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Sharp

Discussion in 'Ricoh GR (APS-C) Forum' started by teddoman, Mar 8, 2015.

  1. teddoman

    teddoman SC Regular

    51
    Apr 4, 2013
    nyc
    I took a photo and zoomed all the way in to show my wife how sharp the GR lens is.

    Her reply: "that's really great, but I just don't care"

    Forgot she isn't into cameras. Ouch.
     
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  2. trisberg

    trisberg SC Veteran

    251
    Jul 5, 2011
    New Hampshire
    Interesting, I showed some pictures I took with a GR to my wife and she said "wow, those look really sharp".

    -Thomas
     
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  3. drd1135

    drd1135 SC Hall of Famer

    Jul 13, 2011
    Southwest Virginia
    Steve
    My wife likes my pictures but doesn't really see them vis a vis details. It's all about the image and mostly the content. I have a friend who's in between, but she always talks of "pop".
     
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2015
  4. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs SC Legend

    Sep 21, 2010
    Not too far from Philly
    you should be able to figure it out...
    Nice reality check. Only photographers really care about the technical details. Non-photographers almost ALWAYS react to how well the content of the photo was seen and composed and, to some degree, processed. They see a final product that either moves them or doesn't and they're not terribly tuned in to what it is about it, but the sharpness zoomed in to 100% couldn't mean less to them. As it shouldn't! Of course the irony is that if they like a few of your photos they usually say something like "you must have a great camera", which kind of blows the purity of their appreciation. And if they're decent cooks, I'll usually make the old analogy about how good their cookware must be, but usually I just say something like 'the camera plays some role in it' without getting to into it.

    But, sometimes things like extraordinary detail, extraordinary DR, and great high ISO performance can help you produce photographs that the lay person will react positively to, even when they're not looking specifically at those details. So, it's good for US to know the ingredients in the stew, but we can't obsess too much over the ingredients at the expense of the overall stew. Leave it to the lay observer to keep the whole thing in perspective. Which we, often enough, don't...

    -Ray
     
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  5. I would agree, mostly. A technically correct and amazingly sharp photo may be boring as #$%, yet a less correct photo may attract praise because of it's content.
     
  6. teddoman

    teddoman SC Regular

    51
    Apr 4, 2013
    nyc
    Does that mean you ended up with the better one?

    ...better copy of a Ricoh GR I mean.
     
  7. teddoman

    teddoman SC Regular

    51
    Apr 4, 2013
    nyc
    Her comment didn't trigger this thought in my mind at the time, but a good reminder indeed.

    I do think that a good photographer knows how to use the strengths of a camera to their advantage to turn a mundane photo into something more. Someone who understands the limits of post processing can use a camera in combination with post processing to achieve a desired result. Even the simple act of cropping takes advantage of a camera's pixel level sharpness. But I agree, the composition and overall content is probably the most important of all.
     
  8. trisberg

    trisberg SC Veteran

    251
    Jul 5, 2011
    New Hampshire
    :) I guess it depends on your definition of better ... but in general I would agree with others that sharpness isn't that important and in general something we pay too much attention to.

    -Thomas
     
  9. pdh

    pdh SC Legend

    Jan 2, 2011
    Ah the fabled "pixel sharpness" rears its head ... I have been agog with anticipation since I first heard it mentioned a couple of years ago, but I have yet to have it explained how one pixel can be sharper than another ...
     
  10. teddoman

    teddoman SC Regular

    51
    Apr 4, 2013
    nyc
    Actually "pixel level sharpness" reared its head, which really meant nothing more than just plain vanilla sharpness. Didn't realize it sounded so close to the other term.
     
  11. pdh

    pdh SC Legend

    Jan 2, 2011
    If all someone has to say about one of my photos is "Wow that's really sharp" (or, indeed, "That's not very sharp") I'd reckon to have wasted my time pressing the shutter release
     
  12. ReD

    ReD SC Hall of Famer

    Mar 27, 2013
    I've just been going through a de-sharpening exercise where the sharpness was introduced in post processing - made bits look like a cut out collage
     
  13. Lawrence A.

    Lawrence A. SC All-Pro

    Nov 8, 2012
    New Mexico
    Larry
    I have one long term friend who is interested in the technical details of photos and cameras, and it is not the person I live with. I sometimes process and image in different ways and ask which one he likes better. The response is more often than not, "I don't see any difference". What I think of as subtle but noticeable many people just don't see. They're interested in shapes more than tones, and subjects more than precise color balance. Interesting.
     
