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Author Topic: First shots from Yosemite seem low quality  (Read 13279 times)
Exegeter
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« on: May 11, 2008, 10:22:40 AM »
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Hi everyone

My gear came in on Thursday, and I used it for the first time yesterday in Yosemite (20D, Canon 70-200 f/4, Canon 17-55 IS).  This was with the 17-55 at 17mm, f/16, iso 100, RAW, on the tripod.  Cropped, but no other processing.  I was expecting the quality to be better.  Sharper, more detail.  

Are there any immediate things you can see that can help me improve the quality I get in the future?
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dalethorn
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« Reply #1 on: May 11, 2008, 10:48:16 AM »
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I can't judge quality from such a small sample, but two questions come to mind - one, did you take several  of this image, and do all copies have the same qualities, and two, do you see problems occurring in some parts of the image more than others?
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Exegeter
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« Reply #2 on: May 11, 2008, 10:53:49 AM »
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Hi Dale

Thanks for the response.  What would be an ideal image size to post?

I took the same picture at f/4.  My other images seem to have the same feel.  No bad, per se, but the details aren't jumping out like I thought they would.  You don't see much separation in the grass or leaves; and the lines of tree trunks, branches, and mountains don't seem very crisp.  That's primarily what I'm looking at.
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aduke
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« Reply #3 on: May 11, 2008, 11:10:48 AM »
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Hi everyone

My gear came in on Thursday, and I used it for the first time yesterday in Yosemite (20D, Canon 70-200 f/4, Canon 17-55 IS).  This was with the 17-55 at 17mm, f/16, iso 100, RAW, on the tripod.  Cropped, but no other processing. 
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=195017\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

You need to do  some sharpening. The Bayer matrix is, by is very nature, somewhat soft. You need to do some "capture sharpening", that is, some correction for the loss of sharpness due to the sensor.

In addition, at low shutter speeds, you should consider using the remote release or the camera's self-timer.

Alan
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BernardLanguillier
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« Reply #4 on: May 11, 2008, 07:24:20 PM »
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Hi Dale

Thanks for the response. What would be an ideal image size to post?

I took the same picture at f/4. My other images seem to have the same feel. No bad, per se, but the details aren't jumping out like I thought they would. You don't see much separation in the grass or leaves; and the lines of tree trunks, branches, and mountains don't seem very crisp. That's primarily what I'm looking at.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=195024\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

You might want to do some basic reading on photography to get more details, but some first hints:

0. Shoot at the lowest possible ISO,
1. Use f9 (instead of f4 or f16) for ultimate detail,
2. Use with a tripod,
3. Use mirror lock up and a release cable,
4. Compose and choose your timing so as to have a main subject that stands out relative to the other elements of the scene, this will increase its preceived sharpness,
5. Learn about sharpening in relationship with your output media of choice,
6. Manage your expectations, the 20D is a good camera but its sharpeness per pixel is said to be middle of the road. In other words, images when viewed on screen at 100% might still lack a bit of crispiness even if you apply all of the above perfectly.

Cheers,
Bernard
« Last Edit: May 11, 2008, 07:25:24 PM by BernardLanguillier » Logged

A few images online here!
Exegeter
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« Reply #5 on: May 12, 2008, 12:36:49 PM »
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Thanks guys.  I spent the afternoon yesterday reading about capture sharpening.  My adjustments didn't make much of a difference.  I did some comparison testing with my 70-200 f/4, and it was quite a bit more detailed (I set up a still life with lighting and swapped lenses).  

I studied media and production in college, but it's been three years and I've been doing a lot of reading to refresh my mind.  Sharpening was never a problem for me in Photoshop.  I'm using Aperture now and don't even have Photoshop loaded on my computer.  I still need to become familiar with sharpening methods in Aperture.

The images I've taken with a 17-40 were sharp sharp sharp, but I bought the 17-55 because it was supposed to have L lens elements and had the constant 2.8.  I'm having a hard time believing my lens has the same image quality now.  

BUT I know it's also quite possibly my inexperience with it.
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bob mccarthy
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« Reply #6 on: May 12, 2008, 02:39:57 PM »
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any better??[attachment=6557:attachment]
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Plekto
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« Reply #7 on: May 12, 2008, 04:48:23 PM »
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The problem is that we can JUST see the mountains in the background, so your mind wonders what happened.  It looks overexposed in the background and yet the foreground isn't... So it looks odd.

