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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre Critique Corner 
Thread started 28 Aug 2017 (Monday) 19:15
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Photo looks "soft" and not sharp when zoomed in. Help Anyone?

 
Aswil23
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Aug 28, 2017 19:15 |  #1

Hi, I am new here and and a fairly new photographer as well (Been shooting consistently for about a year now). I have noticed that most of my photos look really clear on camera. But when I go to edit them and I'm zoomed in, I notice that the image is not sharp, but rather fuzzy or grainy. I'm not sure why this is happening. I've read that it could be my aperture or shutter speed, but I'm still confused. Can someone shed some light please? Thanks

I've attached the grainy photo as well as another photo I took that came out much clear. Not exactly sure why one came out sharper and the other didn't. I have also included the metadata for each photo. (These are straight out of the camera btw)

1st Photo (grainy & fuzzy): 1/200 sec; f/2.8; ISO 160
2nd Photo (more sharp): 1/320 sec; f/2.8; ISO 200


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MalVeauX
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Aug 28, 2017 19:20 |  #2

Looks plenty sharp.

But if you want help, post 100% crops so we can see the pixel peeper side of it.

My guess is just that you're experiencing the aggressive AA filter of the 7D coupled with using slower shutter speeds with long focal length on an APS-C sensor. Push ISO to 400 in the above and the shutter speed would have been a non-issue. It's possible to get a little motion blur due to the focal length on that sensor size with your shutter speeds as presented. But it's not profound from what I can see here. The grain is noise from being under-exposed and processed up, and the general noise of the 7D's sensor. But most probably it's your processing from an under-exposed image to begin with.

Beware pixel peeping. Everything is bad when you pixel peep. Focus on the final result and how it will look as presented, and don't focus on pixel peeping. You'll be a happier person in general.

Very best,


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Aswil23
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Aug 28, 2017 19:55 as a reply to  @ MalVeauX's post |  #3

Thanks for the insight MalVeaux. I know I shouldn't pixel peep, but I've seen other photographer's images and they seem to be pretty sharp. I know there are several factors that come into play with getting sharp images. In the mean time I will try pushing up my ISO next time when shooting outdoors. I always thought the increasing ISO to much resulted in grainy photos though.

I've attached zoomed in screenshots of the photos below. Hopefully you can see the difference between the 2.


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MalVeauX
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Aug 28, 2017 22:01 |  #4

Heya,

First one looks soft or slightly out of focus (potentially from using AI servo and it gently predicting a move and was wrong; that happens). I don't think its motion blur at 70mm on APS-C with 1/200s, but it may be partially part of it. I think its most likely just focus (they all miss now and then). Focusing on that face with a strong light background is going to cause fits for most cameras anyways as it struggles to know what to even cling to for focus.

2nd one looks sharp enough to me to not worry about it.

The grain is normal. While higher ISO values will increase apparent noise, if you shoot RAW, expose up a little (raise exposure when shooting by +1/3rd for example) and then drop exposure in post, the noise will not be easy to see. The 7D is a fairly noisy camera in general, but you can process noise out. You will get more noise from underexposing and raising exposure in post-processing to correct for it, noise pops out big time with that. So to combat noise, expose up a little (maybe +1/3rd increased exposure from your normal metered exposure here) and don't lift exposure in post. Then gently apply a light noise reduction with whatever software you use. Do this from a RAW file, not a JPG. You'll get much cleaner images. The 7D can make clean images easily upwards of ISO 800 with good exposure & processing. I would not worry about trying to shoot ISO 400 or less, practice at higher ISO so that you can use it when you need to.

That said, for someone with skin tone like this, I would look for backgrounds that are not bright or near white where possible, to help with nailing exposure.

Very best,


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kf095
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Aug 28, 2017 22:12 |  #5

You made two same size crops. One is from image part which is three times less than other part. So, one has three times less pixels in it. Less pixels you have, more grainy it is going to be.
Oh, instead of 70 2.8, try it at 200 8. You might be surprised. :-)


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Aswil23
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Aug 28, 2017 22:29 as a reply to  @ MalVeauX's post |  #6

Ok that makes sense, I will give this a try. Thanks so much!




