No “Wow!”

Discussion in 'Canon EOS' started by travismcgee, Jun 4, 2008.

  1. Due to poor planning on my part, my 40D and 24-105 f/4 L lens arrived just a day
    before my vacation in Europe. I charged the battery, packed my bags, and read
    the instruction manual on the plane ride over. Since the camera and lens have
    such good reputations, I expected モWow!ヤ when I viewed the images after
    returning. But there was no モwow.ヤ The images seem only slightly better than the
    images from my point & shoot, and many arenメt as good. I shot large jpegs and a
    variety of settings.

    I suspect the problem is

    a) the photographer,

    b) the equipment, or

    c) all of the above.

    My vote is on a), but would you mind taking a look at this image

    http://www.photo.net/photodb/member-photos?user_id=603115

    and telling me if it looks like it should?

    This image isnメt from my vacation. Itメs just a RAW image in Standard picture
    style and all I did was send it to Photoshop from DPP, re-sample to 1500 x 1000
    pixels, convert to 8-bit and save as a jpeg for uploading. Does it look like it
    should?

    Many thanks,
     
  2. "Wow" factor depends upon the photographer, not the camera.
     
  3. Looking at its levels shows that it is underexposed. Tweaking levels improves things somewhat, and adding a touch of saturation and sharpening does a bit more. In truth, though, it's not an inspiring scene. RAW shots let you do a lot of work on manipulating the image very easily - it would be good for you to get hold of a book on RAW to find out how to optimise shots at taking time in order to make the most of them later.
    00PiYw-47119784.jpg
     
  4. Dave,

    A.

    There are a few issues with the example you posted.

    First, the exposure looks off, which probably had something to do with all that darkness is the foreground trees, but is also probably mostly just my eyes taking issue to the time of day. Try experimenting with all the metering modes to see which works best with which type of scene. What camera settings were used to make this photo, and please list all you can?

    Second, the time of day you made the exposure isn't ideal for most types of photography.

    Third, I assume this was just a demo, but if it wasn't, the composition could use some work.

    Keep in mind that the shift from P&S to dSLR is a significant one in terms of the learning curve. I seriously recommend some good books on photography, because P&S cameras don't really encourage proper phtoographic technique, especially when it comes to exposure and aperture control. The WOW is your responsibility.
     
  5. There is no "wow" factor in a lens. Lenses are pretty much just things with objective
    qualities and features.
     
  6. Ignore that darkness in the trees comment, I've twisted myself backwards.
     
  7. Actually I think the lens did a decent job. The image seems sharp. You just need to know how to process your images better.
    00PiaW-47123584.jpg
     
  8. In optimum conditions (e.g., landscapes in bright sunlight) digicams and high-end gear often produce pretty much "perfect" results. Virtually any camera does -- even old box cameras. It's when the light/conditions are not perfect that the cameras distinguish each other. Professional camera bodies and the very best lenses vastly extend the potential shooting range. E.g., reasonable low light is no big deal for a fast lens and a dSLR with good ergonomics, but a digicam will possibly produce only disappointing pictures -- no matter what skill you have. Or while a small compact may take one or two decent sports pictures, for consistently excellent results a high-speed pro camera with L glass is needed.

    But it remains a fact that most amateur photographers are unable to fully realize the possible capability of their cameras -- be it due to lack of skill, counter-intuitive ergonomics or laziness. An excellent point-and-shoot (i.e., Canon's A and G series) may be the better and more economic alternative for those photographers -- these cameras are very, very good with many sophisticated features.
     
  9. "Wow" factor depends upon the photographer, not the camera."

    Pretty much true for 90% of an image -- e.g., the Wow Photog knows how best to utilize light, and in this totally digital world, how to post process in Photoshop to achieve some "wows".

    The 24-105 4L is not a "wow" lens. It's a slow, kit, catch-all, long throw zoom lens. There are so many better lenses optically speaking in that range.

    And re-read what Ken M. wrote.
     
  10. My guess is unrealistic expectations are the cause of the problem.

    In good light when you can use low ISO settings, a good P&S will produce a very nice image. Some of them have excellent lenses.
     
