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Promaster 28-300 Spectrum 7 Xr Edo


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#1 robedwcar

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Posted 14 May 2008 - 03:01 AM

Ok, I have tried lots of things such as using a tripod and the timer feature to make my shots. I have used Auto Focus and Manual Focus. I have adjusted shutter speed using rules of thumb such as "The lower number in the shutter speed should not be lower than the focal length". I have tried different types of light. While I can not decisively rule out that I am not still the cause of the blur I should think that I would get lucky every now and then given the measures I have taken. When viewing the "actual pixels" size setting in PSE2 I notice a haze around edges that should be sharp. This causes my images to be softer at actual sizes and makes it difficult to get the sharpness I am looking for in my shots.

Has anyone else used this lens and in your opinion is this a lens issue or a user issue? If it is a lens issue can anyone suggest ways to work around or correct the fuzziness without the obvious suggestion of buying a new lens (I can not afford one right now). Thanks! smile.gif
-Regards
Robert

#2 donmac

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Posted 14 May 2008 - 09:49 PM

Hi Rob
Are you sure it is the lens.
Raw digital images cannot define edges very well and so need sharpening. If you are shooting Raw then you will have to use some method to sharpen your images. If you are producing jpgs then your camera will be applying sharpening to the image. It may be that you need to change the amount of sharpening applied. Some cameras allow you to do this in the menu somewhere. If you dont have that option then try using the unsharp mask in PS.
Hope this helps
Rgds
Don

#3 robedwcar

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Posted 15 May 2008 - 03:10 AM

QUOTE (donmac @ May 14 2008, 04:49 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Hi Rob
Are you sure it is the lens.
Raw digital images cannot define edges very well and so need sharpening. If you are shooting Raw then you will have to use some method to sharpen your images. If you are producing jpgs then your camera will be applying sharpening to the image. It may be that you need to change the amount of sharpening applied. Some cameras allow you to do this in the menu somewhere. If you dont have that option then try using the unsharp mask in PS.
Hope this helps
Rgds
Don


Hmm, I had not heard about the raw issue with edges. I just found the unsharp mask and am going to play a little with it tomorrow. Are there any specific settings that you can suggest or is it different for each image? ( I have previously just used the sharpen command )
Thanks for the reply Don!
-Regards
Robert

#4 McKenzie

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Posted 15 May 2008 - 07:38 AM

You could be having a problem with front ot back focusing, this is where the lens focuses in front or behind the chosen focus point, if you search the net you find explanions on how to test for this. You may be able to see from your photos if the lens is focusing at the front or back of the subject. This may be nothing to do with the problem you have but could be worth checking.
Have you used this lens on any other camera and compared results...you could eliminate camera fault as opposed to lens fault by doing this.

Steve
You don't take a photograph, you make it. - Ansel Adams

#5 donmac

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Posted 15 May 2008 - 12:21 PM

Hi Rob
There are no hard and fast rules for the unsharp mask tool. It is very much individual taste. Settings can change for different types of photos (landscape, portrait, etc.) but some people find a setting they like and use it as a general sharpening setting. I tweak each photo a little. Try starting with a Radius of 2 and threshold of 4 and amount 75%. Then try varying the amount. Keep the preview box ticked and you will see what effect it has on your photo. You can zoom in on the preview box too, to let you get a better view. I rarely adjust the radius, but sometimes play with the threshold. Quite often we are advised only to apply the unsharp mask last, after making all other adjustments like curves, levels, colour balance, etc. However I recently read a great tutorial which advises applying some unsharp to begin with and then as a final adjustment too, which I find a much better technique. You will also find that different amounts of sharpening may be required for prints.
Here is a link to some info.
http://www.cambridge...nsharp-mask.htm

Ultimately it is all about playing with the settings and finding what you prefer.

Rgds
don

#6 robedwcar

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Posted 15 May 2008 - 01:17 PM

QUOTE (donmac @ May 15 2008, 07:21 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Hi Rob
There are no hard and fast rules for the unsharp mask tool. It is very much individual taste. Settings can change for different types of photos (landscape, portrait, etc.) but some people find a setting they like and use it as a general sharpening setting. I tweak each photo a little. Try starting with a Radius of 2 and threshold of 4 and amount 75%. Then try varying the amount. Keep the preview box ticked and you will see what effect it has on your photo. You can zoom in on the preview box too, to let you get a better view. I rarely adjust the radius, but sometimes play with the threshold. Quite often we are advised only to apply the unsharp mask last, after making all other adjustments like curves, levels, colour balance, etc. However I recently read a great tutorial which advises applying some unsharp to begin with and then as a final adjustment too, which I find a much better technique. You will also find that different amounts of sharpening may be required for prints.
Here is a link to some info.
http://www.cambridge...nsharp-mask.htm

Ultimately it is all about playing with the settings and finding what you prefer.

Rgds
don


I'm gonna give it a go. Looks like nothing will happen today though. We had a tornado yesterday that wreaked havoc on our little town. My house is still in place but there is a lot of clean-up to do. Anyway, thanks for the starting point. I am very grateful to each of you in this forum. I am learning a lot and having a blast. smile.gif
-Regards
Robert

#7 robedwcar

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Posted 16 May 2008 - 02:03 PM

Don,
The results turned out great. I read the tutorial and learned a lot. Great tip.

Thanks!
-Regards
Robert

#8 billwood1

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Posted 07 October 2008 - 08:35 PM

QUOTE (robedwcar @ May 14 2008, 04:01 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Ok, I have tried lots of things such as using a tripod and the timer feature to make my shots. I have used Auto Focus and Manual Focus. I have adjusted shutter speed using rules of thumb such as "The lower number in the shutter speed should not be lower than the focal length". I have tried different types of light. While I can not decisively rule out that I am not still the cause of the blur I should think that I would get lucky every now and then given the measures I have taken. When viewing the "actual pixels" size setting in PSE2 I notice a haze around edges that should be sharp. This causes my images to be softer at actual sizes and makes it difficult to get the sharpness I am looking for in my shots.

Has anyone else used this lens and in your opinion is this a lens issue or a user issue? If it is a lens issue can anyone suggest ways to work around or correct the fuzziness without the obvious suggestion of buying a new lens (I can not afford one right now). Thanks! :)


I also have a Promaster Spectrum 7 xr that does not produce sharp images. I also have the Canon EFS 18-55 that came with my camera. I decided to test one against the other for sharpness. I printed a test image with 3/4" black bars & 3/4" white spacing, with three horizontal bars and three verticle bars. My test image was very sharp. I set the test image about 6ft. away from the camera and used a tripod. To equalize the test as much as I could I set both lenses at 55mm. All images were shot in raw. The promaster did not yield as sharp an image as the Canon lens. I also tried the unsharp mask and smart sharpen in Adobe Photoshop CS3 on both photos. Smart sharpen seemed to do better than unsharp mask for me. Both photos improved but the photo shot with the Canon lens was still much sharper.



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