Fri 09-Nov-12 11:30 AM | edited Fri 09-Nov-12 11:34 AM by ericbowles
Branko is using View NX2 as an editor for the screen shots posted here. View and Capture will honor the camera settings, so I would make appropriate adjustments using the picture controls.
I would not increase sharpening to the maximum level in the camera. Even if you remove the sharpening in post processing, the maximum setting is probably too strong. I would increase sharpening a little bit from the default setting depending on which picture control you are using.
My take is you can change the camera settings slightly to increase sharpening. Be sure Noise Reduction is turned off unless you need it for a specific situation.
With the 18-200, the lens is a little soft at maximum zoom. Be aware of that softness as it is better at 150mm or so, but use 200mm if you need it.
All of these soft images were shot wide open. Only the most expensive pro lenses are at their best wide open. If you are going to use 200mm with that lens, try stopping down to f/8. Obviously that will reduce light and subject isolation, but it will improve sharpness.
Your camera is working properly. I'd try some practice with targets to work on sharper images with technique and camera settings.
Don't mess with fine tuning unless you clearly are regularly seeing sharp in focus slightly off the focus plane. If nothing is sharp your issue will only be worsened with Fine Tuning. And if you are going to fine tune, you need to have a proper test methodology.