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Old Jan 30, 2005, 5:41 PM   #1
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Any advice would be greatly appreciated:
I'm looking for a general improvement on the results I've been achieving. I'm using a Sony DSC-V1 5MP, Epson Photo Stylus 830, currently Think compatible ink and a variety of papers.
Most of my photography is done on the mountains, so I was thinking of something with a wide angle lens (Maybe an Olympus C-8080), but think maybe the printer could be improved upon....? The ink I'm using seems little different to the Epson stuff in quality and much better than other compatible ones I've had (At least in the short term).
The main areas I'd like to improve are capture of rocks and grass - they seem to lack definition, I seem to get my fair share of too-dark photos too.
Would the 8MP of the Olympus improve the definition, even though I'm only printing at A4, or is 5 enough, maybe it's me but when printing at very high printer dpis (+300)with small photos the quality seems better, even though it's commonly stated that little difference is acheived (With the naked eye) at somewhat less than this.
Many thanks.
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Old Jan 30, 2005, 7:20 PM   #2
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Maybe look at a digital SLR. You can use different lenses depending on the subject your shooting. They tend to have better sensors and overall picture quality.

Are you using a tripod? With a tripod you can use slower shutter speeds (slower than 1/60th a second) and smaller lens aperture, so you'll get better depth of field and better definition on both foreground (grass) and background (mountains).

Maybe a faster lens will help, a wide angle lens F2.8 or faster.

On the printer side, if you got the bucks you could go for an 8 x 10 dye sublimation printer or use a professional service that prints high quality 8 x 10's using a photo process.

I must say, though, a good quality ink jet printer with high quality paper does a pretty nice job.


How about posting one or two examples of your workhere so we've got something to analyze?




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Old Jan 30, 2005, 7:21 PM   #3
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You might consider getting the Epson R300. I've heard really good things about it. It prints 8 1/2x11 max and uses good inks. Is it required? I don't know. I print with the Photo Stylus 700 and while old it does produce some good results (obviously something like the Epson 2200 does better.)

Terry is right, a good tripod is always a great investment. It helps becuase it slows you down, getting you to think about your pictures more. It also makes you more steady, which should improve the resolving of detail a bit.

As for your camera problem, I'm less knowledgeable there. Certainly a DSLR will do the trick, but they are expensive, large and heavyer than pocket cameras. Higher resolution will help you with more detail, but other things effect that. The quality of the lens, for example. Another could be the ISO you're shooting at.

The dark shots could be because your lens doesn't have a very good max aperture. Look for one with a really small fstop (f2.8 or better.) That will help with more light (shooting in darker locations) and it should improve the quality of the shots if you stop down the apeture a bit and shoot at f5.6 or f4. Almost every lens gets slightly better if you stop it down a bit from maximum.

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Old Jan 30, 2005, 9:46 PM   #4
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Are you post processing your photos? Before spending a lot of money on a new printer, try modifying the pictures in a good program and taking the files (or uploading them) to a facility that can print them.
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Old Jan 31, 2005, 4:15 AM   #5
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Thanks very much.
An SLR is out of my price range at the moment, the C-8080 is available now for £420, I'm looking at at least twice that for an SLR.
I use a tripod when I can (It's only a cheap one mind you), but I do get whinged at by my friends for taking ages to take photos.
The postal service is worth a try, if only to compare quality, I'll have a look.
I'll upload a couple later, of the ones I'd like to see improved.
Thanks again.
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Old Jan 31, 2005, 1:38 PM   #6
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Here's a photo taken recently that doesn't seem to come out too well when printed, I have better ones but this is a good example of one which I'd like to improve.
If anyone's interested/doesn't know it's looking up Wastwater in the English Lake District, the mountain in the centre is Yewbarrow and the one at the back right is Great Gable.
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Old Jan 31, 2005, 1:45 PM   #7
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It seems to have been cropped a bit after uploading it - there were rocks in the foreground which I'd have liked to remain visible, the printed image is quite a bit darker, maybe the main problem IS my printer.
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Old Jan 31, 2005, 5:24 PM   #8
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That's a nice photo.

I'm no expert but I think the lack of detail is due to the 5mp sensor.

It looks like a pretty average resolution result for that class of digicam.

Maybe check out the results of a Canon 20D or an olympus 8080 wide zoomand see if you like the results from those cameras.

If you goto www.pbase.com and search around a little,that website will show you tons of exampleof pics from anydigicam yourthinking about buying. Just keep clicking on the MORE prompt until you see some landscape shots and see what kind of results the photographers are getting.
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Old Jan 31, 2005, 7:47 PM   #9
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If your friends are whinging at you about the time it takes to set up a photo on a tripod, maybe try using a monopod with a quick release head.

style="BACKGROUND-COLOR: #000000"You can use the monopod as your walking stick, then pop the digicam on top of the monopod to get some stabilization for a photo.
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Old Feb 1, 2005, 11:06 AM   #10
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Thanks a lot, I'll have a look.
The monopod is a good idea!
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