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Old Mar 14, 2006, 12:31 PM   #1
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I've only had my 5D a few months, so I'm still learning some of the "ins and outs" here. I'm not completely satisfied with the clarity/sharpness of my photos yet, I feel like they should be a little sharperand clearer than they are.



I've been using the lenses that Iused for my Minolta Maxxum before buying the 5D. Could that be a problem, because they're not specifically digital lenses? I know they're all interchangable with the 5D, but I'm wondering if it could be causing it?

My other thought is that so far I"ve been shooting in Extra Fine. I have a friend that shoots her camera (Nikon) in RAW, and her pictures look so much sharper than mine. I haven't attempted this yet, but I'm checking it out today. maybe that could bethe difference I'm looking for?



Any thoughts would be appreciated!
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Old Mar 14, 2006, 12:46 PM   #2
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What lenses have you got? Chances are, they're just fine and because you're looking at a very large image on screen compared to smaller prints most users get from film, the flaws are more obvious.

I'd set sharpness to +1 as a starter if shooting jpeg.

Some made for film lenses can be better on a DSLR because the entire image circle is not used, and you don't get as much edge softness since the sensor is using the "swee spot" (center) of a lens. I've been quite impressed with some of the older lenses I've got on a 5D.

You may also want to see what apertures you're shooting at. Most lenses are a bit soft at wide open apertures (smallest f/stop numbers), and sharpen up nicely between 2 and 4 stops down from wide open.

You may also want to post an example or two of problem images. Something like shutter speed could be causing softness, too (which could be caused by something like ISO speed not set high enough for the aperture setting and lighting you're shooting in).



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Old Mar 14, 2006, 1:14 PM   #3
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Now see, I've never even set my sharpness on this camera..."Ya learn something new". I'll have to work on figuring that out today, Thank you.

I have a 28-80/3.5-5.6 (which is mostly what I use for portaits), a 50mm/1.7, and then a zoom which I haven't even tackled with this camera just yet.

Here's an example of one thatI took yesterday (not one of my best shots, but it was easiest to post right now, LOL). Maybe I'm being overcritical, but I don't feel like she pops out at me. My friend's pictures always look like you can reach out and touch her subjects, and our cameras are fairly comparable, so I can only assume it's something that I'm doing "wrong".




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Old Mar 14, 2006, 1:41 PM   #4
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Yeah, thats not to bad at all. I think the 5D at default settings jpeg are pretty bland. You can step up the sharpness in post or in camera. post will of course give you the best control, but takes the most time. Here is your shot with one click sharpness done in Picasa (which is a free editing and organizer, I reccomend highly)
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Old Mar 14, 2006, 1:50 PM   #5
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Okay, that is exactly what I'm talking about, it looks so much clearer when you posted it! If there was a "bow-down" emoticon, I'd insert it here. Thank you for taking the minute to show me that!

So if I play with my camera settings, I may be able to get the reults I'm looking for there, I'm assuming. I have Photoshop Elements 4.0, but when I tried to sharpen it through there, it wasn't giving me what you just posted.
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Old Mar 14, 2006, 2:00 PM   #6
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Picassa is available as a free download from google. It is easy to use and is pretty effective. All you needed was some sharpness and contrast. It was as simple as that.

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Old Mar 14, 2006, 2:28 PM   #7
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here is the link for picasa

http://picasa.google.com/

try it out, most like it. Its great for things like sharpening or boosting contrast and some other neat effects on the quick. You should be able to get good results with Elements 4, its just more of a learning curve. Get to know the Unsharp Mask, itll help you out in the long run.

Also note that in portrait photography, sometimes the soft look may be desireable.

Try the in camera sharpening first and see if that gives you reults that you like. If not, you can do them in picasa. Also for this shot, you might have tried shooting with a different white balance. It looks to be a white background lit with incandecent bulbs, making the background orange. Setting the white balance to the type of lighting your shooting in will give you more realistic colors. (although this shot looks good with its warm color range)

Very cute shot
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Old Mar 14, 2006, 3:14 PM   #8
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The backdrop was actually a warmer cream colorthere, so it was fairly accurate. I've been playing with the white balance a lotlately. I have Tungsten lighting, which I'm not a huge fan of right now, but it's what will make do for a little while. It seems to do odd things with different color backdrops, mainly the black...it irks the heck out of me, but that's a whole other story.

Photoshopcan betougher to learn, that's for sure. Something that should be simple isn't as easy to perform when you try to do it. But I think I'm tackling it. It's funny you mention the Unsharp Mask...I've been sitting here since I read your last post working on learning exactly that. And I think I've figured it all out, I've beenplaying around with some shots, they look so much better using the Unsharp Mask. Thank you so much for your help!
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Old Mar 14, 2006, 3:16 PM   #9
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I see you were at 50mm with your lens, shooting at f/4.5 (which is the largest available aperture that lens has at 50mm).

It's going to be a bit soft there.

If you look at the MTF charts at http://www.photodo.com for the Minolta 28-80mm f/3.5-5.6 AF Lens, it's rated at a 2.7 on a scale of 1 to 5.

It's also going to be softer at wide open apertures (smallest f/stop numbers).

Here's it's chart:

http://www.photodo.com/prod/lens/det...5-56-376.shtml

You were shooting without a flash at 1/100 second, f/4.5 and ISO 400 , so your lighting is bright enough there if the child is relatively still unless you're using strobes where you don't want exposure from other sources to freeze the action.

If you stop down to f/5.6 or f/8 where this lens is a little sharper, your shutter speeds may get a bit slow for a moving child. That would also increase your depth of field (and you may prefer a shallower depth of field for some shots).

My advise would be to stick with your 50mm f/1.7. It's a *much* sharper lens at equivalent apertures compared to something like a 28-80mm f/3.5-5.6 zoom lens (and if it's a third party lens, chances are, it's even worse than a Minolta lens in this zoom range).

You'd also have a much brighter lens using your 50mm f/1.7 for keeping shutter speeds up (and helping the camera "see" much better for Autofocus purposes).

You were shooting at 50mm anyway for that shot. ;-)

Stopped down to around f/2.8, you'd have shutter speeds more than twice as fast as you're getting now at f/4.5 and ISO 400 in the same lighting to help with motion blur, with sharper results because you're stopped down from wide open apertures with your 50 at f/2.8, and a shallower depth of field than you've got now. Just shoot in Av Mode and spin the dial to the desired aperture setting and let the camera pick the shutter speed.

At f/4 (one more stop down), you'd have even sharper photos if you wanted more depth of field at the expense of some shutter speed (although it would still be faster than you're getting at f/4.5).

I'd also use a custom white balance. You were using Auto White Balance which is not very good in artificial lighting.

If you don't have a photographic gray card, try a couple of white coffee filters stacked as a target for setting it in the lighting you're shooting in. Sometimes it takes more than one try (it's a bit finnicky with custom WB and you may get errors if the light isn't just right on your target).

Set the camera's sharpening to +1, too.

Or, better yet, shoot in raw and adjust everything after you take the photos, or shoot raw+jpeg and have ready to use jpeg photos and raw files you can tweak later. ;-)

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Old Mar 14, 2006, 3:44 PM   #10
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One other setting you might want to play around with is the exposure compensation ( page 48 in your manual ). Personally I like to go up to +1 indoor without a flash and -1 when outdoors and sunny. And I would also use the 50mm lens, it's a great indoors lens.

I too have only had this camera for about 6 weeks and have been experimenting with all the different settings. A few adjustments can make a HUGE difference in your results.

Jim,would you mind if I ask what softwareyou use to be able totell her EXIF when she didn't post it?
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