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I'm getting obsessed with sharpness

Discussion in 'Photography Techniques' started by BillN, Apr 1, 2014.

  1. BillN

    BillN SC Hall of Famer

    Aug 25, 2010
    S W France
    Bill
    Is there an easy way to test all my lenses?

    I keep looking back over my images and I can see "softness" in all of them

    I do crop all my bird images but I am been driven towards (another) new body, the D4S, so that I can shoot at high ISO's ……. ISO 2500 and well above - so that I can use very fast shutter speeds.

    the D7100 has not helped with it's 24mpx

    Help - Paul, (pdh) must know the answer, he's into stuff like that

    what do you suggest
     
    • Like Like x 1
  2. Luke

    Luke Super Moderator

    Nov 11, 2011
    Milwaukee, WI USA
    Luke
    the search for sharpness has driven some people mad. And I'm fairly certain pdh would not condone your search for ultimate sharpness. :wink:
     
    • Like Like x 3
  3. BillN

    BillN SC Hall of Famer

    Aug 25, 2010
    S W France
    Bill
    It is driving me mad - I am having sleepless nights

    I have moved from Av priority to manual
    and from shooting at a max of ISO 800 to a no max or ISO 2500 on good days
    I have moved to a minimum shutter speed of 1/1000th and "bugger" the ISO setting

    I won't tell you what is happening to my "lens" purchasing habits

    I can see noise and softness in all my images

    I am considering upgrading my MBP and iMac and I am going to have my eyes tested next week
     
    • Like Like x 1
  4. grebeman

    grebeman Old Codgers Group

    Jul 13, 2010
    South Brent, south Devon (UK)
    Barrie
    Whoa, a D4s, we'll be saying goodbye to you on this forum then Bill. I don't think Paul's mega sized pinhole design was driven by sharpness!

    Barrie
     
    • Like Like x 2
  5. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs SC Legend

    Sep 21, 2010
    Not too far from Philly
    you should be able to figure it out...
    If you're becoming addicted to sharpness and want to continue with anything you might call a compact, you should get into the Sigma DP Merrill cameras or a Sony RX1, RX1R, A, or A7. Nothing else will quite get you there - maybe the Nex 7... Within a couple of years, probably everything will either be 24 or 36mp though, so if you bide your time...

    And of course you need amazing lenses too. This is a course that leads to destruction.....

    -Ray
     
    • Like Like x 4
  6. Luke

    Luke Super Moderator

    Nov 11, 2011
    Milwaukee, WI USA
    Luke
    Bill's special drive for sharpness is made all the worse by also being obsessed at photographing things that are very far away. I call it the birder's curse. You have no choice but to buy the biggest, most expensive Nikon and buy the 400 f2.8 with a 1.4 TC and prepare for a divorce. If you still have some money left after that, then add the 600mm f4 VR.....you'll be glad you did. And if things still aren't sharp enough, consider a new hobby.
     
    • Like Like x 3
  7. BillN

    BillN SC Hall of Famer

    Aug 25, 2010
    S W France
    Bill
    I've just gone for a Nikon 300mm f2.8 VR and x 2TC lll ……… I hope that will help
    I have a Nikon x 1.4TC that goes well with my Nikon 300mm f4
    and I have a Nikon 70mm 200mm f2.8VR which I am now rediscovering with the x 2 TC lll

    I've just order a Wimberley WH200 Gimbal to replace the lighter one that I have and have begun to use my Arca Swiss ball head again

    The problem is that my technique must be "crap" and I need to shoot at much higher shutter speeds and get a lower mega pixel body, hence the D4S or even a used D3S ……. 15 meg is enough.

    OK, I could get much nearer - but that means sitting for hours in a camo hide in camo clothes and also setting up "the shot"

    but I need to get everything tested, including me……… so how do I test my lenses?

