Looking for a therapy group for pixel peepers

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darkdirtydwarf
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Looking for a therapy group for pixel peepers
10 months ago

I keep being slightly unhappy with the quality of my images, always pixel peeping and being disappointed by noise, blurred images and lack of detail even using an Ultron 40mm on an A7.

I usually think it's my fault, bad technique or something. By chance I had a close look to one of the few images took in the sun outside few months back and realized:

1) I need better light bulbs in my home

2) I need to get out more (if the sun would shine more often it would be easier to do...).

All this just by checking an image taken with my "old" (but always loyal) NEX5N and the "crappy" SEL16F28...

If you know any therapy group for pixel peepers, please give me the phone number!

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xexe
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Re: Looking for a therapy group for pixel peepers
In reply to darkdirtydwarf, 10 months ago

After being disappointed at the sharpness on the FE 35mm on the A7R I thought I should seek help too. I found it, very unexpectedly in... (don't judge me)... Iphone photography. My A7R was off for quite some time for repairs and in the meantime I started taking very hipster pics with the Iphone and editing them on the go with Snapseed which does not offer magnification! I started editing for the whole picture and not for the detail. Now the A7R is back, I got myself the Zeiss 24-70 lens and I am not complaining about its sometimes smeared edges! I zoom in 1:1 much less, trying to achieve an overall mood with the picture. I even use some VSCO presets, which add grain... GRAIN! I set the zoom to 1:3 or 1:2 when I need to see details. Much more relaxed. I hope it lasts!

Another good cure is shooting film for a while and getting c**p scans from the lab because you cannot afford 6£ a roll for high res scan (10 rolls = 60£ extra for getting high res scans of pics that might not be worth it!!!!).

I also need better light bulbs at home. And better weather outside!

Hang in there, pixel peeping is a bad beast, you just need to learn how to use it to improve and not to hold you back!

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Trollmann
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Re: Looking for a therapy group for pixel peepers
In reply to xexe, 10 months ago

Guess the theraphy group will fail utterly if too many bad pixels interfere. Mingle with the good pixels and stay happy!

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Chris Malcolm
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Re: Looking for a therapy group for pixel peepers
In reply to darkdirtydwarf, 10 months ago

darkdirtydwarf wrote:

I keep being slightly unhappy with the quality of my images, always pixel peeping and being disappointed by noise, blurred images and lack of detail even using an Ultron 40mm on an A7.

I usually think it's my fault, bad technique or something. By chance I had a close look to one of the few images took in the sun outside few months back and realized:

1) I need better light bulbs in my home

Or a tripod. Or a flashgun which can bounce flash and operate off camera. Or a good LED panel or two. Sharpness isn't just something you get from a high quality camera and lens. It's technique as well, including post processing technique.

2) I need to get out more (if the sun would shine more often it would be easier to do...).

All this just by checking an image taken with my "old" (but always loyal) NEX5N and the "crappy" SEL16F28...

So you've found that your camera and lens is good enough. Next you need to learn about the effects of aperture, shutter speed, stability, and lighting, on sharpness. Pixel peeping is how you find out. It's how you learn how to improve your skills.

If you know any therapy group for pixel peepers, please give me the phone number!

The therapy is to stop thinking of pixel peeping as a way of showing up the defects of your gear. Start regarding it as a way of learning how to improve your skills.

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Chris Malcolm

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nevercat
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Re: Looking for a therapy group for pixel peepers
In reply to Chris Malcolm, 10 months ago

Chris Malcolm wrote:

darkdirtydwarf wrote:

I keep being slightly unhappy with the quality of my images, always pixel peeping and being disappointed by noise, blurred images and lack of detail even using an Ultron 40mm on an A7.

I usually think it's my fault, bad technique or something. By chance I had a close look to one of the few images took in the sun outside few months back and realized:

1) I need better light bulbs in my home

Or a tripod. Or a flashgun which can bounce flash and operate off camera. Or a good LED panel or two. Sharpness isn't just something you get from a high quality camera and lens. It's technique as well, including post processing technique.

2) I need to get out more (if the sun would shine more often it would be easier to do...).

All this just by checking an image taken with my "old" (but always loyal) NEX5N and the "crappy" SEL16F28...

So you've found that your camera and lens is good enough. Next you need to learn about the effects of aperture, shutter speed, stability, and lighting, on sharpness. Pixel peeping is how you find out. It's how you learn how to improve your skills.

If you know any therapy group for pixel peepers, please give me the phone number!

