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Monitor Help  
User currently offlineLinco22 From United Kingdom, joined Jun 2005, 1387 posts, RR: 14
Posted (7 years 8 months 3 weeks ago) and read 2380 times:

Hello my fellow photographer friends,

After some recent rejections, I have looked at my workflow and feel that it is fine. On closer inspection I think that I might have a 'soft' version of my 70-200 f4. I've tried a few test shots and think it's coming out soft, wether it's a focus issue I don't know, compared to other 100% crops I have searched for.

I also regret getting my monitor. It a 19" Dell Ultrasharp, 1280 x 1024 native resolution. Everything looks jagged on my screen, even if it's not. Sharpening is very difficult. One of my recent accpetances was uploaded without sharpening, but others shot under the same condition were rejected for being soft. I know this may be down to focus or blurry issues, but it makes it very hard to determine what needs sharpened and what doesn't.

Can anybody offer any advice? Possibly changing my monitor will help, reduce it 17" at the same res.

Any help appreciated.



7 replies: All unread, jump to last
User currently offlineMetroliner From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2007, 1082 posts, RR: 1
Reply 1, posted (7 years 8 months 3 weeks ago) and read 2376 times:

Hi Colin,

100% crops from your SLR may appear fairly soft, particularly if your settings for in-camera sharpening are set low. However, when shooting for a.net, that softness is somewhat mitigated by the reduction in image size.

It might help if you posted the exact model of your lens so that anyone with better knowledge than me could comment on its general characteristics. I don't personally have a 70-200, so I can't comment...  Smile

The 19" Dell Ultrasharp does look to be a hugely sharp monitor, and I can see why you might be worried. I'm still sticking to (flat-screen) CRTs for imaging precisely because of the sharpness that I feel comes across very harshly with LCD monitors. That said, I've had an EIZO FlexScan T662i at home since I was 12 years old that's still going strong - so I might be biased!

I don't imagine swapping it for a smaller screen would further the cause - however, you could always try posting us some images, and we could show you how they look on our machines!

All the best,


Set the controls for the heart of the Sun
User currently offlineLinco22 From United Kingdom, joined Jun 2005, 1387 posts, RR: 14
Reply 2, posted (7 years 8 months 3 weeks ago) and read 2375 times:

Hi Toni,

Thanks for the response. Below are a few 100% crops from a few recent shots. I would be interested on how they look to others especially on different monitors.






User currently offlineMetroliner From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2007, 1082 posts, RR: 1
Reply 3, posted (7 years 8 months 2 weeks 6 days 21 hours ago) and read 2355 times:

Hi again!

They all look a little soft on my display - that being an iiYama Vision Master Pro 450 (specs, review, etc. available at Anandtech that, although ancient, is carefully calibrated and works well. However, I've seen softer photos accepted - with careful editing, those could well make the cut.

The issue seems to be that you don't feel that you're getting suficient sharpness out of your equipment. Again, I'd advise you to post your kit specs so that those a.netters using it can share their own experiences of it. I'd say that the images you're getting show a slight loss in details possibly due to the recording settings and method - those being certain settings like in-camera sharpness, exposure correction, noise reduction and the format you're saving the images in.

I'm interested if those images that you have submitted appear 'jagged' - certain elements of digital photos will always end up being jagged one way or another, even thought the image may not be sufficiently sharp - in particular, the Flybe Q400's prop spinner. At this point, you must selectively sharpen elements of the image that seem too soft.

If I'm teaching grandmother to suck eggs, I apologise - I do not know your level of experience, but I am always willing to try and cover all bases.  Smile


Set the controls for the heart of the Sun
User currently offlineLinco22 From United Kingdom, joined Jun 2005, 1387 posts, RR: 14
Reply 4, posted (7 years 8 months 2 weeks 6 days 21 hours ago) and read 2351 times:

Hi Toni,

Thanks again for your response, much appreciated.

