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Thread: Nikon D5000, need help with sharpness settings

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    Nikon D5000, need help with sharpness settings

    After posting pics, I often get to hear that my pics are soft.

    My D5000 has been set to sharpness factor 5, NR normal.

    I started off with the D5000 about 7 months ago after a 25 year break from Photography. See my signature for info about the lenses I use. I thought that in the beginning my pics were sharper.
    When I increase sharpness on the cam, so does the noise. I am in a merry go around and getting frustrated with photography and certainly do not want to spend more money on better cams or glass since I am not sure if it is the photographer or the equipment used.

    Here are a few examples of pics shot today, please look at the exif and see if you can see anything out of the ordinary.



    Width 1600
    Height 1063
    File Size 87517
    Camera NIKON CORPORATION
    Model NIKON D5000
    ISO 200
    Exposure 1/1250 sec
    Aperture 9.0
    Focal Length 400mm
    Flash Used false
    White Balance 1
    Metering Mode 2
    Exposure Program 3
    Exposure Bias 0.0
    Date and Time (Original) 2011:01:06 12:57:08
    Color Space 1
    X-Resolution 300.0
    Y-Resolution 300.0
    Resolution Unit 2
    Software Ver.1.00
    Date and Time 2011:01:06 12:57:08
    YCbCr Positioning 2
    Date and Time (Digitized) 2011:01:06 12:57:08
    Compressed Bits Per Pixel 4.0
    Max Aperture 5.3
    Light Source 9
    Subject Time 00
    Sub Sec Time (Original) 00
    Sub Sec Time (Digitized) 00
    Sensing Method 2
    Custom Rendered 0
    Exposure Mode 0
    Digital Zoom Ratio 1.0
    Focal Length (in 35mm film) 600
    Scene Capture Type 0
    Gain Control 0
    Contrast 0
    Saturation 0
    Sharpness 0
    Subject Distance Range 0
    Interoperability Index R98
    Related Image Width 4288
    Related Image Height 2848




    Problems? We're doing maintenance, but things should be back to normal soon.

    My Photos > Photo > Exif

    Date Jan 6, 2011 4:56:49 AM
    Width 1600
    Height 1063
    File Size 95925
    Camera NIKON CORPORATION
    Model NIKON D5000
    ISO 200
    Exposure 1/1250 sec
    Aperture 9.0
    Focal Length 400mm
    Flash Used false
    White Balance 1
    Metering Mode 2
    Exposure Program 3
    Exposure Bias 0.0
    Date and Time (Original) 2011:01:06 12:56:49
    Color Space 1
    X-Resolution 300.0
    Y-Resolution 300.0
    Resolution Unit 2
    Software Ver.1.00
    Date and Time 2011:01:06 12:56:49
    YCbCr Positioning 2
    Date and Time (Digitized) 2011:01:06 12:56:49
    Compressed Bits Per Pixel 4.0
    Max Aperture 5.3
    Light Source 9
    Subject Time 00
    Sub Sec Time (Original) 00
    Sub Sec Time (Digitized) 00
    Sensing Method 2
    Custom Rendered 0
    Exposure Mode 0
    Digital Zoom Ratio 1.0
    Focal Length (in 35mm film) 600
    Scene Capture Type 0
    Gain Control 0
    Contrast 0
    Saturation 0
    Sharpness 0
    Subject Distance Range 0
    Interoperability Index R98
    Related Image Width 4288
    Related Image Height 2848




    Width 1600
    Height 1599
    File Size 196856
    Camera NIKON CORPORATION
    Model NIKON D5000
    ISO 200
    Exposure 1/500 sec
    Aperture 9.0
    Focal Length 380mm
    Flash Used false
    White Balance 1
    Metering Mode 2
    Exposure Program 3
    Exposure Bias 0.33333334
    Artist Picasa
    Date and Time (Original) 2011:01:06 12:25:55
    Color Space 1
    X-Resolution 72.0
    Y-Resolution 72.0
    Resolution Unit 2
    Software GIMP 2.6.11
    Date and Time 2011:01:07 16:38:09
    YCbCr Positioning 2
    Date and Time (Digitized) 2011:01:06 12:25:55
    Compressed Bits Per Pixel 4.0
    Max Aperture 5.3
    Light Source 9
    Subject Time 50
    Sub Sec Time (Original) 50
    Sub Sec Time (Digitized) 50
    Sensing Method 2
    Custom Rendered 0
    Exposure Mode 0
    Digital Zoom Ratio 1.0
    Focal Length (in 35mm film) 570
    Scene Capture Type 0
    Gain Control 0
    Contrast 0
    Saturation 0
    Sharpness 0
    Subject Distance Range 0
    Interoperability Index R98
    Related Image Width 4288
    Related Image Height 2848
    Last edited by Meumerke; 07-01-2011 at 6:09pm.

