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Author Topic: Too much definition?  (Read 13408 times)

Rob C

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Too much definition?
« on: November 29, 2019, 01:24:49 pm »

I was having a casual look at some reviews of the Leica SL2 this afternoon.

Yep, there were some very detailed studio shots of people; an attractive lady of colour and a white guy with a Santa complex - or perhaps a Zee Zee Tops one - and frankly, there was so much detail it put me right off.

Am I alone in thinking there is such a thing as too much detail doing the rounds in contemporary photography?

As the same models have appeared in several reviews, I am led to thinking that all of the reviews were made at the same time by the various review agencies with Leica blessings and help.

Seems to me that such reviews - most reviews, perhaps, aren't really worth much, because the only way you know if a camera is or is not for you is by using it yourself. However, they collectively confirm that it can get very wet in Germany.

Disclaimer: as I can't see it, no idea if the local one (review) uses the same models as subjects or atttacts better weather.

:-)

Rob

KLaban

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Re: Too much definition?
« Reply #1 on: November 29, 2019, 01:45:41 pm »

I was having a casual look at some reviews of the Leica SL2 this afternoon.

Yep, there were some very detailed studio shots of people; an attractive lady of colour and a white guy with a Santa complex - or perhaps a Zee Zee Tops one - and frankly, there was so much detail it put me right off.

Am I alone in thinking there is such a thing as too much detail doing the rounds in contemporary photography?

As the same models have appeared in several reviews, I am led to thinking that all of the reviews were made at the same time by the various review agencies with Leica blessings and help.

Seems to me that such reviews - most reviews, perhaps, aren't really worth much, because the only way you know if a camera is or is not for you is by using it yourself. However, they collectively confirm that it can get very wet in Germany.

Disclaimer: as I can't see it, no idea if the local one (review) uses the same models as subjects or atttacts better weather.

:-)

Rob

Rob, going back to my art school days we were always told that if a line was intended to be straight or needs to be straight then straight it should be. Must have made an impression on me as I still remember this all these years later.

I'm still of the opinion that if a line is intended to be straight or needs to be straight then straight it should be. Similarly I believe if an image is intended to be highly defined or needs to be highly defined then highly defined it should be. I also believe that if an image is intended to be soft or needs to be soft then...

The rest is personal preference.

   

Rob C

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Re: Too much definition?
« Reply #2 on: November 29, 2019, 02:04:18 pm »

Rob, going back to my art school days we were always told that if a line was intended to be straight or needs to be straight then straight it should be. Must have made an impression on me as I still remember this all these years later.

I'm still of the opinion that if a line is intended to be straight or needs to be straight then straight it should be. Similarly I believe if an image is intended to be highly defined or needs to be highly defined then highly defined it should be. I also believe that if an image is intended to be soft or needs to be soft then...

The rest is personal preference.

 

Then I guess your art school wasn't terribly impressed by the likes of Van Gogh or Gauguin?

Rob

KLaban

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Re: Too much definition?
« Reply #3 on: November 29, 2019, 02:08:45 pm »

Then I guess your art school wasn't terribly impressed by the likes of Van Gogh or Gauguin?

Rob

?

I think you need to re-read my post.

Van Gogh and Gauguin neither intended nor needed their lines to be straight.
« Last Edit: November 29, 2019, 02:15:44 pm by KLaban »
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Bart_van_der_Wolf

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Re: Too much definition?
« Reply #4 on: November 29, 2019, 02:22:32 pm »

I was having a casual look at some reviews of the Leica SL2 this afternoon.

Yep, there were some very detailed studio shots of people; an attractive lady of colour and a white guy with a Santa complex - or perhaps a Zee Zee Tops one - and frankly, there was so much detail it put me right off.

Am I alone in thinking there is such a thing as too much detail doing the rounds in contemporary photography?

It may be due to postprocessing (capture sharpening). A good lens does not add sharpness, it can only lose detail. Sharpening can restore more sharpness than was lost, and that will start looking artificial.

If the subject itself is very detailed, that could at times distract. But that's an easy fix in postprocessing.

Cheers,
Bart
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RSL

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Re: Too much definition?
« Reply #5 on: November 29, 2019, 02:37:16 pm »

Am I alone in thinking there is such a thing as too much detail doing the rounds in contemporary photography?
Rob

I think there's too much emphasis on "sharpness," leading to what Bart's talking about: post over-processing. It's a distraction that's been growing for years as equipment and internal processing improves. Nikon's "VR" and Canon's "IS" were two big steps in that direction, and if you read what passes for photo magazines (now photo equipment magazines) you'll find sharpness emphasized far beyond the benefits of subjective ideas such as composition.
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BAB

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Re: Too much definition?
« Reply #6 on: November 29, 2019, 02:55:18 pm »

