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04-27-2011, 01:26 AM   #16
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QuoteOriginally posted by BakDinitzen Quote
Thanks to all off you for your help so far - very useful. I have found a calibration sheet which I will try out one of the comings days and post here, maybe tomorrow. Would love some feedback.
The best to all,
John
I would take it step at a time before trying to tweak front/back focus with one of the calibration charts - in any case, the Moire method is easier : AF microadjustment for the 1Ds mark III, 1D Mk3, 5D Mk2, 7D. Try the newspaper (or anything flat with a sharp contrasty pattern) test first.

04-29-2011, 06:15 AM   #17
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[IMG][/IMG]Back with some test photos, which shows, at least in my opinion, a very clear issue regarding sharpness! As I se it, it has nothing to do with focus, but a general unsharp picture. I was using a tripod and mirror up!
If any body has suggestions, I would love to hear them.

John
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04-29-2011, 07:10 AM   #18
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Post your settings for how these shots were taken. Were they taken in jpeg? Were they taken in raw? If they were taken in jpeg, what was the processing set at (mute, landscape, portrait, etc.).

If you are using a kit lens, that brick wall shot is what you are going to get if it was shot with a kit lens and in raw format or if shot in mute under jpeg. Contrast is off on that shot, also lighting looks off too, if you shot that wall in full sunlight, even at mute settings, it would have had more contrast and thus would have turned out more crisp. To get good sharpness, you need good contrast to show finer detail...
04-29-2011, 07:24 AM   #19
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The picture is taken in full sunlight using a tripod, RAW, kit lens. Camera has been reset to factory defaults.

John

04-29-2011, 07:35 AM   #20
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QuoteOriginally posted by BakDinitzen Quote
The picture is taken in full sunlight using a tripod, RAW, kit lens. Camera has been reset to factory defaults.

John
In raw with a kit lens, that is what you are going to get. That image doesn't appear to be sharp because the kit lens is a little soft.

Did you shoot many different shots with the same lens at different stops? Also, at different focal's?

Shoot that wall at somewhere around 35mm focal and at 4.5, 5.6, 7.1, 11, 16 - then compare the different shots and see what you come up with. Keep the raw files on your camera, then use the jpeg processing to process the images on camera, then compare those results. You may have to adjust the jpeg sets (landscape, portrait, etc) and bump up the contrast and sharpness, use the custom setting.

Sounds like a lot of work, but it will give you an idea of the limitations of the kit lens...
04-29-2011, 07:53 AM   #21
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Did you have SR on or off? (It should be off when using a tripod). Again, as has already been suggested to you, with his lens you really need to stop it down to around f/8 or f/11. It's not surprising that your f/5.6 shot isn't the sharpest. Is this straight from the camera or did you put it through Aperture again? If so, what sharpening etc. settings did you use? I agree with joe, it's about what I'd expect from a RAW taken with that lens, which doesn't exactly get rave reviews for its sharpness. Nevertheless, it should come up a lot better with a decent bit of sharpening. Maybe you're being too timid with your settings. Try, say, Radius 1.5, Amount 160, Threshold 0 and play around from there.
04-29-2011, 08:13 AM   #22
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SR was off! And it's straight from the camera. If thats about what I can expect, I will be anxious to try a good prime!! It is not close to be as sharp as my 6 years old Panasonic!!
04-29-2011, 08:44 AM   #23
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QuoteOriginally posted by BakDinitzen Quote
SR was off! And it's straight from the camera. If thats about what I can expect, I will be anxious to try a good prime!! It is not close to be as sharp as my 6 years old Panasonic!!
One thing to remember is that with a P&S you are almost always going to be shooting with a much smaller aperture than a DSLR. IIRC F2.8 on a typical P&S has about the same DOF as F11 on a DSLR. That helps with sharpness but kills DOF control. And then add that most P&S cameras use Jpegs with sharpness,contrast & additional saturation applied in camera. This makes them look sharper than they actually are.

But a good quality prime or zoom will improve the sharpness. Try the above test stopped down to F11 and see how it looks.

04-29-2011, 09:36 AM   #24
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You don't have anything to worry about, your camera is performing just fine!

I took your brick wall image and did a quick adjustment that took all of about 10 seconds, the adjustment was made in a lower end web graphics program:

Auto Color Correction (gets rid of the washed out look)
1 Click of Sharpness (basic sharpness)
+5 on Contrast

Here is the results (left is yours, right is modified):

Note: Keep in mind this was done on a low-res image with very basic tweaking...




If I would have lightroom'd that image, I could have worked it to be sharp as a tack - the end result of that says your camera is functioning as it should with no issues with image quality.

If you drop a prime on that thing, the results will probably blow your mind before any adjustments to the image...
04-29-2011, 07:40 PM   #25
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How can we evaluate the sharpness of your photo if we don't know which of those trees you focused on? It looks sharp enough at the posted size, but if you're looking at 100% crops, you'd better know which tree to look at. My guess is that the only problm here is that you are expecting your DSLR to have DOF as deep as a P&S, and that's just not going to be the case.
04-29-2011, 09:28 PM   #26
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QuoteOriginally posted by Marc Sabatella Quote
My guess is that the only problm here is that you are expecting your DSLR to have DOF as deep as a P&S, and that's just not going to be the case.
That is exactly what I think (Marc, you said it better than me)... in fact, you may not want everything to be just as sharp until the hyper-focal point is reached.
04-30-2011, 01:57 AM   #27
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I really appreciate all the feedback I have received, and your spending time on my problems. I'm happy it seems my camera is performing ok. I will grab my tripod and get out there and get to learn my dslr.
@joe.penn, took some photos through Aperture and followed your recipe with pretty good results, so guess there is hope :-) But it is a very different experience than with my goog old ME.

Best regards John
04-30-2011, 06:06 AM   #28
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A DSLR, especially a sophisticated one like the K20D, is an altogether different animal from your old film camera. They are worlds apart, especially when you shoot RAW. The straight RAW images often look bland, soft, flat and uninteresting straight from the camera. They are meant to be processed in software to look their best. Likewise, f/8 and f/11 is always going to be sharper on kit lenses than f/3.5 or f/5.6. It's the nature of the beast. I'd suggest you set your lens on f/8 or f/11 and don't change it for a couple of weeks - let the camera make its adjustments around it. Then you'll get a feel for what we've all been talking about.
There's no doubt you'll be thrilled to bits if you get yourself a nice prime. If money is tight, look around for something like an M50 1.4 or 1.7 or something similar. They're dirt cheap and so sharp you'll cut your self just looking at it! (Though remember you still have to help it along with post-processing). Having said that, I think we've all become a bit obsessed with sharpness. It's only one component of a good photo.
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