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08-24-2009, 09:35 PM   #1
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Is sharpening amount lens dependent?

Pics taken with my newly acquired DA70, under certain cases -- smaller subject against flat background, any scene with letters, soft edges in transition of contrast areas -- seem to require some degree of sharpening. At first I thought that the lens was mis-focusing a bit, but adding/increasing the sharpening removes the slight haze/halo/overlap and everything looks good. On the other hand, all my pics have always come out "sharp" with the DA40, without any need for any further sharpening adjustment.

So I'm curious to know if and how different lenses influence the apparent "sharpness" of an image. Is the DA70 not being able to resolve something that the DA40 can, or the opposite? Do people need to vary the amount of "sharpening" applied in PP from lens to lens?

FYI, I shoot RAW and generally don't muck around with in-camera picture style settings, leaving it at "natural" all the time. PP is also in PPL and sometime RawTherapee, may be adjust the WB and exposure, nothing else.

Wasim

08-24-2009, 10:00 PM   #2
Ash
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Wasim,
Nothing's applied to RAW images until they get to ACR or your own version of RAW photo software.
But for JPEGs, sharpening is applied globally at the intensity you set in the camera.
Then in PP, it really depends how the image comes out (any lens/motion blur) that determines how much sharpening I do. I tend to use the Lens Blur feature of Smart Sharpen on PS most often, then perhaps USM - Just depends on the effect I like to get in the end.
08-25-2009, 01:44 AM   #3
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Wasim

I doubt that the DA40 and DA70 are very different in resolving power at their sharpest apertures. Of course if you are standing the same distance from your subject, the 40 will appear sharper.

The aperture you use of course will also make a difference, do you notice the difference at all apertures ?

Finally, if you are shooting raw I am surprised you are not applying at least one sharpening routing to your pictures. My method is to apply an amount of "capture" sharpening while working on the raw image, and then to apply Unsharp Mask (USM) when saving the image as a downsized jpeg. The degree of USM applied will depend not only on the subject matter, but also on the pixel dimensions of the jpeg image.

By it's very nature a raw file "needs" to be sharpened.
08-25-2009, 07:37 AM   #4
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I don't own the 2 lenses you mention but I have noticed differences in the amount of sharpening I need with different lenses. My 10-17 never seems to need sharpening in PP while the kit lens always seems to need a little. I have heard a lot of good things about the DA40 and there are a couple of threads running in the Lenses section on the sharpness of that lens so I'm not surprised you notice a difference. I should buy that lens but after looking through a lot of my shots with zooms, 40mm isn't a range I shoot at often so I don't know how much I would use it.

08-25-2009, 09:08 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ash Quote
Wasim,
Nothing's applied to RAW images until they get to ACR or your own version of RAW photo software.
But for JPEGs, sharpening is applied globally at the intensity you set in the camera.
Then in PP, it really depends how the image comes out (any lens/motion blur) that determines how much sharpening I do. I tend to use the Lens Blur feature of Smart Sharpen on PS most often, then perhaps USM - Just depends on the effect I like to get in the end.
Hi Ash,

It looks more like a slight haze over everything, though it can very well be lens/motion blur. I don't have PS, so I can't check out the Lens-Blur tool.

In any case, it's more pronounced with the DA70 compared to DA40, requiring additional sharpening -- +1 or +2 in k20d/PPL for DA70 as opposed to -1or 0 for DA40. I don't mind increasing the sharpening, though too much of it sometimes make the JPEG look edgy and grainy.

Wasim
08-25-2009, 09:47 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by pschlute Quote
Wasim

I doubt that the DA40 and DA70 are very different in resolving power at their sharpest apertures. Of course if you are standing the same distance from your subject, the 40 will appear sharper.

The aperture you use of course will also make a difference, do you notice the difference at all apertures ?

Finally, if you are shooting raw I am surprised you are not applying at least one sharpening routing to your pictures. My method is to apply an amount of "capture" sharpening while working on the raw image, and then to apply Unsharp Mask (USM) when saving the image as a downsized jpeg. The degree of USM applied will depend not only on the subject matter, but also on the pixel dimensions of the jpeg image.

By it's very nature a raw file "needs" to be sharpened.
Peter,

I think some sharpening is always applied by default, as per the sharpness setting in k20d/PPL. It's just that I need to apply a bit more for the DA70. Not than there is anything wrong with it, of course. I was only wondering if and how it can vary from lens to lens.

Wasim
08-25-2009, 12:11 PM   #7
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I'd say, post a sample image, with EXIF. I find the DA70 almost cruelly sharp - the only lens I own where I can see why people might say a lens is "too sharp". That's the case even at f/2.4, at least for the tiny area that is actually in focus. I'm assuming you know about shallow DOF and aren't getting fooled into looking at an area that isn't actually in focus. Also, I'm assuming you aren't simplying describing lens flare that would be common if you don't use the hood...
08-25-2009, 02:03 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by reeftool Quote
I don't own the 2 lenses you mention but I have noticed differences in the amount of sharpening I need with different lenses. My 10-17 never seems to need sharpening in PP while the kit lens always seems to need a little. I have heard a lot of good things about the DA40 and there are a couple of threads running in the Lenses section on the sharpness of that lens so I'm not surprised you notice a difference. I should buy that lens but after looking through a lot of my shots with zooms, 40mm isn't a range I shoot at often so I don't know how much I would use it.
I wonder if longer focal-length lenses are less forgiving. Lens magnification may have something to do with this too.

I'm actually enjoying the DA70 as a walk-around lens, more so than the DA40. I like its reach, though a bit more magnification would've been nice. DA40 is wide enough for me, for the most part, and it works better indoors.

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