The main problem that I see is that you don't have a wide enough dynamic range with the sensor.  Bracketing a couple of stops and blending it together, since it's a static image/scenery would be a good thing to try next time.  This also gives you extra data/pictures to work with.  You might find that one of the shots a couple of stops off is actually better than what the camera thought it should be doing.
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bob mccarthy
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« Reply #8 on: May 12, 2008, 05:51:38 PM »
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The problem is that we can JUST see the mountains in the background, so your mind wonders what happened. It looks overexposed in the background and yet the foreground isn't... So it looks odd.

The main problem that I see is that you don't have a wide enough dynamic range with the sensor. Bracketing a couple of stops and blending it together, since it's a static image/scenery would be a good thing to try next time. This also gives you extra data/pictures to work with. You might find that one of the shots a couple of stops off is actually better than what the camera thought it should be doing.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=195289\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

With such a small file, artifacts creep in. But there is some data in the blown out skys that is recoverable. While this shot is not a piece of art, it has some merit and blending exposures would help a lot. But what was the original scene like? It could have been hazy/overcast in which only a better day would help much,

The haze in distance is literal and can be used to effect.

lets dig out some mountains. ooopppps ignore the obvious flaw in upper left hand corner, I'd doing this at work while I'm rendering some video. For illustration only.

bob


[attachment=6559:attachment]
« Last Edit: May 12, 2008, 05:53:37 PM by bob mccarthy » Logged
Exegeter
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« Reply #9 on: May 12, 2008, 10:05:20 PM »
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I appreciate the critiques, guys.  I was hoping to have more prominent mountains, too.  Yosemite is pretty hazey right now, but I'm happy with the literal rendering of the scene.  And I'll need to look into a shutter release.  

Bob, those are too sharp for me, but would you mind telling me your workflow?  I watched Jeff Schewe run through PhotoKit sharpener in the Camera to Print tutorial, but it isn't released for Aperture at this point.  Would the RAW file be helpful?

These are 20D shots that are nice and sharp.  Getting to this quality of an image would make me very happy.  

http://www.pbase.com/image/88724288

http://www.pbase.com/image/89357977

Hey thanks for the help, guys.  It's a learning process!
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Panopeeper
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« Reply #10 on: May 12, 2008, 10:30:34 PM »
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At f/16 the diffraction is a serious factor. The EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 is the sharpest between f/5.6 and f/8, but you have to work with smaller aperture for DoF. Perhaps f/11?

If you post the raw file, others can give it a try. We don't know, if the problem is in the raw image or in the processing.
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Gabor
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« Reply #11 on: May 13, 2008, 06:41:49 AM »
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I appreciate the critiques, guys. I was hoping to have more prominent mountains, too. Yosemite is pretty hazey right now, but I'm happy with the literal rendering of the scene. And I'll need to look into a shutter release.

Bob, those are too sharp for me, but would you mind telling me your workflow? I watched Jeff Schewe run through PhotoKit sharpener in the Camera to Print tutorial, but it isn't released for Aperture at this point. Would the RAW file be helpful?

These are 20D shots that are nice and sharp. Getting to this quality of an image would make me very happy.

http://www.pbase.com/image/88724288

http://www.pbase.com/image/89357977

Hey thanks for the help, guys. It's a learning process!
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=195358\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

I was running through some video editing while reading the site in rendering moments, so I didn't put a lot of effort, just the basics for illustration,

In this case

level horizon - left to right is slightly downslope
crop- to repair rotation
levels - the pixels were barbelled, all on the ends - move the mid slider left to open lower zones
curves - tweek image, mostly from zone VI down, highlights too hot
Saturation-just a touch of saturation until grass looks like grass to me
Sharpening- in this case I just hit PK (sharpening is somewhat an artform, learn to use all well)
Creative sharpening - hit grass and boardwalk with a superfine brush
done with #1  time less than 2 minutes

#2 - selected sky

curves with strong slope to create contrast to pull mountain out w/o touching rest of picture - lots of ways to do this. Included some trees in contrast boost.


