Aperture in Landscape Photography?

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by CraniumDesigns, Apr 17, 2009.

  1. CraniumDesigns

    CraniumDesigns TPF Noob!

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    Hey Folks,

    So I'm really get into landscape photography. I'm not exactly sure what aperture to use. While f/22 gets everything in focus and creates the deepest DOF, I have heard that f/8-f/11 is the "sweet spot" for sharpness. I want to be able to make large prints someday. How do you balance a wide DOF but still get a sharp print?

    I just got the Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 and I'm excited to test it out.

    Thanks!
     
  2. Sw1tchFX

    Sw1tchFX TPF Noob!

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    Depending on what you're shooting, f/8 might get everything in focus, if you have foreground or background elements, you might need f/22.. it depends.
     
  3. dcclark

    dcclark TPF Noob!

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    I would generally not go as far as f/22 unless you really need it. If you're going for serious sharpness, you'll want to avoid very small apertures, where diffraction can mess with your sharpness.

    I'd stay in the range f/8 to f/16 generally. But that's just a general range, as always, there will be special cases.
     
  4. craig

    craig TPF Noob!

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    Do not be afraid to experiment. Your camera lens combo has the answer. Not us. Search the forums. Somewhere there is a link that calculates/tests the sweet spot of most lenses. My kit lens was near ƒ8 or 11. I refuse to accept that.

    Love & Bass
     
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  5. Garbz

    Garbz No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    f/22 is not only out of the sweet spot. It's well into diffraction range. Anything above f/16 takes a serious and notable sharpness hit even when printing 8x5s.
     
  6. CraniumDesigns

    CraniumDesigns TPF Noob!

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    cool. i'll try to stay in f/8 - f/16 range then. so why would u ever wanna shoot in f/22 or higher?
     
  7. abraxas

    abraxas No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I shoot landscapes almost exclusively. F22 is with few exceptions the maximum aperture I use- I prefer f32 when I can get it. With low iso and the longer exposure times I feel it shows light as it changes. The depth of field full and the colors richer. The effect is sweeping to me. Nothing like a good 1-2 minute twilight exposure to set my head straight.

    As said though, it's about what you want. Experiment.
     
  8. CraniumDesigns

    CraniumDesigns TPF Noob!

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    i understand why you'd want f/22 or smaller for a long exposure, but i'd rather use an ND filter to cut down on the light coming in, and keep a bigger aperture to retain more sharpness in the image.
     
  9. abraxas

    abraxas No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    You asked. I answered.
     
  10. CraniumDesigns

    CraniumDesigns TPF Noob!

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    true, i'm just trying point out that it's probably better to go with f/16 in your case, as most people on this site, as well as other sites, have been telling me the light tends to scatter more on the smallest aperture of ur lens, and that u get sharper images at one stop wider.
     
  11. Torus34

    Torus34 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Are you expecting viewers to look at your pictures from a normal viewing distance -- or to smell them? Sharpness seems to matter mainly to gear and tech wonks. The 'non-serious-photographer' viewer, when looking at a picture, only notices significant blurriness.

    Far, far more important is composition.
     
  12. CraniumDesigns

    CraniumDesigns TPF Noob!

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    true, composition is more important, but i also would love the sharpest shot i can get as well. though nature is a bit more forgiving than mad-made objects, i might want to me a 24x36" print at some point, so i want all the detail i can get.
     

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