Question Regarding Image Sharpness @ 1:1

Discussion in 'Open Discussion' started by retiredfromlife, Aug 26, 2016.

  1. retiredfromlife

    retiredfromlife Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 15, 2016
    Sydney, Australia
    This may seem like an odd question but previously before my E-P5 I just used to use point and shoot little digitals since film. Looking at the pictures on a normal monitor they looked OK. Just viewed to fit the monitor.

    Now with the E-P5 I am trying to see if I am getting a sharp image. So with that in mind I am checking the at 1:1 on a BENQ 24" monitor. At 1:1 I can see detail but not what I would call sharp by a long shot, especially if it is a picture of our white haired cat. they look the same using either Lightroom or the olympus viewer.

    Is 1:1 a good check for sharpness? If not what is the best way to check for image quality.

  2. 50orsohours

    50orsohours Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Oct 13, 2013
    Portland Oregon
  3. retiredfromlife

    retiredfromlife Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 15, 2016
    Sydney, Australia
    No hand held IS on, and not really sure about movement. I get the same with landscape as well. I just mentioned the cats because we have two, the white one is much harder to get right, but that could be an exposure problem as well.

    I guess my question should have been if my image was taken correctly say on a tripod correctly exposed no movement etc is 1:1 a good check. Back in my days of black and white processing my own, under a enlarger I would say not too bad if I was using 400 ASA film. But with digital I do not really know what to look for, what to expect if my image was OK, which is probably not happening at my level.

    There are quiet a few tutorials around showing how to fix images, but not really how to check them. I would like to know what I should be realistically aiming for (looking for) with a Mu43 sensor.


    Edit: I suppose if someone could post a portion of an image at 1:1 they thought was sharp at say 200 ISO that would be a help. Possibly a close up image and long distance for comparison.
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2016
  4. tkbslc

    tkbslc Mu-43 Legend

    1:1 is a pretty impossible standard
  5. Phocal

    Phocal Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jan 3, 2014
    I look for them to be sharp at 1:1 but depending on the photo I let some slide. It also depends on which lens and if any TC's were used.

    Here is a shot with ZD 150mm ƒ2.0 on a subject that was a bit further away.
    View attachment 483234
    Slowly by RRcoleJR Photography, on Flickr

    Here is one with the ZD 150mm ƒ2.0 from pretty close.
    View attachment 483235
    Spirit 02 by RRcoleJR Photography, on Flickr

    Here is a closeup shot with the ZD 150mm ƒ2.0 and EC-20
    View attachment 483236
    ZD 150 w/ EC20 @ ƒ4.0 No Crop by RRcoleJR Photography, on Flickr

    I linked full size images and if you click thru to my Flickr there are a lot of full resolution photos over there for viewing. Most are sharp at 1:1, but there are others because I use that account for showing various things.
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  6. Carbonman

    Carbonman Mu-43 All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Jul 10, 2014
    Vancouver BC
    Try this:
    Nighttime Spider 2
    by Graham Moore, on Flickr

    This is full resolution with no sharpening applied. IMO this is what m43 is capable of with good lenses. It's a jpeg but should give you a basis for comparison. Click on the picture to enlarge; download for the full size view.
    • Like Like x 3
    • Agree Agree x 1
  7. retiredfromlife

    retiredfromlife Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 15, 2016
    Sydney, Australia
    That is what I was thinking, but I can see from the images above especially the bird and spider that the detail in the feathers and hair is a lot better than I am getting.

    Not sure but I guess images uploaded to this site maybe downsized a bit as well. On a few other sites I visit they are.

    I purchased a flash today. Hopefully it may make a bit of a difference as the cat photos I have being taking were with the lens wide open 5.6 (zoomed out) at a speed of 1/30. Even with IS on not sue how steady I am at that speed hand held. Hope to get a pro lens next that at least stays @ 2.8.

    Thanks for the photo examples.

    For future reference when I look at the photos posted in the various topics, do they all get uploaded at a full or reduced resolution?