  11. One more take at yours, edited in an old copy of PS CS2: 1. Levels corrected 2. Unsharp mask with large radius at 30% strength 3. Shadows/highlight "corrections" and, 4. a slight BLUE saturation increase.
    00Piap-47125684.jpg
     
  12. Thanks, guys. I appreciate the comments.

    This was just a "walk out the front door and take a picture" exercise to test the camera. I didn't worry about composition, lighting or metering and I didn't do any levels, curves or sharpening in Photoshop.

    And it served it's purpose.

    I didn't get any "You got a bad lens" or "Your camera is defective" comments, which indicates you think the camera did what it was supposed to do under these circumstances. Now I just have to add the "Wow!" myself. I think I still have some around here from my old film days.

    Thanks again!
    Dave
     
  13. Every time I've purchased a new camera - and this goes back a long time - the quality of my images went down for a while. I believe the the reason for that is that I'm concentrating more on the new equipment than I am on the image itself. Once the newness wears off, my images improve again.
     
  14. There's no wow factor because of more than just exposure and post processing. The
    composition is not very good, The snow cap is stuck in the center of the photo, there's
    a tree right in the middle of the snow cap, the foreground trees are not very interesting.
    It's a snapshot at best. It's what the camera was told to see and it captured it rather
    acurately. Any PS camera good, bad or indifferent could have taken this shot and it
    would have looked the same. This happens so often when people think it's the camera.
    So they go out and buy a suggested PRO camera, spend a lot of money for the PRO
    and are dissapointed. Maybe he needs a full frame camera to get the WOW factor.
     
  15. Dave,

    Can you post an example of a photo from your vacation that you aren't satisfied with? It would help a lot in assessing if your problems are just post-processing relating, or technique related, because demo shots only make sure the camera is working right.
     
  16. The 40d did not give much different IQ than 20d, or if comparing std size prints, if fact pretty much as my pentax did early `70`s, if it did make me go Wow, I`d wonder what I did wrong for decades. P S cams are boasted to hell with saturation and sharpness and so lil DR. Now you have the chance to creat your own great images with time and patiece. Don`t expect too much tho at first.

    have fun :)
     
  17. It is quite possible to produce "wow" photographs with the 24-105 lens, though using
    this lens - or any other lens - will not have much to do with any perceived "wow" quality
    in the final photograph.
     
  18. I relate to Phil Winter, each model takes time to adjust to, I did find the 40d dissapointing straight out of the box compared to my original D30 20d and others in between, once adjusting the picture styles to suit me, it was fine. You don`t hop in and drive a new car till you adjust the seat and steering wheel to suit your driving style, 40d the same

    enjoy it
     
  19. For landscape and travel photography lighting is very important (and far more important than the camera). The light in this picture is very flat and all the tweaking of exposure and photoshop post processing will never make it a truly "wow" kind of shot.

    Ken's comments on the 24-105 f4 L strike me as nonsense.
     
  20. I think the shot looks fine. It has a good tonal range and no artifacts (fringing, etc). This is the sort of file you want as a starting point for post-processing. It's easy to increase contrast and brightness to make the image punchier.
     
  21. Geoff, what part of this is nonsense: The 24-105 4L is not a "wow" lens. It's a slow, kit, catch-all, long throw zoom lens. There are so many better lenses optically speaking in that range.

    Are you saying it's the best lens in that range? Are you saying it's a fast lens? Are you saying a more than 4:1 zoom has not many inherent trade-offs in its design and optical rendering? It's a kit lens for the 5D more or less. I'd be interested in why you think I am full of it.
     
  22. Users of the 24-105 f4L (and I am one) report that it is one of the best zooms they have used.

    Sure it is exactly 1 stop slower than Canon's f2.8 zooms. That may matter to some, but it is hardly a deal breaker for many. How often does anyone shoot a landscape at f2.8?

    Are you saying that the 24-105 L doesn't produces images comparable to other Canon L zooms? Are you saying that because it is bundled as a kit with the 5D that it must be like Canon's other kit lenses such as the 18-55 zoom? Are you saying that 4:1 zoom has vastly more inherent tradeoffs in design and optical rendering than a faster 3:1 zoom such as the 24-70?

    Are you saying that users of the 24-105 f4 L report that their photos have much more wow factor when they switch to the "so many better lenses optically speaking"? If so which are they?
     
