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softness in camera...

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Anonymous
December 30, 2004 2:45:20 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

... it seems to be correct to say that digital SLR cameras (generally
speaking) need their digital 'photos' to be 'tweaked up' and/or sharpened
using software AFTER the initial shot has been captured...

Lots of users on here keep saying with disappointment in their voices about
their brand new camera capturing pictures with a - 'soft look' or 'not very
sharp'...

I would definitely go along with this - all my good pics go into Photoshop
for 'unsharp masking' and they begin to spring to life - detail that is not
initially very clear begins to emerge....

My question (as a Canon D60 / 10D owner with only a moderate selection of
lenses - 28-135 IS - 75-300IS) is :-

How does a person with a £1000/£2000 or £3000 Canon 'L' lens take better
pictures when the detail is not visible at source... ???

If the camera is not sharpening and Photoshop is the only way to improve
what comes from the camera then even a lower priced lens can be used to get
the finished picture with correct sharpness and detail ???

Surely - it's not the camera - it's not the lens - It's Photoshop that makes
the final difference to how much detail emerges from the final picture ???

All an 'L' lens does is to give a 'bit more' detail (probably hardly
noticeable) when viewed straight from the camera - the final detail that
emerges surely must be in the proper use of the software to bring out detail
?? Too much sharpening can ruin even a shot from a £3000 lens...

More about : softness camera

December 30, 2004 2:45:21 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

Advid the L lenses are sharper and more color accurate then any zoom lens
made by Canon. The L Zoom lenses are equal or better in sharpness and
saturation compared to Canon primes. Not to mention L lenses have IS which
can help alot.

Buy a $75 50mm f/1.8 (unless you have more money then get the $300 50mm
f/1.4), and you will see you do not have to sharpen (USM) all photos.

It really comes down to the lens!

See ya on photo.net


"Advid" <advid@freeuk.com> wrote in message
news:1104407108.3161.0@nnrp-t71-03.news.uk.clara.net...
>
> .. it seems to be correct to say that digital SLR cameras (generally
> speaking) need their digital 'photos' to be 'tweaked up' and/or sharpened
> using software AFTER the initial shot has been captured...
>
> Lots of users on here keep saying with disappointment in their voices
about
> their brand new camera capturing pictures with a - 'soft look' or 'not
very
> sharp'...
>
> I would definitely go along with this - all my good pics go into Photoshop
> for 'unsharp masking' and they begin to spring to life - detail that is
not
> initially very clear begins to emerge....
>
> My question (as a Canon D60 / 10D owner with only a moderate selection of
> lenses - 28-135 IS - 75-300IS) is :-
>
> How does a person with a £1000/£2000 or £3000 Canon 'L' lens take better
> pictures when the detail is not visible at source... ???
>
> If the camera is not sharpening and Photoshop is the only way to improve
> what comes from the camera then even a lower priced lens can be used to
get
> the finished picture with correct sharpness and detail ???
>
> Surely - it's not the camera - it's not the lens - It's Photoshop that
makes
> the final difference to how much detail emerges from the final picture ???
>
> All an 'L' lens does is to give a 'bit more' detail (probably hardly
> noticeable) when viewed straight from the camera - the final detail that
> emerges surely must be in the proper use of the software to bring out
detail
> ?? Too much sharpening can ruin even a shot from a £3000 lens...
>
>
December 30, 2004 2:45:21 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

Advid wrote:

>
> .. it seems to be correct to say that digital SLR cameras (generally
> speaking) need their digital 'photos' to be 'tweaked up' and/or sharpened
> using software AFTER the initial shot has been captured...
>


And a lot seems to be how the camera makers post process the RAW information
as well. I guess they have to try to balance complaints about noise ve
sharpness etc
--

Stacey
Related resources
Anonymous
December 30, 2004 2:45:22 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

Firstly I think this sharpness thing is a little overstated. I find pictures
of the kids are fine as is. Second, a phtotgraphy book I was reading
recommends minimum in camera sharpening (given a choice) and to make
sharpening the very last step in photo editor. Finally sharpening can't put
detail back that wasn't there to put back. A poor lens will always be a poor
lens. Note, once upon a time certain high quality lenses were made to give a
'soft' image', that being preferred by portrait photographers (and hopefully
their customers also).
Dave Cohen

