So how many pixels are enough?

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Comments

  • donaldejosedonaldejose Posts: 3,366Member
    I was under the impression from wedding photographers that 24 mp was enough. But 45 mp is better.
  • NSXTypeRNSXTypeR Posts: 2,161Member
    I shoot jpg large and rarely edit, so 20mp DX is fine for me. Right now I'm at 16mp with my D7000.
    Nikon D7000/ Nikon D40/ Nikon FM2/ 18-135 AF-S/ 35mm 1.8 AF-S/ 105mm Macro AF-S/ 50mm 1.2 AI-S
  • KnockKnockKnockKnock Posts: 394Member
    @flip BTW - sorry to read about losing your mother. Did she have have any old photos to pour through?

    Very useful conversation here.
    D7100, D60, 35mm f/1.8 DX, 50mm f/1.4, 18-105mm DX, 18-55mm VR II, Sony RX-100 ii
  • flipflip Posts: 148Member
    Just back from a week of isolation in NJ working to get estate matters in order. Exhausting when you are the only one working on it as others are far away or isolated at their home.

    First, if I were to choose a digital medium which exhibits the closest to 4x5 results (and it was affordable), I would not choose a Phase One product but a Hasselblad h6d-100c. The main reasons would be a) more natural/accurate color and b) TS adapter which allows tilt/shift on many Hasselblad lenses. One can't quibble with the overall output quality of either; however. A recent Hasselblad "story" on the website exhibits Roger Fishman aerial images using the H6D-100c with a Kenyon gyro. Sharpness appears exceptional. I have not tried either, yet!

    2nd, After about 30 minutes of trying to produce digital images of family pics, I found the process beyond tedious to produce any reasonable quantities. Use of a polarizer, tripod and a set-up to straighten curved pics was required. Too much time expended just to get a picture into correct position (i.e. flat). Take into account the large range of sizes, and I gave up fairly quickly.

    I was out in the local park earlier today (before they closed it due to Covid concerns) photographing abundant flowering spicebush in considered compositions. The wind (arch nemesis) was pretty tame so long exposures of several seconds at lowest ISO and Nikkor prime lenses with polarizers gave me the best results possible from that setup. I can't tell you how many times I said, I wish I had brought a 4x5 with velvia 50. The aforementioned Hasselblad would have been a nice alternative.

    Cheers.

    Flip
  • PistnbrokePistnbroke Posts: 2,186Member
    edited March 30
    I just bought D800 back from the dead. I owned one before and used it with my 14mm Samyang at weddings alongside the D 810 .The tests of the D810 showed it to be 20% sharper than the D800 due to the lPF. Later I got the D850 and used it walkabout with the 14mm .Fantastic . Now on the D800 with the low pass filter its terrible compared to the D850
    36 MP +LPF is not enough !


    Post edited by Pistnbroke on
  • donaldejosedonaldejose Posts: 3,366Member
    edited March 31
    I had to stop using a D800 for portraits because it showed too many skin blemishes on "ordinary" people who were not in their 20s with perfect skin.
    Post edited by donaldejose on
  • PistnbrokePistnbroke Posts: 2,186Member
    Its horses for courses I guess ..when the rubber trim arrives I think its gone.
  • Capt_SpauldingCapt_Spaulding Posts: 539Member
    @donaldejose

    I have done very few portraits, but most of few I've done were with a D750 and a 70-200 f4 (usually at 200 f4 to f5.6). Among the comments was "yuck - I can see the bottom of the pores on my nose."

    Those best received were done on that camera with a 24-85 (variable) at 85mm. Wide open, it's soft enough that some of the imperfections are harder to see.
  • PB_PMPB_PM Posts: 4,275Member
    There is a reason that skin smoothing features exist in many photo editors. ;)
    If I take a good photo it's not my camera's fault.
  • WestEndFotoWestEndFoto Posts: 3,432Member
    I want to see everyone of those blemishes. I can cover them up in Lightroom or Photoshop. But I can't make eyes and clothes sharper in Lightroom or Photoshop.

    Another way of saying this is a sharp lens can be as soft as you need it where you need it, but a soft lens can never be sharper.
  • Capt_SpauldingCapt_Spaulding Posts: 539Member
    I've noticed that. How many pixels does it take for one to need skin smoothing to soften the image.
  • PistnbrokePistnbroke Posts: 2,186Member
    I think it was david bailey who rubbed the front element of his Nikon lenses with wire wool to soften his portraits
  • donaldejosedonaldejose Posts: 3,366Member
    edited March 31
    One old trick was Vaseline smeared in the edges of a clear filter. Another was to stretch a nylon stocking over the lens and hold it on with a rubber band. I often do four things to soften the skin while keeping detail in the eyes. 1. Use a 24mp sensor, FX or DX. Actually, 12 mp would be fine. 2. Use a diffusion filter 3. Use a lens not considered optimal for portraits. My wife likes me to use the old Nikkor 35-135 f3.5-4.5 lens which was an early zoom known for not being sharp. I hate doing so. You can now get this lens on e-bay for about $50 which is a very cheap way to have a softer look in portraits. 4. Use post processing but I do not want to consume the time doing that for a large number of photos. Like WEF I treasure sharpness and saturated colors but my wife has different tastes.
    Post edited by donaldejose on
  • spraynprayspraynpray Posts: 6,345Moderator
    edited April 1
    The original version of this photo clearly showed flies circling the Stag. The stags pee all over themselves during the rut and the stink is pretty strong up close I can tell you! The flies were clearly visible even to the extent that in flight the wings showed so my opinion is that 24mp is enough.

