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08-04-2009, 01:29 PM   #16
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Can you share other data - lens, FL, aperture, shutter speed, etc... - so that we may better diagnose?

Before coming to Pentax, I shot with a 6mp Nikon D70 and was able to capture many decent landscapes with kit and just above kit lenses, so I don't think the resolution is the issue. As others have mentioned, get the exposure and focus right and you should be on your way. Before you go, practice during the evening as the sun is going down - it's after all the same you'll see on vacation...

08-04-2009, 01:38 PM   #17
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FYI: canyonlands photo was at f/13, 1/10s on the FA35. I bracketed from 1/6 to 1/30. I wonder if that's the optimum aperture for sharpness on that lens.
08-04-2009, 02:01 PM   #18
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I think the 1/10s is part of the problem. Unless you were using a good tripod, that's hard to handhold. I'd open up the lens a bit to get the shutter speed to 1/30 at the very least, 1/60 or faster if you aren't steady.

Regarding exposure, do you evaluate the histogram after taking a shot? Much more reliable than eyeing the photo on the small screen. I will also zoom in to check focus when I'm trying to get something just right.
08-04-2009, 02:12 PM   #19
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the slow shutter speed without tripod doesnt help but I think that you are focusing at infinite and you should not be doing that if you want your foreground to be sharp. Once again, look for hyperfocal charts for your lens and focus at that distance. I am pretty dense explaining it but there are tons of information that does it better than me.

08-04-2009, 02:21 PM   #20
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QuoteOriginally posted by medbooks321 Quote
Thanks guys.

In the last month, I've switched from Elements 5 to Lightroom 2 (what an amazing program!). I reprocessed this pic using LR2 with your suggestions. However, it was at sunset, somewhat dark, and I feel like the revised exposure isn't as true to what I saw.

Anyways, back to the question. Maybe the biggest issue is my photography skill (e.g. underexposure,) plus lack of practice in PP. Still, the white details on the rock surfaces looks so grainy to me. Not out of focus, but grainy. I did learn Hyperfocal focusing a while back. Would this be clearer with a K20?

Also attached is a picture from the Wave (North Coyote Buttes). In this pic, for example, I felt that 6MP was enough. I used my Sigma 10-20 for that one. Yes, it kills me that my photography skill and equipment do such an injustice to the places I've visited.
In the downsized images in the thread it is hard to evaluate what the grainy look is. Is it possible to do a 100% crop of an area which you feel is looking wrong?

Anyhow, the K7 or K20D are excellent cameras, not only from a resolution point of view, so you can not go wrong should you decide to invest in one of those.

Best regards,
Haakan
08-04-2009, 02:31 PM   #21
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With little or no cropping, 6mp should be OK with careful upsizing. I have made stellar 16x20 prints with my Oly E-1 (5mp). Granted that is pushing it, but still possible. I'd spend money on a telephoto, unless there is a specific need for more mp or different handling (I prefer a battery grip on all my slr's).
08-04-2009, 03:04 PM   #22
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I'd agree.
6Mp can make relatively large prints that are hard to notice pixellation (unless up close).
It's all about making those 6Mp count - bring out the best in the image before sending it off to print...
08-04-2009, 03:49 PM   #23
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QuoteOriginally posted by alohadave Quote
Attached is photo I took at Canyonlands in May. The "graininess" is what bothers me, despite using ISO 200, and I'm attributing this to the 6MP. I know I'm being picky, but the image doesn't appear crisp like the pro's. I think I used the FA35 for that one.

Can you tell us how you processed this picture? It looks to me like it was underexposed, and you pulled up the exposure or brightness in post. If this is the case, then noise is inevitable.
That was my thinking at first glance. I have similar pre-dawn photos from the Grand Canyon that have that same lack of crispness. There is also the possibility of atmospheric haze that plagues the landscape photographer in my part of the world. The eye does not see it, but the camera does.

The FA 35 has plenty of pop, but can only work with the subject at hand.

Steve

08-04-2009, 07:30 PM   #24
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QuoteOriginally posted by medbooks321 Quote
FYI: canyonlands photo was at f/13, 1/10s on the FA35. I bracketed from 1/6 to 1/30. I wonder if that's the optimum aperture for sharpness on that lens.
1/10s on a 35mm lens even with SR will give you acceptable shots handheld, but they are not going to be the sharpest.
Since you were at f/13 , you could have easily switched to f/8 and got about 1/25 secs - likely better IQ from the lens, and faster shutter speeed would have improved your shot.
08-04-2009, 09:10 PM   #25
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I agree with everything said here:

- focus is clearly not optimal - you should have focused somewhere in the middle distance
- shutter speed not nearly fast enough to get the kind of sharpness you want
- it's hard to see "grain" at this size, but anything you are seeing in the full size image is probably the result of technique (eg, underexposure pushed in PP)

Your existing gear is definitely capable of far better results than this. And conversely, better gear won't fix the fundamental problems here.

Last edited by Marc Sabatella; 08-05-2009 at 12:27 PM.
08-04-2009, 09:21 PM   #26
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If you are wanting some great pics from the gear you have, I would try a program called enfuse. It requires you to bracket which in turn means using a tripod, but the program is truly amazing. You'll end up with a HDR like (but natural looking) image with little to no noise, higher resolution, and super sharp. It's free and something to look into. It also blends images taken at different focal lengths.
08-05-2009, 12:43 AM   #27
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Again, very helpful comments.

The canyon was a good 1/4 mile away, and with temps in the 100's, haze was definitely a problem the entire month. Yes, I used a tripod, but perhaps I should switch to f8 and 1/30s next time. I just downloaded Enfuse. I regularly practice shooting sunsets, but over the last six months, I wasn't getting any better. Now I've got some ideas.

I've decided to stick with my K100D, and probably rent the Pentax 18-250 for the two weeks and see if I like it. I'll need a tele-zoom anyways. I'll defer the K7 till 2010. Thanks again, everyone.

Attached is a fun picture of a Canon user at the same location that evening.
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08-05-2009, 04:06 AM   #28
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What's fun in that picture? The person is using angle finder to lessen the strain on his back/neck and using a tripod for stable pictures
08-05-2009, 12:38 PM   #29
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QuoteOriginally posted by medbooks321 Quote
Is it the K7? I currently have a K100D, and when I blow up my landscape photos to 16x20, I'm feeling like 6MP is okay, but not great.
6mp can't cover 16x20 at *print* resolution, in fact, the 14.5mp of the K20D/K-7 can barely cover that (closer to 13x19 @ 240ppi). 6mp will just cover 8x12 at photo quality printing resolution. Any larger and the image will get progressively softer/less sharp.

Regards,
Terry
08-05-2009, 03:16 PM   #30
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While of course it is true you can't get 300ppi at 16x20, that doesn't make it useless. The general rule of thumb is that the resolution (in terms of pixels per inch) one needs for large prints is less than what one needs for small prints, simply because large prints tend to be viewed from farther away. Sure, we all want all the resolution we can get, but just because it isn't 300dpi doesn't mean it's going to look terrible. Most commercially printed posters are probably far less.
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