Olympus Cameras and Four Thirds System Digital SLRs Forum

Olympus Cameras Forum Discuss Olympus film and digital cameras as well as Panasonic and Leica Four Thirds System digital SLRs - forum moderator is Greg McCary.
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  1. #1
    Senior Member BlueRob's Avatar
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    Dealing with Evolt softness.

    Is no secret that Evolts suffer from some amount of general softness compared to other brands.
    As far as I`ve read is do to the camera software itself. Lately I`ve noticed it more on my pics probably because my eye is getting more picky quality wise.

    I would like to hear from other Evolts users some of your personal recipes (settings) that you commonly use that according to your experience lead to better results.

    Canon XSi
    Canon EF-S 17-85mm IS USM
    Canon EF-S 55-250mm IS
    1. "A true photograph need not be explained, nor can it be contained in words."Ansel Adams
    2. "Photography is more than a medium for factual communication of ideas. It is a creative art."Ansel Adams

  2. #2
    Senior Shooter Greg McCary's Avatar
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    Re: Dealing with Evolt softness.

    Best thing is to shoot in RAW. Sharpen the images in PPing and upgrade to a sharper lens as quickly as you can. The 14-54mm is much sharper than the kits. I will let you know about the 12-60mm I found a killer deal on one on craigslist and I should have it in a day or two.
    I am like Barney Fife, I have a gun but Andy makes me keep the bullet in my pocket..

    Sony a99/a7R

  3. #3
    Senior Member BlueRob's Avatar
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    Re: Dealing with Evolt softness.

    Quote Originally Posted by Greg McCary
    Best thing is to shoot in RAW. Sharpen the images in PPing and upgrade to a sharper lens as quickly as you can. The 14-54mm is much sharper than the kits. I will let you know about the 12-60mm I found a killer deal on one on craigslist and I should have it in a day or two.
    I`ve heard that 12-60 is really great I have no doubt you will enjoy it...let me know your thought about it.

    I will look for some killer offers on a new glass...the other thing that I`m missing at the moment is the IS of the newer models....mmm..I want a new body and a new lens :mad2:

    Canon XSi
    Canon EF-S 17-85mm IS USM
    Canon EF-S 55-250mm IS
    1. "A true photograph need not be explained, nor can it be contained in words."Ansel Adams
    2. "Photography is more than a medium for factual communication of ideas. It is a creative art."Ansel Adams

  4. #4
    Captain of the Ship Photo-John's Avatar
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    Re: Dealing with Evolt softness.

    I believe the reason the Olympus DSLRs aren't quite as sharp is the anti-aliasing filter on the sensors. It softens the captured image a bit. I don't think it's that big of a deal, though. Standard sharpening in post-processing does the job for me. And I can always sharpen a bit more if necessary. Bottom line - I don't really think it's a problem.
    Photo-John

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  5. #5
    Senior Member BlueRob's Avatar
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    Re: Dealing with Evolt softness.

    Quote Originally Posted by Photo-John
    I believe the reason the Olympus DSLRs aren't quite as sharp is the anti-aliasing filter on the sensors. It softens the captured image a bit. I don't think it's that big of a deal, though. Standard sharpening in post-processing does the job for me. And I can always sharpen a bit more if necessary. Bottom line - I don't really think it's a problem.
    Thanks John...you know us newb`s tend to exaggerate LOL. I haven't tried other SLR`s recently so my comments are a priori lets say, but would like to have more crispy pics out of the camera. BTW do you AF, AF+MF or pure MF?

    Canon XSi
    Canon EF-S 17-85mm IS USM
    Canon EF-S 55-250mm IS
    1. "A true photograph need not be explained, nor can it be contained in words."Ansel Adams
    2. "Photography is more than a medium for factual communication of ideas. It is a creative art."Ansel Adams

  6. #6
    Senior Shooter Greg McCary's Avatar
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    Re: Dealing with Evolt softness.

    Yes the IS is a sweet feature. I have been so happy with the E3 I haven't thought abut a new body since I got it. You can get E3's at a very good used prices. I saw one on craigslist in mint condition for 700 dollars.
    I am like Barney Fife, I have a gun but Andy makes me keep the bullet in my pocket..

    Sony a99/a7R

  7. #7
    Member Iguanamom's Avatar
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    Re: Dealing with Evolt softness.

    Ok, this is going to be a bit of a photo whore post, but I don't have much of an issue with softness. Maybe it's a result of not comparing my work to others in such great detail. Maybe it's because I don't pixel-peep. Whatever it is, I don't find it an issue. I've done enlargements up to 12x18 with no problems (and that was from an 8mpx image).

    That being said, I do occasionally use sharpening tools in Lightroom when I've blown the exposure. The majority of my softness issues come from underexposing and introducing noise. Larger sensors are more forgiving of exposure errors than 4:3rds.

    Another thing is finding the sweet spot inside your lenses and staying there whenever possible. Generally it's in the lower (widest) 1/3 of the aperture range (from 1 stop from widest to 8), but not always. Here are my self-aggrandizing examples: :blush2:

    E-300 w/OM 65-200 lens (legacy glass) probably f5.6 or 8


    E-30 w/ZD 12-60mm @ f4 or so


    E-300 and 14-45mm kit zoom (the softest kit lens Olympus makes in many opinions)


    Last, but not least the awesome OM 90mm f2 macro on an E-300 (8mpx, btw)


    I think all of these images are on my flickr site w/a pretty big size viewable as well.

  8. #8
    Senior Member BlueRob's Avatar
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    Re: Dealing with Evolt softness.

    Quote Originally Posted by Iguanamom
    Ok, this is going to be a bit of a photo whore post, but I don't have much of an issue with softness. Maybe it's a result of not comparing my work to others in such great detail. Maybe it's because I don't pixel-peep. Whatever it is, I don't find it an issue. I've done enlargements up to 12x18 with no problems (and that was from an 8mpx image).

    That being said, I do occasionally use sharpening tools in Lightroom when I've blown the exposure. The majority of my softness issues come from underexposing and introducing noise. Larger sensors are more forgiving of exposure errors than 4:3rds.

    Another thing is finding the sweet spot inside your lenses and staying there whenever possible. Generally it's in the lower (widest) 1/3 of the aperture range (from 1 stop from widest to 8), but not always. Here are my self-aggrandizing examples: :blush2:

    I think all of these images are on my flickr site w/a pretty big size viewable as well.
    Nice pics there mate...and I see you point, now that you mention it I realize that part of my problems (big part) is the exposure and thus noise.:mad2:
    Exposure...that is the name of the game:mad2:
    Now I must say that yes Im one of many that "pixel hunt" their images and notice many tiny flaws.

    Canon XSi
    Canon EF-S 17-85mm IS USM
    Canon EF-S 55-250mm IS
    1. "A true photograph need not be explained, nor can it be contained in words."Ansel Adams
    2. "Photography is more than a medium for factual communication of ideas. It is a creative art."Ansel Adams

  9. #9
    Member Iguanamom's Avatar
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    Re: Dealing with Evolt softness.

    Underexposure is a killer with 4:3rds just like it was with 35mm film.

    Oh and thanks for the compliment.

  10. #10
    Senior Shooter Greg McCary's Avatar
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    Re: Dealing with Evolt softness.

    Thanks Iguanamom for the tips. I agree those are some nice pictures. I agree with you 100%.
    Yes I must admit the longer I do this the more pixel peeping I do. Quality control makes the end product better.
    I am like Barney Fife, I have a gun but Andy makes me keep the bullet in my pocket..

    Sony a99/a7R

  11. #11
    Member Iguanamom's Avatar
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    Re: Dealing with Evolt softness.

    I agree that some pixel-peeping is a necessary evil, but who besides a fanatic looks at pictures at 100% all the time? In the great 'my gear is better than your gear' debate, pixel-peeping is the last resort of a person unsure of their own craft. If the only way you can find a "flaw" in another person's picture is by subjecting it to parameters it wasn't intended for (ie; viewing at 100%) then you are a sorry sack indeed. If my picture standing by your picture viewed the way they were intended to be viewed is inferior, don't blame my gear, blame me.

    And besides, back in the dark ages, we used to worship at the altar of grain. Why else would Tri-X have been so damn popular. No, I'm not equating all noise with grain, but in many cases the result is the same. Back when I shot film it was all about managing the grain. The good ones managed TO the grain. Only now in the plastic age do we need everything to be so smooth, so soft, so sharp, so exact; so sterile.

    Bah...sorry for the rant. I'm usually not this cranky.

  12. #12
    Senior Member BlueRob's Avatar
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    Re: Dealing with Evolt softness.

    Quote Originally Posted by Greg McCary
    Yes the IS is a sweet feature. I have been so happy with the E3 I haven't thought abut a new body since I got it. You can get E3's at a very good used prices. I saw one on craigslist in mint condition for 700 dollars.
    You are going to make me poor and get me fired from my job Greg LOL!....I just read some reviews of that E3 no doubt that paired with one of the nice Zuikos makes a killer combo.

    On the other hand I found interesting a comparison with the 4/3 Panasonic L10...that thing in Raw is awesome IMO....paired with a Zuiko 50mm does the job with honors.

    Canon XSi
    Canon EF-S 17-85mm IS USM
    Canon EF-S 55-250mm IS
    1. "A true photograph need not be explained, nor can it be contained in words."Ansel Adams
    2. "Photography is more than a medium for factual communication of ideas. It is a creative art."Ansel Adams

  13. #13
    Senior Member BlueRob's Avatar
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    Re: Dealing with Evolt softness.

    Quote Originally Posted by Iguanamom
    Underexposure is a killer with 4:3rds just like it was with 35mm film.
    And now you tell me!

    Canon XSi
    Canon EF-S 17-85mm IS USM
    Canon EF-S 55-250mm IS
    1. "A true photograph need not be explained, nor can it be contained in words."Ansel Adams
    2. "Photography is more than a medium for factual communication of ideas. It is a creative art."Ansel Adams

  14. #14
    Senior Member BlueRob's Avatar
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    Re: Dealing with Evolt softness.

    Quote Originally Posted by Iguanamom
    I agree that some pixel-peeping is a necessary evil, but who besides a fanatic looks at pictures at 100% all the time? In the great 'my gear is better than your gear' debate, pixel-peeping is the last resort of a person unsure of their own craft. If the only way you can find a "flaw" in another person's picture is by subjecting it to parameters it wasn't intended for (ie; viewing at 100%) then you are a sorry sack indeed. If my picture standing by your picture viewed the way they were intended to be viewed is inferior, don't blame my gear, blame me.

    And besides, back in the dark ages, we used to worship at the altar of grain. Why else would Tri-X have been so damn popular. No, I'm not equating all noise with grain, but in many cases the result is the same. Back when I shot film it was all about managing the grain. The good ones managed TO the grain. Only now in the plastic age do we need everything to be so smooth, so soft, so sharp, so exact; so sterile.

    Bah...sorry for the rant. I'm usually not this cranky.
    Yeap now a days most people (including me) aim and many times get distracted from major issues or possible improvements all in the name of the super sharp image.

    Canon XSi
    Canon EF-S 17-85mm IS USM
    Canon EF-S 55-250mm IS
    1. "A true photograph need not be explained, nor can it be contained in words."Ansel Adams
    2. "Photography is more than a medium for factual communication of ideas. It is a creative art."Ansel Adams

  15. #15
    Member chrisnesss's Avatar
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    Re: Dealing with Evolt softness.

    Hello, I shoot with an E-520 and used the kit lenses for a year and really liked the results. Unless I blew the exposure. Knowing the sweet spot in a lens's f stop range helps. The 14-42mm kit lens is best at f/8 IMO and when possible.

    Also I recently purchased a Sigma 30mm f/1.4 and found that this lens did yield better results than the kit lenses. It's faster, and the narrow aperture gives me a bit more creative control. However I still use the kit lenses.

    I keep hearing about the 12-60mm being a great lens. And the pictures I have seen taken with that lens are fantastic. But then again some of my flickr friends use kit lenses and produce phenomenal images.

  16. #16
    Senior Shooter Greg McCary's Avatar
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    Re: Dealing with Evolt softness.

    After a couple of weeks with the 12-60mm I see a huge improvement over the other lenses. I use the sharpen tool much less. The images are very sharp out of the camera.
    I am like Barney Fife, I have a gun but Andy makes me keep the bullet in my pocket..

    Sony a99/a7R

  17. #17
    Captain of the Ship Photo-John's Avatar
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    Re: Dealing with Evolt softness.

    Quote Originally Posted by Iguanamom
    In the great 'my gear is better than your gear' debate, pixel-peeping is the last resort of a person unsure of their own craft.
    Heh heh - that is a beautiful statement
    Photo-John

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  18. #18
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    Re: Dealing with Evolt softness.

    I personally don't have issues with softness and I have entry level gear and lenses ie the E 510 and 70/300 for wildlife and birding. I do use photoshop to touch up or add an art edge or lighting or occasional sharpening and noise reduction but that is what the program is intended to do. The first thing I did was read the articles by Wrotniak on settings and usage for a basis point and then tweaked from there. A lot of practice, tripod, and on those lucky occasions when I pick the right Ap/Shutter/ISO the pictures come out as good as I can expect with the equipment I chose. Here's a couple I shot with the 510 and 70/300 and I don't see what more can be expected of 600 bucks worth of equipment.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Dealing with Evolt softness.-120400429_9walt00q_birdieaaa.jpg   Dealing with Evolt softness.-120044095_8yfoim4o.jpg  
    Attached Images Attached Images  

  19. #19
    Senior Shooter Greg McCary's Avatar
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    Re: Dealing with Evolt softness.

    I agree those are pretty sharp, technique and practice are a part of it as well. Thanks for sharing.
    I am like Barney Fife, I have a gun but Andy makes me keep the bullet in my pocket..

    Sony a99/a7R

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