Sharpness throughout Scene??

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by wmc1117, Jun 29, 2009.

  1. wmc1117

    wmc1117 TPF Noob!

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    Ok so I went on a walk and found this small waterfall and decided to take some shots of it, the picture didn't come out to bad but for me it seems to be lacking sharpness throughout the scene. The bark on the tree seems to be really sharp but the leaves and trees seem to be out of focus the deeper the depth of field becomes. I shot this photo with Aperture: 22 and Shutter Speed 1/4. It also might be because it was handheld? But anyways any advice on why I could not get the whole scene to be sharp would be great.

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  2. musicaleCA

    musicaleCA TPF Noob!

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    This is going to sound strange, but stopping up the aperture will get a bit more sharpness for the parts of the image within the DoF. That's because the lens is probably (definitely) not sharpest at f/22. It's likely to be sharpest around f/8-16, or maybe f/5-11 if it's a fast lens.

    That said, even with IS or VR, 1/4 is too slow to hand-hold reliably. Use a tripod when doing these longish exposures to get that blur from the water. That's the most likely reason that mid and background is soft.
     
  3. barfastic

    barfastic TPF Noob!

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    i might sound stupid, but its worth asking... was it windy? maybe some breeze of air moved the subjects in the deeper areas of the pic?
     
  4. wmc1117

    wmc1117 TPF Noob!

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    I think the wind accounted for some of the blurriness on the leaves but...overall I guess it was the lack of a tripod. I was curious is there a website or a reference for understanding where specific lenses are sharpest?
     
  5. Pure

    Pure TPF Noob!

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    Take into consideration, Hyperfocal Distance.

    Also, always use a tripod for these types of photos.
     
  6. musicaleCA

    musicaleCA TPF Noob!

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    photozone.de is awesome when talking about the characteristics of different lenses.
     
  7. Dwig

    Dwig TPF Noob!

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    In this case focusing to the hyperfocal distance wouldn't be exactly the best approach, there is nothing in the picture at infinity.

    A better approach is to use a full DOF calculator, one that takes input for both the near limit distance and the far limit distance, rather than the special case hyperfocal distance calculators that always assume that the far limit is infinity.

    Shots with this extreme range of distances are very difficult if you want everything to seem in focus. Note the following:

    1. You must focus at the proper distance so that what DOF is available is used to best advantage. You don't want to wast DOF at distances closer than the close tree trunk for example. Measure the distance to the near subject, measure the distance to the far subject, and use this data in a DOF calculator to determine the distance to set on the focusing ring (it will be approx 1/3 of the way from the near to far limit) and what f/stop is necessary to achieve enought DOF.

    2. Lenses do not product the best sharpness at excessively small apertures. Short focal length wide angles for crop sensor cameras generally begin to "go soft" at around f/11 to f/16. Stopping down further to f/22 or smaller generally has a noticably negative impact of sharpness.

    3. Leaves move. Long shutter speeds run the risk of motion blur on foliage.

    4. You can't hand hold 1/4 sec, even with vibration reduction systems, and get truely sharp images.

    2.
     
  8. wmc1117

    wmc1117 TPF Noob!

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    Thank you for the input
     

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