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Author Topic: 20D and Landscape Capabilities  (Read 4938 times)
boku
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« on: May 18, 2005, 05:24:52 PM »
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My thoughts would be this...

The 20D will hold all the detail I would ever want up to about 12x18 print size. After that, more resolution would probably be a benefit. (Note - it's really about intended final print size.)

If you don't have an exceptional lens, any of the digital SLRs are compromized for detail. Remember, what we are trying to achieve here is replacing medium format resolution with small format equipment. All of a sudden, lens resolution is more important because of the smaller image. This even applies to the 1DmkII and the 1DsMkII.

I contend that to get equivelent resolution on these smaller format DSLRs (using 35mm-mount lenses) to medium format, you need an excellent 35mm lens to match the firepower of an average performance medium format lens (if there is such a thing).

I have no scientific proof of that, but I tend to avoid consumer grade lenses for my 20D because I want to preserve all the resolution I can.

If I regularly printed over 12x18, I feel I would want a 1DmkII or 1DsMkII to maintain fine detail.

One observation I do have - the noise on the 20D is undetectable at lower ISOs. Or maybe I just have a superior copy. Smooth areas look amazing next to the strong detail areas. Very pleasing.
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Bob Kulon

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BJL
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« Reply #1 on: May 19, 2005, 09:24:44 AM »
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The amount of detail need varies hugely with subject matter and artisitic intent, and even when you specify a print size, different images can invite very different viewing approaches. (The "billboard fallacy" again.)

So it is pointless to seek some magic number needed for a broad category like "landscapes", or a simple "yes or no" answer about a particular camera. Large prints of suitable landscape scenes have been succesfully made and sold using "pixel poor" DSLRs like the Nikon D1X, Olympus E-1, and even the original Canon EOS-1D.
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Jonathan Wienke
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« Reply #2 on: May 19, 2005, 02:00:10 PM »
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Another consideration is that you can stitch together multiple frames from a 20D to create images resolution-limited only by your technique and your computer horsepower. I've been doing some panoramas with my 1Ds lately, one of them is a 9-frame stitch that weighs in at 11511x3837 pixels without any upsizing, which works out to just under 160PPI at 24x72"; more than adequate for a very impressive print. There's no reason you can't do likewise with a 20D if you put your mind to it.
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ijrwest
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« Reply #3 on: June 01, 2005, 05:25:14 PM »
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I have been getting some nice looking 12x18s from the 20D, using mostly 10-22mm, Tamron 28-75 and the 70-200IS. It helps to sharpen 300% radius 0.3.

For 12x18 prints I would rate the 10D as not quite up to it, the 20D as OK, and panos from either camera as good.

But for really big prints of far-field landscapes, I think you need more horsepower.

Iain West
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Lisa Nikodym
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« Reply #4 on: June 02, 2005, 03:34:38 PM »
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i know this is going to sound like a stupid question, but what is stitching? are you referring to breaking down a landscape into multiple pictures and then piecing them together? if so, is there a software you recommend for that?

Yes, that's exactly what stitching is.  There are a number of software packages, some labor-intensive and complicated to learn but better at stitching well, while some are more user-friendly and automatic but not as perfect at getting a good stitch.  There were extensive discussions of them last year on this site; you might try the forum search feature under "panorama" or "stitching" (or both) to read them all.  It also helps to use a special tripod head calibrated to your lens to avoid having parallax problems, which can cause "ghosts" near the stitching boundaries if your entire image isn't of things very far away (there was a discussion of the hardware issue here something like a month ago; again, a forum search should turn it up).

Lisa
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abaazov
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« Reply #5 on: June 03, 2005, 12:53:38 PM »
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thanx for the reply

amnon
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trops
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« Reply #6 on: May 18, 2005, 04:45:40 PM »
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Just saw Michael's treescape taken with the 20D on the LL home page. It is very much like the kind of shots I love to take.
Problem is, I am on the verge of concluding that the 20D just might not have the firepower in terms of resolution to produce the kind of detail these kinds of shots really need to be successful. (Can't tell if his shot carries the kind of fine detail that would hold up in a print)
Just looking for some feedback from others about what I'm starting to conclude: namely that the camera seems to be fine for portraits and for scenes that don't depend on very small, fine detail. Btw, I am using a tripod, ISO 100 most of the time etc etc.
I may be influenced by my medium format roots in this and still love the 20D but have been disappointed most of the time-- not always -- in my landscapes that have lots of fine detail.
Any thoughts?

John
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AJSJones
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« Reply #7 on: May 18, 2005, 07:36:45 PM »
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I'd pretty much agree with Bob on the 20D out to 10x15 and maybe 12x18ish.  Having recently started reveling in 4x5 Fuji and huge prints, I agree that the detail from the 20D is there but is observably lens-limited (just follow the Zeiss frenzy!), even after the significant post-processing improvements available because of the low noise (even at 400ISO which is almost noise-free).  I think the MF and LF advantage, however, is more related to real estate captured and that the lenses are rarely better than, and often not as good as, the top 35mm lenses.  Those images you remember from your "roots" in all probability were not enlarged as much from the original as a 12x18 from a 20D.  If you limit yourself to that size and get proficient at post-processing techniques that squeeze the most out of a 20D image, you could well be happy with the results once you settle on the lens(es).  

