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5d2 soft images ?

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    10 Jan 2013 - 2:21 PM

    guys, has anyone had any probs with soft images on the 5d2 ?
    My main 2 lenses are the 24 -70 f/4 l & the 17 -40 f/4 l, & images seem soft using both these lenses. Is it something i'm doing (or not doing) or does the camera need looking at ? Is there any tests I can do to see if it is the camera or me ?

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    10 Jan 2013 - 2:31 PM

    Are you shooting JPEG or raw and what are your default settings for sharpness?

    Coleslaw e2 Member 913403 forum postsColeslaw vcard Wales28 Constructive Critique Points
    10 Jan 2013 - 2:39 PM

    Are you looking at them full size at 100%?

    mikehit  56545 forum posts United Kingdom10 Constructive Critique Points
    10 Jan 2013 - 2:42 PM

    First question is how are you looking at the image? If you are looking at them 100% in RAW then they will appear soft (especially compared to an older camera you may be used to) because of the size of the megapixel count - I find 50% or even 30% is plenty enough to see if images from my 7D are sharp.
    Can you post an image as an example?

    If the problem is independent of aperture that suggests it is your technique but the following will help to ascertain that.
    First off I would put your camera on a tripod, use Live Vew to manually focus on something stationary and then open the image, apply a reasonable amount of sharpening and look at the image.
    If that is sharp then do the same using AF instead of manual fous - that will tell you if it is the AF mechanism (software or mechanical causing front/back focus). Do this at reasonable aperture (f8 or f5.6: any wider and the shallow DOF makes it hard to assess)
    Next step is to take a picture of something with depth. I find the easiest thing is to put a stake or something in the lawn, set the camera on a tripod at about 2 feet off the ground and focus on the stake close to the ground. Using a reasonable aperture (f8 or f5.6) have a look to see which blades of grass around the stake are in focus. You can do the same indoors with an object on a coarse weave blanket.

    If that is sharp then it is your technique.

    Last Modified By mikehit at 10 Jan 2013 - 2:44 PM
    sherlob e2 Member 82332 forum postssherlob vcard United Kingdom125 Constructive Critique Points
    10 Jan 2013 - 3:54 PM

    I found my 5dMk11 images soft when I reduced them for the web. Previous to this I had never really seen the point of applying sharpening for the output medium to be used (I had used a 5D originally). As soon as I started to apply a sharpening process for my web optimised images from the 5D Mk 11 I noticed a massive difference. As Paul (Sut68) pointed out to me at the time - its a heck of a drop from 21 megapixels to 1000 pixels...

    Hope this helps,


    11 Jan 2013 - 1:14 PM

    thanks for the sound advice peops.
    chrisL : my images are all shot in raw. what do you mean by default settings for sharpness ?
    coleslaw : yeah, I see what you mean by viewing @ full size.
    mikehit : I have been looking online regarding the technique you describe above. When I manually focus on a stationary object using live view, you say "and then open the image, apply a reasonable amount of sharpening and look at the image". I'm a bit lost here mike. can you run through that again pls. What do you mean by 'open the image' & ' apply a reasonable amount of sharpening' ? Do I take a photo in live view then open the image in photoshop & sharpen in ACR ?{Or have I got completely the wrong end of he stick, here ?} Tongue

    mikehit  56545 forum posts United Kingdom10 Constructive Critique Points
    11 Jan 2013 - 2:24 PM

    When looking at images you can look at the jpeg output or at a RAW file - the JPEG is dependent on the in-camera picture style settings so I prefer to look at RAW. Just a personal thing, but all RAW files need sharpening for best results.

    If shooting in JPEG I would suggest Landscape style because that is usually geared to a sharp image (portrait is often subtly softened for skin tones).
    If shooting in RAW, open the image in DPP (Canon's software) and you can apply whichever picture style you want to see if you can get something acceptable. Or open in LR/Photoshop/whatever and apply some sharpening until the image is acceptably sharp. If you can only do this by creating haloes or other nasties then the RAW image is not sharp.

    The reason I say use LiveView is that mirror slap (when the mirror flips out of the way to allow the picure to be taken) can be a cause of vibration which blurs the image. In LiveView the mirror is raised before you press the shutter (just like Mirror Lock-up) so if the image is not sharp, you cannot blame mirror vibration.
    Live View also enables you to get the sharpest possible focus and that way you cannot blame poor AF for any focussing problem.
    Put these two with the tripod and any lack of sharpness must be a problem with the lens and/or camera. If everything is sharp you can then start to narrow down the culprits.

    11 Jan 2013 - 4:51 PM

    Quote: chrisL : my images are all shot in raw. what do you mean by default settings for sharpness

    When you open those images in a raw editor the program will apply default sharpening. This might be a measly 3, whereas a more realistic starting point would be 7. Suggest you check your images in DPP first, if they look fine in DPP then you can safely assume the camera is fine.

    Try shooting some JPEG as a check too. If your JPEGs are sharp and your raws aren't then logically the camera is fine but your raw processing software needs adjustment.

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