Will a more expensive lens on my Canon 20D improve this pic?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Charles Packer, Jan 15, 2010.

  1. I've been using an EFS 18-55mm lens on my Canon 20D
    for a specialized project ( http://cpacker.org/trees ).
    I believe this is the kit lens. Can I improve my
    images by moving up to a more expensive lens?
    I see chromatic aberration at the sides. An example
    is at http://cpacker.org/aa.png where there is
    obvious chromatic distortion of the white marker
    post. This image is a crop of the right lower corner of
    a full-size image.

    Online I see a Sigma 28-70mm DG for $100 and a Sigma
    28-70mm EX DG for $350. On Craiglist somebody locally
    is offerring a Canon EF 28-70mm for $800. Would any
    of these make an _obvious_ difference in the example
    Charles Packer, Jan 15, 2010
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  2. Charles Packer

    Martin Brown Guest

    The whole image looks a bit soft to me. Unsharp mask 3 pixels and 65%
    brings the image more nearly alive. Was it taken in mist or fog?
    I'd try using a software fix for chromatic abberation first if I were
    you. The kit lens is never the greatest but if you specifically want a
    lens that will behave right at the corners at all lengths and apertures
    then you need to read the small print on reviews very carefully.

    BTW I liked the time lapse of the fall colours developing.

    Martin Brown
    Martin Brown, Jan 15, 2010
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  3. Charles Packer

    ransley Guest

    There are alot of sites that review lenses, if that isnt the newest
    kit lens than there are better but at what price, you recomend lenses
    that maybe no better than what you have. Looking at the photo, its bad
    and I mean your technique, that would improve your photo the most.
    ransley, Jan 15, 2010
  4. Yes. A fixed focal length lens will give the biggest improvement for
    landscapes for the buck.
    Dunno what your focus point was, but the crop is OoF or just mushy soft.
    John McWilliams, Jan 15, 2010
  5. Charles Packer

    M-M Guest

    Manual levels adjustment to squeeze the histogram will also bring out
    the colors better.

    How do you determine USM 3px and 65%? Would it be the same if the image
    was higher resolution? I never know where to start with that.

    Also, I don't really see CA but perhaps motion blur? Or the resolution
    of the lens is at it's limit.
    M-M, Jan 15, 2010
  6. Charles Packer

    Ray Fischer Guest

    But for you're project it doesn't look like you're using full-sized
    I dislike Sigma.
    And you can get a new Canon 17-40mm for around $700.
    If you were dealing with full-sized images, yes. The 17-40mm is
    sharper and has better color and contrast. But as others have
    pointed out, you could achieve similar results with some processing
    in Photoshop to remove the chromatic aberration and improve color and
    Ray Fischer, Jan 15, 2010
  7. Using a zoom for the type of project outlined introduces too many
    variables. Yes, they could all conceivably be controlled, but why spend
    more money when a good fixed focal length lens will give superior results??
    John McWilliams, Jan 15, 2010
  8. Charles Packer

    Better Info Guest

    For $350-$450 you can beat the performance of a DSLR and its kit lens with
    a P&S camera.


    Here's a test where two models of P&S cameras beat more than just a DSLR's


    Add in the free CHDK software add-on for it and you have unlimited
    versatility for time-lapse projects too, no longer any need to be tethered
    to any laptop or cumbersome battery-packs for lengthy time-lapse projects.
    You can even take video clips between time-lapse still frames if needed.


    Intervalometers (and many other) CHDK scripts.


    The SX10 and G9 are already supported by CHDK. They are presently working
    on porting it to the G11. The G9 and G11 both beat the image quality from
    the new Canon 7D DSLR. The SX10 beating the image quality from the Canon

    You can also admirably remove any CA from your existing camera and lens'
    images with plugins like PTLens, or DeBarrelizer (from
    theimagingfactory.com), the CA filter built into Photoline (from pl32.net),
    or the freeware plugin called CAFree which you can also use in any of the
    freeware editors like IrfanView or FastStone.
    Better Info, Jan 15, 2010
    John McWilliams, Jan 15, 2010
  10. How very small and insecure of you. Because not one bit of what you snipped
    was any kind of bullshit. The fun part is ... everyone who reads those
    links or follows the advice will now know that you alone are nothing but a
    troll and a bullshitter. You trolls do so love outing yourselves, don't
    Outing Trolls is FUN!, Jan 15, 2010
  11. Charles Packer

    Chrlz Guest

    Charles, you;ve been given good advice here by everyone except 'Better

    Off topic information follows..

