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08-02-2008, 11:16 AM   #1
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K10D and sharpness ??

I am never 100% happy with the sharpness of my images SOOC. I'm sure this is a composite of the user and the lens as I only have beginner lenses and I am a beginner myself.

I am wondering if anyone uses the in camera sharpness adjustment on a regular basis? How does this compare to just sharpening in post processing with either a JPEG or RAW image? I am going to do my own testing of each sharpmness adjutment on each of my lenses but thought some of you may have some insight/experience as well.

Thanks!

08-02-2008, 11:28 AM   #2
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Are you shooting RAW or JPEG? In-camera jpegs on the K10D are significantly softer than RAW images of the same subjects. Your RAW image converter may also affect final sharpness. I have not tested it, but it has been reported that the software that ships with the camera (forgive my not remembering the product name) yields softer results than say Adobe Camera Raw (ACR) or Lightroom.

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08-02-2008, 11:41 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
Are you shooting RAW or JPEG? In-camera jpegs on the K10D are significantly softer than RAW images of the same subjects. Your RAW image converter may also affect final sharpness. I have not tested it, but it has been reported that the software that ships with the camera (forgive my not remembering the product name) yields softer results than say Adobe Camera Raw (ACR) or Lightroom.

Steve
BTW...I forgot to mention that there is a lot to getting a picture that has that the "pop" that associate with sharpness. A few things to consider:
  • Minimize the affect of camera motion
  • Be sure of your focus...depth of field can be razor thin with even a moderate focal length lens if the subject is close enough and the aperture is wide enough
  • Remember, soft light yields soft pictures
  • Ditto for low contrast subjects
  • Lens/aperture...most lenses are a little soft wide open and many have their maximum sharpness at f/5.6 - f/11

Steve
08-02-2008, 11:42 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by Neisey Quote
I am never 100% happy with the sharpness of my images SOOC. I'm sure this is a composite of the user and the lens as I only have beginner lenses and I am a beginner myself.

I am wondering if anyone uses the in camera sharpness adjustment on a regular basis? How does this compare to just sharpening in post processing with either a JPEG or RAW image? I am going to do my own testing of each sharpmness adjutment on each of my lenses but thought some of you may have some insight/experience as well.

Thanks!
shoot raw, but then still do not expect 18-55 mkI to be razor sharp @ 18mm wide open... but if you can't get it sharp enough @ 35mm/f8 in a daylight then you have some back focus/front focus issues or just bad copy.

08-02-2008, 12:02 PM   #5
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Let us know how you go with the lens testing, being careful of the above mentioned issues.
Definitely shoot RAW, and try your lenses stopped down 1.5-2 stops, and check your technique - then test your results on screen.
08-03-2008, 03:36 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Neisey Quote
I am never 100% happy with the sharpness of my images SOOC. I'm sure this is a composite of the user and the lens as I only have beginner lenses and I am a beginner myself.

I am wondering if anyone uses the in camera sharpness adjustment on a regular basis? How does this compare to just sharpening in post processing with either a JPEG or RAW image? I am going to do my own testing of each sharpmness adjutment on each of my lenses but thought some of you may have some insight/experience as well.

Thanks!
I shoot jpg 99% of the time, and have the camera set at factory defaults ie, all at 0, and my images are nice and sharp.
Now my istD images required a lot of PP sharpness, but not my K10D. It was the first thing i noticed.

Dave
08-03-2008, 04:19 AM   #7
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In camera sharpness adjustment works only on JPEG. With RAW files, you have to sharpen in post processing.
08-07-2008, 07:53 PM   #8
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In addition, try playing around with manual focus for a while. You may find the extra attention you have to exert pays dividends. Also, practise filling the frame. I had similar troubles with sharpness when I first got my K100 and after a while it occured to me that I was asking too much of the kit lens in terms of shooting too far from the subject. Nevertheless, that lens is capable of producing quite acceptable sharpness, so don't worry, it'll come.

