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Old Dec 16, 2002, 3:30 PM   #101
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I've been taking another look at some of the first pics I took last autumn when I bought the C4000. On the camera's first outing, I left the focus set to iESP and was very disappointed with the results. Landscape shots tended to be sharp up to 6 or 8 feet away with everything beyond that fuzzy.

At that point I was also shooting in program mode. I have noticed that in P mode, the Oly seems to use f2.8 more or less as a fixed aperture and varies the exposure by changing the shutter speed. So, in P mode and iESP focus, the camera is setting a very wide aperture (=shallow depth of field) AND focusing on the nearest contrasty object it can locate. The result is as described and as I think I see in some of Marco's shots: close objects are sharp, distant objects are out of focus.

I soon changed to spot focus and aperture priority: these are much more comfortable settings for someone who grew up with SLRs. If you're having trouble getting crisp pictures, I would say 1) use spot focus and 2) use aperture priority and stop the lens down to f5.6. You can use Landscape mode with spot focus - the two seem to be independent of each other.

(On the other hand, I find spot exposure metering to be less reliable than the so-called "digital ESP" mode. Don't get iESP focusing :evil: mixed up with ESP metering .)

Just avoid iESP focusing!

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Old Dec 16, 2002, 5:52 PM   #102
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Fenlander, In your Deserts and Canyons pictures were you using a circular polarizing filter?

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Old Dec 16, 2002, 6:05 PM   #103
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No filters. I don't have any optical attachments for the Oly. I suspect that much of what we used to do with filters can be done with software.

Oh, and the skies were just amazingly blue...
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Old Dec 17, 2002, 1:32 AM   #104
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Okay, Fenlander, I've posted 'Marco Bridge' and 'bad camera' as full size shq jpegs, at http://www.pbase.com/marcoangels/landscapes

I have been using 'spot focusing' and had set the 'sharpness' setting to +5 on all these shots...
Generally, using 'Microsoft's Picture It 'as my main editing tool, I find I have to increase the sharpness on most of my pics to about '22', or, when saved as wallpaper, they don't look sharp enough. I have a 19" monitor, .25 dot pitch..
Thanks for your help and opinions...Blessings, Johnny[/url]
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Old Dec 17, 2002, 3:17 AM   #105
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[quote="fenlander"]Kanji,


>I took the liberty of playing with Mirror mirror a bit, reducing the sharpness. What do you think?

http://homepage.ntlworld.com/fenlander/mirror.jpg


Hi fenlander,
I have a question,how did you get the "mirror' picture to come out like that? I Have tried to duplicate it by reducing the sharpness in Photoshop Elements 2 and I just cannot get the same nice results.How did you get that soft delicate quality to the picture?Thanks for the help
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Old Dec 17, 2002, 3:35 AM   #106
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Marco,

So far as I can see, the bridge pic is sharp all the way to infinity. It does seem to be over-sharpened, to judge by the amount of noise visible in the sky.

The "bad camera" picture is very sharp at close range but out of focus at the skyline. If you look just under the roofline at top right, you can see how much detail is present. However, focus seems to be lost before the road that crosses the picture. If I'd taken it, I'd suspect that I'd misfocused the camera.

No EXIF, but if you were using Program, it's likely that both shots were at f2.8. I would certainly try aperture priority and stop down to f5.6 or smaller.

To judge by the bridge pic, t seems that the camera is capable of focusing at infinity. If you still doubt this, you might try some shots using manual focus. If the camera will focus at infinity but fails to do so in your shots, there are two possible culprits - the autofocus mechanism and the operator. If all infinity shots are out of focus, it would implicate the autofocus. If only some of them, it would suggest mis-handling.

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Old Dec 17, 2002, 3:37 AM   #107
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Fenlander, since we're all asking for your advice, I might as well jump on the bandwagon. Here's the photo that I shot this weekend at -5 sharpening -5 contrast at F11. I wanted to get closer to the mountains but didn't have the time. I tried to get to the highest point I could to get the shot. When I crawled up there, two guys dressed in full camo gear were wielding bows - deer hunting. They didn't seem thrilled to see me . I tried to frame the shot as fast as possible. The picture is so heavily manipulated that it straddles the fence between reality and fantasy. What can I do to improve a picture like this? I haven't really taken very many landscapes - was more into other type of images.
http://www.pbase.com/bribourbon/sandia

Regards
Brian
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Old Dec 17, 2002, 6:08 AM   #108
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Brian,

I quite like the shot. The tonal range and colour are good, with detail in the shadows and the highlights. Would I be right in guessing that the landscape should be flatter than it appears? - it looks like about 6 degrees of anti-clockwise rotation is needed. Unfortunately, that means you'll lose a lot of area from the corners.

Compositionally, all the interest is around the edges with a bit of a hole in the middle and this effect would increase if you rotated and cropped.

What's all this heavy manipulation you've done? This is the sort of pic that might make a good basis for a water-colour or oils effect. I'm not much into that sort of thing, but you might take a look at the Retouching forum on dpreview.com for some ideas. Only problem is, you'll probably need to invest in some software if you want to get into transformations.

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Old Dec 17, 2002, 11:40 AM   #109
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Fenlander, thanks for the tip on rotation. I think you're right and might try fixing that. The manipulation was quite extensive. Using Photoshop 7.0's healing brush part of the rocks in the foreground were cloned from other rocks in the photo. This was done to eliminate some distracting plant elements stuck in the middle of the foreground. In the center of the picture foliage was also cloned with the healing brush to cover up ugly rocks,and also to replace less sharp foliage with more sharp foliage. The colors and tones were created with about 6 different custom gradiants, Most of them contained blue, orange, yellow, pink, white and black to create tone, color and lighting effects. So there's been a bit of manipulation heh.
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Old Dec 17, 2002, 12:47 PM   #110
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--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

http://www.pbase.com/jasm/jasm I think I am about to admit defeat I took some images this afternoon in low sun and cold frost and I know Olympus are not into human eye design but the images[3] posted required lightening on most of them I had briefly flirted with a canon s30 and dont recall images so dark.It is painful as I felt on Olympus side when I read the critics on this site.
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