    'Better Info'/'Outing Trolls' is, of course, the anti-DSLR troll
    formerly known as Vern/Keoeeit/Dave Ingols/MartinS/Casiobear/
    Baumbadier/etc. Here's a picture of Keoeeit:

    And here's an old post from him including a heavily abridged list of
    his former aliases
    and an admission of his behavior:
    ... suffice to say he doesn't like to stick with one name, for very
    obvious reasons. On this thread, why change his name for the second

    Keoeeit has often been asked for examples of his imaging prowess. He
    has claimed that we are not worthy. But he did actually post quite a
    few images back when he was a vigorous forum poster (not so much now
    that he has been banned from just about every place he went (hardly
    surprising)). Despite his cowardly attempts to delete all evidence,
    some remain:
    (Beetle macro - ok, but terribly over-processed)
    (Water droplet - this is actually ok, but does seem to be showing CA/
    PF, even at that size..)
    (IR fox - says Keooeeit - "I'll admit it's not a very good photo...")
    (Raccoons - sometimes content overcomes technical issues, but not
    (Raccoons II...)
    (nice example of aliasing artefacts in the whiskers)
    (Chipmunk - oversharpened and badly cropped)
    (He posted this as 'proof' of P&S low-light superiority.. go figure)
    (crane fly)
    (oversharpened geese panorama)

    If Keoeeit/Better Info has better ones, perhaps he might like to post
    them? Otherwise, those will remain his legacy for all time, and they
    give a good idea of Keoeeit's quality standards and thence why he
    recommends small sensor cameras..

    Outing trolls isn't fun, but sometimes it is.. necessary.
    Chrlz, Jan 16, 2010
  12. Charles Packer

    Ray Fischer Guest

    Go away, asshole troll.
    Ray Fischer, Jan 16, 2010
  13. Charles Packer

    Ray Fischer Guest

    For $0 you can completely ignore the lies that the asshole troll keeps
    trying to push.
    Ray Fischer, Jan 16, 2010
  14. Charles Packer

    LOL! Guest

    Awww... the poor DSLR-Trolls are all upset again. Boo hoo. They always get
    like this every time they've been proved DEAD WRONG. AGAIN.

    LOL!, Jan 16, 2010
  15. Damn! I forgot about the gay outdoorsman part. Is that why you're so
    John McWilliams, Jan 16, 2010
  16. Oh look! Another meaningless and useless TROLL! LOL
    Outing Trolls is FUN!, Jan 16, 2010
  17. A zoom is the only practical solution for my project.
    For the three scenes I'm shooting with a tripod at
    a fixed location (sometimes in the rain!), I need to
    go from wide angle to close in with a minimum of fuss,
    adjusting to put my left and right marker posts close
    to the edges of the frame for each shot.

    As for suggestions to use software, I want to avoid
    algorithms that go beyond information that is actually
    in the image, which is what I understand that the
    unsharp mask does.

    Since nobody said yes you need the $800 lens, I'm
    inclined to look favorably on that Sigma 28-70mm for
    $100 that I mentioned. It is f2.8, which will let in
    more light than the f3.5 of my kit lens, right? I can
    use all the speed I can get for the low light conditions
    I'm shooting in.

    I've completed two years of this project. The first year
    I used an Olympus SP-350 and the improvement by going to
    the Canon 20D is, on inspection of the images at full
    resolution, obvious, but hard to describe. It's
    basically an increase in color depth and subtlety. And
    eventually, somewhere, I hope to exhibit the time-lapse
    movies on a screen large enough to show show them at full
    Charles Packer, Jan 16, 2010
  18. Charles Packer

    Martin Brown Guest

    Experience. Basically you look for a sharp edge or specular reflection
    in the image and try to judge how sharp the point spread function is.

    3px & 65% is a good starting point when the image does not look tack
    sharp. Particularly good for sharpening up image scans that are slightly
    lacking in sharpness before stretching the contrast.
    Zoom in and look at the edges of the white post bottom right and the
    fence posts. The red image scale is about 1 pixel out of register with
    the green and blue images at the extreme edge of field. Leaving a green
    fringe on the inside and a red halo to the outside. Software
    interpolation can be used to correct some of this chromatic abberation
    in post processing.

    Or you could manually separate to R,G,B and rescale the G & B images to
    be a fraction larger crop them to original size and recombine if your
    software does not offer easy chromatic abberation correction. This won't
    help with any wavelength dependent focus errors but it removes fringes.

    Martin Brown

    Martin Brown
    Martin Brown, Jan 16, 2010
  19. Charles Packer

    ransley Guest

    Go to a camera store thats sells them and try them there. The new
    version of the canon Kit lens is very good, go read reviews of it. Im
    sure its better than the sigma from the reviews ive read. What I see
    in your photo is a camera usage-knowledge issue. To get another $100
    lens when you have a $100 lens only makes sense if your present lens
    is defective, which it may very well be. A good store would help you
    the most since they can use the camera and help you if you show them
    the photos you have, nobody here can.
    ransley, Jan 16, 2010
  20. Charles Packer

    ransley Guest

    You shoot in the Rain with non weatherproof equipment! Thats a good
    way to make good equipment junk.
    ransley, Jan 16, 2010
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