  23. This is an interesting discussion and I'm learning a lot.

    Perhaps I should explain what I meant by "wow." I was speaking more technically than artistically. It was more of a "Wow, that's a fast computer" than "Wow, that's a beautiful website you created." I guess I expected to be more impressed with the quality of the lens and camera sensor than I was. Does that make sense?
     
  24. So what are some better lenses in this range? Every lens is a trade off in one way or
    another.
     
  25. The 24-105 is not much of a WOW lens at 24 or 105, judging from photozone. It is a 3.5 star lens for optics. The Tamron 17-50 is great for the crop bodies.
     
  26. "Geoff, what part of this is nonsense: The 24-105 4L is not a "wow" lens. It's a slow, kit, catch-all, long throw
    zoom lens. There are so many better lenses optically speaking in that range."

    Subjectively speaking, I read this as a dismissal of the EF 24-105mm f/4 L IS as a non-descript, mediocre
    lens. If that is your intent, I have to disagree strongly.

    While there may be "better lenses optically" in that range (though I sure can't think of any other 24-XXmm
    zooms that are demonstrably "better" in all ways) the 24-105 is a fine lens that can produce quite excellent
    results.

    As I'm certain you know, the term "kit" lens is used to describe the cheapest entry-level lenses, lenses that
    may be OK optically but which are constructed somewhat cheaply and aimed at beginners.

    Perhaps I misunderstood your term "catch all." While I interpret this to mean sort of "jack of all trades, master
    of none," perhaps you meant that it is a fine performer in a wider variety of circumstances than its
    competitors?

    By default, given my earlier post, I have to agree that it is not a "wow" lens - but that is because I don't think
    there is such a thing as a "wow" lens. So, while I agree with you, it isn't because the 24-105 fails to meet the
    "wowness level" of other competing lenses.

    All of this is not to say that the 24-105 is the "best" lens for all users or all purposes. Depending on ones
    intentions (and I don't mean standards of IQ) the "best" lens could be the 24-105, the 24-70, or even the EFS
    17-55 f/2.8.

    Dan
     
  27. "It is a 3.5 star lens for optics. The Tamron 17-50 is great for the crop bodies."

    I am not sure how photozone come up with their star rating but 3.5 stars is what the 17-40 L and the 24-70L get, while the Tamron which has much the same MTF perfromance, more CA and field curvature gets 4. Go figure?

    The real question is whether Dave's photo would have changed dramatically if much at all if he had used a different lens?
     
  28. Probably the best thing for "WOW" are the right filters. If you want the sky to pop more a polarizer is a big help. People rely on photoshop too much IMHO.

    The Tamron lenses often have better MTFs than the Canon lenses, so they get better scores. Photozone does not measure lens contrast or flare resistance, which have a big influence on "WOW," however.
     
  29. Howdy!

    Dave, before I ramble on, I must compliment you on your attitude and willingness to learn. It's way cool.

    I suspect that the "wow" you were looking for comes from the experience of capturing a scene well with a minimum of effort by using a state of the art toolset.

    In response to that, I have two words:

    Me too. ;^<)>

    Every time I pick up a camera, I want the same experience. You are definitely not alone.

    While state of the art tools do not guarantee a "wow" experience, they certainly help. But the more experience and knowledge you obtain, the easier it will be for you to obtain the "wow" experience. And this forum is an excellent resource.

    As much as we argue the relative merits of this or that lens, I myself have experienced "wow" with three (and only three) lenses:

    50mm f1.8 - This thing is less than a hundred bucks AND has excellent optical quality!

    85mm f1.8 - Sharp as a tack, and focuses really fast in low light!

    70-200mm f2.8L IS - This thing is really freaking heavy (and expensive), but for the image quality and versatility, I'll carry it all day!

    Even though it has excellent image quality, I don't get a Wow! out of my 17-55mm f2.8 IS. As a portrait photographer, most of my "wow" comes from the ability to isolate a subject from the background. Wide angle is nice, but it doesn't necessarily "wow" me.

    Of course, everybody has different tastes. Keep asking questions. Look for inexpensive ways to add "wow", such as filters. You'll get there.

