One of the first pictures I ever made with a DSLR, how to get all sharp?

Started Apr 24, 2014 | Discussions thread
l_d_allan Veteran Member • Posts: 5,087
Re: Ohne of the first pictures I ever made with a DSLR, how to get all sharp?

Cingen wrote:
I am using the 18-140 kit lens.

Super-zooms with 8x zoom range are inherently less sharp than those with medium zoom range like 3x. There is always a tradeoff. Your D7100 is capable of excellent IQ.

Also, I agree with another reply that post-processing is important to get apparent sharpness.

Sort of hard to know if it's a technical issue or just me being new to this that causes the unsharpness...

If you want to see what your camera + lens is capable of, eliminate as many factors as possible that can detract from IQ:

  • If you have a tripod, use it.
  • Or set the camera on a flat surface
  • Use self-timer and/or mirror-lockup and/or remote shutter
  • Make your test image at the absolute best lighting for this test, outside, with the sun behind you.
  • Sunny 16 equivalent reciprocity in full sun ... 100 ISO, f8, 1/400'th second to eliminate camera shake and diffraction.
  • Flat non-moving subject, like a brick wall. Be "square" to the wall, not aiming up, down, left, or right.
  • With auto focus, the camera will often use an AF point on an object that is the closest to you, which may not be what you intended.
  • Use magnified LiveView to focus precisely. That eliminates any AF micro-adjustment issues.
  • Your D7100 is capable of AF microfocus adjustment. Eventually you may want to check and correct AF MFA, but that can wait.
  • Use a middle focal length of your zoom, like 50mm with a 18-140mm kit lens. That tends to be sharpest.
  • Use a prime lens if you have one. You may very well be able to see a difference between your super-zoom and a prime, but a prime allows you to isolate on your camera's IQ.

I think you'll find the camera's IQ with kit lens is potentially very good to excellent. With the above scenario, if the images are soft, it's possible you have a so-so copy of the lens that could benefit from being inspected. Roger C. at LensRentals has an article on end-users testing their lenses.

If your images have less IQ than the optimal setup described above, the difference is attributable to the guy in the mirror (or difficult lighting, like interior sports, or being outside the "sweet spot" of the lens).

Perhaps ... PEBSBAF ... problem exists between shutter button and floor?

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