  2. #2
    Moderately Underexposed I @ M's Avatar
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    To analyse problems we need to see the details of the camera settings when the image was taken. If you can leave the exif data intact when posting shots there is a far better chance that people will be able to identify problem areas such as shutter speed etc.
    Also, I don't know if these are cropped images or not but to get true handle on things it is best to see the original size / resolution picture to see whether processing , technique or gear is causing any errors.
    Andrew
    Nikon, Fuji, Nikkor, Sigma, Tamron, Tokina and too many other bits and pieces to list.



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    Moderately Underexposed I @ M's Avatar
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    oops, I was typing while you were editing to add the extra data.

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    Quote Originally Posted by I @ M View Post
    To analyse problems we need to see the details of the camera settings when the image was taken. If you can leave the exif data intact when posting shots there is a far better chance that people will be able to identify problem areas such as shutter speed etc.
    Also, I don't know if these are cropped images or not but to get true handle on things it is best to see the original size / resolution picture to see whether processing , technique or gear is causing any errors.
    Only pic #3 is cropped. I do not know why the exif data is not showing but I have copied it from Picasa and posted it underneath each image.

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    Quote Originally Posted by I @ M View Post
    oops, I was typing while you were editing to add the extra data.
    And I was replying to you when you were replying to me. LOL.

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    Administrator ricktas's Avatar
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    Sharpness can be affected by:

    Camera movement
    Shutter Speed
    Lens
    Processing
    Subject movement

    So in these. Shutter Speed is fast, so discount that. A fast shutter speed also usually eliminates subject movement, you are not processing these to make them softer, so discount that too. Camera movement is also usually overcome by a fast shutter speed

    That leaves you with one

    The lens. What lens are you using? Also note that fairly much all photos need sharpening, so have a read of this thread about processing photos specifically for bird photography: http://www.ausphotography.net.au/for...ssing-Tutorial and this one on sharpening in general: http://www.ausphotography.net.au/for...eed-SHARPENING
    "It is one thing to make a picture of what a person looks like, it is another thing to make a portrait of who they are" - Paul Caponigro

    Constructive Critique of my photographs is always appreciated
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    Quote Originally Posted by ricktas View Post
    Sharpness can be affected by:

    Camera movement
    Shutter Speed
    Lens
    Processing
    Subject movement

    So in these. Shutter Speed is fast, so discount that. A fast shutter speed also usually eliminates subject movement, you are not processing these to make them softer, so discount that too. Camera movement is also usually overcome by a fast shutter speed

    That leaves you with one

    The lens. What lens are you using? Also note that fairly much all photos need sharpening, so have a read of this thread about processing photos specifically for bird photography: http://www.ausphotography.net.au/for...ssing-Tutorial and this one on sharpening in general: http://www.ausphotography.net.au/for...eed-SHARPENING
    Hi Rick,

    I am using the Nikon 55-200mm and Sigma 150-500mm.

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    The other thing is focus point - have a look with view Nx and see what the focus point is

    The exif data is subject appropriate
    Darren
    Gear : Nikon Goodness
    Website : http://www.peakactionimages.com
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    Constructive Critique of my images always appreciated

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    Quote Originally Posted by kiwi View Post
    have a look with view Nx and see what the focus point is
    Did that. Is ok.

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    Are both lens sift, at all focus distances and apertures ?

    Time to do sone proper focus tests and series eliminations to include or exclude lens or body I think

    The pictures are soft, well first two are, so something is amiss

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    Quote Originally Posted by kiwi View Post
    Are both lens sift, at all focus distances and apertures ?