"Stacey" <fotocord@yahoo.com> wrote in message
news:33im6qF3urmjhU1@individual.net...
> Advid wrote:
>
>>
>> .. it seems to be correct to say that digital SLR cameras (generally
>> speaking) need their digital 'photos' to be 'tweaked up' and/or sharpened
>> using software AFTER the initial shot has been captured...
>>
>
>
> And a lot seems to be how the camera makers post process the RAW
> information
> as well. I guess they have to try to balance complaints about noise ve
> sharpness etc
> --
>
> Stacey
Anonymous
December 30, 2004 4:06:32 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

YoYo wrote:
> Advid the L lenses are sharper and more color accurate then any zoom
> lens made by Canon. The L Zoom lenses are equal or better in
> sharpness and saturation compared to Canon primes. Not to mention L
> lenses have IS which can help alot.
>
> Buy a $75 50mm f/1.8 (unless you have more money then get the $300
> 50mm f/1.4), and you will see you do not have to sharpen (USM) all
> photos.
>
> It really comes down to the lens!
>

It really comes down to the whole system of hard ware and software tools
used with knowledge, skill and art by the photographer. You can't pick out
one part and say that is it. As always I will say the most important part
of the chain is the photographer (or luck). :-)


> See ya on photo.net
>
>
> "Advid" <advid@freeuk.com> wrote in message
> news:1104407108.3161.0@nnrp-t71-03.news.uk.clara.net...
>>
>> .. it seems to be correct to say that digital SLR cameras (generally
>> speaking) need their digital 'photos' to be 'tweaked up' and/or
>> sharpened using software AFTER the initial shot has been captured...
>>
>> Lots of users on here keep saying with disappointment in their
>> voices about their brand new camera capturing pictures with a -
>> 'soft look' or 'not very sharp'...
>>
>> I would definitely go along with this - all my good pics go into
>> Photoshop for 'unsharp masking' and they begin to spring to life -
>> detail that is not initially very clear begins to emerge....
>>
>> My question (as a Canon D60 / 10D owner with only a moderate
>> selection of lenses - 28-135 IS - 75-300IS) is :-
>>
>> How does a person with a £1000/£2000 or £3000 Canon 'L' lens take
>> better pictures when the detail is not visible at source... ???
>>
>> If the camera is not sharpening and Photoshop is the only way to
>> improve what comes from the camera then even a lower priced lens can
>> be used to get the finished picture with correct sharpness and
>> detail ???
>>
>> Surely - it's not the camera - it's not the lens - It's Photoshop
>> that makes the final difference to how much detail emerges from the
>> final picture ???
>>
>> All an 'L' lens does is to give a 'bit more' detail (probably hardly
>> noticeable) when viewed straight from the camera - the final detail
>> that emerges surely must be in the proper use of the software to
>> bring out detail ?? Too much sharpening can ruin even a shot from a
>> £3000 lens...

--
Joseph Meehan

26 + 6 = 1 It's Irish Math
Anonymous
December 30, 2004 4:21:15 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

Advid wrote:

> If the camera is not sharpening and Photoshop
> is the only way to improve what comes from the
> camera then even a lower priced lens can be used
> to get the finished picture with correct sharpness
> and detail ???

You're confusing two (or three) different kinds of
"softness."

Unsharpened DSLR sensor output, such as you'd
see in a TIFF straight from the camera, or a converted
RAW, will not be sharp because edge interpolation
has not been performed. See here:
http://www.luminous-landscape.com/tutorials/understandi...
and here:
http://www.luminous-landscape.com/cgi-bin/forum/ikonboa...;act=ST;f=12;t=103;st=9

But in this case -- unsharpened sensor output -- the
image formed on the sensor is clear and sharp coming
from the lens. It is an artifact of the sensor/filter combination
that the output does not form a sharp image. You can
either allow the camera's electronics to perform the
sharpening, or do it yourself.

Your suggestion of using a lower-quality lens will result
in an image of lower quality as well, because the image
formed on the sensor will not be as sharp to begin with.
Now you have an uninterpolated sensor/filter output
of an image that is not sharp to start with, so the softness
is compounded.

I am assuming that with both lenses, the photographer
has correctly focused the shot, and the additional softness
is due to poor convergence in the second lens.
This type of softness cannot be fixed. A new
lens is required.

