Looking for more sharpness

Started Nov 12, 2012 | Discussions thread
OP Jimim New Member • Posts: 21
Re: Looking for more sharpness

elfroggio wrote:

Jimim wrote:

HI. I hope you all can help me out to make shopping a bit easier and that I don't cause a battle re: sharpness.

I am def learning to be a better photographer each day and I fell I have learned alot especially this year with taking the time to understand lighting and external flash use.

My camera is a 7D and I primarily use the 17-55 2.8 from canon. It worked well for methe past 2 years but I want to start to grow a bit and buy some new glass.

Here's an image that I printed 20" by 30".

This image was taken with a lens that anybody that claim to know lenses is junk. It's a Sigma 17-70mm (the old one). It's supposed to be extremely soft. No pixilation, no visible noise with a naked eye even at 5 inch from the print. All the hairs and the whiskers are sharp. According to everybody's assessment, I should have had problems printing anything larger than 11" by 14". So why not?

  1. The image is bright with a strong side lighting from the window, camera right. Some fill from the light yellow cream wall, camera left. You can see how bright the light is by the eyes of the cat.
  2. There's an excellent contrast in the white hairs and whiskers against the orange color of the fur.
  3. The face of the cat is brighter than the background. The correct exposure is for the face of the cat. It's not for the background.
  4. The quality of the photo-lab. They did an excellent job, but this is a custom lab. After uploading the JPEG, I went to the lab and dropped a 5" by 7" to match before they started with the printing.
  5. Sharpness is an optical illusion. It has nothing to do with the technical specifications. Sharpness is very subjective. A 100% black photo, like a photo taken with the lens cap on, is 100% unsharp. It's the same with a 100% white photo even with the best camera/glass combination. Sharpness depends on the contrast between the light and the dark. The higher the contrast between the pixels, the higher the impression of sharpness. Everything else being equal, a bright, side lighting will be significantly sharper than front flat lighting. Bright sunset vs fog... The higher the sharpness, the bigger the prints.

Lighting and technique is far more important than quality of a lens. But then again, a great technique with a fantastic lens is even better.

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The Business of Being a Photographer -- Lightroom Q&A

Thanks alot for this info.  I deff understand what you are saying cause my pics that I feel are sharper are deff always lit better so that all makes sense to me.  I like that pic too.  The background colors next to the cat are great I think!


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