Walkway makes it a picture to me vs. a snapshot, I like the line working through scene,

I would spend more time on boardswalk if the shot were mine, and I had some pixels to work with.

All of this is basic stuff, you'll get the hang of it. The key is to see what you want first and attempt to pull, "YOUR" vision out of the file.

No magic formula. I just wanted to illustrate for you there was potential in your file. I've been to Yosemite on days like this. I can personnally connect with the haze more than when is everything is crystal clear, though I've seen both. But the world doesn't need another photograph of yosemite in perfect conditions.

Bob
« Last Edit: May 13, 2008, 06:45:26 AM by bob mccarthy » Logged
bob mccarthy
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« Reply #12 on: May 13, 2008, 06:55:53 AM »
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These are 20D shots that are nice and sharp.  Getting to this quality of an image would make me very happy. 

http://www.pbase.com/image/88724288

http://www.pbase.com/image/89357977

Hey thanks for the help, guys.  It's a learning process!
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=195358\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

You certainly set your bar high, these are beautiful, but they just didn't happen, lots of planning here, time of day, having proper weather, good solid platform, composition, nailed exposure, and understanding how to get best out of a good file are apparent to me.

It shows you the potential of the camera, the rest is up to you, its not easy and requires lots of learning/experience to pull of shots like this at will when nature complies with your desires. Just don't get discouraged and just move your craft forward through trial and error.

Best of luck.

Bob
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Slobodan Blagojevic
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« Reply #13 on: May 13, 2008, 11:46:15 AM »
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... the details aren't jumping out like I thought they would. ...
Yet another victim of the 'equipment matters' cult.
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Slobodan

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« Reply #14 on: May 13, 2008, 12:16:25 PM »
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Yet another victim of the 'equipment matters' cult.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=195503\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

It is the beginners forum.  Any suggestions for the individual?
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Exegeter
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« Reply #15 on: May 13, 2008, 01:32:55 PM »
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Yet another victim of the 'equipment matters' cult.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=195503\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

I'm a woodworker---I build acoustic guitars.  I can sharpen chisels and plane blades to the point that they can shave the hair off my arm.  It's because I've learned good technique . . . and because I'm using the right stones.  There's nothing wrong with wanting to start out with the right stuff.  

I greatly appreciate your help, guys.
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Exegeter
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« Reply #16 on: May 13, 2008, 01:39:53 PM »
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It shows you the potential of the camera, the rest is up to you, its not easy and requires lots of learning/experience to pull of shots like this at will when nature complies with your desires. Just don't get discouraged and just move your craft forward through trial and error.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=195444\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Thanks, Bob.  You mean getting this my first time out is asking too much?      j/k
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Plekto
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« Reply #17 on: May 13, 2008, 03:42:37 PM »
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Of course, by 'equipment", with digital, that means a lot of time learning software and how to tweak things.    
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bob mccarthy
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« Reply #18 on: May 13, 2008, 04:09:06 PM »
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Thanks, Bob. You mean getting this my first time out is asking too much?    j/k
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=195531\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
hehe, only if your name is Weston, Caponigro, or .... and you've been gophering for dad for years.

You'll do ok, maybe great, it's all up to you. The limiting factor is you and your desire. I've been playing Martins out of the custom shop for years now. Not as well as my gifted son though. Though his tastes have gone Ugggg, electric!!!.  Good training wasted......

Are you famous?

bob
« Last Edit: May 13, 2008, 05:09:01 PM by bob mccarthy » Logged
Exegeter
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« Reply #19 on: May 14, 2008, 12:23:08 AM »
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Are you famous?
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Haha, I wish.  No, I'm not famous   I build for myself, family, and friends.  What's funny is that on my luthiery forum, we were just joking about the rap electric guitars have among acoustic lovers.  I LOVE both.  Oh I love both.  Listen the intro of this you tube video, and if it isn't enough to show electric can be beautiful, I'll upload one of my own

[a href=\"http://www.youtube.com/v/kM4m7NMcBvk&hl=en]http://www.youtube.com/v/kM4m7NMcBvk&hl=en[/url]

I'd love to hear about your guitar.  Tell me about the qualities you like.
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