Details, DP2M and Pixel-Peeping ...

Started 2 months ago | Discussions thread
richard stone Veteran Member • Posts: 3,144
Re: Details, DP2M and Pixel-Peeping ...
1

Scottelly wrote:

PrebenR wrote:

xpatUSA wrote:

We talk about "detail" a lot in this Forum, perhaps because the Foveon is quite good at recording said detail.

I often wonder what "detail" is. In my own mind, detail is objects no smaller than one pixel at the sensor. My DP2M has a 5um pixel spacing and a 30mm focal length lens but how does that translate to objects in the scene? By which I mean that a leaf shot at minimum focusing distance is hardly a "detail" - but that same leaf shot from a mile away is beyond even the resolution of the Mighty Merrill.

Easy enough really, if we now talk about angles. The DP2M pixel at 30mm subtends an angle of about 0.6 minutes of arc, i.e. 0.1666 milli-radians (mrad). On the other side of the lens, i.e. in the scene, such a detail is easily calculated. An object 1 meter away will be 0.167mm large, 100 meters away the same 1-pixel detail will be 16.67mm large. Piece of doddle.

Although I have a DP2M, shooting anything with such detail is quite a challenge for me such that I find it necessary to go beyond 100% zoom in post to make sure my shots are at least half-decent. Of course, others here are so good at capturing "detail" that they need no such assurance and they cannot understand why I pixel-peep even at 100%.

So, in defense of pixel-peeping, I took a virtual shot of small piece of virtual mesh with exactly one-pixel dimensions with a virtual DP2M. Here is that virtual "shot":

So, how "good" is that mesh detail? Anybody?

No peeping now, y'hear? - but feel free to use a real magnifying glass on your monitor ...

More to come later ...

Looks good. To me tonality is more important than details one cannot see. One of the reasons I wish one could adjust the microcontrast of the Merrills. When taking a portrait photo of a kid and you notice all the facial hairs, that you do not when looking at same kid, then the microcontrast is excessive. In other situations it might not be an issue and people mistake it for details.

I think one reason I turn down the "Sharpness" and "Detail" settings when processing my Sigma raw files is the excessive micro-contrast. There are many benefits though, such as less noise, and less-intense sharpening halos.

Scott

Yes but... Seriously, lots of people, self included, sometimes lose sight (pun intended) of the "image" issue here. You look at, or manage to create a scene, and you want to capture it for others to see, maybe not just as you see it, but in some similar way. What I have discovered in many years of reading Sigma forum posts is that lots of people take pictures of scene "A" and then discover, on peeping, that they not only have captured the scene A, but also all kinds of other interesting and fun stuff. And possibly some other not so fun stuff too. It happens all the time.

The peepers see detail they had not seen before. Is this good? Well, it is grand, in the sense of wonderful, if it is part of, or is complementary to, the image you had in mind, or somehow enhances the image or message. But how about skin blemishes and skin discoloration produced by the camera system itself. Occasionally ugly and generally somewhat distracting. It occasionally makes you go "wow, amazing" but it is not part of the plan.

In terms of pretty girls at the beach, I have my own beautiful model (perfect skin) and very slender, and I live on a small island in the Pacific Ocean, with palm trees and white beaches and all the rest, and it really does not help to use high resolution with the sdQ for portraits. It isn't that she looks better on low res, it is just less distracting from the image as a whole. It is seems better to use portrait mode and calm down some of the detail issues. I generally cannot resist taking pictures of her, although I sometimes wonder why I bother, because  she takes selfies like crazy.

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