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Thread: Are all images in such forums Digitally Sharpened?

  1. #1

    Default Are all images in such forums Digitally Sharpened?

    I have a modest equipment, a Nikon D50 with kit lense. I take anything that interest me. There is just some aspects missing in the photos I took and the photos posted in photographic forums like this. (ignoring composition for the time being) I view my photos using the LCD monitor only and without any digital touch up except for the very occassional brightening/darkening. I was wondering if I should just (i) digitally sharpen it and (ii) saturate the colour a little by default for each and every photo I take. Your advice please.

    Can a more expensive lense get a same "sharpness" straight from the camera as an image taken on kit lense but with tons of digital touch up?

    By the way, I only take my images on JPEG and Highest resolution and biggest size. (never tried RAW before)
    Last edited by Mondeo; 17th March 2008 at 01:06 AM.

  2. #2
    Member NeTHaCk's Avatar
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    Default Re: Are all images in such forums Digitally Sharpened?

    i couldnt sleep and chanced upon this thread.

    depending on you, i find that the kit lens is good to certain extent. in fact, i've used it quite a lot lately, especially when i need a wide angle shot. I wont say that the kit lens isnt sharp, its good but it has its limits.

    to answer your questions, sometimes a cheapo lens can do the same sharpness. Point to take note, different people has different approach to the term "sharp" . what might be sharp to me, might not be so sharp to you .

    i too use a d50 and its a good camera, but by default, i find it underexposed at times. usually i'll just photoshopped it a little. when im lazy, i'll juse auto level it and so. if you're looking to do some effects , getting a filter might do the trick. maybe a ND filter or CPL or so.

    with you shooting jpeg, why not try using the NEF+JPG mode ? you get both. i shoot in this mode, just in case i need to do a fast printing, like using my compact camera and passing the pics to others, this comes in handy.

    last thing, dont just edit every pic unless you've all the time . edit what you think is worth the shot

  3. #3

    Default Re: Are all images in such forums Digitally Sharpened?

    You don't need tons of digital touch up. Good sharp pictures are a combination of good technique, post processing and at least decent equipment. Your equipment at this point is probably more than enough for you to get what you need as long as you know its limits and how to work around it. If you need inspiration there are tons of pictures out there taken with so called low end equipment that will blow you away, in fact, my favourite picture was taken with a 100 dollar camera loaded with expired film.

    Colours and sharpness are an important part of many pictures but it's not the be all and end all of photography, so don't fret too much over it. For a basic start to post-processing I suggest you do a search on learning to use curves and levels in an image editor instead of the brightness/contrast/saturation controls. It gives you much greater and more refined controls over those basic adjustments. Likewise, do a search for USM and how to use it effectively for sharpening your pictures.

    Lastly, with regards to shooting RAW vs JPEG there's a big on-going debate so you'll probably hear quite a bit from both camps, but personally speaking I've never really found the need to shoot RAW for my personal work. I do shoot on large+raw at times when doing critical work but even then once I head home I usually find the large jpeg more than enough for my needs.

    I hope this is helpful to you. Cheers and happy shooting.
    Canon EOS 66 | Kit Lens | Leung Sheung Wing Chun Singapore

  4. #4

    Default Re: Are all images in such forums Digitally Sharpened?

    Thanks all for the tips. It looks like I need to do more reading on the sharpening techniques. Although it is not explicitly mentioned in your responses, but I conclude that post processing is necessary to give any image that extra lift and going for an expensive lens (not lense) is not the best solution.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Are all images in such forums Digitally Sharpened?

    if you go for a more expensive lens, it should probably be better (eg 17-55 f/2.8 will be sharper than ur kit). but in the end, sharpness is usually not the most important, good compo and exposure are. if u really need the sharpness (for large prints), then do go for the more expensive, or better lenses

    pp sharpness and sharpness from a good lens are very different. pp should be used to enhance an image, not try to 'rescue' it if its out of focus, or theres handshake. usually, the kit lens sharpness (if its in focus and no handshake) shld be adequate

    if u like the picture, why bother editing it? also, maybe try to post up some of ur pics so that other ppl can help u try and find out what 'aspects are missing'