The therapy is to stop thinking of pixel peeping as a way of showing up the defects of your gear. Start regarding it as a way of learning how to improve your skills.

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Chris Malcolm

Good points Chris, but in the way of learning, people should also learn to look at the whole picture instread of the pixels. there is so much we can learn, like use of light, cropping right, etc. A picture well taken, but a tine little bit soft at 100% can be a beautifull picture when printed large, or when looked at on a HD screen or so.

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Michel J
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Re: Looking for a therapy group for pixel peepers
In reply to darkdirtydwarf, 10 months ago

darkdirtydwarf wrote:

If you know any therapy group for pixel peepers, please give me the phone number!

If you find one, let me come in, to save my life, ( )

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Cordialement,
Michel J
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darkdirtydwarf
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Re: Looking for a therapy group for pixel peepers
In reply to xexe, 10 months ago

xexe wrote:

After being disappointed at the sharpness on the FE 35mm on the A7R I thought I should seek help too.

Indeed!

I found it, very unexpectedly in... (don't judge me)... Iphone photography.

LoL! Gotta buy one then

My A7R was off for quite some time for repairs and in the meantime I started taking very hipster pics with the Iphone and editing them on the go with Snapseed which does not offer magnification! I started editing for the whole picture and not for the detail. Now the A7R is back, I got myself the Zeiss 24-70 lens and I am not complaining about its sometimes smeared edges! I zoom in 1:1 much less, trying to achieve an overall mood with the picture. I even use some VSCO presets, which add grain... GRAIN! I set the zoom to 1:3 or 1:2 when I need to see details. Much more relaxed. I hope it lasts!

I wish you luck! I used to be that way too, did little editing, almost never zoomed 100% and have been happy shooting just for the fun of it.

Then I started working on occasion for a website that requires a certain level of quality, I learned the basics of LightRoom and ended up in PixelPeeping Land...

Another good cure is shooting film for a while

I do shoot film, I have several Minolta bodies and I usually use a XD7 I repaired myself, plus another one on its way to the Netherlands to get professional CLA. Oh, and I bought an Olympus 35RD from Tripman in the UK; it should arrive by the end of the week.

Wait a minute: I HAVE GAS TOO!!! :(((

and getting c**p scans from the lab because you cannot afford 6£ a roll for high res scan (10 rolls = 60£ extra for getting high res scans of pics that might not be worth it!!!!).

I bought myself (for half the price only, mind you) a Reflecta RPS 7200. I love to scan my negatives. Film photography is another world!

I also need better light bulbs at home. And better weather outside!

We should organize a bus trip to some sunny place for those of use stuck in countries with bad weather...

Hang in there, pixel peeping is a bad beast, you just need to learn how to use it to improve and not to hold you back!

Thanks

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scotbot
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Re: Looking for a therapy group for pixel peepers
In reply to darkdirtydwarf, 10 months ago

darkdirtydwarf wrote:

I keep being slightly unhappy with the quality of my images, always pixel peeping and being disappointed by noise, blurred images and lack of detail even using an Ultron 40mm on an A7.

I usually think it's my fault, bad technique or something. By chance I had a close look to one of the few images took in the sun outside few months back and realized:

1) I need better light bulbs in my home

2) I need to get out more (if the sun would shine more often it would be easier to do...).

All this just by checking an image taken with my "old" (but always loyal) NEX5N and the "crappy" SEL16F28...

If you know any therapy group for pixel peepers, please give me the phone number!

Very relevant! I got over this by only looking at the technical details of shots that I thought were otherwise really, really good, ie putting the image before the pixels.

As another poster said, using a smartphone and Instagram / Snapseed etc really brings home that the minor imperfections seen when pixel peeping don't really matter for anyone who has a life to get on with and lives in the real world where photographs are viewed no larger than 1920x1080.

I always show my images to my wife and she is oblivious to technical imperfections and always sheds valuable light on the image itself. Most people don't care about pixel peeping any more than they care about a bit of hiss on a Hendrix or Pink Floyd* recording.

Pixel peeping reminds me of the bad old days when I used to write and record music and saw many utterly talentless bands fussing over a bit of inaudible noise on a recording of their breathtakingly pointless and awful music. See my first point - when you can create really good art then start worrying about the minor technical details.

*pretty rare actually as Alan parson was such an outstanding engineer - a definite decibel peeper.

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darkdirtydwarf
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Re: Looking for a therapy group for pixel peepers
In reply to Chris Malcolm, 10 months ago

Chris Malcolm wrote:

1) I need better light bulbs in my home

Or a tripod.

