Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0

x10 Focus Issue

63 posts in this topic

Posted

I posted this question on dpreview and I thought I would try here to get more feedback before I make a decision to return my camera. I find myself sharpening my photos way more than should be necessary to get an image that "pops". I know comparing my old D70 to the x10 is flawed logic, I can't help but notice that the Panasonic LX-5, or the Olympus XZ-1 seem to have the crispness that I am looking for. I am on my second x10 camera, as the first had dust in the lens and would not turn on properly. My second x10 seems to be as soft as the first.

I am thinking that it has to be the different pixel array than a Bayer sensor. I even tried to be disciplined in composing my shots and finding proper lighting, etc. About 90% of the time the photos are processed enough to barely pass my standard of sharpness, but I can't help but feel like I am fighting the camera at times. Maybe I don't understand focus modes metering? Maybe I don't understand DOF when it comes to portraits? I am pulling my hair out on this one and not getting the results.

Typical x10 photo, heavily processed to sharpen.

DSCF0368-XL.jpg

What I was used to with the D70.

48378402_vVEr4-XL.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

With a thread like this it would be really helpful to others if you could post more detailed information about the photo(s) in question.

Do you shoot RAW or Jpeg? If RAW what program are you using to pp?

What camera settings are you using? Are you using the default "P" or are you using something like A or S and if so what are your in camera sharpness settings.

Are you using any sort of DR?

Nobody could provide sensible specific answers to your question without more information.

BTW: The Exif on you X10 image says that it was taken on 28 December 2011. Does that mean it's the first or second X10 you owned?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

I shoot JPG most of the time. The x10 image above is JPG. I use Lightroom 3.6 and PaintshopPro x4 on occassion. The above image was processed in Light room. The x10 image above was in EXR mode, but I have tried PASM with no improvements. I have tried all in camera sharpness settings but currently use medium-hard and sharpen more from there in Lightroom. I will sharpen to 40-50 in Lightroom. The image was taken with the first x10 that I owned. I use DR400 in PASM when in bright or sunny conditions.

Oh thanks for suggesting more detail. I guess most of us are not mind readers.... :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

A before and after editing would be helpful. Post processed pictures can't help to decipher the problem areas as it was corrected.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

To be honest I'm struggling to see the problem. The first photo could probably do with having the left side cropped but you will have to point out the specific sharpness issues to me at least.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

first looks pretty sharp to me, hard to tell at the resized res but over-sharpedned if anything

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

Agree with Matt. You must be very careful about sharpening--it deadens/dulls shots quickly. Photos rarely "pop" because of sharpness, but rather because of composition, lighting, subject matter itself. NO photo is ever memorable because of "sharpness"... As kiwi notes, the first shot would be stronger with the green shirt on the left cropped out. I'd have also played with the f/stop. For instance, the carpet on the stairs is as sharp as the faces, not a pleasant thing. I'd have set the camera to f/2 or 2.8 and tried to blur/soften the background. A lot of these issues seem to be driven by technique.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

It's hard to get a handle on what you're saying here, for me anyway. Sharpness is a relative thing and it's gearhead, computer-bound 'photographers' who would go to an exhibition and look at prints from just a few inches away! 100% detail on-screen can lead us away from the very essence of photography and what makes a good image work.

How do we display our images for others to see? Online? Then what's the chance of seeing critical sharpness, lens resolution and contrast, the precise resolving power of the best sensors out there? Even sweating about all this in prints misses the point.

Portraits? Focus on the eyes and think about composition. This is a nice shot, but yes, it looks over-sharpened. Faces don't sharpen well, and global sharpening is often a bad idea because different sharpening methods affect textures and details in different ways.

Maybe get quality prints made and view from the proper distance? I'd bet they would look fine.

The baby shot is excellent!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

To be honest I'm struggling to see the problem. The first photo could probably do with having the left side cropped but you will have to point out the specific sharpness issues to me at least.

I think that part of the issue is that I get inconsistent results with the camera. The camera shines with close up photos with my kids and macros. Family photos, pets, landscapes, etc do not seem as sharp to me. I will experiment some more with different aperture settings and ISO. The x10 photo above is soft when viewed as an 8 inch by 10 inch print. Thanks for the feedback. I will keep on trying.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

The x10 photo above is soft when viewed as an 8 inch by 10 inch print.

Im guessing id be stupid to suggest you look at your prints? Is it the printer? The method of printing?

THat top one looks very sharp to me.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

I'd have also played with the f/stop. For instance, the carpet on the stairs is as sharp as the faces, not a pleasant thing. I'd have set the camera to f/2 or 2.8 and tried to blur/soften the background. A lot of these issues seem to be driven by technique.