  6. #6

    Default Re: Are all images in such forums Digitally Sharpened?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mondeo View Post
    I have a modest equipment, a Nikon D50 with kit lense. I take anything that interest me. There is just some aspects missing in the photos I took and the photos posted in photographic forums like this. (ignoring composition for the time being) I view my photos using the LCD monitor only and without any digital touch up except for the very occassional brightening/darkening. I was wondering if I should just (i) digitally sharpen it and (ii) saturate the colour a little by default for each and every photo I take. Your advice please.
    by having that sentence in red i would express my disbelief at what you have just typed.

    photography is surely, not as rigid as that to you, is it?

    have a vision of what you want your final product to be, and process it as such. there are 8000 things you can do a photo... and the least of all would be to sharpen it or saturation. there is a huge difference between going through the motions and ending up with subpar results (same goes when clicking too) and knowing what you are doing.

    why limit yourself to sharpening and saturation? my workflow takes me 3 minutes per photograph, maybe 5 for the more tricky ones, and it includes steps like curves, channel mixing, color balance, layering, shadow/highlight recovery, levels, gamma, filter, sharpening, selective blurring, selective saturation/desaturation.. photoshop wasn't designed with so many tools for you to use those 2 and 2 alone.

    anyways i hope you do not think i am nitpicking, i just wish to put forth the statement that you can do a lot to your photograph, any photograph to improve it. knowing why you are doing it, with the end in mind, would justify what you do, and improve your picture much more than just happily sharpening and/or saturating it for the sake of doing so.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Are all images in such forums Digitally Sharpened?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mondeo View Post
    Thanks all for the tips. It looks like I need to do more reading on the sharpening techniques. Although it is not explicitly mentioned in your responses, but I conclude that post processing is necessary to give any image that extra lift and going for an expensive lens (not lense) is not the best solution.
    oh, certainly expensive lenses have their use, if their price wasn't justified you'd be sure that there won't be enough gearheads to drool over it and it would be poof, withdrawn, or price lowered.

    that said, if you are doing web-size images, i.e. 800 pixels widest/longest.. then so long as the lens is not fungused it will suffice.

    post processing is not 100% necessary, but it is rare that an image does not need that extra touch, no matter how subtle/little it is. as i always say, film photographers had the darkroom. if you are happy with the out of cam results, as i have been.. i would say perhaps for 1% of all photographs kept.. then why process it?

  8. #8

    Default Re: Are all images in such forums Digitally Sharpened?

    [QUOTE=night86mare;3858796]by having that sentence in red i would express my disbelief at what you have just typed.

    I thank you for the time spent explaining some concepts to me. This is the newbie thread anyway isn't it? I am nevertheless still not sure why you felt that statement is too surprising for you. I kinda got that conclusion from reading tips from others (presumably they know their photography) that they routinely sharpen images/customise the colour a little by default on their camera setting or by using post processing software. These writers even went on to claim that sharpening enhancements are a must for images downsized for Internet use or small prints. So I suppose not everyone share this view. I fully agree with you that photography encompass many other aspects beyond pulling a slider on a software. I may sometime spent a few minutes or waste multiple frames to get one very good one but as indicated in my original thread, I wasn't ready to discuss about composition, creativity, etc but just wanted to know more on post processing rule of thumbs (if there ever is one) of fellow forumers here. I am definetely very new when it comes to post processing technics. Hope fellow forumers can bear with me if I put across another strange question in future.
    Last edited by Mondeo; 19th March 2008 at 12:52 AM.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Are all images in such forums Digitally Sharpened?

    for simple (simplistic?) photo editing.. i.e. not going into the more technical stuff night86mare brought up..

    boosting contrast and adjusting colour temperature / saturation usually will help most out-of-camera photos.. as for sharpening.. when you resize your photos for web.. it's recommended to run through a round of sharpening..

    and to do all those you dun even need photoshop.. =)

    my 2 cents..

