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DPChallenge Forums >> Hardware and Software >> sharper images
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07/28/2004 11:47:51 PM · #1
what makes for a sharp, crisp image?
a) camera
b) lens
c) photographer
d) PhotoShop
e) you're not allowed to say all of the above!

I just can't seem to get the results I want from my photos and I'm trying to figure out what needs help.
07/28/2004 11:50:27 PM · #2
good lighting & the right exposure
07/28/2004 11:59:42 PM · #3
Originally posted by Rooster:

good lighting & the right exposure


and then Photoshop!
07/29/2004 12:05:03 AM · #4
Originally posted by Rooster:

good lighting & the right exposure


Is A Must
It took me F.O.R.E.V.E.R to get it right shooting glamour shots for people
07/29/2004 12:37:39 AM · #5
Good light.

Tripod.

Good technique - press the shutter smoothly - don't stab. Better yet, stick the camera on a tripod and use a remote release.

Did I mention a tripod ?

Tripods can be quite helpful too.
07/29/2004 12:42:43 AM · #6
Tripod.
Employ a time delayed shutter release so that you press the shutter release and the camera goes all by itself. I tend to stab the shutter button causing camera shake so I like to use this method.
Or...Like already stated...a remote.
Good optics (lenses) help.

lol.....Did I say tripod?
A tripod. Two of em, one big one and one table top.
07/29/2004 12:45:23 AM · #7
Sturdy tripod
auto timer or cable release
last resort..deep breath and gentle press of the shutter.
07/29/2004 12:45:36 AM · #8
Good glass, steady hand/tripod, good lighting and photoshop. Never oversharpen in photoshop.
07/29/2004 01:13:11 AM · #9
I can't believe Gordon didn't suggest a tripod. He's slack like that.

1. Use a tripod.
2. Get a cable release
3. Stay home when its breezy outside
4. Use a tripod
5. Have lots of light for fast shutter speeds
6. When possible, shoot at an aperture 2 stops above your widest option
7. Use a tripod.

Really though....

Lots of light and fast shutter speeds will be your friend for sharpness as much as anything else. The steady camera (use a tripod unless you can't for some reason) makes a difference also.

Several things contribute to 'unsharp' images.

1. camera shake
2. subject movement
3. poor focus (autofocus is not always your best friend)
4. dirty lenses
5. dirty filters on the lens
6. cheap filters can cause poor sharpness also

07/29/2004 01:19:28 AM · #10
Originally posted by jmsetzler:

Several things contribute to 'unsharp' images.


you forgot cheap lenses.
the rest was spot on.
07/29/2004 01:28:29 AM · #11
Originally posted by animes2k:

Originally posted by jmsetzler:

Several things contribute to 'unsharp' images.


you forgot cheap lenses.
the rest was spot on.


The lens in this case is not a problem tho. Most of the prosumer digital cameras, especially this one, have great optics.
07/29/2004 01:49:20 AM · #12
um.. a lot of people say breath a deep breath and take a pic if you dont have a tripod. well when i was shooting a rifle at my camp i was always told to fire as soon as you exhale, before your next inhale because that is when you move the least.
07/29/2004 07:08:03 AM · #13
Originally posted by jmsetzler:

I can't believe Gordon didn't suggest a tripod. He's slack like that.

1. Use a tripod.
2. Get a cable release
3. Stay home when its breezy outside
4. Use a tripod
5. Have lots of light for fast shutter speeds
6. When possible, shoot at an aperture 2 stops above your widest option
7. Use a tripod.



8. Quit drinking ;o)

edit: at least when you want to shoot something. LOL (you know this is a joke, right??)

Message edited by author 2004-07-29 07:09:11.
07/29/2004 07:15:37 AM · #14
Originally posted by hsteg:

um.. a lot of people say breath a deep breath and take a pic if you dont have a tripod. well when i was shooting a rifle at my camp i was always told to fire as soon as you exhale, before your next inhale because that is when you move the least.


"breath a deep breath"

I tried that and fainted lol.
07/29/2004 07:17:20 AM · #15
In bright sun a lens hood, or something to block direct light thowards the lens, can also be helpful. I don't yet have one, but when the sun shines I always put my hand above the lens and in the direction of the sun and I discovered it helps. Reflections even if not always strong enough to be clearly visible, but they can make your image look washed out.
07/29/2004 07:53:01 AM · #16
If you're using DSLR...

1. Use a tripod (as I believe has already been mentioned)
2. Use time delay or a remote cable (which has also been mentioned)
3. Use the mirror lockup function if your camera has it. (which I don't think has been mentioned :P )

That slight vibration as it flies up at a gozzilion miles an hour will make a slight difference to the sharpness of your image.

However as you're using the S602Z (a camera which I have as well) you do have a sharpness setting that you should probably put to the maximum, but I was very unhappy with the quality of the Fuji compared to my 10D. It was notorious for giving far from crisp edges. At 100% where the 10D showed incredidible detail on an edge of a cathedral, the same shot from the Fuji gave a single line with no detail at all. Maybe an upgrade if its an option?

