View Full Version : Should I increase the sharpness on my A100

02-21-2008, 08:34 PM
I was told my pictures were not sharp. I was told to adjust my sharpness in the camera. How can I do a test to see which setting is better?

02-21-2008, 09:35 PM
Were they talking about "SHARP" or "Well-focused"? :confused:

Sharp is a near-like contrast adjustment that outlines your subjects and objects to make things jump out a bit ... focused is well ... focused. LOL

The adjustment is in the Color/DEC mode


The orange bracket is on the "Sharpness" slider. It is normally centered. To the right increases the sharpening.

Letting the camera decide on sharpness decreases your effectiveness to control it in post-processing. Too much sharpening results in a "halo-effect" around your subject. That's tough to remove once it's "burned in there" with over-sharpening from the camera.

Focus, on the other hand ... has to be done properly before post-processing. There is really no correction for that. At least, not yet. That may change, some day ... but not this week.

Compare these two images ... one is sharp ... the next, overshaprened



You can see the edge-lines are just whitened ... and this is not a good effect on faces and such :eek:

02-22-2008, 04:20 PM
Thanks Don
Another question I had was how come my pictures are real dull on cloudy days?? I tried setting the WB to cloudy that didn't seem to help.
Thanks again

02-24-2008, 09:05 AM
Cloudy days are considered "diffused" lighting.

Basically, the same thing as putting a diffusing mask over your strobe. A lot of photographers consider this "the perfect photographic light setting" because you are not fighting with sharp shadows, wide variations of light, the contrast is minimized and it tends to hide flaws, as such.

If we examine the light spectrum in cameras ... it kind of works like this:

Assume a brilliant day ... lots of light all over the place.

With Black & White film, you can obtain seven (7) f-stops of gray-tones in your image, from the whitest white to the blackest black. Anything above or below that ... won't change in intensity. This kinfd of light is excellent for highly detailed work ... and when you want to show detailed shadows.

With Color film and digital sensors ... that differentiation drops to three (3) f-stops of variation ... again, anything changing above or below your exposure setting beyond that will not be seen as a change in intensity. (see chart below)

Color transparency film (slide) is the least tolerable of variation. Exposure has to be dead on ... +/- one (1) f-stop. Shoot one stop lower, your highlights disappear ... one stop higher ... and shadows begin to consume your image.

Okay .. on a f-stop scale ... where your light meter decides an aperture of f/8 is perfect for the exposure ... here's how it breaks down:

f/2.8 B&W film's Blackest black
f/4.5 Color-film & digital sensor's blackest black (limits from exposure setting)
f/8 ... true exposure seting
f/13 Color-film & digital sensor's whitest white (limits from exposure setting)
f/22 B&W film's Whitest white

With a digital camera ... with the exposure set to f/8, the sensor cannot detect any further light changes in intensity beyond f/4.5 or f/13. If there is f/22 light out there ... it will look the same as f/13 ... additionally ... if something is hidden in the shadows at f/2.8 intensity ... it looks just as dark as the f/4.5 shadow. In other words, it stays hidden, now matter how black it is.

This is a sliding scale, so as you adjust your true exposure setting up or down, the 3-f-stop range follows accordingly.

In overcast lighting (cloudy), the available light is limited to within the 3-f-stop range. You don't have extreme shadows or highlights available ... so it sits right within that exposure range. Then again ... nothing "stands out", either, for lack of highlights.

You might adjust your contrast during this type of shooting light and increase it accordingly.


Between sharpness and contrast settings, you should get what you are looking for, but then again ... there is only so much you can do, in the camera ... then you get to postprocessing to resurrect the rest.

You could opt for a circular polarizer (CP) filter ... which will reduce the glare from diffused lighting. It does lop off an f-stop of light, but you can easily correct that with either upping the ISO, opening the aperture, increasing the length of shutter-speed (say from 1/60-sec to 1/30-sec).

You could possibly add a fill flash ... to provide limited highlights, close-up.

I hope this helps a bit ... there's a little bit to this. :o

02-24-2008, 02:35 PM
Thanks again Don.
I am trying to understand all this. It is alot ot trial and errorfor me. i am glad i don't have film to keep developing I would go broke. Another question is i notice you keep showing the Adobe setting is that the setting i should be set at instead of Standard mode.

Thanks Again
your soon to be number one student Frank

02-24-2008, 03:13 PM
I do a lot of prints with my photography ... and AdobeRGB (Adobe) offers me a deeper level (gamut) of cyan, green & blue, than you would get from sRGB (Standard). If you are not printing and only posting to the web or keeping images on your PC ... "standard" is adequate and quite compatible.

02-24-2008, 03:28 PM
Thanks again Don