Something I learned...

birdfish

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Thanks to some fellow members here it was brought to my attention that shooting at the lowest aperture is not always the best idea. Just fooling around this morning and testing out what I was told. I used my tripod for both. #1 was shot at f/1.8 and #2 was shot at f/9. Thanks for the advice! #2 looks like a much sharper image to me.

1.
January2012021.jpg


2.
January2012023.jpg
 

Bolthead

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agreed, but it still looks a bit OOF to me.
 

Joey_Ricard

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Sure is does, with a wide aperture like that you will have a very narrow (focus area) DOF to work with. A tripod is a must and if you have "live view" on your camera, use it to focus. Unless you have absolutely great eyesight, focus will be a little harder through the viewfinder in a situation like this.
 

iresq

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While number 2 might a tad sharper, the background is way more distracting. No free lunch.
 
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birdfish

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While number 2 might a tad sharper, the background is way more distracting. No free lunch.

I agree about the background but I wasn't really concerned with that. I was just testing how much sharper my image would be by using a smaller aperture.
 

Joey_Ricard

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I really can't stress enough what a great tool live view is. Anytime I can, I use it. With landscapes as well.
Once you get used to a lens and your DOF at certain apertures, you'll start remembering approximately where you'll want to focus to get your subject or scenery in focus. Thats usually when I use live view to get it really sharp.

Of course this is where the great invention of the digial camera "review" comes in. Check your work, take your time.
 

GnipGnop

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Sorry, but I disagree that a tripod is a must here. It depends on other conditions, namely low light, if a tripod is necessary.
 

pgriz

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If you're trying to see the difference aperture makes in terms of sharpness (as opposed to depth-of-field), put your camera on a tripod, shoot at an object with fine detail (classified ads in a newspaper will work), place it far enough (say 6-8 ft), position it so that it is perpendicular to the lens axis, turn your AF/VR off, go into manual focus and focus (manually) at the center of the target using live-view magnified 10x. Take your first shot wide open, then reduce the aperture by a stop and do another shot. Keep going until you're reached the minimum aperture. Now upload your shots and check two spots: the center, and the upper right corner.<BR><BR>Many lenses will be somewhat soft wide open, then sharpen to their maximum around the mid-range apertures, then start softening again at higher apertures. It is quite instructive to see the difference between the edges and the center. If you go through this exercise, you will have an excellent idea of just how sharp your lens is, and where in the aperture range you will get this sharpness.<BR><BR>Another exercise, while you got the camera on a tripod and the target in place, is to change the camera to auto-focus, and get the camera to focus. Often, you'll find that the AF is less sharp than your manual efforts. This could be a case of lens/camera calibration or misadjustment. If the manual and auto focus are identical, be happy. If they are not, you may want to use a different test that shows you whether you are back- or front-focussing.
 
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Joey_Ricard

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Sorry, but I disagree that a tripod is a must here. It depends on other conditions, namely low light, if a tripod is necessary.

Sure conditions, conditions in general sure, but were talking about him learning how narrow that DOF is at that aperature and range and getting something in focus.

Discouraging him from using a tripod while learning? try prgiz's excersize without a tripod, see how that works out for you.
 

ConradM

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Sorry, but I disagree that a tripod is a must here. It depends on other conditions, namely low light, if a tripod is necessary.

Tripod is a must for pin pointing the narrow focus. I use a tripod + zoom focus assist.

EDIT: if you were to try and hand hold @ f1.8 with something that close, the focus would be off just by you breathing.
 

ConradM

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While number 2 might a tad sharper, the background is way more distracting. No free lunch.

I agree about the background but I wasn't really concerned with that. I was just testing how much sharper my image would be by using a smaller aperture.

Doesn't seem sharper to me. Just OOF more in the first pic.
 

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