The Exif says that that photo was taken at F2.8.

Don't forget that the X10 has huge DOF compared to the equivalent aperture on a DSLR.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

Amazing. And that photo is a perfect example of the crazy DOF at 2.8. Okay, I sure stand corrected.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

The x10 photo above is soft when viewed as an 8 inch by 10 inch print.

Im guessing id be stupid to suggest you look at your prints? Is it the printer? The method of printing?

THat top one looks very sharp to me.

I did print both of the above photos and it was no contest. The D70 photo got many compliments over the x10 photo. I really do like this camera and I don't want to return it, but I sort of feel like I am missing something. I maybe asking too much from a smaller sensor point and shoot.

I made a decision today to keep the camera. Maybe the learning curve will kick in.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

You need to be zooming with the X10 to get the great DoF, no?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

And remember that if the D70 photo got more compliments, it could be that the composition is far superior. Simplicity rules, and the shot of the twosome on the stairs is not as visually satisfying, regardless of sharpness issues.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

The D70 photo got many compliments over the x10 photo.

Frankly I'm not surprised the D70 photo is a nicely composed portrait the X10 photo is very, very ordinary from a compositional point of view. When most people compliment or comment on a printed photo they are commenting on the composition not the detail and in this case the D70 would be a clear winner even if it were taken with a cheap p&s.

It sounds to me that you are trying to find reasons to dispose of the X10 so my advice is just to do it. If you don't like the camera or can't get used to it then you are wasting your time persisting with it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

Seems like I irritated you kiwi. I mentioned in an earlier post that I decided to keep the camera, even though it seems that I have to "fight" the camera every once in a while. I like tack sharp photos and I don't seem to get them as often as I want. Hopefully, experience and experimenting will allow me to find the sweet spot. I beleive the x10 has a lot to offer, I am trying to find away to work with what Ive got. I do believe that part of the problem lies within myself as I have been spoiled by a larger sensor.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

I dunno dbarnerr66. Read some of your stuff on DPR. Comparing the X10 to the D70!? Maximum enlargement for the X10 is probably 8x10. Perhaps 9x16 tops! I'm not clear on what you're trying to say.....

Here's a late afternoon shot I had enlarged to 8x10 an it's beautiful. No PP, just straight outta the camera.

DSCF0659

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

Seems like I irritated you kiwi.

No you didn't irritate me and sorry I forgot that you had said you were keeping the camera.

I was simply saying that using comments on those two photos as a reason to criticise the X10 is not a valid point. If you are going to use that approach then try to take two similar photos one with each camera and see what happens.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

I dunno dbarnerr66. Read some of your stuff on DPR. Comparing the X10 to the D70!? Maximum enlargement for the X10 is probably 8x10. Perhaps 9x16 tops! I'm not clear on what you're trying to say.....

Here's a late afternoon shot I had enlarged to 8x10 an it's beautiful. No PP, just straight outta the camera.

DSCF0659

I thought hard about comparing the D70 to the x10, so I recently compared some of my old Fuji s602 shots and there seems to be more sharpened images than what I am currently seeing in the x10 too. The x10 doesn't give me poor results, it just seems that my images are flat with no pop to them. I will post some old photos of the s602 that "wow" me to give all of you a better idea of what I am looking for.

I have printed 20x30 inch prints from a Fuji s602z so you might be surprised on the results. I am going to try a 20x30 inch print from x10 when the right photo comes along. Many people compliment the 20x30 from s602z to this very day.

BTW, I love the landscape image!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

I went back an looked over my Fuji s602 images for a solid hour and compared them to my x10. I guess I owe everyone an apology as I was comparing the D70 sensor to the x10, which is not fair. Here is an old s602 image taken back in March 2005:

29671845_S8MDQ-XL.jpg

Here is a recent x10 image that I was happy with.

DSCF0423-XL.jpg

Here is a photo that a enlarged to 20x30 inches and it came from a Fuji s602z. I feel the x10 can match or slightly better the result that I obtained a few years back.

29672683_xNVCS-XL.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

that first shot of the kid is compositionally MUCH better than the second. - imho

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

good call, they are in different leagues ,1st ones great

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

is it possible that the first is also at a longer zoom than the second? thereby making DoF more pronounced

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

Again, as we've said several times in this thread, composition rules. Sharpness is a minor attribute. Spend some time looking at photos by HCB and Callahan. Neither of these masters obsessed about sharpness. HCB in fact was obsessed with composition, particularly the internal geometry of images.

Discussing "sharpness" is a distraction of the highest level. Walk away from it, as it's blinding you to what good shots are all about. Sorry to be frank.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0