Go Back   Steve's Digicams Forums > Digicam Help > General Discussion

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old Jun 11, 2010, 4:41 AM   #1
Member
 
Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 56
Default Photo sharpness

This is a bit of an odd question, but i feel like i need to ask it.

How sharp is sharp enough?

I am not a professional (yet? ) and for now, i just enjoy taking pictures of my surroundings, sport events...but all pictures i take are for personal use only.

So called 'sharp' lenses do cost a lot of money. Most of the time- more money than i afford to spend, and i never know how sharp do i need my pictures to be- because they won't be enlarged or sold...so, do i really need those expensive and super sharp lenses, or can i do with more modest equipment?

I hope my question is understandable,feel free to ask questions if it isn't.
Ishay is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Old Jun 11, 2010, 5:11 AM   #2
Senior Member
 
TCav's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Washington, DC, Metro Area, Maryland
Posts: 13,572
Default

If all you'll ever do is look at your photos on a TV or computer monitor, then you really don't need sharp lenses or high resolution image sensors.

If you'll be printing your photos at 4X6, you can probably get away with a lesser lens.

If you'll be cropping your images to recompose your photos in post processing, or you'll be printing at 8X10, then the resolution of the image sensor and the sharpness of the lens start to matter more.

So long as you're satisfied with the quality of the images you're getting, nothing else matters. But there are sharp lenses that don't cost an arm and a leg, and once you've gotten some sharp images, it's hard to go back. But chances are that the lens or lenses you have already are pretty good within their range somewhere, and if you can find out where and limit your use of it to that range, then you'll see the difference and want to keep it up.

If you've never tasted steak, you might be happy with hamburger. But once you've had a grass fed filet mignon ...
__________________
  • The lens is the thing.
  • 'Full Frame' is the new 'Medium Format'.
  • "One good test is worth a thousand expert opinions." - Tex Johnston, Boeing 707 test pilot.
TCav is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jun 11, 2010, 6:05 AM   #3
Member
 
Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 56
Default

Thanks for the quick answer. Now I'll focus my question a little bit more.

I'm looking for a big zoom lens (reaching to 400-500mm), mainly for sport events outdoors. On a budget. I've read reviews, lots of them, but i can't lock on one reasonable lens...again, personal use only, i don't need pro equipment. Any ideas what lens could be good enough for me?
Ishay is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jun 11, 2010, 10:04 AM   #4
Senior Member
 
TCav's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Washington, DC, Metro Area, Maryland
Posts: 13,572
Default

Unfortunately, once you get longer than 300mm, good lenses cost an awful lot. The inexpensive lenses that go beyond 300mm not only aren't very sharp, they also have a lot of chromatic aberration. While that may not be as much of a problem when shooting wildlife, it shows up badly in sports uniforms. The best inexpensive lenses in that range are the catadioptric (mirror) lenses, but they're primes, not zooms, and they're mostly manual focus.

What sport(s) do you want to shoot? You can cover a little league baseball diamond easily with a 70-300mm. If you're on the sidelines, that same lens will work for football/soccer/lacrosse, etc.
__________________
  • The lens is the thing.
  • 'Full Frame' is the new 'Medium Format'.
  • "One good test is worth a thousand expert opinions." - Tex Johnston, Boeing 707 test pilot.

Last edited by TCav; Jun 11, 2010 at 10:06 AM.
TCav is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jun 11, 2010, 10:17 AM   #5
Moderator
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 8,529
Default

besides the sports you want to shoot, what camera body do you have?
JohnG is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jun 11, 2010, 12:11 PM   #6
Member
 
Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 56
Default

I have been told (here and in other places) that the 500D would suit my needs. So I got it.

I'd like to be able to shoot multiple sports, from soccer and rugby to swimming and surfing, that is why i feel i would need a long lens, correct me if I'm wrong and put me in the right direction.

If there's a lens that is really worth saving for, let me know

Last edited by Ishay; Jun 11, 2010 at 12:23 PM. Reason: Adding info
Ishay is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jun 11, 2010, 12:21 PM   #7
Senior Member
 
TCav's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Washington, DC, Metro Area, Maryland
Posts: 13,572
Default

The 50D is a great camera for shooting sports.

The only sport you've mentioned where I think a really long lens might come in handy, would be surfing. But even for that, it wouldn't be necessary. When shooting surfers, you might want to get some of the wave in the frame, so you wouldn't compose as tightly as you would for other sports.

For everything else, the Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM would be a good choice.
__________________
  • The lens is the thing.
  • 'Full Frame' is the new 'Medium Format'.
  • "One good test is worth a thousand expert opinions." - Tex Johnston, Boeing 707 test pilot.
TCav is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jun 11, 2010, 12:39 PM   #8
Member
 
Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 56
Default

I own a 500D, not a 50D. I wish I could afford it, but i've been told that it's better having a better lens than a better camera...
Ishay is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jun 11, 2010, 1:10 PM   #9
Senior Member
 
TCav's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Washington, DC, Metro Area, Maryland
Posts: 13,572
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ishay View Post
I own a 500D, not a 50D. I wish I could afford it, but i've been told that it's better having a better lens than a better camera...
Yes. My mistake. And the 500D is a very good camera for shooting sports.

And, yes, your money is always better spent on lenses.
__________________
  • The lens is the thing.
  • 'Full Frame' is the new 'Medium Format'.
  • "One good test is worth a thousand expert opinions." - Tex Johnston, Boeing 707 test pilot.
TCav is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jun 11, 2010, 1:57 PM   #10
Member
 
Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 56
Default

Thanks!

One more thing: I don't want to open a new thread so i'll ask here.

I still fail to understand how the 500D is superior to the 1000D, and 450D. Just for the sake of knowledge.
Ishay is offline   Reply With Quote
 
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 2:28 PM.