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Ladythump Mar 27, 2006 8:31 PM

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Just started shooting with my digital Canon Rebel XT (standard lens). Can't seem to get the sharpness that makes a picture look like a GREAT picture. Any suggestions? I was trying to make sure I had the right exposure, but no sharpness.

slipe Mar 27, 2006 9:53 PM

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My favorite sharpening application is SharpControl. It does a better job than many dedicated sharpeners and you have to really do some sophisticated work in Photoshop to equal it: I save the image as a TIFF, open it in SharpControl and then resave as a TIFF to bring it back into Photoshop. It isn't as convenient as a plug-in but I still use it often.

If you have Photoshop gmitchel has a good sharpening action set you might try: You might also look at his sharpening learning guide.

This is with SharpControl set at lower settings because I usually defog first with a low amount and high radius in USM. But SharpControl does a nice job by itself with the default settings. It looks a little oversharp to me, but you can mess with the settings. There is a SharpControl tutorial online. I don't like to sharpen in-camera.

Ladythump Mar 27, 2006 10:34 PM

I appreciate the feedback but I was talking more about what I should be shooting my camera settings at ... not revamping with software.

Aumma45 Mar 27, 2006 11:11 PM

Rebel XT is a good machine. Read the manual pages 63-65 on how to set the controls. Also other things that help: use some form of a tripod, good lighting conditions, etc. All professional photographers do some form or post processing. It is not a crime.:G Regards. Jaki

granthagen Mar 27, 2006 11:26 PM

For results in-camera, first make sure that the shutter speed you are using is at least high enough to cancel out blurriness caused by camera shake. The rule of thumb is to use a shutter speed that is the reciprocal of the focal length of the lens you are using. Like, if you are using a 50mm lens, make shure that you are shooting at least with a 1/50 second shutter speed, 1/200 second with a 200mm lens, etc. Some people can go slower and some might need to go faster depending on how steady you are behind the camera.
Keep in mind that this does not even take into account subject motion. You might have to go a lot higher than this to overcome rapid subject motion.

Secondly, try the sharpness settings that your camera provides. Play around with various combinations of sharpness and contrast until you get consistent results that you like. If you like to shoot RAW, you're out of luck, here. With RAW you must post-process.

When it comes right down to it, the quality of the lens will have a big impact on the sharpness of any photo. Canon doesn't make junk lenses, but I don't know how the quality of the lenses they offer in their package deals compares to other lenses of similar focal length available from Canon or independent manufacturers.


kenmck15 Mar 28, 2006 12:31 AM

yes the canon rebel xt is a fantastic camera. nothing short of pro quality.

Yea this is very weird y the shots appear so soft. Are you using auto focus or u using manual focus??

i dont think your shutter speed is the issue as exif is:
shutter: 1/160
fstop: 8
iso: 100

so i dont think motion blurring wil be the issue here.

i agree with what grant is saying here. canon dont make junk. and even $200 cams can get a sharper focus than this shot you are taking so i seriously doubt ur hardwar is anything to do with the issue. Unless fauty ofcourse ????????

Maybe try a centred focus point and see how tht goes for you.

with this sort of cam u shouldnt have to crank up sharpness settings in this cam to get decent results.


Ladythump Mar 28, 2006 1:06 AM

I was using auto focus. Where should I have been focusing to get the sharpness I need. I need to learn how to focus to get the best depth of field???

I have a 50-90mm lens and a 70-300mm lens. So I should not be lower than 1/50 on the smaller lense and 1/70 on the zoom?

Ladythump Mar 28, 2006 1:25 AM

I just read my manual and I have an A-DEP mode on my camera. Should I start playing around with this setting so start getting a feel for DOF?

DomCotton Mar 28, 2006 5:54 AM


I have the same camera as you and what sounds like similar lenses too (I have the kit lens and a 75-300).

I have recently taken a shot of my son;forum_id=88using the standard point and shoot setting of the camera. It was pretty sharp and i was quite proud of the results. I then took the image onto the computer and run it through Photoshop's "Smart Sharpen" filter and wow - what a difference it made! It seems unbelievable that you can get such detail of an image! This was recording JPG and not using raw as may have been suggested earlier on.

Not sure if you are totally against post processing but the more i get into photography the more essential I find the process.

Hope this is helpful,

Harrison Mar 28, 2006 7:52 AM

Another thing to check would be the adjustment of the dioptic control for the viewfinder - this can affect how sharply you see the image through the viewfinder versus what the camera actually captures.

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