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Help me sharpen my pics please

nikonuser11

Distinguished Member
getting very frustrated with soft pics and cant get anything as sharp as I see posted here, using a Canon 450d and Sigma 17-70, Orbitalpete suggested showing a couple with the exif data and maybe you kind people can say what I'm doing wrong.........ALL C&C very gratefully recieved

1.
Exposure: 0.001 sec (1/1600)
Aperture: f/4.5
Focal Length: 44 mm
ISO Speed: 200
2.

Exposure: 1/3200 sec
Aperture: f/4.5
Focal Length: 17 mm
ISO Speed: 200

3.
This was in the cameras Landscape mode auto setting so you see what the camera thinks is correct.
Exposure: 0.004 sec (1/250)
Aperture: f/8.0
Focal Length: 17 mm
ISO Speed: 100


so basically first 2 are in RAW, 3rd was in JPG
 
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shotokan101

Banned
Can you post links to the full size (Hi Res) Images - certainly hard to see any detail on my screen with those :(

Jim
 

Martin.D

Well-known Member
I dont think it's a sharpening problem - if your taking landscape / scene pictures then close down your aperture...

Your shooting with an Aperture of f/4.5 - ideally F8 and smaller depending on your shutter speeds...
 

Blue.Rocket

Active Member
I agree, The images are a little on the small size to comment completly, viewing what we have the forgrounds are quite sharp but the distance is softer which indicates that you need to close your apeture by uping your f number, to something like f8-f11, iso down to 100, a tripod is always a bonus.
number 3 is not far off from being an ok.
 
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nikonuser11

Distinguished Member
guys, they all link to the full size if you click :rolleyes:

So basically the Auto mode (Landscape) one is the best:( this is just making a case to flog the DSLR and get a good bridge camera :suicide:

However, it is my bad on the aperture size for the first 2, left it there from last settings but surely the meter would indicate a better aperture? or does that happen in Tv?
 

OrbitalPete

Well-known Member
In AV, you set the aperture and the meter controls exposure by varying the shutter speed. In TV, the opposite happens.

Not sure what you mean by shooting in 'landscape mode'; all that will do is force you to shoot in JPG, apply a whole load of post processing, and eliminate your control of exposure. If you want point-and-shoot utility, then yes, amybe that is your best bet. I'm guessing you got a DSLR because you wanted more control of your photography though?

There's nothing about those images that makes me think you have sharpness issues (e.g. leaves all look crisp, highlights on the water look sharp); the only issue is that if you want both the foreground and background to be in focus you should use apertures in the range of 9-12 or so. Using apertures less than 9 means you'll have narrower depth of field so you'll have part in focus but most out of focus.
 

bodoman

Distinguished Member
I think the best thing you can do before you give up on a dslr is purchase a good book on the subject, the favourite one seems to be `Understanding Exposure` by Brian Peterson
I think reading this will explain everthing and improve your photography no end.
 

nikonuser11

Distinguished Member
@ Orbitalpete, landscape mode is a setting on the DSLR for landscapes ie its not one of the creative modes and not full auto either. I did that to show you the same picture in Av and one in Auto mode

@ Bodoman, bought and read the book, think these examples are a bad example as I have got the aperture size wrong and I know that.

Let me take 'proper' ones and post here and if all ok then maybe it really is all down to knowing what to do with PS CS3?:(
 

weaviemx5

Distinguished Member
The 3rd shot has got the closest to 'best' results because, as already said above, the camera had stopped down the aperture and dropped the ISO.

If you're shooting landscapes, the best place to start is AV mode (aperture priority), set you aperture to F11, your ISO to 100 and compose your shot. Depending on your focal length (18mm to 50mm), the camera will meter for the shutter speed. So, if the shutter speed is faster than 1/<shutter speed> (e.g. 1/50th at 50mm) you should be able to handhold. If the shutter speed is slower than this rough guide, use a tripod to get a steady shot.

If you pack in your SLR and buy a Bridge camera you're basically just shooting with the equivalent of Landscape Mode on your 450D so you're not gaining anything. Trust me, everyone who's picked up a DSLR gets bad pictures to start with compared to the pre-processed jpegs out of a point and shoot bridge camera. However, you will never get anything better than that unless you stick with the DSLR.

As suggested above, I'd definitely recommend Bryan Peterson's book :) (Edit: Just seen your post!)

Also, as much as the ISO setting will increase the grain visible, the biggest issue with the shots you posted above is the aperture used. F4.5 is much too wide which means that you will get a lot less 'in focus' parts of your shot. Also, I'm not sure of the aperture range of the Sigma but F4.5 may be close to it's widest aperture and not many lenses are at their sharpest wide open.

Cheers
Steve
 
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OrbitalPete

Well-known Member
My point about landscape mode is that you'd essentially just be losing any form of control on the image.

