Sharp pix?


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qingtian

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Jul 17, 2009
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#1
Hi Guyz,

Need some help over here...

I was wondering are the 2 pics that I took below consider sharp:-
As the more I look at it, it dun look sharp to me?




Pics are taken using EOS 7D _ 17-40mm L on a tripod.
Appreciate for your attentions!
 

J-Chan

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Sep 21, 2005
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#3
at this size they look acceptable to me, though to my eyes the first pic is somewhat soft compared..
 

limwhow

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Jun 9, 2009
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#4
Hello, qingtian.
I checked the EXIF of your photos.
Photo number one is at f/22 at shutter speed of 2.0 seconds.
Photo number two is at f/18 and at shutter speed of 30 seconds.

In my opinion, there are two possibilities:

1. Diffraction. At narrow apertures of f/18 and f/22, diffraction would cause you to lose sharpness.
2. The second photo at shutter speed of 30 second would be more susceptible to shakes caused by wind blow and such, even on a tripod.
My opinion.
 

J-Chan

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Sep 21, 2005
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#5
Yup, I think diffraction is culprit here.. If you don't really need that long a shutter speed you can afford to shoot at f/8-f/16 if you want optimum sharpness..
 

qingtian

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Jul 17, 2009
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#6
Guyz,

Thanks for the value inputs.
I am posting the pics up as the more I look at it...
I feel the pix look soft and lack of some sharpness?

As I am pretty new to photography and I pick up this hobby like close to 5 months ago...
Thus I really need those valuable inputs from the season/experience users.l

I am wondering is there any issues with my 7D since there are complains on this AF/Softness issues...
 

limwhow

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Jun 9, 2009
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#7
No issues- Neither with your wonderful camera body nor the good lens.
It is all a simple issue of light ray diffractions.
Eventually all of us will learn to shoot at not too small an aperture to avoid this.
 

qingtian

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Jul 17, 2009
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#8
Hello, qingtian.
I checked the EXIF of your photos.
Photo number one is at f/22 at shutter speed of 2.0 seconds.
Photo number two is at f/18 and at shutter speed of 30 seconds.

In my opinion, there are two possibilities:

1. Diffraction. At narrow apertures of f/18 and f/22, diffraction would cause you to lose sharpness.
2. The second photo at shutter speed of 30 second would be more susceptible to shakes caused by wind blow and such, even on a tripod.
My opinion.
Hi limwhow... Thanks for looking deep into my EXIF and evaluate the setting!
Could I check with you are the f numbers between f/8 to f/16 more suitable for landscape shooting?

Thanks for clarifying this parts as I always thought that by setting the f numbers highest will result in better in focus landscape shot.
 

qingtian

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Jul 17, 2009
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#9
Yup, I think diffraction is culprit here.. If you don't really need that long a shutter speed you can afford to shoot at f/8-f/16 if you want optimum sharpness..
Appreciate your inputs! These advice are indeed valuable!
 

qingtian

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Jul 17, 2009
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#10
Just to add on, I shoot these pix by using ALL the Auto-AF...
The reason I didn't shoot using the center auto focusing system are because I am not sure where should I focus the point on...

I'm not sure does this contribute to the problems above?
 

Apr 15, 2008
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#11
To avoid diffraction, i try not to cross f/16...and that's for macro photography!

Looking at your scene, where the nearest subject's at least 100m away, even f/5.6 would have sufficed

Still, for general landscape photography, i think f/11 is a nice ball-park f-number to use if you want everything to be in focus when you're using a wide-angle lens, imho ;)
 

Apr 15, 2008
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#12
Just to add on, I shoot these pix by using ALL the Auto-AF...
The reason I didn't shoot using the center auto focusing system are because I am not sure where should I focus the point on...

I'm not sure does this contribute to the problems above?
If i was capturing this, i'd manually focus the lens to infinity, then set an appropriate f-number of say.... f/5.6-f/11?

just to add on... at this distance, it won't matter which building you focused on since they're all pretty far away =o
 

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limwhow

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Jun 9, 2009
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#13
Hi limwhow... Thanks for looking deep into my EXIF and evaluate the setting!
Could I check with you are the f numbers between f/8 to f/16 more suitable for landscape shooting?