    Later,

    Paulsky
     
  30. For Ken Papai, I'm interested in your comment about the 24-105/4L as I was planning to buy one of these in the near future. Everything I've heard about this lens is that's it's basically "as wow as a zoom can be". Maybe not quite on par with the 70-200L's and certainly not as good as a prime, but you make it sound rubbish? What would you suggest as an alternative?
     
  31. first off, that looks like it isn't far from MY Front door, maybe 20 miles? Where is that roughly?

    After reading all of the responses I think everyone has provided some good direction and I agree with them. I think Paul Thomas has the right of it though and its something I'm learning myself. I've been shooting digital for close to 7 years now and I rarely see 'wow' other than the subject. I caught a hockey player jumping over the goalie once, that was wow. But there were faults with it too.

    As I begin to try out Medium format and Large format cameras, all I can afford are prime lenses, and the results do give me that 'wow' even if the composition is off a bit. My Mamiya has only an 80mm lens and I get sharper images from that than my dSLR with zoom lenses. Its enough to push me towards prime lenses for my digital gear and the 85mm is one I definitely want. If at all possible rent or borrow a prime lens and see if that helps your images 'pop' or 'wow' at all.

    Just a suggestion and good luck!
     
  32. The problem is the photographer, no hard feeling :). You're just too new for your DSLR...spend some time with it, read the manual, learn post processing technique, take a lot of pictures and make note of your mistake and eventually you'll have some WoW images. Don't expect to get WoW images right away just because you have a $1000 camera and an L-series lens. Good lucks
     
  33. I could formulate my opinion, but it would cover a lot of things already said ...

    So i'll keep it to this: It's not the gear that you use, but what you do with it that causes "wow". With almost all the cameras i bought i was disappointed at first, but i just had to learn to use it, and discover its strong points. The difference between SLR and digicam become more obvious the harder the circumstances; low light, sports, macro ...

    And this, my "lens wows" ;)

    EF-S 17-55: Incredible image quality (matched by none of my other lenses), and by far the fastest focusing lens i have (especially in low light). I hear a lot about the low-light focus speed of the EF 85/1.8, but it's way slower than the 17-55.

    EF 85/1.8: Something about the pictures it takes really appeals to me. I think it's the combination of shallow DOF, great contrast, and great colors ...
     
  34. isa

    isa

    In digital is essential learning well the post process technique.and always to know well your camera.
     
  35. You have got a lot of good comments about post processing which are useful. I want to add, actually ask, what time of day was this photo taken? Looks like around noon if I read the shadows correctly. That is a bad time of day to take landscapes - no amount of excellent equipment is going to get you a wow picture if the light is bad... <p>
    Given the equipment you have, compared to a point and shoot, you should get more "wow" when you make bigger prints. Also when you take photos that depend on detail - this setup should be sharper than a point and shoot (that was the case for me when I switched to L lenses...). The other "wow" you may get is when shooting at higher ISOs - the new camera should have a lot less noise. That was a major "wow" for me after ditching film for the 20D.
    <p>
    The bottom line is that wow starts mainly with the photographer - equipment only ads the icing (or allows the wow in the first place).<p>
    Cheers and keep shooting (especially during the golden hours...)
     
  36. That shot seems to have been taken around mid-day. IMO this is the worst time for
    contrast and color. Try shooting around the "magic hours" and using a graduated ND
    filter for even contrast between sky and land as well.
     
  37. Never do an early judgment on anything. I bought a Nikon D40 in January, with the kit lens;
    18-55 and I dropped my jaw when I get the first 50-100 images. I carrying all the time with
    me, beside the D300 and the film FM3a. I have images on the PN, shoot with this camera,
    and you would not tell witch is from my D300 or the D40. This little plastic lens, 18-55 ( 2 ED
    glass inside) is a miracle. Better the the new VR versions. And I bought a 16-70 VR for it, just because, I like wide angles. I can say only one world. The camera is a little marvel.
    And I bought an after-market battery holder/grip to it, (eBay; $36.00 holding two batteries.) because for my hand, the camera was to small. I can say a lot of "WOW" now.

    Cheers; Bela Laszlo Molnar
     
  38. it

    it

    It's all about the light. Tough to get a decent shot at that time of day.
     
