Olympus UK E-System User Group
Olympus UK E-System User Group

Join our unique resource for Olympus Four Thirds E-System DSLR and Pen and OM-D Micro Four Thirds photographers. Show your images via our free e-group photo gallery. Please read the e-group.uk.net forum terms and conditions before posting for the first time. Above all, welcome!


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Looking for improvement This is the e-group critique board. If you post a picture here it will be assumed that you are looking for comprehensive technical feedback - both good and bad, but always respectful. Only post pictures here if you can deal with potentially negative constructive criticism. Anyone is qualified to comment and post feedback, and everyone is encouraged to do so. NB: "Looking for Improvement" is the place to post any pictures you would like advice on improving, no matter how bad you might think they are.

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  #1  
Old 20th February 2008
bobg
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Hints on sharpening

Hi,

Having picked up a digital SLR for a relatively short time, I am having trouble getting to grips with sharpening images taken with it.

This shot was taken recently in the garden as a test using my newly acquired 510 with a 14-54 lens attached – as such, composition, blown highlights etc. has not really been taken into account, but please feel free to comment on, as any guidance is truly appreciated.

It was taken hand-held in aperture priority mode (set to f5.6) with IS switched on, and focused on the top of the flower about a quarter of the way down the stem. The camera was set to natural picture mode with an in-camera sharpening setting of -1.

To me, the picture does not appear as pin-sharp as it should be, should I be carrying out further sharpening within Elements (I currently use v4)?. And if so to what degree?, is it entirely subjective, or is there a set limit?.

Also, when I shoot in RAW, should sharpening be carried out as a last step in RAW conversion, or should it be left until the final step of processing in Elements.

As I say, any guidance would be appreciated.

Last edited by bobg; 20th February 2008 at 03:41 PM. Reason: how do I upload the picture?
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  #2  
Old 20th February 2008
emirpprime
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Re: Hints on sharpening

I'm afraid the image didn't show up
But until then, did you notice the shutter speed? IS can only cope with so much and so you might have suffered form motion blur. Their might have not been much DoF either meaning that if the focus was slightly off the "target" won't have been very sharp.
Basically, is the focus in the wrong place? Or is the image just not that sharp. If it is the latter it is either motion blur or you need to increase the in camera sharpening/do some sharpening in elements.
All the best,
Phil
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  #3  
Old 20th February 2008
bobg
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Re: Hints on sharpening

Thanks for your reply emirpprime - aperture was f5.6 and shutter 1/100 - this would help if you could see the picture - how do I load it into this post??
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  #4  
Old 20th February 2008
Hiding_Pup
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Re: Hints on sharpening

Mike Johnston's Elegant Sharpening action works a treat. Video on the link:

http://www.radiantvista.com/tutorial...nce-sharpening
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  #5  
Old 20th February 2008
bobg
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Re: Hints on sharpening

Hopefully - here is the picture

flower.jpg
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  #6  
Old 20th February 2008
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Garrie Garrie is offline
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Re: Hints on sharpening

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hiding_Pup View Post
Mike Johnston's Elegant Sharpening action works a treat. Video on the link:

http://www.radiantvista.com/tutorial...nce-sharpening
Nice link, thanks
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  #7  
Old 21st February 2008
PeterD
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Re: Hints on sharpening

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hiding_Pup View Post
Mike Johnston's Elegant Sharpening action works a treat. Video on the link:

http://www.radiantvista.com/tutorial...nce-sharpening
Thanks for the link. Very useful tips. Although I do not have CS2 photoshop, the sequence and explanation of what happens was invaluable.

PeterD
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  #8  
Old 24th February 2008
bobg
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Re: Hints on sharpening

Hi Hiding_pup

Many thanks for your reply and link - very interesting, and lots of tips to try.

Sorry about the slow response, but it has taken a few days until I could find the time to look at the link and respond.
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  #9  
Old 24th February 2008
emirpprime
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Re: Hints on sharpening

Hi bobg,

Sorry I lost this thread. Thanks for posting the image. It is hard to tell, but it shouldn't be motion blur, as the shutterspeed was high enough. It looks like the focus is perhaps slightly high and behind where you described. Was there a breeze at all? It chould be that the flower was blown forward sightly.

That is my best guess, and opinion based on the photo. That lens is nice and sharp and the settings for the camera sound right. Have you had any more luck since?

All the best, and sorry again for the slow reply,
Phil
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  #10  
Old 24th February 2008
E-P1 fan
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Re: Hints on sharpening

I need that link too. Thanks HP
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  #11  
Old 24th February 2008
photo_owl photo_owl is offline
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Re: Hints on sharpening

Bob

Firstly may I suggest, as you sort of hint, this image is not the best example against which to discuss the sublties of sharpening technique.