Not gonna work, my son is faster than the dreaded 1/60s shutter speed that my Sony cameras like so much. Though if I master panning maybe...

Or a flashgun which can bounce flash and operate off camera. Or a good LED panel or two.

I do have the HVL-F60M, but I feel kinda ridiculous with it mounted on the A7 running after my child like a paparazzi. He's 18 months old, I'm trying not to traumatize him

As for external light, the A7 can't trigger the flash (though I could use the HVL-F60M to trigger the HVL-F58AM in a feast of blinding lights), as well as my NEX5N can't either. The A55 would do the trick (both decent built in flash and trigger capabilities), but my woman can stand only few shots per evening before yelling at me incomprehensible words in German...

I think the easiest solution is to exchange the two useless light's i have in the living room with something a tad brighter

Sharpness isn't just something you get from a high quality camera and lens. It's technique as well, including post processing technique.

yeah, I do use mostly MF lenses, and I am still not a pro when it comes down to moving subjects with the lens wide open. Also, every time my son sees me with the camera, he doesn't care that the closest he comes, the shallower the DOF. So he inevitably runs at me sticking he's finger out toward my F1.2 lens...

2) I need to get out more (if the sun would shine more often it would be easier to do...).

All this just by checking an image taken with my "old" (but always loyal) NEX5N and the "crappy" SEL16F28...

So you've found that your camera and lens is good enough. Next you need to learn about the effects of aperture, shutter speed, stability, and lighting, on sharpness. Pixel peeping is how you find out. It's how you learn how to improve your skills.

When it comes down to technical stuff (how to calculate DOF based on FL, aperture and distance for example, or 1/FL shutter speed for hand held shots), I think I know my business well enough. What I haven't learned yet though, is (even more basic) stuff like framing, use of the light, setting the mood (though I read many books about these topics). For this, pixel peeping is destructive, as looking at the image as a whole is way more important. Being obsessed with sharpness is not the way to become a good photographer. Let's take the most famous street photography masters: they use zone focusing. As good as one is with this technique, it can give you tack-sharp images. Still, the images are sharp enough an praised.

I really rather take slightly OOF images that tell a story, than perfect tack-sharp shots of my bookshelves. I do appreciate the learning opportunity that exercising provides, but my main goal right now is to develop the photographers eye (if that's possible at all, maybe it's just something your born with, and I'm not )

The therapy is to stop thinking of pixel peeping as a way of showing up the defects of your gear. Start regarding it as a way of learning how to improve your skills.

on this you are perfectly right. I focus too much on the defects of my gear. But that's a very good way to unload the blame for lame pictures from my shoulders

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darkdirtydwarf
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Re: Looking for a therapy group for pixel peepers
In reply to Michel J, 10 months ago

Michel J wrote:

darkdirtydwarf wrote:

If you know any therapy group for pixel peepers, please give me the phone number!

If you find one, let me come in, to save my life, ( )

Sorry, you're doomed.

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darkdirtydwarf
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Re: Looking for a therapy group for pixel peepers
In reply to scotbot, 10 months ago

scotbot wrote:

As another poster said, using a smartphone and Instagram / Snapseed etc really brings home that the minor imperfections seen when pixel peeping don't really matter for anyone who has a life to get on with and lives in the real world where photographs are viewed no larger than 1920x1080.

That's the point. I'm so glad I did buy the A7 over the A7R. 24MP are already enough to get lost in a huge sea of pixels that sucks and swallows you into your monitor (mine BTW is still 1024x768...).

I always show my images to my wife and she is oblivious to technical imperfections and always sheds valuable light on the image itself. Most people don't care about pixel peeping any more than they care about a bit of hiss on a Hendrix or Pink Floyd* recording.

I hate to show my images to my woman. She always immediately finds what's wrong and she tells me how she'd've done it (and she's almost always right). She uses an old Coolpix and takes better images than me (she didn't even care when her older camera had a completely foggy and scratched lens...).

Pixel peeping reminds me of the bad old days when I used to write and record music and saw many utterly talentless bands fussing over a bit of inaudible noise on a recording of their breathtakingly pointless and awful music. See my first point - when you can create really good art then start worrying about the minor technical details.

Here we go. That's the reason why I want to stop this pixel peeping non sense: I want to focus on taking better pictures as a whole, with a soul and a story to tell, not sharper pictures where the black and white points are perfectly where they should be that actually say nothing at all.