    Time to do some proper focus tests and series eliminations to include or exclude lens or body I think

    The pictures are soft, well first two are, so something is amiss

    Thanks for coming back to me.

    Are both lens sift, at all focus distances and apertures ?
    I have only tested the 150-500mm so far and at the most used distances (150mm, 400mm and 500mm) and apertures (f6.3 and f8) the sharpness is almost the same.

    The pictures are soft, well first two are, so something is amiss
    Pic #3 was sharpened that's why it looks better. The first 2 are not processed.

    After reading up a lot on the camera last night, all serious reviews I have read point out that the camera produces rather soft images indeed.

    The only thing I can try is up the in-camera sharpness a few knots but that will increase noise which results in more PP work.

    I wouldn't mind buying the new D7000 if that would improve things a lot but what if it doesn't?

    The thing I have noticed (tell me if my eyes or imagination are tricking me) when using a flash the pics look sharper, see the next pic taken with flash.

    The explanation for this would be that the in-camera sharpness parameter increases when used in combination with a flash without risking more noise?

    Cropped only, no PP.

    Last edited by Meumerke; 08-01-2011 at 7:53am.

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    Flash I doubt makes things sharper per se

    If you shoot raw then all in camera sharpening can be turned off or on in nx

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    I went all the way back to my first pics and looked at the exif in ViewNX. Looked like NR was switched off at that time while it was switched on now. I performed some testing yesterday without NR and got better results although I am a bit surprised about this though. I might be looking out for another brand of cam.

    Thanks.

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    If you're looking for something to blame re soft photos 9/10 its going be you and the rest of the time the lens, very rarely is it the body

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    Administrator ricktas's Avatar
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    no use blaming the camera for a setting being on or off, that is user caused. NR will soften photos, that is what it does as it removes noise. Happens in camera, in photoshop or any other editing package. Run noise reduction and you will get a softer photo.

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    http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/nikond5000/page33

    According to this review actually it does say jpegs can be soft and you should shoot raw...so...might have to eat some humble pie

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    you should shoot raw...so...might have to eat some humble pie

    Not at all actually. I have been shooting raw and jpeg fine at the same time lately. By the way, why make it personal?

    Anyway I am working on it.

    What do you think of this pic?

    Last edited by Meumerke; 10-01-2011 at 6:47pm.

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    According to this review actually it does say jpegs can be soft and you should shoot raw
    I am glad you quoted this..because it means...

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    NR will soften photos, that is what it does as it removes noise
    So, I switch the default NR off, get sharper pics but more noise, especially in low light situations, which means I waste time with PP to remove noise which in its turn leads to softer pics after which I have to sharpen which creates more noise. What have I won?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Meumerke View Post
    I am glad you quoted this..because it means...
    It means...

    if you shoot jpg, yopu get a slightly lower quality image to begin with, which is then hard to recover unless you are a PS Guru(PhotoShop).

    Shooting raw(NEF) allows you to change all the in camera variables you shot with, as wel as extract that final 5-10% better image quality out of the image.

    So, had you shot with in camera sharpening set to something high, (say 4 or more via the Picture Control tweaks), your jpg is then set with a harsh noise/grain look to parts of the scene with no detail.
    In camera sharpening is bad!.. very bad!! Very hard/rough and coarse in it's settings. I set all my Picture Control sharpening levels to zero.
    Sharpen using USM(in CaptureNX2) on a raw file.
    Sharpening via ViewNX is also harsh(but it seems not as bad as camera in some situations), but still not as good nor flexible as CaptureNX is.
    If you sharpen images using ViewNX, do so on the final jpg conversion at low levels.. it seems to be slightly better.

    Alternatives sharpening software exists too.
    If I edit and convert an image using only ViewNX(ie. not using CaptureNX), what I sometimes do is to convert the NEF to a full size jpg(no resizing), and then resize and sharpen using FSViewer.
    Sounds like a lot of stuffing around, but the reality is that it's quite easy when you set FSViewer(or any other external program) as an 'open with' option in ViewNX's preferences.
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