Is it my lens, my camera or me?

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by iriairi, Sep 7, 2008.

  1. iriairi

    iriairi TPF Noob!

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    Looking at some of my photos in PS and Bridge, I am surprised and disappointed that they appear a little soft. I am using a Canon Rebel XTi with a 24-105L f4 /IS lens. Below are links to 2 of my raw photos taken with this equipment. Both shots were taken with a polarizer, manfrotto tripod and shutter release and IS was off. When I look at the pictures in 'fit on screen' mode they look crisp/sharp. When I look at them in 'print size' mode, they still fare well to my eyes. When I go to 100% view, they look soft. Even if there were parts that were out of focus, I feel that some part of these photos would have been sharp...

    I didn't feel that converting these files from the original capture would convey what I was seeing. If there is a better way to let people see this, let me know.

    So is it the camera, the lens, or me? Any advice or direction is appreciated.

    http://www.finalsignal.net/photo/RFF20080417-07.dng

    http://www.finalsignal.net/photo/SCF20080417-05.dng

    [EDITS/ADDITIONS BELOW]
    Per request. If you have the time, I left the full raw links above. Not sure why they only came down as partials. I double checked and was able to retrieve them... Thanks for trying though.

    This is an 600x800 chunk of the photo
    [​IMG]

    This is a resize of the whole photo

    [​IMG]

    This is a chunk...

    [​IMG]

    This is the resize...

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2008
  2. anubis404

    anubis404 TPF Noob!

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    I would post them online and display them here. No one wants to download photos.
     
  3. Josh66

    Josh66 Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    At 171x256 pixels it's impossible to tell, not sure what happened but that's all I got from those 2 links...

    They're probably not as bad as you think though. They never look razor sharp at 100%.
     
  4. William Petruzzo

    William Petruzzo TPF Noob!

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    Yeah, you're being too critical. That's a pretty normal softness and it can be pretty easily counteracted by just slightly increasing the contrast in Camera Raw. Here's a little piece of the full resolution image:

    [​IMG]

    This appears to be about the sharpness roughly across the whole image. I think you're fine.
     
  5. davebmck

    davebmck TPF Noob!

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    I downloaded both of your pics, opened them in Camera Raw, zoomed to 100% and applied sharpening to a value of about 100. I could not find any place on the photos that were tack sharp. Doing this with photos taken with my 100-400 L or 100 macro lens, I can get perfectly sharp images (presuming I take the shot properly). I would agree with you that these images are a bit soft.

    These images are taken at a very slow shutter speed, but you seem to have taken the proper precautions. Is this a new lens? If so, you may have a bad copy. What I would suggest is that you set up the camera on the tripod and take some test shots at a higher shutter speed. If you still get soft images, its probably a bad lens. If not, its may be your technique.
     
  6. Josh66

    Josh66 Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    For some reason when I clicked them I just got thumbnails...

    I didn't actually save them, I just selected "open in ..." instead of "save as". I didn't think that would matter though.
     
  7. davebmck

    davebmck TPF Noob!

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    I used "open in" as well. Worked OK for me.

    BYW, the files are 19mb. My XTi has files about 10mb when I shoot in raw.
     
  8. iriairi

    iriairi TPF Noob!

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    The size maybe because I convert to DNG but keep the original RAW files... Which makes me wonder if there are some troubles there. The lens is fairly new, but not brand spanking... I have always kind of felt that it was soft, but thought it was just me, or maybe the XTi, but now I am worried that I have a bum lens...
     
  9. iriairi

    iriairi TPF Noob!

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    Ok checked on some test photos I was taking and it wasn't the DNG conversion process...

    Maybe it is the speed...
     
  10. jamesino

    jamesino TPF Noob!

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    Perhaps you could try shooting without the filter?
     
  11. usayit

    usayit No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    * In photography, sharpness is all about being reasonably sharp for a particular size and viewing distance. Pixel peepers are simply going to miss out if all they are going to do all day is zoom in at 100% and complain that it isn't good enough. Seriously... go to a gallery and observe some of the most highly admired photographs. Look at them really really close... ... Billboards... too.

    * Lenses are reasonably sharp across the DOF range but are only capable of truly focusing on one plane.

    * Shooting at either end of the focal range and/or aperture range is not were the typical lens performs at its best. (both photos were done at f/22)
     
  12. usayit

    usayit No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    oh btw.. nice shots.
     

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