That's not what QC do. They are spot checking that you've checked everything submitted. The failure is when they find you haven't.

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Ir would be nice if the limits weren't so strict, but then Alamy would have 100 million shots. Downsizing the minimum to 17mb is great. I had so many borderline at 25mb that I was afraid to upload, that would probably have been perfect downsized to 17mb. When I have time, I will go over some of my personally rejected shots.

 

Jill

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I just think they are raising the bar so that the slightly below par, 'second division ' people will disappear .

 

 

That suits me just fine...

 

Alan

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really is it so necessary to have razor sharp images?

 

 

A library that doesn't edit for content has to have some standards. By ensuring that you meet certain minimum criteria they're also ensuring that you are serious about your work.

 

Alan

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How about the thousands of images that land on Alamy from other

 

 

really is it so necessary to have razor sharp images?

 

 

A library that doesn't edit for content has to have some standards. By ensuring that you meet certain minimum criteria they're also ensuring that you are serious about your work.

 

Alan

 

 

Oh là là!

 

How about all those thousands of images that land on Alamy from other agencies? They apparently don't get QC'd at all by Alamy? I'm sure that more than a few of them are a bit on the fuzzy side.

Edited by John Mitchell
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As I said it's tough to have constant failures because I think we are being asked to jump much higher for a smaller income.  Of course there's actually no second division on Alamy . I just think they are raising the bar so that the slightly below par, 'second division ' people will disappear . I guess it's like shopping at Tesco . You wont find the personal service you do at a good farm shop, and Alamy being a large organisation are not going to waste their time advising you on image improvement/adjustments as a smaller specialized agency would . You just get a big submission of pictures failed because of one they don't approve of. Bottom line is if you don't like it go somewhere else .

 

I think you are correct that the bar is being raised. But as a consequence of a constant evolution, and QC are of course not in a vacuum assessing images taken on the best equipment from some of the best photographers in the world one second and then others from less good equipment and less good photographers the next. I am just going through my archive for another couple of projects at the moment and I am looking at the older stuff with a very critical eye.

The pertinent question for many is whether it is worth the extra outlay when one looks at the expected returns.

 

 

Better to downsize borderline images IMO, especially for editorial photographers. If agencies want "tack sharp" images all of the time, they are going to have raise their prices and pay us more so that we can all buy super duper lenses. Getting into huge debt over equipment isn't worth it in when images are being sold for peanut shells. There, I've gone and said it.

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I'm a Canon user and have found that since I didn't want to set a tripod up every two minutes the IS lenses were a huge advance. Not necessarily 'L' lenses either. I had a few complaints about unsharp images a few years back from a specialist agency.  I tried a 28- 135 IS and they loved it .  'Bingo' every time .  That's it as JM says, you can't be spending more and more on stuff when income is going down and down, and I know that isn't the fault of Alamy.

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John Mitchel: 

How about all those thousands of images that land on Alamy from other agencies? They apparently don't get QC'd at all by Alamy? I'm sure that more than a few of them are a bit on the fuzzy side

 I have often thought the same John,  i am sure one would have a better chance in getting work pass QC via another agency,  i have images with 1 agency that Alamy failed,  the same concern supplies Alamy, i am sure if i were to allow the agency to offer my work to Alamy those images would be here.

 

I am just picking and pretending to be upset, in a nutshell i am happy with what i receive across the stock board,  even happier if Alamy could raise my sales just a tad. 

Edited by Paul Mayall
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  i have images with 1 agency that Alamy failed,  the same concern supplies Alamy, i am sure if i were to allow the agency to offer my work to Alamy those images would be here.

 

 

And I've had the opposite, images that have sold on Alamy and been rejected by another agency ;)  :rolleyes:

No figuring it out sometimes. :D

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  i have images with 1 agency that Alamy failed,  the same concern supplies Alamy, i am sure if i were to allow the agency to offer my work to Alamy those images would be here.

 

 

And I've had the opposite, images that have sold on Alamy and been rejected by another agency ;)  :rolleyes:

No figuring it out sometimes. :D

 

 

Phil, if that's the agency I'm thinking of, they seem to reject images on a purely subjective basis -- i.e. whether or not they like the content on a particular day rather than for perceived technical issues. They also release thousands of images (not mine, though) to Alamy. I guess that's just the way it is in the digital age.

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John Mitchel: 

How about all those thousands of images that land on Alamy from other agencies? They apparently don't get QC'd at all by Alamy? I'm sure that more than a few of them are a bit on the fuzzy side

 I have often thought the same John,  i am sure one would have a better chance in getting work pass QC via another agency,  i have images with 1 agency that Alamy failed,  the same concern supplies Alamy, i am sure if i were to allow the agency to offer my work to Alamy those images would be here.

 

I am just picking and pretending to be upset, in a nutshell i am happy with what i receive across the stock board,  even happier if Alamy could raise my sales just a tad. 