That said, I got the 4x5 precisely because I didn't find the 10D (and later, even the 20D) produced the quality I was looking for from large prints, such as 24x30, the largest my printer will produce.  No real surprise there - the 4x5 comes in around 70MP or so, depending on scan, lens, film etc.  What I did find surprising was the reaction to my 8x10 proofs which I print at 360ppi on the Epson 7600 at 1440dpi.  Some folks even volunteered the question unprompted - are they from large format? - while others agreed the detail was amazing.  I don't completely understand this but take it mainly as a testament to what inkjet printers can do today and the fact that the image started out with so much detail before downsizing.  Also, a 10x15 from a 20D is about "native" at 240ppi but those pixels came from a Bayer array, while my proofs were downsized about 10x from RGB scans.

Sounds a bit like a mixed message above I guess.   But if you're used to a tripod situation the low noise of the 20D and a small investment in developing stitching skills will let you go well above 12x18 or improve the 12x18s when they're downsized from a 30MP stitched image.  Or contemplate, as Bob suggested, a 1DsII and start saving for lenses  :p

Enjoy the light

Andy
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boku
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« Reply #8 on: May 19, 2005, 09:38:27 AM »
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The amount of detail need varies hugely with subject matter and artisitic intent, and even when you specify a print size, different images can invite very different viewing approaches. (The "billboard fallacy" again.)

So it is pointless to seek some magic number needed for a broad category like "landscapes", or a simple "yes or no" answer about a particular camera. Large prints of suitable landscape scenes have been succesfully made and sold using "pixel poor" DSLRs like the Nikon D1X, Olympus E-1, and even the original Canon EOS-1D.
My comments were intended to speak to tendencies, not hard and fast rules. I think it is valuable to address these influences and don't think they are "pointless."

If someone asks fo guidance, I'd like to be as much help as possible. It is in my nature to make mainstrem generalization and not seek out fringe applications.
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Bob Kulon

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Play it Straight and Play it True, my Brother.
Eric Myrvaagnes
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« Reply #9 on: May 19, 2005, 07:41:05 PM »
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I've been working with a lowly Canon 10D for the past year or so, and I have been very impressed with the results. My main camera before that was a Pentax 67 II (MF film camera) that I bought when I got tired of lugging view cameras around (I'm older than Didger, and not as energetic any more!) I have done some comparisons between the 10D and the big Pentax a couple of times now, and the results were quite surprising, at least to me.

A year ago I photographed a scene (hand-held) at the summit of Great Blue Hill, southwest of Boston, and liked the shot, but found I could only get a decent print to 10x15". This spring I returned to the scene with my Gitzo 1228, the 10D and the Pentax, and photographed the same scene very carefully with both cameras on tripod (several shots, bracketing, to be sure). This time, to make a good comparison I shelled out big bucks for professional, hi-res scans of the Pentax transparencies (shot on Provia; the scans are 600-MB tiffs). I carefully did basic Photoshop processing of the Pentax scans and the 10D images, and then printed sections of each that would have been 16x24" prints.

What did I find? The prints are almost indistinguishable. I cannot see any more detail or any greater dynamic range with the Pentax than the 10D.

My conclusions:
1. The 10D can make prints to 10x15" with reasonable care.
2. If you are very careful, and follow the recommended workflows of smart folks like Michael and Jonathan and a few others on this forum, you can get good prints to 12x18" with the 10D.
3. The 20D ought to give even more leeway and get more detail in prints up to (I would guess) 12x18".
4. For bigger prints you would need either more megapixels, or to try stitching, as Jonathan suggests (I plan to try that soon).
5. If you pay attention to the smart folks on this forum, your technique will certainly improve, as mine has.  

I really thought my Pentax lenses (especially the 55mm WA) were really sharp -- until I did real-life comparisons with the 10D.

Eric
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-Eric Myrvaagnes

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mcbroomf
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« Reply #10 on: June 01, 2005, 09:53:41 PM »
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I've printed the original of this XT image (uncropped, this version has a little cropped off the bottom) at 14x21, the biggest I can go on 17x22 and it holds the detail very well. There's plenty of it too, the small twigs are beautifully resolved.
http://www.pbase.com/mike_broomfield/image/42513667/original


Mike Broomfield
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abaazov
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« Reply #11 on: June 02, 2005, 03:11:58 PM »
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i know this is going to sound like a stupid question, but what is stitching? are you referring to breaking down a landscape into multiple pictures and then piecing them together? if so, is there a software you recommend for that?

p.s..i use 20d

thanx..
amnon
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Jonathan Wienke
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« Reply #12 on: June 02, 2005, 05:55:45 PM »
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Try utilizing the forum search. It's been heavily discussed recently.
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