  
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Dan ­ Marchant
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Aug 28, 2017 22:35 |  #7

Where was the focus point in these shots? Your shooting at f/2.8 so unless the focus point was smack on the eyes/face you are likely to have issues due to narrow DoF.


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Left ­ Handed ­ Brisket
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Aug 29, 2017 06:19 |  #8

kf095 wrote in post #18439705 (external link)
You made two same size crops. One is from image part which is three times less than other part. So, one has three times less pixels in it. Less pixels you have, more grainy it is going to be.

^^^ this ^^^

you are zooming in too much. do you know what it means to "view at 100 percent" in your editor?


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Post edited 10 months ago by TeamSpeed. (2 edits in all)
     
Aug 29, 2017 07:27 |  #9

It looks like the shutter speeds should have been sufficient, but perhaps there was some subject movement. IS should have stabilized the photographer's movements.

Also, look at the picture styles used, if shooting JPG. Raise your sharpness if you are shooting at lower ISOs.

If doing raw, then work on contrast and sharpness to bring out the detail.

Never zoom past 100%, otherwise you are digitally enhancing the image beyond what the sensor captured, and those results are seldom very good. With the 7D, don't underexpose, always raise ISO to keep your exposures very bright, and you can then always curve/filter them back down afterwards, this combats the noise at higher ISOs, but also provides enough contrast/details for sharpening.

If you provide the raw (or full sized JPG), others can tell you the best way to go about post processing when you feel the original image is subpar.

Here is a quick edit in photoshop, just using the highlight/shadows and USM.


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vapore0n
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Post edited 7 months ago by vapore0n.
     
Nov 30, 2017 06:29 |  #10

Noise related to underexposed image? Id recommend a flash. Even at high speed sync, which you will need a 2.8, would help lot in getting more contrast in the subject, better light to the face, etc.

As a side note, my 70-200 2.8 has been giving me similar issues too. Camera reaches focus, but images are not as sharp as they used to be.
Its a Tamron lens, so Ill be sending it for getting checked, plus it needs a firmware update to work on my M6.




  
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TeamSpeed
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Post edited 7 months ago by TeamSpeed. (2 edits in all)
     
Nov 30, 2017 07:11 |  #11

vapore0n wrote in post #18507265 (external link)
Noise related to underexposed image? Id recommend a flash. Even at high speed sync, which you will need a 2.8, would help lot in getting more contrast in the subject, better light to the face, etc.

As a side note, my 70-200 2.8 has been giving me similar issues too. Camera reaches focus, but images are not as sharp as they used to be.
Its a Tamron lens, so Ill be sending it for getting checked, plus it needs a firmware update to work on my M6.

To add info that you might find useful, one common post processing technique is simply to add controlled contrast to bring out sharpness. Often just a contrast change will show detail, without even doing the conventional sharpening steps. In this example, the lack of fill light causes lack of contrast, in the conditions being shot. A fill light would have brought those details out.

Here is just a simple step of adding contrast, you have to move the sliders around for your own tastes. You can still then sharpen this using normal USM or Smart Sharpen tools.

Unfortunately, the member that opened this topic up hasn't visited back for 3 months, it was probably a one-time trip to help fix up some photos. :( So I have no idea how helpful the post processing tips have really been.


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DaviSto
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Nov 30, 2017 07:17 |  #12

TeamSpeed wrote in post #18507282 (external link)
Unfortunately, the member that opened this topic up hasn't visited back for 3 months, it was probably a one-time trip to help fix up some photos. :(

The discussion can still be useful, though ... even if not to the OP.


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TeamSpeed
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Nov 30, 2017 07:21 |  #13

DaviSto wrote in post #18507285 (external link)
The discussion can still be useful, though ... even if not to the OP.

Agreed, but the replies were to the OP in trying to help them with a very specific example. They aren't listening any longer.


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Photo looks "soft" and not sharp when zoomed in. Help Anyone?
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