Am I expecting too much ?

Brownie

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The first thing you need to do is start the process of elimination. Taking less-demanding photos would be a good start, like 75' instead of 75 yards. If those pan out ok then it's not the camera or settings. If that doesn't work, try a different lens. Is this the only lens you own for the camera? Pick up a 25 f/1.7, they're inexpensive, plentiful, and sharp. Did that result in a good sharp photo?

The steps you took for the test shot were a good start but don't narrow it down enough. Start small. Get a close shot with the lens. Heck, start at the closest focusing distance and work back. Is there some place it gets worse? Is it bad at every distance?

I don't recall if you ever told us. Did you buy the body/lens new or used? If used, have you ever tried resetting the camera to default? Have you checked all of the settings to make sure you don't have something weird turned on, like soft portrait, or is the sharpness dialed way back?

You said these are SOOC jpegs. Do you shoot in RAW as well? If so, you'd have a lot more data to play with in post and you could tell if the camera's jpeg processing is part of the problem.
 
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RAH

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Yes, I agree, @Brownie . I was going to suggest doing something indoors, although it can be hard to get enough distance, depending on circumstance (I mean, we don't really want to be doing close-up semi-macro shots here, I don't think).

@yegnal , if you take a look at some test shots I did with the 100-400 lens inside at about 40', here:

https://www.mu-43.com/threads/new-oly-100-400-impressions-and-images.109375/post-1440979

I think it will give you what I think would be a good starting point for tests. It should be easier with a 200mm lens. So perhaps even 20' would be enough, I would think.
 

RAH

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You said these are SOOC jpegs. Do you shoot in RAW as well? If so, you'd have a lot more data to play with in post and you could tell if the camera's jpeg processing is part of the problem.
I actually don't think testing with RAW is a good idea. I mean, they require post-processing, and often A LOT, so then YOU are doing something to the image and can sharpen the hell out of it, so all bets are off. So it doesn't seem a good test to me. A regular LF or LSF (SLF?) jpg at default values is a good way to test, IMHO.
 

Brownie

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I actually don't think testing with RAW is a good idea. I mean, they require post-processing, and often A LOT, so then YOU are doing something to the image and can sharpen the hell out of it, so all bets are off. So it doesn't seem a good test to me. A regular LF or LSF (SLF?) jpg at default values is a good way to test, IMHO.
Unless there something wrong with the camera or settings. Since RAW doesn't pay any attention to most of that, it would eliminate a culprit. It's easy enough to put the photo in whatever processor he uses and give it his 'normal' tweaks.
 

yegnal

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Sounds like you did a valid test (although at 75 yards I think you can still get atmospheric interference). I would suggest trying to find a better subject - I mean there isn't much detail to look at with those windows.

But regardless, I agree that they look pretty soft. Seems like it might be a problem with the lens or the TC. You'd need to try with and without to narrow it down further. But try something with more detail, IMHO.

Daylight diminished with increasing cloud cover as I getting into it, but I agree. What would be a good distance and target to test things ?
 

RAH

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Unless there something wrong with the camera or settings. Since RAW doesn't pay any attention to most of that, it would eliminate a culprit. It's easy enough to put the photo in whatever processor he uses and give it his 'normal' tweaks.
Actually, I would agree with you if he pulled the RAW files into Olympus Workspace - that gives automatic settings that mimic the jpg settings that the camera gives, so it is a nice default to use. :)
 

Brownie

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Actually, I would agree with you if he pulled the RAW files into Olympus Workspace - that gives automatic settings that mimic the jpg settings that the camera gives, so it is a nice default to use. :)
Not sure that it matters though. If a person has normal tweaks, and they usually do, they can apply those tweaks and see if there's an improvement over the camera's processing. I'm not suggesting that someone go to whatever lengths needed to consider it acceptable, I'm saying process as you normally would and compare.
 

yegnal

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I'm starting to wonder if my editing setup is causing my stress. I sent an image i wasn't terribly impressed with to someone and it looks tack sharp on my phone.

The computer is pushing graphics through a GeForce 730 GT to an Acer x193.

Thats 1440x900 16 million colors for the monitor.


I'm thinking I need to upgrade monitor and graphics card ?
 

John King

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I'm not a fan of Acer stuff. That does seem to be a pretty poor monitor. Flat out even getting to 100% of sRGB, I'll wager.

Is it even calibrated?

