I Need Clarity...

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by eric-holmes, Aug 20, 2010.

  1. eric-holmes

    eric-holmes No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    ...and I think my lens is holding me back. But first let me ask, how much does PP actually contribute to the clarity of the final image? It seems like my images never come out the way I want them to and I am not sure whether to blame the lens or my lack of post-processing. I shoot with a D90 and I feel confident in that camera. I have began to look more seriously at some faster glass, probably a 2.8 zoom in a Sigma brand. I have been torn between a wide telephoto (24-70ish) or a zoom telephoto (70-300ish). Now with my D90, it has an internal focusing motor. I know I can save a lot of money by buying a lens without an internal focus motor. But how well do those really focus. I've never used a lens without an internal focus motor.
     
  2. DanFinePhotography

    DanFinePhotography TPF Noob!

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    do you do mostly hand held shots, or a tripod? Could be other things aside from the lens. PP has some value with sharpness but the photos should be sharp and clear as possible prior to PP.
     
  3. JG_Coleman

    JG_Coleman No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    If you're shooting RAW, then post-processing is practically a necessity. A RAW image right off the camera generally looks like crap... greyish, no sharpening, no contrast adjustments.

    Buying a better lens is never really a bad idea, of course... but RAW post-processing can make a huge difference in the clarity of the photographs overall.

    Lightroom 3 even has a 'Clarity' slider which, if used appropriately, will do wonders with certain RAW photographs.
     
  4. Raian-san

    Raian-san TPF Noob!

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    I agree with Coleman. Shooting in raw is a must if you want to maximize PP. The shot should be at least clear and crisp before PP because like JG said, the contrast, color look plain as hell in Raw. Raw PP is like a time machine, it takes you back to the original shot to fix your exposure, contrast, lighting, clarity or other mistake with that shot. I use CS4 photoshop and they have a clarity slider when you shoot in raw, it help a lot as well as other things you can fix.
     
  5. Christie Photo

    Christie Photo No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I'm sure when you say "faster glass" you mean a brighter lens.

    Have you considered simplifying things? I'm suggesting a fixed focal-length lens (85mm) and turn the auto focus off. Put it on a tripod and do your own focusing.

    And get a good one. Nikkor optics have always been some of the best.

    I can't imagine not have a lens like this.

    -Pete
     
  6. Steve01

    Steve01 TPF Noob!

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    Do you mean, they're not sharp?
    What fo you mean by clarity?
     
  7. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

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    Well yes, but the internal focus motor is not the main reason some lenses cost less. Also a part of the cost difference is VR which also comes with the focus motor.

    As an example the AF 80-200 mm f/2.8D and the twice as expensive, AF-S 70-200 mm f/2.8G VR.

    The difference in cost is the glass used, not the focus motor. Unless you're shooting action sports the focus speed is a non-issue.

    What is an issue is the Multi-CAM 1000, single cross-type focus point, AF module in the D90.
     
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2010
  8. eric-holmes

    eric-holmes No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I shoot in raw and process my files ACR CS5. I use the clarity slider, along with the others, but they never seem to appear too sharp. Check out my website below for examples. They are full resolution examples.
     
  9. eric-holmes

    eric-holmes No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    And yes, I believe I mean sharpness and not clarity. And I don't do a lot of sports and will not.
     
  10. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

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    Go to nikonusa.com and look at the" Lens Construction " graphic of the 2 lenses I mentioned above.

    The more expensive lens has more lens elements, and many more of them are ED glass.
     
  11. Steve01

    Steve01 TPF Noob!

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    If you're having this issue with all of your lenses your camera may need to be recalibrated.

    Bring you're camera body to the biggest camera store in your area and ask to see what you know to be a sharp, fast, quality lens, maybe a 35 or 50mm f1.4 .

    Take lots of test shots of anything with a lot of detail, take your time.
    Give the guy back the lens and say "Thanks I'll think about it" and open the images in PS.

    If they're not razor sharp you probably have a camera, not lens problem.
     
  12. Flash Harry

    Flash Harry TPF Noob!

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    I think your problem is the lens, if you only have the one in your signature and came with the D90 as a kit it'll be plastic and garbage, the wife thought she was being nice and bought me a "prezzy", it was an 18-135 nikkor 3.5-5.6, I tried it out to see what it was like after explaining she probably had wasted her money, it was soft, very soft, slow both in focusing and aperture, it ended up traded in with other items against a decent lens of my choice, you can have whichever camera you like, if you team a D3 with a garbage lens you will get garbage results. H
     

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