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Author Topic: Camera sharp VS eye sharp  (Read 3366 times)
wynpotter
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« on: July 07, 2006, 11:48:33 AM »
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Though i have been into photography for 30 + yrs and only recently switched to digital, I have a question about what I am seeing.
To clarify, does the eye see better thru the eyepiece than the sensor can reproduce?
There seems to be a difference that is noticeble to me. I understand the softness issues of the sensors and am wondering if the eye gives us greater expectations of resolution than can be achieved by the sensor. The eye is designed by its curviture, to give great DOF where the sensor is a flat field and the eye has a greater dynamic range.
Am I just starting to realize the limitations that the rest already know?
Just a thought
Wyndham
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Per Ofverbeck
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« Reply #1 on: July 08, 2006, 02:49:22 AM »
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Though i have been into photography for 30 + yrs and only recently switched to digital, I have a question about what I am seeing.
To clarify, does the eye see better thru the eyepiece than the sensor can reproduce?
There seems to be a difference that is noticeble to me.
...
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=70027\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Donīt think this is a digital thing; I had exactly the same feeling when I used Leicaflex SLīs (and a R6), but not with the more coarse groundglass on older manual Nikons.  Recently I bought a Nikon D200, which is qiute decent for manual focussing, but it has a very fine-grained and bright screen, just like the Leicas.  And, yes, that feeling is there again: I think I see more detail in the finder.

Iīve no theories why it is so, or even whether it is a real thing or just my imagination.  But obviously, I am not alone....

Per
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Jonathan Wienke
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« Reply #2 on: July 08, 2006, 07:08:54 AM »
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Here's a simple test:

Tape a page from a magazine or newspaper to a wall, then shoot it with the camera on a tripod located so the text is just barely readable through the viewfinder. Then look at the file at 200% in Photoshop.

You may be surprised by the results.
« Last Edit: July 08, 2006, 07:11:31 AM by Jonathan Wienke » Logged

wynpotter
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« Reply #3 on: July 08, 2006, 07:57:25 AM »
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Thanks,will try the test shot today, Wyn
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wynpotter
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« Reply #4 on: July 08, 2006, 12:11:38 PM »
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Even at 100% was more readable So where is the difference, the eyes highter high dynamic range giving the appearance of greater clarity?
Wyndham
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Jonathan Wienke
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« Reply #5 on: July 09, 2006, 09:03:21 AM »
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That's possibly part of it; the rest is likely because a viewfinder image is like looking at a 2x3 inch print. Even though the "print" is of exceptional clarity, limited primarily by your visual acuity, it still cannot hold all of the detail of the file. When you look at the file on-screen at 100%, you can see flaws that are simply too small to see in the viewfinder.
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Gary Ferguson
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« Reply #6 on: July 09, 2006, 04:41:04 PM »
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I was thinking about something similar the other day. A different take on the old chestnut of what focal length is the "standard". It occured to me that there's an argument that the standard lens is that which delivers an image on the monitor that matches the resolution of the naked eye. On a full frame DSLR that works out, for my vision at least, as a surprisingly wide 24mm.

As far as the image in the viewfinder is concerned I suspect it skews equally dramatically in the opposite direction, at a guess I think you'd need a lens of about 135mm to 200mm to match what is freely observable with the naked eye. It's getting dark here in London or I'd test the theory with a 70-200 zoom.
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BJL
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« Reply #7 on: July 10, 2006, 05:31:24 AM »
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does the eye see better thru the eyepiece than the sensor can reproduce?
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=70027\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
With an SLR, I doubt it. Remember that the image you see in the VF is not the direct image from the lens: it is an image scattered off a ground glass plate after the image from the lens is focused on that plate. This reduces the resolution significantly below what the lens is capable of: I have read comparisons that high end profession video camera EVF's of about 2MP match or exceed optical VF's for detail. If so, DSLR sensors easily outresolve SLR VF's.

Range-finder VF's are another case; there you see the direct image from the VF optics.

P. S. I think Jonathan has it right on the smaller apparent image size in the VF: small versions of images can look extremely sharp. How many time have you got  a shot that looks sharp in a 4"x6" minilab print, but gets a bit mushy when you reprint at 8x10, or even 5x7?
« Last Edit: July 10, 2006, 05:35:54 AM by BJL » Logged
bjanes
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« Reply #8 on: July 10, 2006, 07:25:22 AM »
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That's possibly part of it; the rest is likely because a viewfinder image is like looking at a 2x3 inch print. Even though the "print" is of exceptional clarity, limited primarily by your visual acuity, it still cannot hold all of the detail of the file. When you look at the file on-screen at 100%, you can see flaws that are simply too small to see in the viewfinder.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=70162\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Yes, that is why magnification of the view finder image is helpful. With my old Nikon F3, I had a 6x focusing magnifier and focusing could be very precise. With my D200, the right angle magnifier gives 2x and helps some, but I miss the 6x.
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