What is your lens’ sweet spot? It’s something you’ve probably heard mentioned before, but all a lens’ ‘sweet spot’ really means is the aperture setting at which it is the sharpest (learn how to Master your aperture with our free f-stop chart).
It’s important to understand that your lens doesn’t retain the same level of sharpness throughout its aperture range, so by finding your lens’ sweet spot you will put yourself in a better position for getting sharper images.
The unofficial rule states that your lens’ sweet spot will usually sit somewhere in the mid-range apertures of f/8 to f/11. But how do you find that sweet spot? Here’s how to do it in three easy steps.
How to find your lens’ sweet spot
Step 1: Set your digital camera on a tripod and attach a sheet of newspaper to a flat wall (see 4 tips for sharper shots when using a tripod). The share price pages from a broadsheet work best, as you get small text across two pages.
Step 2: Make sure your lens is pointed straight at the paper. Focus on it, then take a series of pictures at each full aperture stop (f/4, f/5.6, f/8, f/11, f/16 and f/22, for example).
Step 3: Look at the shots on your PC screen, zooming in to 100%. You’ll see a difference in clarity and contrast between each setting.