After shooting thousands of images with Leica cameras and lenses I would say if they now produce extremely sharp images its time to jump back in. My hit rate with the film Leica was a whopping 40% and the M8,M9 a little more not until final firmware updates on the M240 did my hit rate go to 70%. I speaking handheld of course after using a procedure of pulling in and out focusing and shooting bursts hoping to nail focus on the eyeball (which is all I care to be in tack focus with my portraits.
Anyway love Leica and the simplicity of shooting Leica but my eyes don't guess that comes with being 66 shit aint no fun.


the sl looks like a fun camera to me especially with 3rd party lenses.


good luck
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KLaban

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Re: Too much definition?
« Reply #7 on: November 29, 2019, 03:17:29 pm »

I am a fan of differential focus, where parts of the image are well defined, contrasting with other parts of the image that are not. I'm also a fan of those images that are essentially undefined, leaving virtually all to the imagination. But there again I'm also a fan of a few images that are so highly defined that they leave nothing to the imagination. Essentially I am a fan of anything that works and works well. My own favourites amongst my own work tend towards differential focus.

Over-sharpening is something else, something of which I am definitely not a fan!

petermfiore

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Re: Too much definition?
« Reply #8 on: November 29, 2019, 04:03:30 pm »

In painting, I am not a fan of rendering for the sake of itself. It's often thought of as high art and it's not. Many think the highest compliment is "Look at the painting, It looks just like a picture".


I wanna scream and often do so...


Peter

KLaban

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Re: Too much definition?
« Reply #9 on: November 29, 2019, 05:00:39 pm »

In painting, I am not a fan of rendering for the sake of itself. It's often thought of as high art and it's not. Many think the highest compliment is "Look at the painting, It looks just like a picture".


I wanna scream and often do so...


Peter

Agreed.

rabanito

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Re: Too much definition?
« Reply #10 on: November 30, 2019, 06:35:13 am »

Refreshing discussion. Thanks for keeping me awake in matters "sharpness"
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Rob C

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Re: Too much definition?
« Reply #11 on: November 30, 2019, 11:49:41 am »

I suppose that it boils down to how much the camera itself is permitted to influence the file. I set everything to as little camera intervention as possible, but even then, I find that quite a few images need no sharpening at all, and in fact, I sometimes resort to adding a bit of noise, just to kill the too powerful sense of sharpness that overpowers some pictures. It's been my opinion that outwith applied technical photography, where there may be no such thing as too much sharpness, a softer look allows the picture to come through rather than be subverted by the minute details within that distract; is anyone in love with pimples or traces of dandruff? Not for nothing were Softars invented.

Rob

Peter McLennan

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Re: Too much definition?
« Reply #12 on: November 30, 2019, 12:14:42 pm »

I confess to occasionally using negative clarity/sharpness/de-haze where I think it's appropriate.
Most frequently to simulate distance.  As in "aerial perspective".

Of course, there's always the Capra D-Day images to counter the idea that images need to be sharp to be effective.
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KLaban

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Re: Too much definition?
« Reply #13 on: November 30, 2019, 01:01:41 pm »

As always, things are complicated by viewing device.

I cringe when viewing many out-of-the-box, un-calibrated devices, often delivering over sharpened, over saturated and over contrasty images: indeed, just what many punters seem to want! 

kers

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Re: Too much definition?
« Reply #14 on: November 30, 2019, 01:19:43 pm »

Most images end on the web 1920pixels; often not much more...
If screens go to 8K you need 36MP, not more...
So the emphases should go to other qualities than sharpness...


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Rob C

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Re: Too much definition?
« Reply #15 on: November 30, 2019, 02:21:17 pm »

I confess to occasionally using negative clarity/sharpness/de-haze where I think it's appropriate.
Most frequently to simulate distance.  As in "aerial perspective".

Of course, there's always the Capra D-Day images to counter the idea that images need to be sharp to be effective.

The happy, unhappy accident.

:-)

P.S.

Post cataract ops has made focussing manual lenses a pleasure again. I have put my old 2.8/50mm back on the Nikon, and the newer 1.8/50 G back in the cupboard. I wonder how long the enthusiasm lasts...
« Last Edit: November 30, 2019, 03:08:33 pm by Rob C »
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Rob C

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Re: Too much definition?
« Reply #16 on: November 30, 2019, 04:49:10 pm »

rabanito

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BJL

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Too much definition? For portraits, I think yes
« Reply #18 on: November 30, 2019, 08:06:22 pm »

I am inclined to think that the cliche of demonstrating any new photographic tool with portraits is ill-advised in the modern high-resolution realm; better to let the reviewers get outside and photograph something with fine details more interesting than pores in the face and veins in the eyes.

(I’m also tempted to call these images “pore-traits”.)
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Rob C

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Re: Too much definition?
« Reply #19 on: December 01, 2019, 03:24:16 am »

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