Is there something wrong with my lens?

abcx

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Hello,

I'm new here and was hoping that someone could help diagnose potential problems with my lens. It's like this: I've noticed a distinct lack of sharpness recently with my 18-55mm (non-VR) Nikon D40 kit lens and am not sure if I'm just using the wrong settings or if I knocked some lens element out of alignment that's causing these issues. I've been using the same camera/lens for about 4 years now and it's only in the past couple of months that the photos don't look as sharp, which makes me think that it's something to do with the lens since I've been shooting at the same aperture, exposure comp settings as I've always been. I've had it looked at a Nikon service center and they couldn't seem to find anything wrong with my lens or camera but they also wanted me to shoot landscapes at f/22 despite my protestations about diffraction effects so I'm not sure how knowledgable they were (especially since this was in India - I'm currently traveling). I'm wondering if folks have any thoughts on whether there is a genuine problem here with my equipment or I'm just a lousy photographer who doesn't know what aperture to use when. The problem seems to be most pronounced when there are objects/background at a range of distances because photos where the whole frame comprises of one object at one distance (like a painting) seem to come out fine. I like shooting landscapes so this 'problem' is annoying.

I don't think it's an auto-focus issue as I've tried both auto and manual focus and it persists. And auto-focus works great on images at just one distance.

Unfortunately, I don't really have access to another lens to see if it performs better.

I've attached some recent images here in the hope that someone can help. Problems are more evident when seen full-size.

$DSC_0156.JPG$DSC_0163.JPG$DSC_0233.JPG$DSC_0323.JPG$DSC_0324.JPG


Thanks!
 
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A

abcx

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Bump. Anyone?
 

bazooka

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It's difficult to tell without seeing the full size, but these look fine to me.
 

KmH

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ph0enix

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Could you post some of your older/sharp landscape images for comparison?
 

TCampbell

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Two things:1). Whenever you're having issues with sharpness, post a detailed section at 100% crop so we can scrutinize the detail (we don't need a full size image. Just a crop on a section where your camera claims to have locked focus.) 2). A camera will, at some point, become "diffraction limited". You can search for articles on the topic (cambrideincolor.com had a great article as I recall.). This is a physics problem due to the wave nature of light. A single beam of light will never technically focus at a single point... But focuses to create the Airy disk.). When a camera becomes diffraction limited depends on several factors. The point is.... Sometimes f/8 or f/11 will be sharper than f/22 when you are pixel peeping.
 

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