The second pic you posted up is not too far off being fine. Shooting at f/9 or more would have put the horizon treeline into sharp focus. Is there anything other than the horizon focus that you're unhappy with?
 

jradley

Active Member
guys, they all link to the full size if you click :rolleyes:

Erm, the images I see are 1024x683 - obviously these are resized from what comes off the camera and depending how you've done it could possibly also account for some reduction in sharpness/quality.

Other than that I can't really add to what has been said above re aperture. I will second the sentiment not to ditch the 450D just yet - I think with a little practice and perseverance you will get better and more creative results than you can from a compact/bridge.

As an aside, wrong aperture or not I really quite like those shots - the shallow DOF helps the leaves in the foreground stand out.

Cheers,

John
 

nikonuser11

Distinguished Member
thanks orbital and John, it was just the overall softness and when I did a 100% crop it was very soft:confused:

P.S Whats the best way to convert RAW to jpg for Flikr to keep the sharpness?
 

johnaalex

Distinguished Member
thanks orbital and John, it was just the overall softness and when I did a 100% crop it was very soft:confused:

100% crops will show any weaknesses of the lens and do not serve any real practical purpose. I judge the sharpness of my shots at 50%.

P.S Whats the best way to convert RAW to jpg for Flikr to keep the sharpness?

Not sure what the Canon equivalent of Nikon's Capture NX, I use NX to convert to jpg at maximum quality and load those files to flickr letting flickr do the work of creating the different sized versions. However for this to work you need to have a pro account with flickr.
 

senu

Distinguished Member
100% crops will show any weaknesses of the lens and do not serve any real practical purpose. I judge the sharpness of my shots at 50%.
I guess its a matter of opinion and workflow John,
For most shots once you get the knack you dont need 100% but when applying USM or experimenting with sharpening I was taught to use 100% view to avoid overcooking .. and it works reasonable well
It also helps to avoid over softening when usig NR
 

senu

Distinguished Member
thanks orbital and John, it was just the overall softness and when I did a 100% crop it was very soft:confused:
In spite of my reply to John, you dont really gain much by trying to achieve ultrasharp at 100% . ( that is pixelpeepeing..)
You can however use it to judge sharpening and NR .
The resultng image often looks great when back to normal viewing size
P.S Whats the best way to convert RAW to jpg for Flikr to keep the sharpness?
Depends on what software you use
If you use DPP you may need to reduce dpi to 150 and chose image quality 8
but with flickr Pro you can use the default 350 and quality 8
I just did this from within DPP at 350 and quality 8
Sharpening was 6 Almost as taken out of the camera: Flikr resized it before uploading
[url=http://www.flickr.com/photos/senu/4009487946/] [/URL]
 
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nikonuser11

Distinguished Member
Thanks Senu, I do use DPP and the default is 350 and image quality 10, I dont have a pro account:confused: is Flikr then downgrading it dramatically because I'm uploading a higher quality?
 

senu

Distinguished Member
This was from ( 40D ,17-50) RAW output from LightRoom at 250 dpi and then USM in Photoshop Elements 7 (used mainly to blank out the no plate)
USM
Amt 50 radius =1.0 threshold =0
 
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senu

Distinguished Member
Thanks Senu, I do use DPP and the default is 350 and image quality 10, I dont have a Pro account:confused: is Flikr then downgrading it dramatically because I'm uploading a higher quality?
Maybe,
but I didnt always have a Pro account myself and posted
This at the time ( with the basic account)

But this is from the 50mm lens : a direct RAW conversion from DPP at 150dpi quality 10
No USM in any other PP It was resized down to current size
Nothing a little experimenting wont do, Nice sharp out of the camera always helps though

RAW from LR at 240dpi ( with a Sigma 70-30 DG APO) then CS4 :USM
Amt 118%
Radius 0.2
Threshold =0


I did have this sharpness problem too (once upon a time) Liquids (Scott) advice was quite handy at the time
Sadly Ive got lazy and post a lot less now...:suicide:
Dont despair...:) keep experimenting
Im by no means proficient with sharpening ( or much else in photgraphy as it happens..:blush:) but I kind of get by..
Have a look
http://www.avforums.com/forums/digi...t/518150-hillingdon-trail-tokina-12-24-a.html
 
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johnaalex

Distinguished Member
I guess its a matter of opinion and workflow John,
For most shots once you get the knack you dont need 100% but when applying USM or experimenting with sharpening I was taught to use 100% view to avoid overcooking .. and it works reasonable well
It also helps to avoid over softening when usig NR

I agree you do need to view shots at 100% when applying USM and NR, but I do not expect a perfect shot at 100% even with my 85mm 1.4. I find a 50% view is good enough to judge sharpness for cropping purposes or general viewing and printing to A4.
 

senu

Distinguished Member
I agree you do need to view shots at 100% when applying USM and NR, but I do not expect a perfect shot at 100% even with my 85mm 1.4. I find a 50% view is good enough to judge sharpness for cropping purposes or general viewing and printing to A4.
Youve definitely got the knack....:rotfl:
Which is why my subsequent post to the OP suggested the need to keep away from "pixel peeping";)
 
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