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Who's_E
6th May 2010, 08:20 AM
I have taken and posted a couple of photos recently that have come out quite soft and I am struggling with whether it is my camera handling or something else. (I presume the former).

Both were challenging: One handheld but braced with the 50mm macro, the other at a focal length of 1100mm resting on a beanbag.

When I open them in Lightroom or Master, they appear nice and sharp for a second but then the software does a last minute adjustment and they go fuzzy. Sharpening doesn't help.

So, have I taken bad photos or is there something I can do with the software to make it better?

I accept that the grebe is at the extreme limits of my kit (shake/atmosphere etc) but I find the other a bit odd.

Thanks for any tips,

Nick


E3, EC14 + Sigma 135-400mm, f9.0, 1/500th, IS on, Noise filter off, ISO 400

http://e-group.uk.net/gallery/data/635/P4096029-1.jpg (http://e-group.uk.net/gallery/showphoto.php?photo=22482)


E520, ZD 50mm, f7.1, 1/320th, IS on, Noise filter off, ISO 100

http://e-group.uk.net/gallery/data/936/P3155514.jpg (http://e-group.uk.net/gallery/showphoto.php?photo=22050)

j.baker
6th May 2010, 08:37 AM
Are you shooting in RAW or JPG?

Who's_E
6th May 2010, 08:40 AM
Hi John,

RAW only.

Thanks,

Nick

j.baker
6th May 2010, 08:45 AM
Have you updated the Adobe RAW convertor?

A tip that John (theMusicMan) gave me was to develop the RAW file, but without sharpening. Then in Lightroom/Elements create a new layer (CTRL-J). Change the new layer overlay. Then select filter-other-highpass and select from .5 to 3 for the radius. This should sharpen the image.

Flatten the image when you are happy and save.

If you want, send me a PM and I will send you my email address so you can send me one of your RAW files and I will have a look for you.

snaarman
6th May 2010, 08:45 AM
Hmm. Yes they both look less than totally sharp, but not that bad. However the downsizing process for the gallery can make a shot look less sharp. I generally apply a tiny amount of sharpening after the downsize to recover the look of the original.

Pete

OlyPaul
6th May 2010, 11:25 AM
In the first one I'm not suprised its a little soft, at that focal length and shutter speed even with a beanbag just pressing the shutter will give a slight movement at the end of the lens.

In the second one I doubt its the lens as that is a remarkably sharp lens, I know I have it.

As you can see with this pic just using the standard 40-150mm lens at a 150mm and f5.6 (wide open) it fairly sharp, so I would put that one down to camera handling.;)

http://www.pbase.com/paulsilkphotography/image/75336676.jpg

Nick Temple-Fry
6th May 2010, 12:15 PM
The 135-400 plus the ec1.4 does not yield the most contrasty images - if you are struggling for range you will notice some loss of clarity except in optimal conditions, I'd regard this as a fairly typical shot for that combo. Targets a bit closer will yield far crisper images, it's frustrating but that's the difference you get with a 500 lens compared to a 5000 one. It's a good portable combination for closer targets in bright conditions.

The 50mm looks sharp and certainly responds to sharpening well - which tells that the detail is actually there. I suggest that the dof is pretty close to the minimum for that image as the branch seems to be losing focus.

Contrast is an often missed element in lens sharpness - if it's not there in the subject (and it wasn't in the grebe) then the lens will see few edges to make sharp, particularly if it's pulling in light from the far end of its range. At that distance even a small level of atmospheric haze will also impact contrast.

Actually I envy you getting the grebe with a fish at all.

Nick

Who's_E
6th May 2010, 12:50 PM
Well folks, thank you all for the comments.

John B: A great tip, I have had a go with the willow and it came out much sharper. Possible slightly too sharp below but I will get there. I think the grebe's flaws were as suggested by the others and it didn't fare so well despite my efforts.

Nick and Paul_S: Thanks, confirmation that if the "photo" isn't there then "photo"-graphy doesn't do so well! I guess I must also be more patient with my photography and use a tripod more often... :)

Nick

http://e-group.uk.net/gallery/data/635/P3155514-1.jpg (http://e-group.uk.net/gallery/showphoto.php?photo=23218)

j.baker
6th May 2010, 12:52 PM
I am just trying the free demo of Topaz Denoise and Detail.....Wow, very impressed with the results.

I use Adobe Elements 8, and apart from having to copy the pluging to the correct directory, it works well.

http://www.topazlabs.com/

Ian
7th May 2010, 04:18 PM
Hmm. Yes they both look less than totally sharp, but not that bad. However the downsizing process for the gallery can make a shot look less sharp. I generally apply a tiny amount of sharpening after the downsize to recover the look of the original.

Pete

Yes, this is a very good point - any re-sizing (up or down) will soften the image and careful application of sharpening is generally required after resizing.

Ian

Zuiko
7th May 2010, 05:19 PM
Yes, this is a very good point - any re-sizing (up or down) will soften the image and careful application of sharpening is generally required after resizing.

Ian

I keep my processed images as unsharpened tifs, only sharpening after resizing and according to what the image will be used for, then saving as a seperate JPEG file.