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The right balance

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yeoo_andy_ni    34

Hi,

I've been getting into taking loads of shots with a 400D at the moment, but I'm just curious how to get the right balance with the settings. I know what the like of ISO, Aperture, Shutter speed, Exposure, etc do for images but the issues I'm having now is getting the balance right to get a good shot.

At the moment, I'm taking plenty of okay shots, but noise or lack of sharpness is really starting to get me down. Anyone any thoughts or tips?

Cheers!

Also, I'm able to use Photoshop to a point, but then I don't know whether my post processing is too much or not enough! (Especially true when it comes to sharpening up an image)

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crazzy88ss    65

noise and lack of sharpness is a result of your gear.

What lenses are you shooting with?

With a 400D, don't shoot over ISO 400.

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Argote    73

noise and lack of sharpness is a result of your gear.

What lenses are you shooting with?

With a 400D, don't shoot over ISO 400.

Don't shoot is a bit extreme, it would be good to keep your ISO as low as possible to reduce noise though.

I usually do this in Lightroom but Photoshop has options to reduce noise which is very useful, do that and shoot RAW (or JPEG+RAW).

As for the sharpness, can you post some examples of what you mean? (1:1 crops preferred). It can be either incorrect focusing, JPEG softness or lack of lens sharpness (unlikely though).

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yeoo_andy_ni    34

I'm usually shooting at ISO 100 or 200. I know that noise is caused the higher you go in the ISO range, but just noticed that some images I've taken are a little noisy.

I'm using a Canon EF 28-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM lens. Didn't realise it was general purpose until I asked on here!

Just had a thought, the lens appears to be spec'd as a f/3.5-5.6 lens, but the 400D goes all the way up to f/22, would using higher camera settings compared with the capability of the lens be worse for images?

I'm doing this in quick reply, but I'll add a shot I took at the weekend. I've done some PP on it, so I'll post a before and after. You'll see what I mean about the sharpness, as I feel it should be better.

Cheers!

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yeoo_andy_ni    34

Here are both before and after shots.

Cheers!

post-130223-12863027315875.jpg

post-130223-12863027649758.jpg

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crazzy88ss    65

I'm usually shooting at ISO 100 or 200. I know that noise is caused the higher you go in the ISO range, but just noticed that some images I've taken are a little noisy.

I'm using a Canon EF 28-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM lens. Didn't realise it was general purpose until I asked on here!

Just had a thought, the lens appears to be spec'd as a f/3.5-5.6 lens, but the 400D goes all the way up to f/22, would using higher camera settings compared with the capability of the lens be worse for images?

I'm doing this in quick reply, but I'll add a shot I took at the weekend. I've done some PP on it, so I'll post a before and after. You'll see what I mean about the sharpness, as I feel it should be better.

Cheers!

The camera body doesn't really have any relation to the aperture settings of your lens. The 3.5-5.6 is the LARGEST aperture that lens can go. At 28mm it's f3.5. As you zoom out to 135mm the maximum changes to f5.6. Most lenses are typically sharpest around f8, so try shooting around there.

If that's still not sharp enough for you, it's time to upgrade your lens.

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Argote    73

Just had a thought, the lens appears to be spec'd as a f/3.5-5.6 lens, but the 400D goes all the way up to f/22, would using higher camera settings compared with the capability of the lens be worse for images?

I'm doing this in quick reply, but I'll add a shot I took at the weekend. I've done some PP on it, so I'll post a before and after. You'll see what I mean about the sharpness, as I feel it should be better.

Cheers!

A smaller f-number means that the aperture is bigger, as mentioned, usually lenses are slightly soft wide open (in their lowest f-number) but once you start going into an f-number higher than f/16 then diffraction becomes an issue and sharpness takes a big hit. In other words, if you are shooting at f/22 then images will not be as sharp as if you had shot at, say, f/11 or f/8.

Here's a review of the lens you have and it seems to be decently sharp: http://www.slrgear.com/reviews/showproduct.php/product/139/cat/11

Also, check this out, you can see a graph of the sharpness your lens has as you use the scroll controls to select an aperture and focal length (values closer to 0 are sharper): http://www.slrgear.com/reviews/zproducts/canon28-135f35-56IS/tloader.htm

As for the images:

I don't really know which image is the before and which is the after but the one on top looks better to me.

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yeoo_andy_ni    34

The camera body doesn't really have any relation to the aperture settings of your lens. The 3.5-5.6 is the LARGEST aperture that lens can go. At 28mm it's f3.5. As you zoom out to 135mm the maximum changes to f5.6. Most lenses are typically sharpest around f8, so try shooting around there.

I'll give that a go. Going to be doing some night time stuff, on Thursday evening with a mate, so I'll have a good play about. Also, as I was about to start a rant about aperture sizes, something clicked and it all made sense!

once you start going into an f-number higher than f/16 then diffraction becomes an issue and sharpness takes a big hit. In other words, if you are shooting at f/22 then images will not be as sharp as if you had shot at, say, f/11 or f/8.

This I had not learnt yet, so thanks for that. I'll stick to f/8 and f/11 for my landscape stuff at the moment.

As for the images:

I don't really know which image is the before and which is the after but the one on top looks better to me.

Yeah, the top one is the after shot. Only realised that there wasn't an image name or tag to differentiate between the two, after you said it.

I sharpened it up, adjusted the levels and tweaked the RGB side of things to bring out more yellows, reds and greens. Makes it look much better I think. More natural.

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