Thanks for clarifying this parts as I always thought that by setting the f numbers highest will result in better in focus landscape shot.
Yes, as our good brothers Daedalus Trent and J-Chan have elaborated, keep your aperture at around the stated settings. Indeed, for that night shot, you can choose a wider aperture say at f/8 and quicken your shutter speed drastically.
For that day shot, an f/8 would improve the sharpness.
I am no expert in landscape, but I have personally tested these apertures and found the difference to be significant enough.
Check up Wikipedia on "Diffraction". Very interesting learning experience for me.
 

J-Chan

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Sep 21, 2005
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#14
Google for terms such ad Diffraction and Hyper-focal distance.

At that distance, as long as you lock on to an object, the DoF should cover all the buildings. The water thats closer to you would be blurred anyway by the long shutter so not much point stopping down too much..
 

limwhow

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Jun 9, 2009
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#15
Just to add on, I shoot these pix by using ALL the Auto-AF...
The reason I didn't shoot using the center auto focusing system are because I am not sure where should I focus the point on...

I'm not sure does this contribute to the problems above?
I would personally use auto-focus on any of the buildings. No problem at all.
 

qingtian

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Jul 17, 2009
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#16
To avoid diffraction, i try not to cross f/16...and that's for macro photography!

Looking at your scene, where the nearest subject's at least 100m away, even f/5.6 would have sufficed

Still, for general landscape photography, i think f/11 is a nice ball-park f-number to use if you want everything to be in focus when you're using a wide-angle lens, imho ;)
Thanks for sharing this tips! Learn something from you gain...
I will be going for shooting tml night... I will use the suggested setting and try again!

If i was capturing this, i'd manually focus the lens to infinity, then set an appropriate f-number of say.... f/5.6-f/11?

just to add on... at this distance, it won't matter which building you focused on since they're all pretty far away =o
This is too technical for me to understand... I find out more and read up more on this.
In fact I bought a book on photography and I remember one of the contents is presenting on this infinity reading/setting.

Yes, as our good brothers Daedalus Trent and J-Chan have elaborated, keep your aperture at around the stated settings. Indeed, for that night shot, you can choose a wider aperture say at f/8 and quicken your shutter speed drastically.
For that day shot, an f/8 would improve the sharpness.
I am no expert in landscape, but I have personally tested these apertures and found the difference to be significant enough.
Check up Wikipedia on "Diffraction". Very interesting learning experience for me.
Noted, thanks for sharing this experiments which you did...
Will read on Diffraction.

Google for terms such ad Diffraction and Hyper-focal distance.

At that distance, as long as you lock on to an object, the DoF should cover all the buildings. The water thats closer to you would be blurred anyway by the long shutter so not much point stopping down too much..
Noted!
 

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qingtian

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Jul 17, 2009
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#17
Last 2 questions, are there any suggested guideline in camera setting to avoid your pictures from getting too soft?

I guess the problems I am having in my pic seem to turn more onto human problem instead of a "lemon" body? :bsmilie:
 

Komodo

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Jun 26, 2009
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#18
qingtian,
I agree with some guys comments on diffraction. Shooting at min aperture doesn't mean your pics will turn out sharp. The word "sharp" is argueable bcoz some ppl like it VERY sharp,some ppl just like it sharp so long as u can see the building. Some ppl are addicted to sharpen their pics so much that the human's face (after processing) is overkill. There's a prob call atmospheric haze which u can never get it off unless u shoot in very dry condition like in Europe,Northern Japan,Russia,etc. Btw 17-40 (in my opinion) is not really a sharp lens. Sharp lens is best to be fixed focal length eg. lens by Leica (ASPH) & Zeiss (Distagon series). Try shooting fr the same scene with 16-35mm L Mark II. All the best. ;)
 

limwhow

Senior Member
Jun 9, 2009
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#19
Last 2 questions, are there any suggested guideline in camera setting to avoid your pictures from getting too soft?

I guess the problems I am having in my pic seem to turn more onto human problem instead of a "lemon" body? :bsmilie:
Hmmm... only one question here leh, where got '2 questions'?:bsmilie:
Anyway, to my humble knowledge, sharpness has everything to do with the lens setting. Not with the camera body setting.
The only setting remotely linked to your camera is that built-in 'Sharpness' parameter in 'Picture Style' of our Canon camera. But as a general rule, don't touch that one first until you have a better grasp of the principles of lenses.
 

theveed

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#20
Also, we need to know how you resampled your image in the first place and where you uploaded it for hosting. Your resampling method may have thrown out quite a bit of data and your host might not be optimal for photo hosting (for example, what looks good in Flickr will look crappy in Facebook or Photobucket).
 

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