If you were local, I could give you a better monitor, and those are heading for recycling ...

A decent monitor will not make a crappy photo better, but at least a decent photo will look decent.
 

yegnal

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I'm not a fan of Acer stuff. That does seem to be a pretty poor monitor. Flat out even getting to 100% of sRGB, I'll wager.

Is it even calibrated?

If you were local, I could give you a better monitor, and those are heading for recycling ...

A decent monitor will not make a crappy photo better, but at least a decent photo will look decent.
Agreed, I just wonder if I'm chasing my tail in post trying to correct for bad video output
 

11GTCS

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There's some really serious talent helping you out on this thread, and I won't be able to contribute much in the birding photo skills. That said, I've gotten perfectly usable photos using even older MFT cameras on birds, so I have no doubt that you should be able to get something good. That said, to me the easiest thing to do is as others suggested, start as simple as possible and work out. No Tele, bright weather, base ISO, brick wall or something detailed at 50 feet or something. Then play with settings from there and see what you're getting, Best of luck!
 

RAH

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Agreed, I just wonder if I'm chasing my tail in post trying to correct for bad video output
If your computer hardware is at fault, wouldn't EVERYTHING look poor? Do the other images on this forum look poor? If any editing you might be doing while using a poor monitor was at fault, it wouldn't affect jpgs directly out of your camera, right? I doubt very much that this is the problem.

As far as stuff looking good on a phone, everything usually looks good on a phone, even peeped, IMHO.
 

speedy

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Roel, it is the fundamental reason why ILCs were developed.

However, no long FL lens can replace field craft. Even before the extremes are reached, heat haze, moisture, pollution and (e.g. eucalyptus oils) in the air will damage any attempt at severe cropping.

For example, the following shot shows the image damage from eucalyptus oils in the atmosphere. VERY obvious in the RAW file.

View attachment 865443
That's a lovely shot. Down Gippsland way by any chance? There's some really nice farm country down around there. Saw lots of it flash past when riding motorcycles down there, never stopped & captured any of it on camera though :)
 

John King

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That's a lovely shot.
Thank you.
Down Gippsland way by any chance?
Yes. Heading due south towards the Prom.

There's some really nice farm country down around there. Saw lots of it flash past when riding motorcycles down there, never stopped & captured any of it on camera though :)
Always stop to eat the roses (old hippopotamus saying ... ).

Me and photographer mate did a bit over 12 hours that day, including a lot of stopping and a bit of walking.

This one's taken with the 'right' lens. I had to walk back up to where I parked the car to get my 40-150 MkI.

Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
 

speedy

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Thank you.

Yes. Heading due south towards the Prom.



Always stop to eat the roses (old hippopotamus saying ... ).

Me and photographer mate did a bit over 12 hours that day, including a lot of stopping and a bit of walking.

This one's taken with the 'right' lens. I had to walk back up to where I parked the car to get my 40-150 MkI.

View attachment 870254
Yeah, for sure. One of my mates didn't want to come riding with us, as he liked to stop & snap pictures, while we were more interested in smashing out miles. Or kms. I'm looking at setting up a rooftop tent on my 4WD to make it super quick & easy to overnight, & heading out that way. And further, for weekend trips. Up into the high country from Licola & Dargo. Or Walhalla/Thompsons Dam etc. Places we used to daytrip to on the bikes, but in too big a hurry to stop & soak up the sights & smells. I don't regret that mind you, it was an absolute blast in its own way. There's some gorgeous scenery out that way, fom farmland like you've presented, to bush & mountain ranges etc. You've captured it very well. Mate took some brilliant shots out around Thorpdale, lovely contrasts of the rich red earth in the rolling hills in spud growing areas, against the green grass, & sometimes canola in the right season.
 

doxa750

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Thank you.

Yes. Heading due south towards the Prom.



Always stop to eat the roses (old hippopotamus saying ... ).

Me and photographer mate did a bit over 12 hours that day, including a lot of stopping and a bit of walking.

This one's taken with the 'right' lens. I had to walk back up to where I parked the car to get my 40-150 MkI.

View attachment 870254
Just WOW! I hope one day I can imagine something like this and photograph it :).
 

John King

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@speedy I would kill myself getting in or out of a rooftop tent. That's a game for those younger and fitter than I am ...

I spent years specifying and building a camper trailer. With my back problems (etc) and osteoporosis plus osteoarthritis, I can't put it up by myself now.
 
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