  8. faithblinded

    faithblinded Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Nov 25, 2014
    Cleveland, OH
    Sharp at 1:1 is what I refer to as critical sharpness. 95% of the images I choose to edit and publish, have it. Those that lack it, are either intentional, or something significant enough for me to forego the rule(usually interesting animal behavior I want to share with fellow observers).
    • Agree Agree x 2
  9. barry13

    barry13 Super Moderator; Photon Wrangler Subscribing Member

    Mar 7, 2014
    Southern California
    Hi, everything here was either
    a. uploaded at 1600px or less (on either side)
    b. uploaded larger, and resized by the forum software to 1600 x 1600px max

    The latter is more likely to look worse.

    If you want to upload something at 1:1, CROP it to 1600x1600 or less (instead of scaling or uploading a larger image).
  10. Hypilein

    Hypilein Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 18, 2015
    1/30s is not going to be likely to give you what @faithblinded@faithblinded refers to as critical sharpness. IBIS makes it more likely for things to be sharp enough, but if you're taking pictures of cats at 1/30s both you and the cat will move. If you want to see what your camera/lens is capable of, go outside on a sunny day and take a picture at a higher shutterspeed. That should eliminate any motion blur.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  11. retiredfromlife

    retiredfromlife Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 15, 2016
    Sydney, Australia
    I have also looked at some of my outside photos taken in our local Nation Park. Still not as good in the fine detail. I have downloaded a few other photos from various topics here and my sharpness could be improved. I guess I was relying to much the image stabilization in low light.

    The hard bit when starting out in Mu43 is knowing what is possible. I have some magazines with tutorial files but they are taken with FF and I can see the difference when I blow those up. But I could not find any tutorial files taken from a Mu43 so I did not know what was possible. I have a better idea now.

  12. ionian

    ionian Mu-43 All-Pro

    May 20, 2016
    Kent, UK
    That's likely to be a tough subject for critical sharpness. Movement, aperture, lens sharpness and the lack of contrast on a white cat are all going to be a factor.
  13. retiredfromlife

    retiredfromlife Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 15, 2016
    Sydney, Australia
    Especially the white cat, getting the exposure is hard especially when they are together.

    As a side note looked at some photos from the black and white thread and some of those look really sharp at 1:1 compared to colour photos from other threads. Don't know if that is just me or not. From memory back in the film days B & W negs used to hold more detail than colour but not sure in digital. But since I used to process my own B&W I am probably a bit biased. I really like what people are doing in the the black & white space here. I will give it a go when I get competent with the camera.

  14. Steven

    Steven Mu-43 All-Pro

    May 25, 2012
    This is where superior lenses show themselves IMHO. Lenses like Olympus 75mm/1.8 and Panasonic 25mm/1.4, Olympus 45mm/1.8 show much clearer detail when blown up to 1:1.
    However , if you're not going to crop too much, it may still be OK, even if 1:1 is not too sharp. it's a matter of preference of course.
  15. TheMenWhoDrawSheeps

    TheMenWhoDrawSheeps Mu-43 Veteran

    Jun 15, 2016
    In my experience 80% of unsharp Images are unsharp lenses.
    Simply explained - most of the detailed shots you see in magazines are made with pro grade lenses. They are sharper, faster, and tend to have much better microcontrast.
    If you don't want to invest that much money in pro lenses, your next buy should be definetely pana 42.5mm f1.7 - it costs a bit more than Olympus Version, but is much sharper especially at the edge.
    It's a nifty fifty for mft.

    Ibis does great Job, and with pro lenses i get sharp results on still subject's even at 1/10s. Yes there is always a chance getting Motion blur, but on Olympus it's rather the moving Subject, than handshakes.)

    Sent from my D5503 using Mu-43 app
  16. piggsy

    piggsy Mu-43 All-Pro

    Couple of small things I just thought I would check first -

    1) are you shooting the highest quality pictures? The best jpg is called "large super fine" and should be 4608x3456 pixels. The image software viewable RAWs the camera will spit out are 3200x2400 and are embedded low quality jpgs in the RAW file.