  39. First, I have to say that I feel like I'm sneaking into an area I normally don't venture as I use Nikon equipment. However, I think in principle, the camera is not the issue. The last few comments about the lighting and time of day are right on the mark I believe--the sun at "high noon" makes it only more difficult to produce an image that truly inspires. Composition is also a component of the 'wow' factor to which you refer--this goes a long way to make or break a successful image. I also don't get a sense of what *you* are looking for when you speak about this wow factor---what do you feel is lacking in the image? With what you know about photography and your equipment, what do you think you could do/or could have done to make this image better?

    I do find it interesting that the lenses some of you have mentioned for Canon for your great shots are the same ones I use on my Nikon: the 50mm f/1.8, the 85mm f/1.8 and 17-55mm f/2.8 are capable of llowing me to make some very good images.

    Please forgive me for straying into foreign waters! I'll work my way out now. take care.
     
  40. Going from a point and shoot producing a jpeg, to a DSLR shooting raw can be a shock. You'll get more useful resolution and lower noise at higher ISOs, but the picture will look more drab depending on the settings of your camera and the program you use to "develop" the raw image. You can use Canon's Picture styles to set your initial settings (I use Landscape) and that will do some similar things to the point and shoot like boost saturation, sharpening, etc. Then you can experiment to where you like the settings.

    Even then, in RAW the settings are only "advice" that the camera is giving the developing program. If that program heeds them, what you see on screen will match your expectations. If not, then you'll have to set the settings to what you want.

    What I'm saying is that RAW gives you a lot more control, but also requires more involvement on your part than the point and shoot did.
     
  41. Amen to all of the above. A priority list to achieve WOW would look something like this. Subject. Lighting. Composition. Camera settings. (filter?). Media (RAW, or JPEG). Post production. Lens. Camera.

    Also, David's point is well taken. RAW images out of the camera usually look like *X&$#**X&$#**X&$#**X&$#*, but give you the best possibility opportunity to end up with a WOW finished image if you're willing to spend the time to learn how to use the tools. And be forewarned, the learning curve will require a substantial investment in time including trial and error.
     
  42. Your lens did fine. Point-and-shoot cameras usually have the levels set so that you do not usually have to do any further post-processing. They are made mostly for persons who want snapshots and who expect the camera to do it all.

    DSLRs, on the other hand, give "conservative" files in most cases (in terms of levels and other variables) so that you can decide what to do with them. This seems like trouble, but it is one big reason most photographers prefer DSLRs: they give more creative control.

    That said, you have to do the "creating," that is, take a fairly flat file and make it into the picture you want. If this is too much trouble, then going back to a point-and-shoot is always an option--at least for many shots that might not justify getting out the DSLR.

    Not really that bad for a snap out the door. . . .

    --Lannie
     
  43. That photo literally was "out my front door." I'm on the board of directors for my homeowners association and I was walking up the street with my new camera at mid-day to document a poor job of concrete pouring at one of the homes. I saw the mountains hanging above me, flipped the camera over to RAW from JPEG, and fired away. My intent was to send the RAW to a buddy and ask him if he thought the camera was working okay (technically, not artistically), but then I remembered the PhotoNet forum and posted it here too.

    And am I glad I did! I really appreciate the comments and discussion and I don't mind being told the problem is the photographer. I prefer that to hearing it's the equipment (although the jury is still out on my choice of lens. (grin)) After all, I was testing the camera, not shooting for National Geographic. That's also why there was no post-processing.

    Chris ヨ that's a photo of the Wasatch Front of the Rocky Mountains. My job brought me to Utah in 1991 and I live in Cottonwood Heights.

    Paulsky ヨ does your 50mm f/1.8 "hunt" when it tries to autofocus and eventually fail? I bought one too and in low light conditions the autofocus motors back and forth until I give up and turn it off. Under the exact same conditions, my 24-105 will snap to focus, although at a much slower shutter speed. Testing that lens is my next project.
     
  44. When i bought my DSLR, i too had high expectations that the camera would perform miracles. That the images would be amazing, but after my first trip i was left dissapointed wondering why they were pretty abismal. It is in the editing side that i could make the images alot better. Keep shooting and messing with the editing side of things!
     
