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View Poll Results: Would you pay $100 (US) to increase the sharpness of your photos by 8%?
Yes 5253.06%
No 2222.45%
What's the catch 2222.45%
Undecided 22.04%
Voters: 98. You may not vote on this poll

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02-28-2013, 10:06 AM   #1
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Would you pay $100 to increase the sharpness of your photos across the board?

It's just a simple question. If you could increase the sharpness of all your photos by 8% across the board, and do so for $100 (or ~$330 in Europe) would you pay the money?

02-28-2013, 10:07 AM   #2
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I don't particularly want to get involved in another thread on this subject, but it might be helpful to show 'em how much they'd be increasing it by. Feel free to use my samples.
02-28-2013, 10:22 AM   #3
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Well, considering I'd pay a lot more than that to increase the sharpness of a particular focal length of lens, it is kind of a no-brainer.

Also, 8% is a number that doesn't mean much outside of a lab. Image sharpness is perceptual; does your image looks sharper? (Yes/No is what your eyes tell you!) That's why unsharp masking works so well - you perceive the image produced by the same pixels (after sharpening) to be "sharper."

As an aside, one thing that I've been looking into is the Sigma Foveon "Merrill" sensor, which also has no AA filter because it doesn't do any Bayer array interpolation at all. Would be interesting to compare it to a K-5IIs since they are almost the same "real" pixel count, however I lack the lab to give a % quantity.
02-28-2013, 10:29 AM - 1 Like   #4
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It's not a simple question. Is this software that I then have to use to increase the sharpness? Then my time has to be factored in making it much more than $100. If it is just a magical wand that you wave over the camera once to make it happen, sure, I'm in. Is this the removal of the AA filter? Then it is a lot more than $100 since I have to buy a new camera. More information please.

02-28-2013, 10:30 AM - 1 Like   #5
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If 100 dollars was all I had to pay then yes. But sharpness often comes at the cost of something else
02-28-2013, 10:35 AM   #6
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Depends ... hard to answer that one ...

I guess this poll is the result of the article discussion on K5II vs K5IIs results.

If we take that case, for me, personally, upgrading even from a K5 to a K5IIs is pointless. All my "serious" work goes in PP using PS. I can do anything I want in there and a slightly, little bit, sharper image will make no difference (for me and my PS work environment) at all.
So in that case, upgrading from even a K5 to K5IIs is pointless for me (mind you is more than $100 to do the upgrade).

However, if I would be on the market looking for a new camera ... and not having my K5 ... I would probably cough up the extra $100 and get the K5IIs rather than K5II.

But after more thinking I reached the conclusion that what I would actually probably do is to get a K5 (better money savings) and use the rest of the money for some very good glass.

So I guess what I am saying, for me and how I work (all manual and PP in PS), a K5 is good enough and I see no real advantage upgrading to a K5IIs. Now if that K5IIs would be an FF ... completely different story .

Last edited by mrNewt; 02-28-2013 at 10:41 AM.
02-28-2013, 10:36 AM   #7
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I was just reading a review of the K5-IIs that said that the increase in sharpness overt the K5-II was 8%, but it wasn't worth the $100 extra. So I'm guessing that's what the poll is about...
02-28-2013, 10:39 AM   #8
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I would pay $80 for Topaz denoise, which does a much better job of removing noise than the in-camera algorithms or even photoshop. And that'll certainly make my night shots noticeably sharper


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02-28-2013, 10:47 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Adam Quote
I would pay $80 for Topaz denoise, which does a much better job of removing noise than the in-camera algorithms or even photoshop. And that'll certainly make my night shots noticeably sharper
Don't dismiss the power of Photoshop ... while it might take you a little longer to do it, no plug-ins are necessary when de-noising an image.
Especially when working with RAW files only.

Tue though, Topaz makes it much easier and faster .
02-28-2013, 10:58 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by mrNewt Quote
Don't dismiss the power of Photoshop ... while it might take you a little longer to do it, no plug-ins are necessary when de-noising an image.
Especially when working with RAW files only.

Tue though, Topaz makes it much easier and faster .
RAW does help a lot, but I've been able to get better images thanks to Topaz when applied to processed raw files. And cloning out noise is so last decade



Not saying it's anything particularly impressive, but this handheld iso 5000 shot doesn't have any noise in it, does it? I believe this one also ended up going through topaz adjust.