    2) are you sure you're viewing full resolution RAW in lightroom? The other thing is that Lightroom's default sharpening is kind of, well, not great - it's basically just enough to exaggerate noise without actually contributing much extra sharpness to the image. Also, Olympus Viewer 3 defaults to a 'fast' view of those RAWs - you need to push the little exclamation mark at the bottom right of the lowest toolbar to make it render it properly.
  17. retiredfromlife

    retiredfromlife Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 15, 2016
    Sydney, Australia
    I have the camera set to "large super fine" but looking at jpeg images. I have the camera set to take raw and jpeg, but up till recently I just used picassa for viewing so I not really know how to use lightroom yet, so have skipped raw since I do not really know what to look for. Also have never post processed before so I have a big learning curve. So I thought the first thing is to know what to look for.

    I probably started the topic on the wrong foot. Probably should have just asked what people look for when examining their images. Digital is much more complicated than film processing, so I have a long way to go.

  18. piggsy

    piggsy Mu-43 All-Pro

    Bearing in mind almost all of these are so deep into diffraction territory (effective aperture being somewhere around f/32 at the absolute lowest and more often double or quadruple that) and that apparently you should be shooting with no significant magnification at f4-6.3 at the most for maximum sharpness -









    A kitty with flash


    a kitty with a 4w bulb, pretty sure this was 1/10 on the 60mm, iso800 (????)

    • Like Like x 3
  19. retiredfromlife

    retiredfromlife Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 15, 2016
    Sydney, Australia
    Just looked at these in lightroom at 1:1 the details is great, there is even detail at 3:1. If I load one of mine at 3:1 nearly just a blur.

    Are these taken with a macro with a raynox or something? If these were mine I would be very happy wit the detail.

  20. piggsy

    piggsy Mu-43 All-Pro

    It's a mix, some are olympus 60mm, some are olympus 60 + raynox, tokina 90mm at-x + raynox, etc. All of these are on my e-p5 I think, one of the fly's face might be a e-pm2 shot.

    I'm not an expert on this stuff but some kind of rule-of-thumb stuff that will help:

    1) something I think we forgot so far - make sure you're on the latest e-p5 firmware and have selected 'anti shock' as the shutter release setting (shooting menu 2, top option, bottom setting below high-speed pictograph). There's another option to speed up shutter release delay which gets you back a few milliseconds as well deeper in the menus (option menu C, scroll down to a new page, "release lag time > short"). The e-p5 out of the box apparently had really terrible shutter shock even among the other ss prone models of the time.

    2) think about what your expected detail level is really going to be in the shot and how that relates to what's actually on the sensor. I don't mean, you know, bring out a protractor and a graphing calculator where ever you go, but, just think about what you're really using to shoot the scene with and how that might actually squeeze down onto a 16mpx 17.3x13mm square at the distance you're at with the lens you've got. You are not gonna get every single eyelash in from a 7.5mm fisheye shot of someone who's down the street. There are ways to get more detail, greater mpx output sizes, less noise, more depth of field, more accuracy (averaging multiple exposures, stitching exposures into a larger panorama, focus stacking) that will work better or worse depending on the subject if you want to keep a certain perspective or magnification or how fast an action is being shot, and you can combine them together too.

    3) learn that post processing and optimise for the kind of output format you want. If your photo looks like trash at 100%, and you've never actually worked on it at 100% even once in the whole workflow, this is really not something you should take as a big surprise. How you approach sharpening something that will only ever be seen as a small thumbnail of a photo, or a 100% blowup of it printed large are different too. Again you have a similar situation as with capture as for output - try and work out what is the intended level of detail, at what size, from what distance, and work on the captured photo with that in mind.

    3a) sharpening and noise reduction are like a complete proper science in their own right and I would really recommend sitting down with some software (most good stuff has demos) specifically designed for this purpose and seeing what you can get out of it. I use neat image, other people like dxo, other people are really good with using photoshop's tools and layering, etc. You will get a big improvement in it out of just playing around with it and looking up the odd tutorial on youtube.
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