  45. "I didn't worry about composition, lighting or metering and I didn't do any levels, curves or sharpening in Photoshop"
    You can't shoot like that AND expect a wow,right? (:cool:
     
  46. Howdy!

    Dave, you can solve the 50mm f1.8 focus hunting problem (or any lens focus hunting problem) with either a Canon ST-E2 or a Speedlight.

    The ST-E2 is a controller for external Speedlights, but it also does a very nice job of painting the subject with a pattern of red lines that work great for autofocus.

    Granted, it's Two Hundred Bucks, so unless you do a lot of work in really low light or work with external flashes, it's probably not worth it for you.

    On the other paw, if you have a Speedlight and a 40D, you can turn off the flash functionality and use the autofocus assist functionality on the Speedlight to achieve low light photography without flash, in the same manner that you would use an ST-E2.

    And of course, there's always the "pop-up flash autofocus assist" but that's really gross, and if you're going to use it, you might as well shoot flash.

    Later,

    Paulsky
     
  47. "I guess I expected to be more impressed with the quality of the lens and camera sensor than I was. Does that make sense?"

    It makes sense that you'd want to see some real difference having spent a lot of money on gear. However, despite what you might read on the web and despite what the camera and lens makers will tell you, the difference between a $1000 system and a $2000 in terms of technical quality is a lot closer to 10% than 100%. Sure you get more when you pay more, but it's a matter of diminishing returns. If you'd bought an $8000 1Ds MkIII you'd have been even more surprised that you didn't get an instant "WOW" factor.

    It's like cars. A $400,000 Ferrari doesn't really have that much more "WOW" than a $200,000 Ferrari (at least not $200,000 worth more WOW). Of course if you compare it to a $20,000 Toyota Camry, then the WOW factor comes into play!
     
  48. "The 24-105 4L is not a "wow" lens. It's a slow, kit, catch-all, long throw zoom lens. There are so many better lenses optically speaking in that range."

    As with all posts on an Internet forum you will get correct information and you will get incorrect information. A couple of points. There is no such thing as a professional camera or lens. If an expensive camera is used by a novice it is just an average camera. If a cheap camera is used by a skilled pro, it is a professional tool. Simple logic. A good carpenter can use a $5 hammer or a $50 hammer and still drive the nail perfectly.

    The real issue here is the way you are using the camera. You have a fine camera and a very incredible lens. Asking the camera to decide how best to capture the image is like having someone else take the picture "they" see and not "you". Learn to use your creative modes on the camera and how to process your results and you may have a much better chance at "WOW".

    Most of the Canon Masters of Light photographers will most likely tell you they all use the 24-105 at times, and I know one who says it's his favorite portrait lens. Kit lens? NOT.

    Take your time to learn your gear and you will be happy with the investment you have made.

    Lou
     
  49. WOW!
    Bob knows all about Ferrari's too! :)
    (ducking for cover)

    You're on the other side of the rockies to me!
     
  50. A good carpenter can use a $5 hammer or a $50 hammer and still drive the nail perfectly.

    what if the $5 hammer handle breaks in half? In some extreme conditions, the more expensive tool may stand out. Just like cars, you will not see a difference at corning 10MPH in any cars. In 60MPH corning, yea, Ferrari stands out.
     
  51. This is an interesting discussion and I'm learning a lot. Perhaps I should explain what I meant by "wow." I was speaking more technically than artistically. It was more of a "Wow, that's a fast computer" than "Wow, that's a beautiful website you created." I guess I expected to be more impressed with the quality of the lens and camera sensor than I was. Does that make sense?
    Dave, I think your lack of "wow" must come from having been using a pretty good digital point and shoot camera. At low ISO settings and a wide landscape with lots of depth of focus, the images from these point and shoots should look just about the same as your new "pro" type camera.
    Now, how to feel that you've gotten your money's worth?
    Shoot some photos of people on the move and see how the camera takes the picture as you press the button instead of 2 seconds later as the point and shoots tend to do.
    Buy yourself the $80 50mm 1.8 lens and crank the ISO up to 800 or even 1600 and take some photographs in a dark interior. Don't use the flash. Compare to your old point and shoot in the same situation and you might say "wow".
    Shoot some high contrast landscapes with large deep shadows late in the day or early morning. Shoot in RAW mode and learn to use the RAW converter. Compare to your point and shoot and you'll see a big difference, I promise when you make a large print.
    So, don't worry, you have a great camera and lens!
     