    My wife reckons that I should move to Landscape photography …….. she is probably correct
     
    • Like Like x 1
  8. Biro

    Biro SC All-Pro

    Aug 7, 2011
    Jersey Shore
    Steve
    Files from many of the better cameras are just a bit soft. That's so you can dial in the amount of sharpness you want in post production. Or are we talking about something else here? To my eyes, sharpeness and resolution aren't necessarily the same thing. Feel free to correct me. :smile:
     
    • Like Like x 3
  9. BillN

    BillN SC Hall of Famer

    Aug 25, 2010
    S W France
    Bill
    Sharpness and resolution ……. I'll have to think about that

    have a look at some of the SA Bird images on my ipernity page and you should see what I mean ……. most are big crops, combination of hand held and tripod …….. best ones with the Nikon 300mm f4 …… some with the Nikon 70 300mm VR f4.5/5.6 zoom
     
    • Like Like x 1
  10. Fiddler

    Fiddler SC Veteran

    241
    Dec 5, 2010
    Edinburgh, Scotland
    Colin
    It matters how you view your images, I think.

    Do you feel the same way when you view them as prints?
     
  11. BillN

    BillN SC Hall of Famer

    Aug 25, 2010
    S W France
    Bill
    I have never printed anything apart from holiday and family shots......... mainly for my wife ...... but even she now uses her iPad quite a lot
    We are coming back to the UK next week and I was planning to print maybe 50 of my bird shots .......
     
    • Like Like x 1
  12. Fiddler

    Fiddler SC Veteran

    241
    Dec 5, 2010
    Edinburgh, Scotland
    Colin
    It's definitely a different experience. I much prefer looking at prints. They seem more 'real' to me.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  13. BillN

    BillN SC Hall of Famer

    Aug 25, 2010
    S W France
    Bill
    It seems a circular argument searching for a low light body
    D4S ........ expensive and fantastic ....... but then you are pushed towards the ......D800 at less than half the price of the D4S and just as good in low light but has 36 million small pixels, more than twice as many as the D4S ....... then the D800 review pushes you towards the D610 at less than a third of the price of the D4S ............ and even both the D800 and D610 can push you back to a used D700.

    Bearing in mind I only want the body for small bird photography when most FX images will be cropped down to a quarter or much less of the original size

    A good used D3S or a new D800 seem to be the sensible options at around £2,000
     
  14. Briar

    Briar SC All-Pro

    Oct 27, 2010
    Scotland
    Karen
    The eye test might be the best place to start! I keep putting my optician appointment off. I fear he/she is also going to make the suggestion I'm fast approaching middle age!
     
    • Like Like x 1
  15. BillN

    BillN SC Hall of Famer

    Aug 25, 2010
    S W France
    Bill
    These days I need more than just an eye test!!! ........ but I'm having one next week
     
  16. pdh

    pdh SC Legend

    Jan 2, 2011
    La netteté est un concept bourgeois
     
    • Like Like x 2
  17. BillN

    BillN SC Hall of Famer

    Aug 25, 2010
    S W France
    Bill
    I live near Bordeaux, (the most bourgeois area of France)………. anyway according to the Forum "your mate" is having a few problems


    anyway bourgeois is good

    http://www.jancisrobinson.com/articles/a201210023.html
     
  18. BillN

    BillN SC Hall of Famer

    Aug 25, 2010
    S W France
    Bill
    Is the following sharp

    ISO 1000 @f7.1 and 1/1000 - I can only use spot focus as the lens has a TC attached to it

    not bad light, taken at 16:30 today

    Full sized image taken with the Nikon 70mm 200mm f2.8 VR zoom + Nikon x 2 TC lll
    so 400mm x DX x 1.3 in camera crop = almost 800mm

    No PP except a very small amount of sharpening in Photoshop Elements 10
    [​IMG]

    Crop

    [​IMG]
     
  19. Luke

    Luke Super Moderator

    Nov 11, 2011
    Milwaukee, WI USA
    Luke
    i would say that it is plenty sharp
     
    • Like Like x 1
  20. Fiddler

    Fiddler SC Veteran

    241
    Dec 5, 2010
    Edinburgh, Scotland
    Colin
    It's sharp enough for me.
     
    • Like Like x 1