Sharpness Question

Discussion in 'Digital Discussion & Q&A' started by RawHope, Jan 9, 2010.

  1. RawHope

    RawHope TPF Noob!

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    Hello. I need some guidance here. I'm getting into photography and am using Lightroom. I'm a little confused about sharpness when it comes to zooming in on an image. In order to get large prints from my photos and still have them look sharp at a large size printed out, how far zoomed in in Lightroom does my image still need to appear sharp to me? I hope this makes sense. I see in Lightroom that you can zoom in 1:1, 1:2, 1:3, 1:4, 2:1, 3:1, 4:1, 8:1 and 11:1. At what point is it ok for an image to NOT look sharp when you're REALLY zoomed in a lot and still know the print will look sharp when printed large?

    Thank you!!
     
  2. Josh66

    Josh66 Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    3:1 is the closest I ever go, and that's just for touching up fine details. I only go to 1:1 for sharpening.
     
  3. RawHope

    RawHope TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for the reply. So if it looks sharp at 1:1, a print will look sharp in a large size?

    I'd like to hear if others agree.
     
  4. Josh66

    Josh66 Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Are you going to look at the print closer than 1:1?
     
  5. RawHope

    RawHope TPF Noob!

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    I'm still kinda new at this, I don't really get what you're asking.
     
  6. Josh66

    Josh66 Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    I mean, unless you're going to put the print under a magnifying glass, why bother trying to get it perfect at anything closer than 1:1?

    The closer you look at it, the worse it will look.
     
  7. RawHope

    RawHope TPF Noob!

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    Ok, I get it. Thanks for elaborating more. I'll stick with making sure it's sharp at 1:1 and won't worry about it if it looks fine there.

    Thank you!
     
  8. Garbz

    Garbz No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Well even then it's a matter of viewing. The sharpness in Lightroom should never bear resemblance to how big you can print something. Think of it this way when you zoom to 1:1 you're sitting arms length from your screen, you're not really looking at your picture, but rather at the sharpness and detail.

    Suppose you actually go out and make a 40" wide print you're not going to go up and stick your nose into it. If it's anything like the print on my wall the typical person will view it from about 2m away. They don't necessarily notice that it's not sharp. Sure someone will go stick their nose into the picture and complain but someone always does. At that point you're not looking at the picture anymore.
     

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