10 reasons why your photos aren’t sharp (and how to fix them)

    | Photography Tips | 15/05/2013 00:01am
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    Getting sharp photos is one of the fundamental goals in photography. If your images aren’t as sharp as you’d like, take a look at our ten-point guide to work out where you’re going wrong and how to get it right next time.

    Reason No. 1. Your Photos Aren’t Sharp: Shutter speed too low

    10 reasons why your photos aren't sharp (and how to fix them)

    In the days of film photography there was a general rule that in order to get sharp images from a hand-held camera the shutter speed needed to be at least one second divided by the focal length of the lens.

    So if you were shooting with a 100mm optic the shutter speed needed to be at least 1/100sec, which because of the way shutter speed is set usually translates to a setting of 1/125sec or faster.

    This rule still holds today, but it is somewhat complicated by the focal length magnification factors of sub-full-frame sensors and image stabilisation systems.

    For example, if a 100mm lens is mounted on a Nikon APS-C format SLR like the D5200, which has a focal length magnification factor of 1.5x, the photographer would need to set a shutter speed of at least 1/150sec.

    Canon APS-C format DSLRs like the EOS 650D have a 1.6x focal length magnification factor, so the shutter speed would need to be at least 1/160sec.

    The image stabilisation systems built into some lenses and cameras have a mechanism to compensate for accidental camera movement and this allows slow shutter speeds to be used when the camera is handheld.

    Many lenses now claim a 4EV compensation, which means that the shutter speed can be reduced by 16x. That’s the difference between 1/125sec and /18sec.

    Even with image stabilisation some people are better at handholding a camera steady than others. The amount of coffee and alcohol that you’ve drunk can make a difference as well.

    Reason No. 1. Your Photos Aren’t Sharp: Shutter speed too low
    Reason No. 2 Your Photos Aren’t Sharp: Camera shake
    Reason No. 3 Your Photos Aren’t Sharp: Vibrations from touching the camera
    Reason No. 4 Your Photos Aren’t Sharp: Mirror-slap
    Reason No. 5 Your Photos Aren’t Sharp: Subject movement
    Reason No. 6 Your Photos Aren’t Sharp: AF focused on wrong subject
    Reason No. 7 Your Photos Aren’t Sharp: Continuous AF not selected
    Reason No. 8 Your Photos Aren’t Sharp: Continuous AF selected
    Reason No. 9 Your Photos Aren’t Sharp: Depth of field too shallow
    Reason No. 10 Your Photos Aren’t Sharp: Aperture too small

    READ MORE

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    10 common exposure problems every photographer faces (and how to fix them)
    Master your camera’s autofocus: which AF points to use and when to use them
    15 common photography questions from beginners (and how to solve them)


    Posted on Wednesday, May 15th, 2013 at 12:01 am under Photography Tips.

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