A third type of softness is improper lens focus by the
photographer. This can be fixed by proper focusing.

A fourth is camera movement, which often appears
as "softness," but is in reality motion blur. This can
be fixed with a tripod.

Post-processing can only deal with sensor/filter edge
interpolation. It cannot eliminate softness created by
a poor lens, poor focus or camera motion. It can add
edge sharpness, and thus make the image appear
a little better to the untrained eye, but it will not make
the image dead sharp, and a trained photographer can
tell by sharpness artifacting that he is viewing an
oversharpened soft shot.

In fact, the only kind of softness without a remedy
is the kind you ask about -- a bad lens.
December 30, 2004 5:26:11 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

Advid wrote:
> .. it seems to be correct to say that digital SLR cameras (generally
> speaking) need their digital 'photos' to be 'tweaked up' and/or sharpened
> using software AFTER the initial shot has been captured...
>
> Lots of users on here keep saying with disappointment in their voices about
> their brand new camera capturing pictures with a - 'soft look' or 'not very
> sharp'...
<snip>

In my experience of several years, all digital images that haven't already been tweaked, whether form a camera or a scanner,
look better ater sharpening. The kind of sharpenign that works best can vary with the kind of image, but unsharp mask (in
Paint Shop Pro) usually does the job to my satisfaction.
Anonymous
December 30, 2004 9:37:59 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

There is a LOT more to capture than sharpening.

High end glass has MANY advantages over inexpensive glass. In general it
has LESS distortion, LESS abarations, LESS falloff edge to edge, and they
resolve more detail. Sharpening will not add detail that is not there.

Another big advatage in good glass other than duribility, is that it is
generally faster. Lenses generally perform best stopped down a couple
stops. However good glass performs well at the extremes both wide open, and
stopped down vs. lower quality glass. But the big advantage to faster lenses
is that an f2.8 lens will perform VERY well at f4, and at f5.6 extremely
well. A lens with a max aperture of f4.5 is NOT going to perform well untill
f8, and if it's a longer zoom with a f5.6 max aperture, then get ready to be
at f11 to get top performance. That means that one has to either have very
good light, lower the shutter speed, or up the ISO. All three of those
things may result in sub par images.

Faster lenses also have a big advantage when focusing as they allow more
light into the viewfinder. This provides optimum AF operation and makes
composition easier especially in lower light. Many AF focus systems don't
focus with lenses slower than f5.6, and the view through an f5.6 lens is a
full stop stops duller vs, the f2.8. I've read complaints about focus speed
of inexpensive lenses, and the reality is that slow lenses just don't take
advantage of higher end AF systems. In addition to all that, when one gets
into bigger lenses, the USM motors in high end glass are MUCH better than
the stuff used in low end glass.

Fast glass also allows one to really isolate a subject. There is nothing
like good bokah of an image shot at 200mm f2.8. The cheap alternative at
f5.6 just does not provide the same effect. The digital multiplier effect
actually makes this more true.

Of couse all this comes at a price, size, weight, and cost are the
disadvantages of high end lenses. After doing a few hundred weddings,
portraits, and commercial work, I'd not trade my good glass for anything,
and I just don't purchase low end glass. It's rather sad to see a $250 lens
on a $1500 body. Kinda like putting custom alum rims on a Honda Civic.

As for sharpening, I don't often sharper portraits. In fact the opposite,
and I often add glossen blur in a layer. Who wants to be able to count the
poors on someone's face, and see EVERY little skin imperfection and blemish?

Many photographers over sharpen, but sharpening is NOT going to fix purple
fringing, distortion or light falloff in an image, and all three of those
problems can surface when using cheap optics.

If you want to see a very good site for evaluating lenses try
www.photodo.com It becomes VERY clear exactly how much of a difference
there is between the best glass around, and lower end optics. Just because
it says Canon, or Nikon, does not mean it's good glass. Inexpensive glass is
generally NOT made in the same factories in Japan as the good stuff, and
quality control and build quality is just not the same between a 70-200f2.8
vs. the 70-210 f4-f5.6.