*pretty rare actually as Alan parson was such an outstanding engineer - a definite decibel peeper.

well, he was paid to sound-peep, I'm not

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Jokica
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Re: Looking for a therapy group for pixel peepers
In reply to darkdirtydwarf, 10 months ago

There is something definitely wrong with me. I am quite happy when I take Pentax ME and one roll of film

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darkdirtydwarf
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Re: Looking for a therapy group for pixel peepers
In reply to Jokica, 10 months ago

Jokica wrote:

There is something definitely wrong with me. I am quite happy when I take Pentax ME and one roll of film

Nothing wrong!

Moreover, your camera doesn't tell you to waste time to update apps like mine right now and let you do just one thing: take photos!

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Jokica
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Re: Looking for a therapy group for pixel peepers
In reply to darkdirtydwarf, 10 months ago

darkdirtydwarf wrote:

Jokica wrote:

There is something definitely wrong with me. I am quite happy when I take Pentax ME and one roll of film

Nothing wrong!

Moreover, your camera doesn't tell you to waste time to update apps like mine right now and let you do just one thing: take photos!

Yep, it`s probably the apps

I have bigest complain about memory card: only 36-37 pictures !?!?

At least, it is full frame

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Brian_Smith
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Re: Looking for a therapy group for pixel peepers
In reply to darkdirtydwarf, 10 months ago

Asking that question here is kind of like showing up at Happy Hour at a packed bar looking for an AA meeting...

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Letsgokoulos
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Re: Looking for a therapy group for pixel peepers
In reply to Brian_Smith, 10 months ago

Brian_Smith wrote:

Asking that question here is kind of like showing up at Happy Hour at a packed bar looking for an AA meeting...

Excellent, Brian!

Marc

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stevo23
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Re: Looking for a therapy group for pixel peepers
In reply to darkdirtydwarf, 10 months ago

darkdirtydwarf wrote:

I keep being slightly unhappy with the quality of my images, always pixel peeping and being disappointed by noise, blurred images and lack of detail even using an Ultron 40mm on an A7.

I usually think it's my fault, bad technique or something. By chance I had a close look to one of the few images took in the sun outside few months back and realized:

1) I need better light bulbs in my home

2) I need to get out more (if the sun would shine more often it would be easier to do...).

All this just by checking an image taken with my "old" (but always loyal) NEX5N and the "crappy" SEL16F28...

If you know any therapy group for pixel peepers, please give me the phone number!

Pixel peeping is good, I hate it when people complain about it. To the extent that it can improve your work, it's a good thing.

That being said, I had an Ultron 40 - nice overall rendering and sharpness. However, I thought the CAs were very high.

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stevo23
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Re: Looking for a therapy group for pixel peepers
In reply to stevo23, 10 months ago

stevo23 wrote:

darkdirtydwarf wrote:

I keep being slightly unhappy with the quality of my images, always pixel peeping and being disappointed by noise, blurred images and lack of detail even using an Ultron 40mm on an A7.

I usually think it's my fault, bad technique or something. By chance I had a close look to one of the few images took in the sun outside few months back and realized:

1) I need better light bulbs in my home

2) I need to get out more (if the sun would shine more often it would be easier to do...).

All this just by checking an image taken with my "old" (but always loyal) NEX5N and the "crappy" SEL16F28...

If you know any therapy group for pixel peepers, please give me the phone number!

Pixel peeping is good, I hate it when people complain about it. To the extent that it can improve your work, it's a good thing.

That being said, I had an Ultron 40 - nice overall rendering and sharpness. However, I thought the CAs were very high. I like the FE35 2.8 much better.

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darkdirtydwarf
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Re: Looking for a therapy group for pixel peepers
In reply to stevo23, 10 months ago

stevo23 wrote:

Pixel peeping is good, I hate it when people complain about it. To the extent that it can improve your work, it's a good thing.

Yeah, the problem is that I invest too much time on it, instead of learning how to use light better, or frame/crop in a more interesting way (especially when I us AF).

That being said, I had an Ultron 40 - nice overall rendering and sharpness. However, I thought the CAs were very high.

I live in a dark world without light, I don't even remember what colours are. CA therefore is a non-issue for me, at least till the better season

(And LightRoom can fix that automagically these days )

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darkdirtydwarf
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Re: Looking for a therapy group for pixel peepers
In reply to Brian_Smith, 10 months ago

Brian_Smith wrote:

Asking that question here is kind of like showing up at Happy Hour at a packed bar looking for an AA meeting...

I'm bored. I wanted to stir things up

And to hear few different voices on the topic. Sometimes going against the current leads to interesting findings

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