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Charmaine

Image Sharpness

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Hi Everyone,

I would like to know if anyone else struggles with image focus / sharpness. I usually  shoot very close up / macro, and animals, landscapes, nature etc and rarely do I get everything in the image perfect. I find there is one spot that is usually soft.  I have read many forums and have looked at other photographers works and they are amazing. Where possible, I write (in a notebook) settings others have used and I try the same settings, and to me there is still softness in my images. I use a tripod, have the 2 sec timer, stick to the focal length x shutter speed, aperture  mantra.... 

I rarely blame my equipment, however, all my lenses were purchased second hand ( extremely limited budget), and I am wondering if this could affect my image quality...or is it the operator missing crucial info / steps / settings.  Maybe I am trying to push the Macro lens beyond its limits?  When I shoot from a reasonable distance, the images seem fine.  ie Miss Velvet in my album, Wildlife. :)  :)  

Any advice is welcome. 

Have a great day

Charmaine

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Hi Charmaine,  It could definitely be the equipment used.  Not all are created equal.  What camera and lens (make) do you use?

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Hi Parker,

I shoot with a Pentax K5 (purchased new), 2nd body is my Pentax K100d ( purchased new), both camera bodies came with new kit lenses - 18-55mm and 18-50mm.  The only lens I purchased new was my Sigma 10-20mm.  All other lenses were second hand:  Sigma 28-80mm macro,  Pentax 50mm, Sigma 70-210mm, Sigma 100-300mm. 

I mainly shoot with the Sigma 28-80mm - switching between macro function and normal, and this is the one I have the most problems with lack of image sharpness.   Other lens most used is the 18-55 kit lens. ( I have just realised I should use my 50mm more often!  :) ) 

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Here are some things to consider...

  1. Zoom lenses tend to be less sharp vs. fixed focal length (i.e.; 50mm). 
  2. The Pentax K5 is 8 years old and probably not as sharp as current cameras
  3. From an online review;  The Pentax K-5 produces sharp images with very good detail at default settings. Some minor edge enhancement artifacts are visible on high-contrast subjects such as some of the branches in the crop above left, but overall results are still quite good (albeit with a bit too much contrast and saturation for our tastes).Edge enhancement creates the illusion of sharpness by enhancing color and tonal differences right at the edge of a rapid transition in color or tone.   
  4. The Pentax K5 has an anti-aliasing filter.  This reduces Moire effects.  However, the trade-off is softer (less sharp) images.

I own a Nikon D300, and D500.  The d300 also has the anti-aliasing filter (or low pass filter).  The d500 does not.  The d500 is 100 times better/sharper vs. the d300.  This is probably what you're experiencing too.

Hope that helps

 

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Thanks for the input Parker.  I will investigate the anti-aliasing filter, maybe this is why my images are softer.  :) 

Unfortunately, I cant upgrade my camera unless I win lotto :) :) 

Have a great day. 

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