 

 

I just delete images failed by Alamy (i.e. I don't resubmit them), but it would be relatively easy to get them here via another portal/agency. Seems to me like a silly game to play, though, and probably counter-productive in the long run.

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I guess you can say it depends, at Alamy, who's viewing the image, as to whether it passes or not. The human elephant .  More than twenty years ago a large monochrome print that had done very well for me in camera club competitions was entered in a regional comp .  The judge was a very well respected mono photographer  .  The picture was of three racehorses coming off the training gallops on a very cold misty morning, hence there was steam rising off the very hot animals. The judge commented that "obviously", pointing at the steamy areas,"this photographer has problems with technique in the darkroom" !  . 

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They havn't been given a reason for failure this time.(Russell) They weren't a re submission at all. Totally fresh photos. Previously I emailed them and they said one image lacked definition . It was taken on a misty morning and meant to be 'soft' .

 My opinion is that Alamy are sorting out the 'second division' by failing submissions hoping people will stop submitting.  I accept I'm in that league . Payment for stock pictures these days is minute so I won't get into a sweat about it. . My print sales income far exceeds what I can earn from stock and no one cares what camera I use if they like the photograph.  (dov) I used a 20D for 'walk about' recently and although it's on the approved list virtually all images failed .

 

I suspect that the 20D may be at the limit of acceptable quality. Check out Joe Gaul's experiences above. I can only repeat - when I upgraded my kit all my QC issues disappeared.

 

dov

 

 I doubt 20D is the sole reason. Without upsizing you get about 24 MB, right at the current Alamy size threshold. It could it be the lens, technique, etc.

 

I have many images accepted here and elsewhere, upsized from 20D to 48+MB. With the caveat that last time I submitted a 20D image to Alamy was maybe 2 years ago.. So it is conceivable that QC got used to see a better quality from newer cameras.

 

GI

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Coming round full circle, someone commented that they rarely had a failure .  That would also have been my answer a few months ago having uploaded around a thousand files, but beware....it could be you next !  .  We all like to think we are fantastic photographers but for me content is the important thing closely followed by quality .  It's no good seeing that super backlit shot and fumbling for the tripod .

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Coming round full circle, someone commented that they rarely had a failure .  That would also have been my answer a few months ago having uploaded around a thousand files, but beware....it could be you next !  .  We all like to think we are fantastic photographers but for me content is the important thing closely followed by quality .  It's no good seeing that super backlit shot and fumbling for the tripod .

 

 

I believe that content and quality are equally important for a good photo. What makes a good photo is entirely subjective but some basic good technique is necessary I think. That doesn't mean you need to have incredibly expensive kit - a mobile phone is often sufficient to take a decent picture as long as it is used properly. I am just talking generally here, not referring to Alamy requirements.

 

In relation to Alamy, the whole model is based on content being secondary and very significantly so. The technical requirements for QC are pretty straightforward - sharp, in focus, low noise, reasonable exposure and clean of dust spots is about it I think. Content is irrelevant. That is the Alamy model. QC is like going through customs - they don't check everything but presumably a random sample and maybe anything that looks suspicious. And maybe if you get caught once, they may be scrutinising images more carefully after that, which may be why people are reporting multiple failures recently. But I don't believe this stuff about first and second divisions or whatever.

 

Me I don't take passing QC for granted - I learnt the hard way early on with some failures and have tended to be very careful since about what I submit. If I do fail a QC it makes me more careful what I submit after that which is what the severe punishment is presumably for. If you are continually failing QC, you have got to ask yourself why and change accordingly. There is definitely a message there and it's not go out and spend a fortune on new kit.

Edited by MDM
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How about the thousands of images that land on Alamy from other

 

 

really is it so necessary to have razor sharp images?

 

 

A library that doesn't edit for content has to have some standards. By ensuring that you meet certain minimum criteria they're also ensuring that you are serious about your work.

 

Alan

 

 

Oh là là!

 

How about all those thousands of images that land on Alamy from other agencies? They apparently don't get QC'd at all by Alamy? I'm sure that more than a few of them are a bit on the fuzzy side.

 

John, if I was even occasionally failing QC I sure as heck wouldn't be the slightest bit interested in "other agencies". I'd be looking at what I was doing, not what they were doing.

 

dd

Edited by dustydingo
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There is definitely a message there and it's not go out and spend a fortune on new kit.

 

 

. . . and yet, doing a quick reccy of the past few pages on this and similar threads, the overwhelmingly common reaction to not passing QC (other than blaming QC for "raising the bar") is to talk about equipment.

 

Prettywell no serious discussion about technique (and I don't count the occasional reference to using a tripod as a discussion on technique) . . .

 

You're right, there is definitely a message there, but I think there's only a small handful who are hearing it . . .

 

dd

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Definitely not an equipment problem here with the possible exception of the Mk.1 eyeball or the optical device I hang on my ears.

For heaven's sake, my camera sees better than I do.

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