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04-20-2011, 04:27 PM   #1
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What is tack sharp?

I'm fairly new to the photo hobby, but I just recently got a Kx and I've got the kit lens, a Promaster 70-300, and a Ricoh 1.7 50mm. Now I know I don't have any great lenses here, but here is my question. I use Picasa to edit and it has a zoom feature. So I'll see a pic that I think looks sharp and then I'll zoom in 100% and it still looks sharp. By 200% it's looking fuzzy and from 300-400% the pictures will be downright blurry. I've heard the term 'tack sharp', so if something is tack sharp, will it be sharp all the way to 400%? If not, what is a realistic expectation for something to be considered sharp? Somebody please clue me in. If an image just isn't going to look sharp at 400% zoom, I'd really like to know (and if it is, I'd like to know that as well). Thank you, Jim

04-20-2011, 04:31 PM - 1 Like   #2
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If it looks sharp at 100% then it's sharp. There is no point looking at an image greater than 100% except for doing extremely fine editing work.

(imho, of course)
04-20-2011, 04:55 PM   #3
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If you print mostly at 4x6 and it is sharp, then it is sharp enough for your purposes
If you view it in a 20 inch monitor and it looks sharp it is sharp enough.
Viewing at even 100% will make things look less sharp. Do you really need to even view it at 100%. I almost never do...
04-20-2011, 05:05 PM - 1 Like   #4
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“Sharpness is a bourgeois concept.” ~Henri Cartier-Bresson

04-20-2011, 05:25 PM   #5
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It won't. Especially at 400%, you are now looking at pixels rather than the photo. Zooming changes nothing other than your perception of what is and isn't sharp. This is a similar reason I hate 'Digital Zoom' on point and shoot cameras.

04-20-2011, 05:42 PM - 3 Likes   #6
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Your eyeballs bleed when you look. Handle the lens and your fingers are cut off. Drop the lens on your Chuhuahua-dog and poor Pepe is sliced in half. Beware of sharp lenses -- they are dangerous. Always file-down your lenses so they have no sharp edges.
04-20-2011, 05:50 PM - 1 Like   #7
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100% crop

04-20-2011, 05:56 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by boriscleto Quote
“Sharpness is a bourgeois concept.” ~Henri Cartier-Bresson
I love that word... "bourgeoi"
I could say it all day.

04-20-2011, 06:06 PM - 1 Like   #9
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Leave the pixel-peeping to the canikon fanboys. If the photo is sharp at normal viewing sizes and distances, its sharp.
04-20-2011, 06:16 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by enoeske Quote

100% crop
What sort of flash or strobe and lens did you create that photo with? It is stunning in it's simplicity in my opinion!!.
04-20-2011, 06:20 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by MPrince Quote
If it looks sharp at 100% then it's sharp.
Yes... if isn't sharp at 100%, then it isn't tack sharp.
04-20-2011, 06:22 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by enoeske Quote

100% crop
That is an excellent example of what is truly tack sharp.
04-20-2011, 07:18 PM   #13

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QuoteOriginally posted by enoeske Quote

100% crop
Wow, technical details, please.

04-20-2011, 07:37 PM   #14
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Thank you all for your opinions. I must say I feel much better now than I did when I thought images had to be sharp even at 200-400% zoom.
04-20-2011, 08:05 PM   #15
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There are also plenty of practical examples of tack sharpedness in the FA limited and Macro lens clubs.
Bear in mind that lighting has A LOT to do with how a subject renders in sharpness and clarity.

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