  14. drd1135

    drd1135 SC Hall of Famer

    Jul 13, 2011
    Southwest Virginia
    Steve
    Of course, I mainly shoot for me. If I can see a difference then that matters whether others care or not. I wonder what I would do if I had a camera/lens/technique that produced images that everyone liked except me?o_O
     
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  15. SnapDawg

    SnapDawg Rorschach Test Pilot

    649
    Apr 18, 2014
    Canary Islands
    Ken
    To me that's the single most wonderful aspect of photography - it teaches us to see. How this relates to our individual preferences for sujets, gear and processing I find most interesting. Apart from the casual fun stuff I'm still photographing the same sujets I shot for more than 40 years, over and over again but it took the better part of those years to understand why.
     
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  16. porchard

    porchard SC Veteran

    343
    Feb 24, 2013
    Devon, UK
    I have to agree with your wife... I just don't care, either. If the content of the image is good, then that's what counts, for me. If the image content is poor, sharpening isn't going to rescue it. YMMV, of course.
     
  17. Lawrence A.

    Lawrence A. SC All-Pro

    Nov 8, 2012
    New Mexico
    Larry
    I do care how a lens performs, and if the purpose of showing me something is to highlight some aspect of the lens, I'm interested in that for its own sake -- not however for the sake of the image shot, which stands or falls or its own. Looking at Sigma files at 100% says nothing about the photograph that is taken with them, but it says quite a bit about the DP cameras' ability to resolved detail and the Foveon sensor to hold up to enlargement. I find that interesting the way many people find talk about their tools interesting. The cost and quality of the hammer doesn't make the house, but carpenters find comparing hammers interesting nonetheless, or at least the carpenters I've talked to do.

    The files from the 12MP Leica X1 I got recently look terrible at 100%, but the lens renders images with a depth and three dimensionally that I find astonishing, and a remarkable level of detail. In many ways 100% on screen is meaningless when talking about real world images, but if it can tell me something about a lens, I'm all ears -- though I'd add that sharpness isn't the be all and end all in lenses either. I had a very contrasty large format Fuji lens that I did not much like because it was too contrasty. A much older Schneider lens rendered the world much more to my liking and my vision. And sometimes the poor performance of a lens can ruin an image: if the subject is all about detail in complex textures a sharp lens that can render that detail without, however, so much contrast that the tonal variations are obscured, becomes an important part of creating the picture. Sharpness CAN matter very much; it's just not photo Nirvana.
     
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  18. porchard

    porchard SC Veteran

    343
    Feb 24, 2013
    Devon, UK
    Oh, I agree... I'm more than happy to talk about gear all day!:) All I was really trying to say that sharpness is not a major factor - for me - in the performance of a lens. There are other characteristics which appeal to me more.

    Of course, a lens must have a base-level of decent sharpness, in order to provide an image that displays the detail from the scene. But, for me, once I have a lens which offers a decent level of sharpness, I can't be bothered with chasing yet more sharpness - with all the associated sense of 'diminishing returns'. And as for sharpening in PP, I've more-or-less dropped that altogether.
     
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  19. Lawrence A.

    Lawrence A. SC All-Pro

    Nov 8, 2012
    New Mexico
    Larry
    Yes, even if I never took a good picture (though I do on occasion), photography has been valuable to me as a way of seeing. Since taking up photography I've look at the world, more open to its occasional beauties. A typical day, with or without a camera, involves little epiphanies where a shadow or texture, shape, etc. helps reveal something glorious that I'd have previously walked by and not noticed. It's helped me to see - at times - surprising importance in little things. Often there is not a picture in it, but I still notice because, I guess, I never stop looking for pictures.
     
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  20. Luckypenguin

    Luckypenguin SC Hall of Famer

    Dec 24, 2010
    Brisbane, Australia
    Nic
    Perhaps your wife actually is into cameras, and her response was really along the lines of "You mean another sharp camera/lens? Come back with an actual distinguishing feature if you want to justify your latest camera purchase with me" :biggrin: