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image recording settings
Old 08-20-2007, 01:34 PM   #1 (permalink)
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I looked at my settings on my camera and I have the image recording set on soft due to a seminar I took and the speaker said to do that. The reasoning was at normal or sharp setting can make the images to "ridgid" and edges of faces and bodies can look "penciled" in. Should I not do this?

Has anybody else been told to do this?


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Re: image recording settings
Old 08-20-2007, 01:45 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I would not advise such a setting. You can always soften an image after the fact but if it is softened in the camera, then you cannot recover detail that is no longer there (due to being diffused by the camera). Keep in mind that digital images are already a little soft so that is quite adequate. I've never heard of anyone teaching someone to make that a general setting in the camera. What camera do you use that even has such a setting? The only other thought I have, is perhaps the person was telling you to set the sharpness setting in the camera as low as you could and then wait to do your "real" sharpening in post processing.

If I really want a soft image in camera, I usually use other techniques. I've used a Canon soft focus lens, for example, or a "lens baby" or even a special Sima lens that imitated the really old lens of yesteryear that were quite soft. I've also used Vaseline smeared on a filter to get selective softness. RG sometimes uses a black scarf over the lens. But again these are the exceptions rather than the rules.

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Re: image recording settings 


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Re: image recording settings
Old 08-20-2007, 01:51 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I use all nikon cameras, and I will be taking them off the soft setting today and placing them on the normal setting.

Thanks, that is exactly why I here!

Mike
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Re: image recording settings
Old 08-20-2007, 07:26 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Mike,

I always have my sharpning set to low on both the D100 and on the D200. I will then sharpen the image in Capture NX and or later in Photoshop. I'm not aware of a "soft setting" in the camera.

Straight out of the camera the images will appear a little soft but once processed the images appear to be sharp enough. Image of Holley with the D200 and an old 35-70 D2.8



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Re: image recording settings
Old 08-20-2007, 11:07 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I shoot the D80 and in the camera / shooting menu /optimize image you can set the image sharpness to the following:
normal
softer
portrait
vivid
more vivid
custom
BW

I was told by a world famous photographer to use the softer setting to reduce age lines in faces and crows feet around eyes. as well as to stop what he call "penciling" edges.
this photographer took the camera out of my hand to show me the setting and put iit there.

I really never questioned it. I do now!
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Re: image recording settings
Old 08-21-2007, 07:56 AM   #6 (permalink)
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As stated by others, soft is not what most photographers opt for in their settings. But, I think you may be having a different issue. I shoot Nikon as well and getting the focus point/area right on can be tricky.

You generally want the eyes to be the focal point and therefore the sharpest. Try some shots using the AF/AE lock button on the back of the camera. Focus on the eyes, press the AF lock button, recompose your shot and fire.

The world famous photog. was right about softening the age lines in a face but I really don't think he meant for the eyes to be soft in your images. He probably has a lot more experience making sure the eyes are in focus before shooting which is a skill for you to master.
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