I agree it doesn't look 'sharp' but then again it's busy and contrasty. Don't think it's a focus issue, or camera shake, but it isn't the sort of image against which you would assess sharpness.
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  #12  
Old 25th February 2008
sapper sapper is offline
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Re: Hints on sharpening

Quote:
Originally Posted by bobg View Post
Hi,

Having picked up a digital SLR for a relatively short time, I am having trouble getting to grips with sharpening images taken with it.

This shot was taken recently in the garden as a test using my newly acquired 510 with a 14-54 lens attached as such, composition, blown highlights etc. has not really been taken into account, but please feel free to comment on, as any guidance is truly appreciated.

It was taken hand-held in aperture priority mode (set to f5.6) with IS switched on, and focused on the top of the flower about a quarter of the way down the stem. The camera was set to natural picture mode with an in-camera sharpening setting of -1.

To me, the picture does not appear as pin-sharp as it should be, should I be carrying out further sharpening within Elements (I currently use v4)?. And if so to what degree?, is it entirely subjective, or is there a set limit?.

Also, when I shoot in RAW, should sharpening be carried out as a last step in RAW conversion, or should it be left until the final step of processing in Elements.

As I say, any guidance would be appreciated.
When shooting RAW, don't sharpen in camera, it should be the last process you carry out before outputing to web, printing Etc.
Dave.
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  #13  
Old 25th February 2008
PeterD
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Re: Hints on sharpening

Quote:
Originally Posted by sapper View Post
When shooting RAW, don't sharpen in camera, it should be the last process you carry out before outputing to web, printing Etc.
Dave.
Dave,

I have just found out - to my cost that RAW files are not sharpened in camera. In fact, no processing is carried out. As an experiment, I have shooted both jpg and RAW this morning and compared the output. The result is that the in-camera processed results are far superior. My problem is learning to use PP to achieve the same, if not better, results.

PeterD
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  #14  
Old 25th February 2008
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Re: Hints on sharpening

Quote:
Originally Posted by PeterD View Post
Dave,

I have just found out - to my cost that RAW files are not sharpened in camera. In fact, no processing is carried out. As an experiment, I have shooted both jpg and RAW this morning and compared the output. The result is that the in-camera processed results are far superior. My problem is learning to use PP to achieve the same, if not better, results.

PeterD
Peter

A benefit of the RAW file is to bypass the settings that you can apply to the camera to add sharpening, saturation and other compensations to the jpgs from the camera. For me the E3 needs a touch of sharpening to the jpgs other than that I think they are superb. RAW files also allow you to correct issues with exposure and whitebalance to give you some latitude to the image and recover highlights or shadow detail.

So as you are finding you can set it to both give you sharper jpgs and a good RAW negative. You can save the ORFs for a time when you want to explore some photoshop creative work and or deal with problem shots. With many of the RAW converters this level of setting can be almost a default to try (Lightzone does have a few stored - i think you are trying this trial - not a perfect solution for me).

I think you will think of this as a benefit - once the settings come together.

The ultimate decision should be do you want to be out and about taking pictures or sat inside, at the computer, fixing every shot. It used to be far better to shoot RAW, now I don't think it is.

Ask the dog 'walk' or 'sit inside'

Peter

PS
I decided on the strategy of sharpening the jpgs and keeping the ORFs for later
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  #15  
Old 25th February 2008
PeterD
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Re: Hints on sharpening

Quote:
Originally Posted by art frames View Post
Peter

A benefit of the RAW file is to bypass the settings that you can apply to the camera to add sharpening, saturation and other compensations to the jpgs from the camera. For me the E3 needs a touch of sharpening to the jpgs other than that I think they are superb. RAW files also allow you to correct issues with exposure and whitebalance to give you some latitude to the image and recover highlights or shadow detail.

So as you are finding you can set it to both give you sharper jpgs and a good RAW negative. You can save the ORFs for a time when you want to explore some photoshop creative work and or deal with problem shots. With many of the RAW converters this level of setting can be almost a default to try (Lightzone does have a few stored - i think you are trying this trial - not a perfect solution for me).

I think you will think of this as a benefit - once the settings come together.

The ultimate decision should be do you want to be out and about taking pictures or sat inside, at the computer, fixing every shot. It used to be far better to shoot RAW, now I don't think it is.

Ask the dog 'walk' or 'sit inside'

Peter

PS
I decided on the strategy of sharpening the jpgs and keeping the ORFs for later

Peter

Thanks to your advice I shall be saving both versions too. I shall have to wait awhile before concentrating on PP as there is a lot more to explore with this camera. Get the camera images right first as you can never make a masterpiece from rubbish. Except in modern art perhaps but that is another subject.

I shall give you a summary of what I have learnt later. My confidence with this camera is growing all the time. Pushing it to the limits and checking the effects is the best way to learn.

Cheers

PeterD
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