  10. #10

    Default Re: Are all images in such forums Digitally Sharpened?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mondeo View Post

    I thank you for the time spent explaining some concepts to me. This is the newbie thread anyway isn't it? I am nevertheless still not sure why you felt that statement is too shocking to you. I kinda got that conclusion from reading tips from others (presumably they know their photography) that they routinely sharpen images a little by default on their camera setting or using post processing software. These writers even went on to claim that sharpening is a must for images downsized for Internet use or printing. So I suppose not everyone share this view. I fully agree with you that photography encompass many other aspects beyond pulling a slider on a software.
    ...bro, i hope you are not offended, i write like this everywhere, too lazy to think of nice ways to put things so i just write whatever's on my mind.

    and yes, i was new once, and i should be nice, blah blah blah but oh well.. i implore anyone and everyone to not take things too personally or seriously especially on the internet. i know i don't.

    anyhow - those writers are possibly too hingey on sharpness. YES, digital photographs should be sharp, but one can intend them to be not sharp, no?

    i have discussed this here before.

    this probably did not have any sharpening done at all

    even if it was done, nothing would have changed, hurhur
    Last edited by night86mare; 19th March 2008 at 12:55 AM.

  11. #11

    Default Re: Are all images in such forums Digitally Sharpened?

    Quote Originally Posted by night86mare View Post
    ...bro, i hope you are not offended, i write like this everywhere, too lazy to think of nice ways to put things so i just write whatever's on my mind.
    Thanks again for more tips. Nope not offended but just wondering if there was a protocol that I didn't know about when posting. My philosophy in life is if don't know, ask...

  12. #12

    Default Re: Are all images in such forums Digitally Sharpened?

    Quote Originally Posted by ssping83 View Post
    boosting contrast and adjusting colour temperature / saturation usually will help most out-of-camera photos.. as for sharpening.. when you resize your photos for web.. it's recommended to run through a round of sharpening..

    and to do all those you dun even need photoshop.. =)

    my 2 cents..
    Thanks.
    Last edited by Mondeo; 19th March 2008 at 01:08 AM.

  13. #13

    Default Re: Are all images in such forums Digitally Sharpened?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mondeo View Post
    Thanks again for more tips. Nope not offended but just wondering if there was a protocol that I didn't know about when posting. My philosophy in life is if don't know, ask...
    no real protocol, just always post with an open mind, that's perhaps all the protocol anyone needs. cheers and happy shooting. feel free to post up any questions on processing if you are not sure what a certain tool does.

    remember - every tool has its purpose sooner or later.. some may be used less, some may be used more.. some may never be used, but somewhere, someone will be able to use it to great effect on a photograph

  14. #14

    Default Re: Are all images in such forums Digitally Sharpened?

    Quote Originally Posted by 2.8photography View Post
    maybe try to post up some of ur pics so that other ppl can help u try and find out what 'aspects are missing'

    Thanks for the tips. Take as a simple example the Olympus advertisement on this very page today (it may change to another one tomorrow) I find the colour of the image of that cyclist/background so rich and eye catchning, yet natural looking but I could never be able to replicate in my own photos straight from the camera (that image is not an example for sharpness though). I realise that it is profesionally done but this is the aspect I hope to include a little in my own photos. I have seen others on the Internet taken with inexpensive entry level cameras that has such a rich full bodied colour as well as a very sharp image.

