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I have Nikon Coolpix S5100. I've noticed that my photos are blurry when I'm NOT using zoom, while they are pretty sharp WITH zoom. It doesn't matter whether I shoot from the hand or from the solid surface while using the timer. The photos are a bit sharper when I use the flash, but I hope that is not the final solution. I've tried Auto mode, Sports mode... but the result is same. ISO 100, Exposure compensation 0. Two example photos are attached. Any ideas? No zoom With zoom

  • Does the camera feature a manual focus mode? It looks like it doesn't properly autofocus for the wide setting. Try to see whether the problem is just the 'auto' part or the whole 'focus' as an issue. – kamuro Nov 17 '15 at 8:30
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    Do you have the feeling that there is any actuition from AF motors that is present when taking an image in zoomed-in but not zoomed-out? Maybe you can find that there is a huge difference (if the motors don't start on the wide end) You DO get focus confirmation when zoomed out? – kamuro Nov 17 '15 at 8:58
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    Is macro mode turned on? That could cause problems focussing on more distant objects. – vclaw Nov 17 '15 at 11:12
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    Can you take a photo of a focus testing chart at different distances and zoom levels? (google it, print one out, or if you have some lying around graph paper will also work) – Harry Harrison Nov 17 '15 at 22:56
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    What aperture setting in each of the photos? – Michael C Nov 18 '15 at 3:59
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It looks definitely like a focussing issue. It might be part of the focussing mechanism sticking, so maybe "exercising it" by alternately focussing on near and far objects in wide zoom mode could help.

Otherwise you're into repairing/replacing the camera. :(

A review flagged up a similar (but less obtrusive) effect.

Occasionally though, images can appear soft at the wide end of the zoom, I think more due to a focusing error than a quality issue with the optics, as some images turn out sharp, other unfortunately do not.

One other thing to check - does the Camera EXIF info report 'focussing distance'? It would be interesting to see what it said for the two scenes in question.

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Some lenes perform better on either of it's ends. Another root of your problem might be this: on the wider end, your lens's aperture is wider. This let's it capture more light, but also enhances the lens blur. Vice versa, on the longer end aperture is narrower, which "hides" the blur.

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