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Lack of sharpness from Nikon D80


Boyoclark 12 16 1 Wales
15 May 2008 3:46PM
Hi There. I use a Nikon D80 with Nikkor lenses but I'm never fully happy with the sharpness of my shots.I don't use any in-camera sharpening and use Photoshop CS3 and the Unsharp mask filter to recognised levels. I always shoot in Raw but tend not to use the RAW converter(CS3)sharpening tool. Still the photos are not as crisp as I'd like and if I use any more sharpening, they look oversharpened with a grainy effect.
Has anyone else suffered this problem with the D80 or has any ideas to improve the overall sharpness?

Thanks,

Bryan

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FatHandedChap 14 1.3k England
15 May 2008 4:04PM
The usual things - do you use a tripod, does the D80 have the facility to lock the mirror up. Try some test shots with different lenses and see if it's lenses/camera/user error creating the problems.

Which Nikkor lenses do you have? I had a 70-300G lens which was as soft as a soft thing.
Boyoclark 12 16 1 Wales
15 May 2008 4:18PM
Hi. Yep, use all the tools. Will try some tests on the lenses. Have a 18-70mm, 55-200mm and 52mm.
miptog 14 3.6k 63 United Kingdom
15 May 2008 4:28PM
52mm!? Assume it is 50mm. The 18-70 can produce pin-sharp images, and has good colour and contrast too. So I would use that to test your camera, as well as the 50mm.

In most cases "lack of sharpness" is due to poor technique, so would look at improving that first. Makes sure that camera is as "rock-steady" as you can get it, and also that it is focused. AF can often get fooled, and combine that with a bit of motion blur, and shooting a flat contrast image the shot can look really awful.

Sharpness is really about a contrast difference between dark and light areas, so if you shoot high contrast images, they should look sharper.

Have just look at your PF, and several of the shots appear "soft". Would suggest that you look at both focus and depth of field, as this may be your problem

Hope that helps
mightymash 12 111 1 United Kingdom
15 May 2008 6:08PM
Also Nikon's tend to have very soft RAW files anyway, so tend to need a lot of sharpening.
User_Removed 16 17.9k 8 Norway
15 May 2008 6:22PM

Quote:Nikon's... need a lot of sharpening.


I would challenge that.

I use almost no pre-sharpening in Lightroom (and most often, none at all) and very, very little in PS using nik Sharpening filters. Suggest you check your camera settings/technique(s)

Wink
User_Removed 16 17.9k 8 Norway
15 May 2008 6:36PM
Forgot to add, I don't sharpen in camera outside of the 'Normal' setting either and shoot RAW 99.999%...
Nick_w 12 4.3k 99 England
15 May 2008 7:02PM
I use D80 and find it pretty sharp. Use RAW no in camera sharpening. Depends what I'm shooting as to whether I use mirror up.

Very, very small amount of sharpening in C14 then smart sharpen in PS2 (I actually use TLR sharpening script) - final sharpen for print / net using high pass filter again a TLR script.

Forgot to say I use Sigma EX lenses (found sigma 18-50 "kit" to be very soft)

HTH

Nick
mightymash 12 111 1 United Kingdom
15 May 2008 7:23PM
I probably should have added "when compared to other manufacturers" to be fair. I found the D80 RAW files slightly soft, but they stood up well with to gentle sharpening.

I don't find sigma 18-50 f2.8 Ex soft though. Wide open maybe, but above f4.5 it's pretty sharp.
Graysta 15 1.1k England
15 May 2008 8:40PM

Quote:Quote:Nikon's... need a lot of sharpening.I would challenge that.

I use almost no pre-sharpening in Lightroom (and most often, none at all) and very, very little in PS using nik Sharpening filters. Suggest you check your camera settings/technique(s)


How sharp do you want them? i agree with Mike, i have tried all the tools but honestley most Niks with good glass are hard to get better out of post camera.again go to the basics of photography,dof, exposure, distance, subject,movement,hyperfocal distance, the D80 is a camera not a mind reader.

Graham
CathyT 14 7.3k 18 United Kingdom
15 May 2008 8:42PM
Can you post a pic so we can see what you mean.
Graysta 15 1.1k England
15 May 2008 8:48PM

Quote:I probably should have added "when compared to other manufacturers" to be fair. I found the D80 RAW files slightly soft, but they stood up well with to gentle sharpening.

I don't find sigma 18-50 f2.8 Ex soft though. Wide open maybe, but above f4.5 it's pretty sharp.


So what made you choose a D80 above other manufacturers

G
mightymash 12 111 1 United Kingdom
15 May 2008 9:33PM
I already had a D50 and upgraded. I now have a D300.

Also I liked the fact it didn't over sharpen with the RAW files. Canon's can be quite bad for that, for instance. Better to start with slightly soft an image and sharpen it than have something that is too sharp in the first place.
CathyT 14 7.3k 18 United Kingdom
15 May 2008 9:37PM
Thats a big jump......did you win the lottery??
mightymash 12 111 1 United Kingdom
15 May 2008 9:43PM
I had a D80 in between.

So no, I just spent a lot of time saving. I did have a high disposable income until recently too. Although my cash flow is lower my job satisfaction is higher now. Oh, and I get to play around with cameras all day.

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