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How can i get my pictures sharper?

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8 Dec 2011 - 4:22 PM

Hi guys, as you might have guessed from the title i'm having difficulty with getting tack shapness throughout the whole of my landscape shots. I'm using f16+ but just can't seem to get the same shapness all the way through, just wondered if anyone could give me some advice?? John

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8 Dec 2011 - 4:22 PM

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RogBrown  73006 forum posts England10 Constructive Critique Points
8 Dec 2011 - 4:28 PM

Some info re equipment used would be useful.

justin c
justin c  104526 forum posts England36 Constructive Critique Points
8 Dec 2011 - 4:44 PM

Use a solid tripod, a remote release (or your camera's self timer), mirror lock up. Carefully manually focus on the hyperfocal distance using Live View if you have it. Don't use f16+, use f16 at the very most, less if possible, to minimize the effects of diffraction.
That should be a good starting point but remember that the distant parts of a scene will never appear as critically sharp and detailed as your foreground, it's just not going to happen due to the increased distance between lens and subject/part of the scene, atmospheric conditions, etc.etc.

8 Dec 2011 - 4:56 PM



dcash29  81908 forum posts England
8 Dec 2011 - 5:10 PM

Quote: Some info re equipment used would be useful.

Plus jpg or raw and what processing you do

mattw  105189 forum posts United Kingdom10 Constructive Critique Points
8 Dec 2011 - 5:19 PM

Are you using the 'kit' lens there?

Overread  63763 forum posts England18 Constructive Critique Points
8 Dec 2011 - 5:28 PM

In addition to Mike's links I'd recommend these as well (note check the bottom of the page once you're finished as most have several pages of the article to read)


Depth of field page 1
Depth of field page 2
Note I've specifically linked page 2 of that article as well since it deals with hyperfocal focusing which is of great use for landscape work

KevSB  101407 forum posts United Kingdom5 Constructive Critique Points
8 Dec 2011 - 5:46 PM

Looking at the ops gallery hes using the canon 18-55m, Personally I found this a very soft lens and replaced it but others may have had other experiences

cameracat  108578 forum posts Norfolk Island61 Constructive Critique Points
8 Dec 2011 - 6:11 PM

Quote: hes using the canon 18-55m, Personally I found this a very soft lens

Not unless he got a Nikon to Canon lens mount adapter.....Grin

The fairly cheap Nikon 18-55mm lens also found in kits, Is not bad at all, Certainly around the f/8 to f/16 area, As justin has said don't go smaller than f/16 or you will run into diffraction.

As others have said, We need more detail though, Like are you using an ND filter of any kind, If so what kind etc.


8 Dec 2011 - 7:09 PM

Right cheers guys for all the comments, didn't expect so much feed back...... the problem seems to be more with my waterfall shots, i use a tripod and shutter timer, i've also used a cokin nd 4 filter on a couple of them. The camers is a nikon D70 with a nikon DX 18-55mm lens. Don't know if i'm wanting too much from a fairly cheap set up!??

8 Dec 2011 - 7:32 PM

The D70 is brilliant - the 18-55mm was a poor replacement for the fabulous 18-70mm that shipped with the D70 and the D70s originally. The 18-70mm is readily available for 'not a lot' elsewhere.

8 Dec 2011 - 9:10 PM

cheers mike you've been a big help, much appreciated Grin

8 Dec 2011 - 10:45 PM

A pleasure John - enjoy that camera. Wink

8 Dec 2011 - 11:04 PM

I always found that landscape pix are sharper when I focus manually and have the camera on a tripod. Friends have warned me never to have the VR switched unless the camera is hand-held.

The 18-55 is a very nice lens but check for sloppiness in the front bit.

Nick_w e2 Member 73868 forum postsNick_w vcard England99 Constructive Critique Points
21 Dec 2011 - 11:47 AM

Justin nailed the main points.

Also check the quick release plate is tight, the tripod head is sturdy enough. Get a cable release ( they are only a couple of quid on eBay). Get in to the habit of zooming in to check the display. Other than that hyperfocal distance, F11-F16 for full frame, crop sensor max about F13 (the higher the pixel count the worse defraction is, also lens dependent). Ensure the tripod legs are stable and tight.

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