As an aside, one thing that's really boosted my confidence in terms of sharpness was buying a second-hand manual prime lens (M100 f2.8). They're cheap to buy these days, super-sharp and you really can't miss. Since getting that lens and working with it for a while I now find I'm paying more attention and getting better results with my other lenses, including the kit.

In the end it's that old musician's question, when the elderly lady asked the busker "How do you get to Carnegie Hall?" and he said "Practise, man."

08-09-2008, 08:47 PM   #9
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Sharpness of the K10d

It has been my experience that a good lens with a good UV filter produces great images. I picked up my K10D about a year ago (1st DSLR) and after approx. 5000 shots, alot of reading and educating myself, my images have improved. I now shoot jpeg + raw and set the record mode with a +1 sharpness, and no adjustments to saturation or contrast. I find this setting works well for me.
Another thing that I feel helped was the purchase of my 2 favorite lenses, Pentax 16-45 and 50-135 mm. I haven't put the 18-55 kit lens on my camera since.
I also agree with Wombat, give it some time and keep shooting. You will be rewarded with some great photos. I have posted a few on the photo gallery if your interested, some of them were shot with the 16-45.
08-10-2008, 05:39 AM   #10
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I've gotten to where I shoot raw most of the time and it definitely helps with the sharpness. Converting from RAW to JPG is pretty easy and there are plenty of programs out there that are either free or inexpensive that will allow you to do that. A couple of good free ones are Irfanview (IrfanView - Official Homepage - one of the most popular viewers worldwide) and RawTherapee (Status report of RawTherapee 2.4 milestone 2). For under $100, you can also pick up Photoshop Elements 6, which you can download and try for 30 days before buying. For more software ideas, go check out the postprocessing and software forum here.

If you really have your heart set on shooting in JPG, change the image tone to "Bright" and bump up the "Sharpness" and "Contrast" settings to your liking. With that, I think you should be able to find a combination of settings that will work better for you.

I also agree with everybody else that it does take practice to get the results you desire, but you will most definitely be rewarded.

HTH,
Heather
08-10-2008, 07:04 AM   #11
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it can be very sharp even with kit lenses..

But an unsharp mask in PS makes it even better..
08-11-2008, 04:53 AM   #12
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Roverl3 is right on with his response. I have experienced the other extreme of this issue also. An image can be too sharp. I have a minolta 7SII Rangefinder which is very compact. With the film plane so close to the final element of the lens, this thing would be great for making studies of plants, but Aunt Tilly might kill you for taking a picture of her that looked like that! Despair not, take a look at some of our galleries we all have moments when our eye and the camera sing, and then there are the other times when in workflow, we trash as much as we took. The great thing about the dslr is you can take as many as you'd like. Keep clicking! The more you take, the more of them you'll like!
08-11-2008, 07:39 AM   #13
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My setting of K10D:
bright mode with sharpness +1 if shooting jpegs...so far so good.
08-11-2008, 09:12 PM   #14
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Thanks for all the replies. I am taking all your info under consideration

I tend to do a lot of MWAC (mom with a camera) shooting of candids (our local fair was this weekend so I took 400+ photos, most just trying to capture one of my spinning, rotating or free falling kids) so i'm not expecting greatness from these and I think I'm getting decent results. I changed a couple of my in camera settings for the weekend and shot jpeg only. I think there is a slight difference in the SOOC image so i will continue playing. I do have PSE6 so can convert the RAW photos easily but for these candid types of large quantities I am still using jpeg for simplicity.

It is mostly my artsy/portrait shots that I notice this sharpness issue. I have a manual 50mm 1.7 so I will try using that more to practice and I will do a RAW+jpeg to compare. I do pay attention to all of the things mentioned below that help in creating crisp, sharp images but also realize that practice makes perfect. I want to somewhat master the camera before investing in better glass so it is kind of a catch 22 isn't it?

Again, thanks for all the advice.
08-13-2008, 06:37 PM   #15
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PP

Take as a given that you will need to sharpen in pp--just a fact of digital life.
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