  15. #15
    Senior Member zoossh's Avatar
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    Default Re: Are all images in such forums Digitally Sharpened?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mondeo View Post
    I was wondering if I should just (i) digitally sharpen it and (ii) saturate the colour a little by default for each and every photo I take. Your advice please.
    to make a story simple, the difference is between default enhancement versus individualised enhancement. you shouldn't be comparing fixed enhancement in-camera to individualised enhancement post-camera.

    if you wanted to apply fixed amount of sharpening and saturation regardless of exposure, contrast and colors of the subject and the lighting, then that is best done in camera's preset for jpeg output. you can also do the same automated batch editing if you know how, which is more difficult to learn, but not more difficult to execute.

    if you wanted to enhance your photo accordingly to each of their best, doing it in camera as jpg output is going to be more difficult, more troublesome, more time consuming and less flexible than shooting in raw and fine tuning later. after adjusting your ISO, shutter-duration and aperture size, EV, WB, do you still want to think about how much sharpening and saturation you want for each frame you take?

    of cos, i assume from your post that you usually do not make much changes and take things as they are. then in that case, you should try to find a single (or 2 to 3 settings) default you will apply throughout. but if you want to vary it everytime you come across a different situation to optimise each picture, i would suggest go raw instead.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mondeo View Post
    Can a more expensive lense get a same "sharpness" straight from the camera as an image taken on kit lense but with tons of digital touch up?
    conversely, tons of digital touch up from suboptimal lens quality, can never get the same sharpness from a better (need not be more expensive) lens under the same lighting, exposure, and data integrity of image quality.
    Last edited by zoossh; 19th March 2008 at 02:15 AM.

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    Senior Member zoossh's Avatar
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    Default Re: Are all images in such forums Digitally Sharpened?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mondeo View Post
    Thanks all for the tips. It looks like I need to do more reading on the sharpening techniques. Although it is not explicitly mentioned in your responses, but I conclude that post processing is necessary to give any image that extra lift and going for an expensive lens (not lense) is not the best solution.
    it is basically just like a girl's face. the facial features and hairdo are of primary concern as they are the basic form. the complexion is also important but only comes when the basics are covered. and last but not least, it is the expression, the behaviour and the thought, with the type of feeling conveyed to you that matters the most.

  17. #17
    Senior Member zoossh's Avatar
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    Default Re: Are all images in such forums Digitally Sharpened?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mondeo View Post
    I kinda got that conclusion from reading tips from others (presumably they know their photography) that they routinely sharpen images/customise the colour a little by default on their camera setting or by using post processing software. These writers even went on to claim that sharpening enhancements are a must for images downsized for Internet use or small prints. So I suppose not everyone share this view.
    maybe i'm not aware of the other community that does that. it sort of come on as a surprise to read that people thinks that routine is a must. i personnally think that some do it out of ease, and that default enhances some but destroy some pictures at the same time.

  18. #18
    Senior Member zoossh's Avatar
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    Default Re: Are all images in such forums Digitally Sharpened?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mondeo View Post
    Thanks again for more tips. Nope not offended but just wondering if there was a protocol that I didn't know about when posting. My philosophy in life is if don't know, ask...
    yes, there's one. try to google first if it is a broad-topic question you are asking.

  19. #19
    Senior Member zoossh's Avatar
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    Default Re: Are all images in such forums Digitally Sharpened?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mondeo View Post
    Thanks for the tips. Take as a simple example the Olympus advertisement on this very page today (it may change to another one tomorrow) I find the colour of the image of that cyclist/background so rich and eye catchning, yet natural looking but I could never be able to replicate in my own photos straight from the camera (that image is not an example for sharpness though). I realise that it is profesionally done but this is the aspect I hope to include a little in my own photos. I have seen others on the Internet taken with inexpensive entry level cameras that has such a rich full bodied colour as well as a very sharp image.
    get exposure and focus taken care of with composition first. those things will have zero impact if these few things are not taken care of.

    in the first place, those colors are vibrant becos the subject and the lighting are already as such. it is just like trying to take pictures in a white and beige kopitiam and hoping it will have the similar to an all brown coffee bean.

  20. #20

    Default Re: Are all images in such forums Digitally Sharpened?

    Zoossh, thanks for your time explaining it to me.

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