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FORUMS Canon Cameras, Lenses & Accessories Canon EF and EF-S Lenses 
Thread started 30 Dec 2009 (Wednesday) 13:20
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Let's talk about "Tack Sharp".

 
Ogreenlee
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Dec 30, 2009 13:20 |  #1

I'm looking through the lens archives and I see lots of folks posting samples and then saying, "this lens is tack sharp" or something to that effect. However, the images being posted are not all "tack sharp". I feel like I struggle to get my images tack sharp. Is it that my eyes are in better condition and I can spot that some of these photos are indeed, not tack sharp, although some of the image owners think they are?

I own the 70-200mm 2.8, and b/c of the weight, not all of my images from it are tack sharp b/c I'm hand-holding for the most part. I guess I'm just confused at some of the samples folks post. I wouldn't post my images I considered soft.

Also, I guess b/c I'm a portrait photographer, I notice when the focus falls to the nose instead of the eyes. I am looking to buy a new lens, but I guess it's hard because I wonder if what I'm seeing is right or wrong.

Have I thoroughly confused you all? Happy New Year! lol


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TaDa
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Dec 30, 2009 13:33 |  #2

Sharp to me may not be sharp to someone else. That being said, you're also looking at images that have been compressed for the web. Many of my images that are "tack sharp" when printed out, or viewed in photoshop, do not come across well on the web.


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gasrocks
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Dec 30, 2009 13:34 |  #3

I never did like the phrase tack sharp. I teach photography at many different levels. In all of them someone will offer to show me a tack sharp result (usually overdone PP.) Then I show them some of mine straight out of the camera, no PP. They learn that what some call sharp others call ok.


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bigpow
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Dec 30, 2009 13:37 |  #4

I only have lenses that most would call soft, but I think it's all relative to the shooter.
For me, I personally think my lenses are sharp enough, to the best of my skills, that is.

I also agree with you that properly focused shot is better than tack sharp but out of focus one
Had a Nikon fan who told me that my shots (taken with Canon) were soft at 100%, and after that he showed me his shot: it was a portrait of a model holding a glass, and the focus was on the glass! :P
I simply smiled, and walked away.


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watt100
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Dec 30, 2009 13:38 |  #5

Ogreenlee wrote in post #9290633 (external link)
I'm looking through the lens archives and I see lots of folks posting samples and then saying, "this lens is tack sharp" or something to that effect. However, the images being posted are not all "tack sharp". I feel like I struggle to get my images tack sharp. Is it that my eyes are in better condition and I can spot that some of these photos are indeed, not tack sharp, although some of the image owners think they are?
Have I thoroughly confused you all? Happy New Year! lol

your definition of sharp could be different from others!




  
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eg6turbo
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Dec 30, 2009 13:57 |  #6

Yeah and tack sharp is also relative to the subject such as a head shot versus an orange...or landscape type photos...eye of the beholder I guess...


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Fodowsky
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Dec 30, 2009 14:10 |  #7

Just curious why "tack sharp" would be subjective? I would think the focal point is either sharp or it's soft. What am I missing?


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Jman13
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Dec 30, 2009 14:15 |  #8

When I say the 100 f/2.8L IS is tack sharp wide open, this is what I'm talking about. The only other lenses I've owned and used that approach this level of detail wide open are the 135 f/2L, the 70-200 f/4L IS, and well, that's about it. The 100 f/2 is very close, but not quite as sharp (still plenty sharp enough wide open for any purpose).

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JC4
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Dec 30, 2009 14:52 as a reply to  @ Jman13's post |  #9

On close inspection, a tack isn't all that sharp. :)

I've seen some comment on how sharp an image is, and to me it just looks like it has overly sharpened edges, but not real detail. It also seems some confuse amount of detail with sharpness, just because they were closer, or the subject filled the frame, they can make out tinier details, so its 'sharper'.
I love nailing an image, for max sharpness, but really, if it meets my output needs and I've gathered all the detail that can be displayed for the given final size, its a win! An image is only at its sharpest on the focal plane anyways, regardless of gear quality or skill, so unless you shoot flat walls, nothing is sharp across the entire image when pixel peeping. :)


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CountryBoy
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Dec 30, 2009 14:57 |  #10

Fodowsky wrote in post #9290937 (external link)
Just curious why "tack sharp" would be subjective? I would think the focal point is either sharp or it's soft. What am I missing?

Well , when judged by itself , my 85mm 1.8 is sharp wide open. But when compared to some of my other lens, it's not as sharp.

So it's not really soft, but it's not as sharp as , say my 50mm or 150mm macro lens


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KenjiS
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Dec 30, 2009 15:02 as a reply to  @ CountryBoy's post |  #11

it really depends...

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^- that for instance to me is VERY sharp ;)

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Same here

Just hard to tell id imagine

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outlawyer
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Dec 30, 2009 15:08 |  #12

Images that will cut my eyes on my monitor look like vaseline was rubbed on them when I post them on the interweb. I envy the guys who can resize without loss of quality.




  
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Gasoliner
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Dec 30, 2009 15:10 |  #13

Yeah, nice photoshop resizing and sharpening...


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tkbslc
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Dec 30, 2009 15:10 |  #14

^^^^ Same here. I think resizing to 1000px wide for posting softens quite a bit of detail.


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abjam77
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Dec 30, 2009 15:18 |  #15

Is the lightroom exporting/resizing algorithm as good as photoshop's? Do people use the output sharpening function in the lightroom export menu (I usually use "Screen" and "low")?


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Let's talk about "Tack Sharp".
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