My gear is as follows:

Canon 30D
Canon EF 70-200mm f4 L USM

- to give them their full titles of course  Wink

My workflow goes like this:

Shoot in RAW, all in-camera parameters set to 0.
- Edit through PSE V4.0 RAW converter to my liking. Sharpening is usually set to 50 out of a scale of 100.
- Once happy with my results I convert to jpeg. If needs be i'll make a quick levels adjustment etc. Maybe a bit of colour then sharpening if I feel it needs it (USM method).
- Save as usual at maximum quality, and upload  Smile

Maybe my workflow is all wrong. I just seem to be getting it all wrong.

Take a look at the stuff in my website, maybe i've got my workflow wrong for all my other stuff too. Maybe my eyes see a good exposure different than everyone else  Wink

Thanks again Toni,


User currently offlineMetroliner From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2007, 1082 posts, RR: 1
Reply 5, posted (7 years 8 months 2 weeks 6 days 19 hours ago) and read 2334 times:

Hey Colin,

First off, congratulations on an impressive portfolio! Second, I've done a bit of reading on the Canon EF 70-200mm f4 L USM - all in all, seems to be an extremely solid bit of kit. It is possible that it has developed a fault, or that there may be an autofocus fault with the camera body itself.

A sudden change in acceptance standards for an already prolific uploader to airliners.net (not to mention a gut feeling that something is wrong from an experienced photographer) suggests to me a failure of a catastrophic, rather than a methodic, nature. Your workflow seems more than adequate to me.

There are test programs for lenses available, but they're rather expensive - I believe that this site has some free test diagrams for download, which might be useful: http://www.imatest.com/docs/lens_testing.html. That'll show up any obvious errors. You might also wish to try comparing results with an identical lens and body and in different combinations with your own and, say, a camera shop's demo equpiment. Most shops, even on the Tottenham Court Road, are friendly enough to help someone out in need.

Other than that, I'm not sure what else to suggest. I've heard of some users sending their kit back to the manufacturer for calibration on photo.net, but I'd see that as a last resort!

In any case, your equipment seems to serve you very well in general...  Smile


Set the controls for the heart of the Sun
User currently offlineGarry From United Kingdom, joined Feb 2006, 186 posts, RR: 3
Reply 6, posted (7 years 8 months 2 weeks 6 days 14 hours ago) and read 2305 times:

Hi Colin - how the devil are you?

Just to add my comments to try to help although Toni has given sound advice.

Firstly, your lens. I'd be tempted to download a lens test chart. Print it off and set it up in good light outdoors with your camera and lens on a tripod and take a series of shots at various apertures starting at the widest.

Load the raw images onto your pc and have look to see how sharp the test chart is both at the centre and the edges. If you feel you have a 'soft' copy there is no harm having a chat to Canon and explain what you've done and that you'd like it checked.

Your images & Workflow - all 3 look soft in parts and there is, certainly on my monitor one or two areas over sharp (the rear, lower part of the engine on the first image for example).

I note you apply sharpening during the raw conversion - that is something I don't do and all I have read suggests it should be turned off and applied only at the very end. You may want to have a look at this. When you do sharpen could you let us know exactly how you are applying it. For example do you select say 100, 0.2 and apply that to the whole image or, do you apply similar settings and then add a layer mask and brush in the sharpening where needed, adding more/less as necessary?

The last method gives great control and allows you to give an extra boost to areas that need it - such as the wheel on your Ryanair shot.

If you'd like to send a raw file to me I'll have a go at editing it using my workflow and screen.

Finally, can't beleive you forgot to add a battery grip to your equipment list  Wink

Hope this helps.

User currently offlineLinco22 From United Kingdom, joined Jun 2005, 1387 posts, RR: 14
Reply 7, posted (7 years 8 months 2 weeks 6 days 13 hours ago) and read 2295 times:


Yes, I feel really bad mate, the battery grip has been the best investment i've made. Consider my wrist slapped!

I'll send you the two files seperately, see what you can do.

On reflection, wasting money on a new monitor is well, a waste. Best to improve my workflow first.

You'll have mail.



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