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Lacking sharpness in Olympus E-PL2?

Discussion in 'Olympus Cameras' started by duthied, Mar 22, 2013.

  1. duthied

    duthied New to Mu-43

    7
    Mar 20, 2013
    Vancouver, BC Canada
    I have recently picked up a used E-PL2 and really enjoy the camera...but I notice a lack of sharpness.

    (will try to find some examples to illustrate - I have been meaning to do a test between manual focus and auto to see if that's the culprit)

    I've noticed this with the Zukio 17mm and a new Sigma 19mm.

    Anyone else notice this or is it more likely that I'm doing something wrong?
     
  2. DeeJayK

    DeeJayK Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 8, 2011
    Pacific Northwest, USA
    Keith
    Some sample shots would definitely help, otherwise it's tough to know what you are seeing. I know that I have seen very sharp images from E-PL2s.

    Also, can you clarify which "Zuiko 17" you are shooting with: the f/2.8 pancake or the newer f/1.8.
     
  3. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    Are you shooting JPG? Go to Setup => Sprockets => Color/WB => Noise Filter and set that to OFF. The E-PL2 has a very weak AA filter and is capable of capturing great sharpness and detail if the lens is up to par. The noise filter must be off or kept very low though in order for that detail to shine through. Assuming of course that you are shooting at a low enough ISO.

    If that still isn't sharp enough for you, then you might need to invest in some sharper glass. The two you have (I'm assuming the 17mm/2.8 rather than the f/1.8) are not the sharpest but they should be plenty sharp for most people if the camera is set up right.
     
  4. Ulfric M Douglas

    Ulfric M Douglas Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 6, 2010
    Northumberland
    My e-pL2 makes sharp pictures, I can't help more without you posting a sample or two with full EXIF data intact.
     
  5. Darthpnoy88

    Darthpnoy88 Mu-43 Regular

    103
    Dec 27, 2012
    California
    Play around with the Oly Menus and it's color, wb. Lastly open that Super Menu up as well :)
     
  6. duthied

    duthied New to Mu-43

    7
    Mar 20, 2013
    Vancouver, BC Canada
    Thanks for the replies, I've attached a couple examples.

    The image with the shoes was shot with a new Sigma 19mm f2.8
    The one with the 3 men in the street was shot with the M.Zukio 17mm f2.8
    (these are jpg exports of the raw photo)

    Thanks for taking a look!
     

    Attached Files:

  7. edwardconde

    edwardconde Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 8, 2012
    Los Angeles, CA
    I'd check your menu settings... Are you shooting open wide? I dont have either of those 2 lenses, I only have MF lenses. On my E-PL2, I use my Pentax 50 and it is plenty sharp.

    Do you have any jpg (SOOC) that you can show? Is it any different from a raw? Does the sharpness setting in the menus for jpg only or for both raw & jpg?
     
  8. duthied

    duthied New to Mu-43

    7
    Mar 20, 2013
    Vancouver, BC Canada
    I've looked over the (many, many) menu settings but nothing is jumping out at me as to something useful in this regard. (sadly, no 'make my shots sharper' setting :p)

    Neither of the attached examples are wide open (I try to avoid wide open or completely closed down)

    I'll try some jpgs - hadn't thought of that, thanks.
     
  9. Jonathan F/2

    Jonathan F/2 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 10, 2011
    Los Angeles, CA
    Try adjusting your settings and post processing workflow. The E-PL2 is very sharp.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  10. duthied

    duthied New to Mu-43

    7
    Mar 20, 2013
    Vancouver, BC Canada
    Thanks for the feedback but there are a ton of settings, are there specific ones that I should be looking at?

    The images I attached are orf files exported straight out of Adobe Bridge - there is no post processing.
     
  11. RichardB

    RichardB Snapshooter

    441
    Nov 19, 2012
    Maryland, US
    Richard
    Try using the Olympus Viewer 2 program to export the orf files. Digital images almost always need some basic sharpening, and I don't know whether Adobe Bridge does any. OV2 by default does the same sharpening when it exports an orf that the camera's jpeg engine would do, and you can adjust the sharpening up or down.

    I don't have your orf files, but OV2 can sharpen jpg files. Here's a crop of your image before and after sharpening:

    P3173191_800x600.

    P3173191_800x600_sharp4.

    Have fun with your E-PL2! I like mine a lot.
     
    • Like Like x 2
  12. Ulfric M Douglas

    Ulfric M Douglas Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 6, 2010
    Northumberland
    You have supplied pictures taken with an e-P2 ...
    So once we get over the fact you're asking about a different camera to the one you're using ( I also use e-P2 ) your photos appear to be focused wrongly.

    Shoes : the nearer the ground, the sharper it appears. Could the real focus point be close than the shoes?

    Men : 17mm F8, ISO800 (why?), unfocused. I mean, completely not focused on any of the objects in the frame, not even the background.
     
    • Like Like x 2
  13. janneman

    janneman Mu-43 Veteran

    414
    Dec 6, 2012
    Netherlands
    Jan (John) Kusters
    As Richard B demonstrated, sharpening is part of the digital process; you can do in in camera or in PP, but it has to be done somewhere along the way.

    The picture with the three men seems to have some movement blur when I look at the fence (although it is hard to say without a bigger file or crop). As Ulric said, nothing seems to be in focus. I am not sure how you have set up your AF, but could it be it had not focused yet?
     
    • Like Like x 1
  14. duthied

    duthied New to Mu-43

    7
    Mar 20, 2013
    Vancouver, BC Canada
    Thanks everyone for the replies - and the correction on the camera I'm using :)

    Looks like it's an autofocus issue - in both cases of the images I supplied, I focussed on either the foreground shoe or the man in the brown jacket. That's where the focus box was and I held it until the green light came on in the upper right of the view finder.

    I guess the frustrating part of this is that when focussed, it looks fine in the viewfinder.

    Thanks again for the replies - looks like it's the camera operator at fault not the camera.
     
  15. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    Remember that you your DOF is greater behind your focus point than in front of it, so it's safer to focus on a more forward point if you want to get more in focus. Or zoom in to make sure you nail it perfectly.

    E-P2 or E-PL2 does make some difference, as the biggest difference between those cameras is the sharpness. :) That requires pixel peeping to see, though.
     
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