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| p.10 #10 · How much sharpness do you need? |
I was responding to the "If your artistic vision is to have large prints with exquisitely fine details" portion and this takes resolution to support the detail. No matter how sharp an image, when printed to 72dpi on a print, you will not have a sharp looking image when viewed at a close distance.
You need a minimum resolution to print to a certain size. You need sharpness and resolution to produce fine detail.
True, but instead of "sharpness" I'd say that resolution is probably more important... IE. large prints from a larger format camera with higher resolution will be much more important than small changes in lens sharpness on a smaller camera. A mediocre lens on a LF body will produce better large prints than a top lens mounted on a FF DSLR.
In photography, sharpness counts "a lot" if it is required to fulfill your artistic vision*.
If your artistic vision is to have large prints with exquisitely fine details, some gear will do that better than other gear. That's just a fact. It's not really about "chasing gear" but about understanding what gear is required to fulfill your purposes.
*(In the instance of commercial photography, replace "your artistic vision" with "your client's expectations.")
Any image sufficiently in focus will look sharp if you decrease it to a small enough resolution. To go back to the original post, is was observed that some of Ansel Adams' prints appeared soft. Had they been printed smaller, they would likely have appeared much sharper.
But we're mostly playing in the realm of semantics at this stage anyway. Whether we want to talk about "sharpness" or "resolution" or "resolving power" or "MTF" or any other closely related terms...the main point I want to make is that while you don't need expensive gear to make good photographs, you do need a certain level of gear if you are interested in making a certain types of photographs.
In a broad sense good photography doesn't need to rely on sharpness, any more than good sharpness is responsible for creating a good photo. But photography which emphasizes a high level of detail does indeed rely on sharpness.