    24 mp D7100 with my fabulous 70-200 f4:

    Lord Of All He Surveys
    Post edited by spraynpray on
    Always learning.
  • donaldejosedonaldejose Posts: 3,366Member
    Great photo! Looks like you are dangerously close.
  • snakebunksnakebunk Posts: 936Member
    @spraynpray: Nice photograph! Are you implying that you don't want to see dx cameras with more than 24 mp, or are you only stating that in a certain context it is enough?
  • PistnbrokePistnbroke Posts: 2,186Member
    dont look right to me ..looks like an April fool joke ..too much like a picture on the wall with all those little ones around .
  • donaldejosedonaldejose Posts: 3,366Member
    No, it's his photo. He has others on his flickr photostream. The fly wings may be a joke though, don't know that because flickr doesn't allow me to enlarge to original size. I do know the lens he is using is very sharp.
  • tc88tc88 Posts: 537Member

    Great photo! Looks like you are dangerously close.

    I concur on both points. @spraynpray, excellent work!
  • PistnbrokePistnbroke Posts: 2,186Member
    Looks artificial /photo shopped
  • DenverShooterDenverShooter Posts: 367Member
    A couple of thoughts.

    Want to reduce resolution to add a touch of youth to a portrait shoot? Stretch a piece of panty hose over the front of the lens. ABC TV used to use this on the cameras used on The View when the first generation of HD TV cameras didn't have sufficient skin tone resolution reduction and Barbra Walters looked mighty "antique" in HD without it.

    Portrait Pro does a great job of going back in "time" without making everyone look plastic. Its my go to software for applying a "touch of youth". You need to have a bit of common sense when using it.

    As for resolution, more is always better. Done some shooting with the Phase One gear and the 100+ MP along with the huge color gamut and almost 16 stops of dynamic range absolutely knocked me out. Made my D800E look broken.

    But I shot Mamiya 645 for 40+ years so it's like "going home again". If it didn't cost $55K for a body and $6K for each lens...

    Denver Shooter
  • PistnbrokePistnbroke Posts: 2,186Member
    Ah ,,, Mamyia 645 yes many weddings prior to 2000 on an articulating tripod head that kept the lens always on the same centre landscape and portrait ...what memories .
  • WestEndFotoWestEndFoto Posts: 3,432Member

    The original version of this photo clearly showed flies circling the Stag. The stags pee all over themselves during the rut and the stink is pretty strong up close I can tell you! The flies were clearly visible even to the extent that in flight the wings showed so my opinion is that 24mp is enough.

    24 mp D7100 with my fabulous 70-200 f4:

    Lord Of All He Surveys

    Nice shot. But anything more than 24mp DX with that lens will not improve resolution in the end. That would mean that the lens can resolve 50mp or so in full frame mode. If you want more resolution with that lens, shoot full frame. You would probably get a limited return after 36mp.

    But yes, nice shot. I am sure that you could print it pretty big and hang it on the wall and it would still look good.
  • WestEndFotoWestEndFoto Posts: 3,432Member

    A couple of thoughts.

    Want to reduce resolution to add a touch of youth to a portrait shoot? Stretch a piece of panty hose over the front of the lens. ABC TV used to use this on the cameras used on The View when the first generation of HD TV cameras didn't have sufficient skin tone resolution reduction and Barbra Walters looked mighty "antique" in HD without it.

    Portrait Pro does a great job of going back in "time" without making everyone look plastic. Its my go to software for applying a "touch of youth". You need to have a bit of common sense when using it.

    As for resolution, more is always better. Done some shooting with the Phase One gear and the 100+ MP along with the huge color gamut and almost 16 stops of dynamic range absolutely knocked me out. Made my D800E look broken.

    But I shot Mamiya 645 for 40+ years so it's like "going home again". If it didn't cost $55K for a body and $6K for each lens...

    Denver Shooter

    When the Phase One price comes down by half, I will be in.
  • snakebunksnakebunk Posts: 936Member
    edited April 3
    I think there is an easy experiment you can do to find out if you have enough pixels to get maximum resolution out of a certain lens:

    1. Take a photograph of something with very fine details. Use the lowest iso and make the image as sharp as possible.
    2. Open up the photograph in LR (if that is what you use), and zoom in very deep, like 11:1.
    3. View the edge of a fine detail that is in focus.
    4. If the pixels are well defined and easy to see, the number of pixels is the bottleneck of the resolution of your system. If the pixels are blury and not well defined, the lens is the bottleneck of the resoulution.
    Post edited by snakebunk on
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