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02-28-2013, 11:11 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Adam Quote
RAW does help a lot, but I've been able to get better images thanks to Topaz when applied to processed raw files. And cloning out noise is so last decade



Not saying it's anything particularly impressive, but this handheld iso 5000 shot doesn't have any noise in it, does it? I believe this one also ended up going through topaz adjust.
Small directional nudge in de-noising images with PS only ... is all about knowing the "hows" and "when" to apply those "hows" .
This is a way of doing it ... there are a few other ways as well.

Remove Noise | Planet Photoshop

The guy is working with a JPEG.
Imagine if he would of started from a RAW file, going trough the RAW processing and then do what he did.

From what I know (my opinion from experience) as far as I can see all these plug-ins don't bring anything new to the table. They use the power that PS has and is just simplifying the process. But if you know how to use it, plug-ins are not necessary.

Now, I'm not trying to say Topaz is bad ... far from me!
I'm just trying to say that if you know your tools properly to use them at their full potential, everything is possible .

Btw, I do see noise in the sky in the image you have provided .

Sorry for hi-jacking the thread...
02-28-2013, 11:36 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by mrNewt Quote
From what I know (my opinion from experience) as far as I can see all these plug-ins don't bring anything new to the table. They use the power that PS has and is just simplifying the process. But if you know how to use it, plug-ins are not necessary.

Now, I'm not trying to say Topaz is bad ... far from me!
I'm just trying to say that if you know your tools properly to use them at their full potential, everything is possible .
Topaz and many other plug-ins don't "use the power of PS" except in the sense that they can be integrated in them as part of the workflow. But you don't even need PS to use a lot of them -- they have their own engines. Much of the Topaz stuff and Nik stuff is excellent, and much easier to use than PS. Generally it is PS playing catch-up with things third-party plug-ins already had available -- we keep noticing that "new" PS features are an awful lot like things we've been using for a while from other vendors. (PS is also quite buggy.) Almost all the major post-processing we do occurs in LR (basic adjustments), Nik & Topaz plug-ins, and PS is used for juggling the layers and final color corrections for printing. If objects need to be cloned out or whatever, PS is also good for that.
02-28-2013, 11:50 AM - 1 Like   #13
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Anyone pondering a K5IIs....

.....Go to your nearest camera store, take a memory card and you best lens, leave your watch (or passport if it's an inexpensive watch), stroll around the area and shoot at least 100 images at various apertures. All these people claiming on basis of some random 100% crops, that the K5IIs is not worth 100,- (or even 330,-) dollars/euros more, should put their energy into something else than debating the K5IIs that they don't have (unless they are secretly fascinated of course...). This is a camera you have to experience, and if you have the lenses and the eyes (and shoot raw), than Pentax made it available for you.
p.s. as an aside: the K5IIs has the most beautiful iso 800 rendering I have had the joy to experience, easily removable and mild color noise, and beautifully (if you can use this term in the context) fine grained luminance noise, that you will however only see at 100%.

Chris

Last edited by Chris Mak; 02-28-2013 at 11:55 AM.
02-28-2013, 11:51 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by vonBaloney Quote
Topaz and many other plug-ins don't "use the power of PS" except in the sense that they can be integrated in them as part of the workflow. But you don't even need PS to use a lot of them -- they have their own engines. Much of the Topaz stuff and Nik stuff is excellent, and much easier to use than PS. Generally it is PS playing catch-up with things third-party plug-ins already had available -- we keep noticing that "new" PS features are an awful lot like things we've been using for a while from other vendors. (PS is also quite buggy.) Almost all the major post-processing we do occurs in LR (basic adjustments), Nik & Topaz plug-ins, and PS is used for juggling the layers and final color corrections for printing. If objects need to be cloned out or whatever, PS is also good for that.
I'm not going to go in an argument, just want to clarify one thing.

Like I have said everything is based on: "From what I know (my opinion from experience)...".
And the reason I said that is because as a PS user (used it pretty much since the day I was able to type on a computer) I have NOT encountered one situation where I cannot replicate an effect with PS (painting, drawing, photography, etc) done by something else (as another program).

Now, how easy is to get those effects, and how much knowledge you need to apply it ... is a different story.
And that is where the power of programs/plug-ins like Topaz lays - more user friendly for specific effects.
02-28-2013, 11:54 AM   #15
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Sharpness is not a primary criteria that I evaluate when looking at a camera or lens. It's important, sure. But since the quality of modern gear is so high sharpness is more of a present or absent type of consideration.

My evaluation procedure looks like this:
Is the lens noteworthy in it's terrible lack of sharpness?
If no then, good enough. If yes, then avoid.
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