  52. Although I already commented on post-processing, I am reminded that so many digital files just need a bit of brightness and contrast adjustment to get them to "pop" pretty well. After resizing and converting to JPEGs, adding unsharp mask might be the only additional thing you need to do before uploading. (I generally print from TIFFs, for what that's worth.) I think that you will catch on pretty fast as to what works for you with a minimum of time and effort expended sitting in front of the computer, so that you can do what you want to do, which is get out the door and get the shots.

    I know that I rarely do a lot of post-processing, even though I can. I am usually satisfied to make the picture look like what I saw. Once in a while, though, I will fiddle with levels and curves and some other things that can quickly enhance or provide surprises. (There's no end to what one can learn in Photoshop.) I am still surprised, however, that brightness and contrast adjustments are often enough to give me the most of the results I really want.

    One last point is worth mentioning: some cameras produce files that are also chronically low in saturation, and so boosting the saturation six or seven percent (or whatever) has to be part of the routine. There really are not that many variables that you have to manipulate to get a good bit of creative control if all you want is a good reproduction of reality--or a slightly enhanced version, but not so obviously enhanced that people look at the photo and immediately say, "shopped." I am with those who think that photo-shopping is best (in most cases) when one cannot tell that it has been used.

    --Lannie
     
  53. I will have to assume that Ken Papai has never used the 24-105 f/4L lens. That is the only explanation for his comments regarding this lens. Sure it isn't a super fast prime, but as zooms go, it doesn't get much better than the 24-105 f/4L. Ken, if you can name a few, for the benefit of the rest of us please do.
     
  54. Must take exception to Ken's assessment of the 24-105! Not a "wow" lens-- how interesting and (in my experience) false! Fantastic zoom for its class and I've been nothing less than very pleased with the results.
     
  55. Put a sharp lens on the camera then compare. IMO the 24-105 is not a stellar performer. Should be fine in a small print, however.

    As for all the technical suggestions and edits that everyone has made, they are all subjective and don't have anything to do with the lack of "wow" you are experiencing. I am sure some love the super saturated one above, but I would call it horrid. It is all just a matter of opinion. The word "correct" should be avoided. The purpose of these cameras is to give you full control to make as many artistic decisions as possible, not to give you pictures with "wow". You would be best served learning how to manipulate the camera to serve your intentions, rather than learning to make "correct" exposures. I would start with a class at the local city college and go from there.
     
  56. You posted a simple question and got a whole introduction to photography here. Go ahead and learn the rest of the craft, sweat, slave, go to the ends of the earth to find a fantastic subject, get the in-camera technique just right, post-process to perfection, print it with sublime technique on horrendously expensive paper with archival inks and an incredible printer, and show it. You're perfectly sure to get the same reaction every time:<p>"Wow, you've sure got a good camera!"
     
  57. "Fantastic zoom for its class ..."

    I cannot argue with that, just the "Wow" part of the O.P. You're not gonna find a total "wow" in an all-in-1 lens, not even a Canon L.

    I own FOUR lenses, all with some overlap in the 24-105's range. All four of those lenses are 'better' than the 24-105. What do you expect me to say! ;) -Ken
     
  58. I think the Wow of the 24-105 is simply it does so much very well. I know many
    photographers ( mostly pro wedding guys ) who use this lens 85% of the time. its good
    enough for me.
     
  59. Charles - I laughed out loud when I read that. It was perfect!

    Thanks, everybody. This fun stuff and I'm enjoying the process. I even printed out the manual for Digital Photo Professional and I'll wade through it. I'm also flying to New York City tomorrow and I'll take my camera. Maybe I'll find some "wow" there.

    Cheers,

    Dave
     
  60. You might try a prime or two on the 40D. The 24-105 is ia good lens, but a good prime will beat a zoom every time--except in terms of composition and convenience.

    I still suspect that post-processing is the bigger problem based on what you have posted, but let us not forget lenses. It is amazing what good lenses can do for images. I have the 24-105, and it is a useful lens, but it is not the lens I carry when I want the sharpest possible shot.

    --Lannie
     
  61. "Wow" in so many ways!

    http://www.photo.net/photo/7390449
     

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