Ron

"Advid" <advid@freeuk.com> wrote in message
news:1104407108.3161.0@nnrp-t71-03.news.uk.clara.net...
>
> .. it seems to be correct to say that digital SLR cameras (generally
> speaking) need their digital 'photos' to be 'tweaked up' and/or sharpened
> using software AFTER the initial shot has been captured...
>
> Lots of users on here keep saying with disappointment in their voices
> about
> their brand new camera capturing pictures with a - 'soft look' or 'not
> very
> sharp'...
>
> I would definitely go along with this - all my good pics go into Photoshop
> for 'unsharp masking' and they begin to spring to life - detail that is
> not
> initially very clear begins to emerge....
>
> My question (as a Canon D60 / 10D owner with only a moderate selection of
> lenses - 28-135 IS - 75-300IS) is :-
>
> How does a person with a £1000/£2000 or £3000 Canon 'L' lens take better
> pictures when the detail is not visible at source... ???
>
> If the camera is not sharpening and Photoshop is the only way to improve
> what comes from the camera then even a lower priced lens can be used to
> get
> the finished picture with correct sharpness and detail ???
>
> Surely - it's not the camera - it's not the lens - It's Photoshop that
> makes
> the final difference to how much detail emerges from the final picture ???
>
> All an 'L' lens does is to give a 'bit more' detail (probably hardly
> noticeable) when viewed straight from the camera - the final detail that
> emerges surely must be in the proper use of the software to bring out
> detail
> ?? Too much sharpening can ruin even a shot from a £3000 lens...
>
>
Anonymous
December 31, 2004 2:20:57 AM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

Digital SLR manufacturers need to present more information about why they
have made these decisions about limiting in-camera sharpening, even at
default jpg settings. For users who are not interested/motivated to apply
their own post-camera processing the net effect is, as Advid observed,
images that do not look very sharp under many circumstances when they first
come out of the camera.

When sharpening is applied in Photoshop to what I would consider a desirable
degree for printing at 5x7 or 8.5x11 on an Epson 1280 the image detail in
some areas can change to a startling degree. It usually looks like detail
that should be there, for example texture details in a largely monochromatic
surface, but I am not always sure how much of the apparent detail might be
artifact.
December 31, 2004 2:55:07 AM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

Dave Cohen wrote:

> Firstly I think this sharpness thing is a little overstated. I find
> pictures of the kids are fine as is. Second, a phtotgraphy book I was
> reading recommends minimum in camera sharpening (given a choice) and to
> make sharpening the very last step in photo editor. Finally sharpening
> can't put detail back that wasn't there to put back. A poor lens will
> always be a poor lens. Note, once upon a time certain high quality lenses
> were made to give a 'soft' image', that being preferred by portrait
> photographers (and hopefully their customers also).
> Dave Cohen
>

Very true to a certain point. I have found the RAW conversion olympus (and
others?) uses leaves a lot of detail on the cutting room floor in a trade
for noise reduction. Seems most of the on line reviews FOCUS on image
noise, shoot the cameras at high ISO's and complain if they see noise while
ignoring what the noise reduction does to the sharpness. For shooting the
kids it's fine, for landscape photography, it isn't. Given the quality the
3rd party PC noise reduction software can perform, I'd prefer they allow
the user to choose if they want this in camera preprocessing noise
reduction turned on or not. The problem is the reviewers would turn it off,
then bitch about the noise so we'll probably never see it.

--

Stacey
Anonymous
December 31, 2004 3:23:35 AM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

They are not as sharp in the screen as in the prints.
Try printing them, if they are still not sharp ... then try playing around
with aperture size.

The best is to stop the lens down around 2 stops of its max aperture.

Also FYI .. Canon tends to make the image a bit soft ... its just their
processing algorithm :D 

=bob=

"Advid" <advid@freeuk.com> wrote in message
news:1104407108.3161.0@nnrp-t71-03.news.uk.clara.net...
>
> .. it seems to be correct to say that digital SLR cameras (generally
> speaking) need their digital 'photos' to be 'tweaked up' and/or sharpened
> using software AFTER the initial shot has been captured...
Anonymous
December 31, 2004 11:36:20 AM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

"YoYo" <_> wrote in message news:10t7ugn3mtvag23@corp.supernews.com...
> Advid the L lenses are sharper and more color accurate then any zoom lens
> made by Canon. The L Zoom lenses are equal or better in sharpness and
> saturation compared to Canon primes. Not to mention L lenses have IS
> which
> can help alot.
>

Not all L lenses have IS, nor do all lenses that have IS are L (28-135).

Mark
!