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  #1  
Old 06-08-2006, 11:40 AM
branley branley is offline
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Default Sharpness

I'm new to my D50 and to 'proper' digital photography. One point which baffles me is why my photographs aren't naturally sharp despite taking precautions like using my tripod, making sure I'm not affected by the wind and trying to avoid camera shake. I can understand that camera shake can affect sharpness on hand held shots but why on windless tripod shots?

I would appreciate any advice offered. Thanks

Regards

Stephen
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  #2  
Old 06-08-2006, 01:51 PM
jrj jrj is offline
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Default Re: Sharpness

Hi Stephen
I can not answer your question as you only mention your camera. nothing of the lens.

On the other hand: I experience often the same frustration - the sharpness is not always as I want in the original photo. First after some post work is it possible to achieve the wanted sharpness. In fact it is very seldom that photos for TE can be presented without some kind of 'sharpness' adjustment.

Today I use (and are very satisfied) with my postwork tool: Corel Paint Shop Pro X. It has several options for dealing with sharpness - and for me, after a trial periode, I had no doubt changing from Photoshop Elements.

Of course this is of sharpness in general, and other details like objective, aperture and shutter is also vital and may influence your sharpness..
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  #3  
Old 06-08-2006, 04:06 PM
branley branley is offline
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Default Re: Sharpness

Thank you Jack,

I'll have a look at Coral and see what it offers. I really appreciate you taking the time to reply.

Thanks again

Stephen
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  #4  
Old 06-08-2006, 04:09 PM
branley branley is offline
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Default Re: Sharpness

Sorry Jack, forgot to mention that the lens is a Sigma 50-200mm on my Nikon D50. The focal length was 84mm.

Regards

Stephen
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  #5  
Old 06-09-2006, 12:43 AM
erdna erdna is offline
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Default Re: Sharpness

It is very hard to answer your question as sharpness is dependent on your lens opening, light, focus, movement, contrast, color of subject and in camera adjustment. In camera adjustments depends on the camera in my Nikon D100 and D200 you pick from five levels of adjustment. The color of subject also matters. If you take a photograph of a red rose, a red against red sometimes does not give you good results, or yellow against yellow. Light is very important. I gues I do not have to explain about lens opening, contrast and movement.

Andre'
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  #6  
Old 06-09-2006, 08:46 PM
branley branley is offline
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Default Re: Sharpness

Hi Andre'

Thanks for posting, I appreciate your comments very much. I've realised there's a lot to take in in this photography game, so much to learn and of course I want to run before I can walk, but I'm pulling myself back to learn the basics. You never know, one day I could be quite good! :-)

Thanks again

Regards

Stephen
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  #7  
Old 06-10-2006, 05:53 AM
BobTrips BobTrips is offline
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Posts: 817
Default Re: Sharpness

Are you sharpening your images during the post processing process?

Many digital cameras (and scanning backs/scanners) produce less that totally sharp images.

Some 'consumer' digitals do fairly strong sharpening in-camera, but this isn't desirable for people who want to maximize the final quality of their images. With sharpening there isn't a 'one size fits all' setting. Prints and monitor displays require different amounts of sharpening and one may want to use different levels of sharpening for individual shots.
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  #8  
Old 06-14-2006, 07:16 PM
ronners ronners is offline
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Join Date: Dec 2002
Posts: 350
Default Re: Sharpness

My D100 is intentionally designed not to sharpen in-camera by default, as it's assumed that anyone using such a camera will go in for some kind of post-processing anyway. It's the same with exposure - the camera will deliberately underexpose as it's easier to get back shadow detail in post-processing than highlight detail. Therefore it's important to note that your camera is most likely working as intended, and the designers of the camera assume that you won't use the original output image as your final work.

If you are moving from a more consumer level camera it's important to note that with a smaller sensor those cameras have a pretty much infinite depth of field. You won't get that with your D50 unless you always shoot at the lowest possible aperture. What I see frequently on this site are landscapes taken with cameras such as yours on 'Auto' or 'Program' mode where the camera has chosen a wider aperture based on the size of the lens. The lens you are using is larger, heavier, and therefore more susceptible to camera shake. For that reason the camera goes for the fastest shutter speed possible to avoid any impact from camera shake. For a correct exposure, a faster shutter speed equals a wider aperture, which in turn equates to a shallower depth of field and less perceived sharpness.

In terms of shooting, the light conditions have a big impact on how sharp your images are. If the shot is really important you should shoot just after sunrise or around sunset. Oblique light will pick out detail not apparent with the sun directly overhead, resulting in greater sharpness in your images.

Sorry if that's a lot of information. In essence I'd advise avoiding Program/Auto mode on your camera if the shot really matters, and doing some research into the impact of different shutter speed/aperture choices. My own work is principally landscape stuff, so I'm always going for the smallest aperture possible (f/22 or smaller if I can get it). You have a tripod so you can handle the resulting slower shutter speeds.

Let me know if there's any point here that's not clear. For what it's worth, I only use Program mode when taking photos of the cat ;)

Cheers,

Ron.
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  #9  
Old 07-09-2006, 03:58 PM
limule limule is offline
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Posts: 172
Default Re: Sharpness

dear Ron

I am just discovering your mail and I thank you for it, since I am trying to increase my technical knowledge while doing picture. Geraldine
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  #10  
Old 12-26-2006, 10:31 PM
limule limule is offline
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Default Re: Sharpness

Hello, I am just reading your mail, among others , about sharpness since I am always very disapointed with sharpness (30 D + 17-85 mm). Of course, post proc can be done, but evrything that can be done during the shot is better. I like your remark about the f22 . However, how do you deal with the fact that klens are optimised or working at their optimum in the middle of the bracked allowed, basically around 10-9 for the aperture. What it the relative importance of all these factors together ? Thanks Geraldine
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