Message edited by author 2004-07-29 07:56:33.
07/29/2004 08:00:32 AM · #17
PS is nice but I prefer if possible to shoot RAW then use Capture One or other raw processing to adjust sharpness before the final output file is processed. + all the above with emphasis on having good glass, "L" lenses for canon or primes if you can't afford/borrow "L"s
07/29/2004 08:11:58 AM · #18
tripod & lighting seems to be a recurring theme. I always use one, I'll have to try the timer to see if that helps. The auto focus can be slow, but I guess that's not enough time for my finger to release.

Originally posted by p_johns:

However as you're using the S602Z (a camera which I have as well) you do have a sharpness setting that you should probably put to the maximum, but I was very unhappy with the quality of the Fuji compared to my 10D. It was notorious for giving far from crisp edges. At 100% where the 10D showed incredidible detail on an edge of a cathedral, the same shot from the Fuji gave a single line with no detail at all. Maybe an upgrade if its an option?


I wonder if that's the ticket, an upgrade. I notice most of the comments come from mainly 10D, 300D, & F717 owners (yes peecee also has the S602Z). I'm trying to figure if some of the problem is the interpolation that the S602Z does. When I shoot TIFF (It can't do RAW), it's a digital interpolation.
07/29/2004 08:23:48 AM · #19
I'm going to go against the crowd and not recommend a tripod.

A higher f-stop can help improve sharpness, particularly for a moving subject, and also because stopping down the lens normally improves sharpness.

I don't know how noisy the S602 is, but increasing the ISO a little to improve the shutter may prove useful.

I'm guessing the interpolation will almost certainly reduce sharpness. Such is converting a hexagonal grid into cubic.
07/29/2004 09:59:33 AM · #20
what do you mean, "don't say all of the above". a sharp picture is absolutely a product of all the above....not so much photoshop, but if you want to take a sharp picture and make it really look sharp, you'll need some sorta post processing..

Lens is very important....very!
Photographer is very important if shooting at slower shutter speeds, and important if the photographer has good 20/20 vision. If you can't see very well, how are you going to manaully focus.
Camera is its something else other then an SLR where you can change lens. If its a cheap point and shoot, you're going to get softer images...which in turn will create the need for Photoshop...Plus, some cameras have trouble focusing, so without a manual focus, its tough..

If sharpness was easy, then everyone would be doing it!. Heh
07/29/2004 10:33:06 AM · #21
There has been some discussion here about the quality of filters on this site. I´m glad it came up because I was absolutly ignorant about how much difference they can make.
I have some B+W filters for my Canon EF 24-85mm f/3,5-4,5 lens and the UV filter is almost always on, that is when I´m not using the polarizer or the ND. I´m pretty happy with the pol and the ND but I have a reson to think that the UV-filter isn´t very good.
Is there any other brands that you enthusiams recomend? I know the Hoya-filters are of top quaility but since they are expensive and my other glass is not do you know of something less expensive but still decent?
07/29/2004 11:23:46 AM · #22
Originally posted by PaulMdx:

I'm going to go against the crowd and not recommend a tripod.

A higher f-stop can help improve sharpness, particularly for a moving subject, and also because stopping down the lens normally improves sharpness.

I don't know how noisy the S602 is, but increasing the ISO a little to improve the shutter may prove useful.

I'm guessing the interpolation will almost certainly reduce sharpness. Such is converting a hexagonal grid into cubic.

I wouldn't advise increasing the ISO unless absolutely neccessary, bit noisy.

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Handheld,normal sharpness,I find the finest setting a little harsh.
The results with tripod are markedly better, but in any event photoshop cures most problems,except poor light, the fuji is not very good in low light.
Paul.
07/29/2004 11:50:44 AM · #23
Originally posted by ericsuth:

... "L" lenses for canon or primes if you can't afford/borrow "L"s


Trouble is that many primes are more expensive than the L zooms.
07/29/2004 12:40:16 PM · #24
How do you determine what is the correct amount of sharpeness? I have a digicam that produces images that don't need to be sharpened much, if any, in software; and one where the images are useless without sharpening in post processing. I have had comments that say "oversharpened" and "too soft, needs more sharpeness" on the same entry. Some people advise using the maximum sharpness setting of your camera while others say it is better to shoot at the lowest setting and use the flexibility of adjusting with software to get sharpeness exactly right.
07/29/2004 01:05:51 PM · #25
Originally posted by coolhar:

How do you determine what is the correct amount of sharpeness? I have a digicam that produces images that don't need to be sharpened much, if any, in software; and one where the images are useless without sharpening in post processing. I have had comments that say "oversharpened" and "too soft, needs more sharpeness" on the same entry. Some people advise using the maximum sharpness setting of your camera while others say it is better to shoot at the lowest setting and use the flexibility of adjusting with software to get sharpeness exactly right.

Of course it´s a matter of opinon and of subject how much sharpness is "right". Sometimes softnes and gaussian blurr can give better effect for some subjects.
It´s my opinion that it´s better to use sharpening tools in post editing than setting additional sharpness in the camera it self. Sharpening in the camera can make the image look more noise and can make some artifacts. Besides when you are shooting at different things, f.isnt flowers in a garden and kids playing, then you may want to make the flowers pinsharp but the kids litle soft and then it´s time consuming to swich between different sharpening settings and can easely be forgotten.
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