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How do I get sharper, in-focus pictures? Want to learn!

jamesvoortman

Durban, ZA
1479 posts

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"RE: How do I get sharper, in-focus pictures? Want to learn!"

jamesvoortman Silver Member Nikonian since 06th Sep 2004
Tue 21-May-13 04:12 AM

I agree with Howard's assessment.

The Boston memorial shot seems sharp throughout, even to the buildings in the background. This is the type of shot at which D800 excels...tons of detail. It was shot at f9 which explains the decent depth of field. Good settings, decent result.

The squirrel and the flowers could both have benefited from smaller apertures too:

For the squirrel, about f8 would have done the trick. This would lower the shutter speed by one stop to 1/125....too slow, so the ISO also needs to be increased....to about 400 or above. Another trick when photographing animals is to focus on the nose/eye area. Our human psyche seems not to mind so much when the rest of the animal is out of focus, as long as we can see its face clearly.

For the flowers, unless very windy, 1/1000 shutter speed is much faster than required for a wide angle shot. f4 will give fairly shallow depth of field. I reckon f11 with a shutter speed of 1/125 would have given equivalent exposure with hugely more depth of field and could have brought the closest blossoms into focus. The hyperfocal distance principle is a useful technique to apply for this type of shot.

On D800 you can jack the ISO up very high and still get very good results. For normal everyday shooting I shoot in Aperture priority and have Auto ISO set on my Shooting Menu Bank A. This allows me to dial in the depth of field I want for each shot and Auto ISO keeps the shutter speed high enough to reduce blur by adjusting ISO upwards when required. In bright light I restrict Auto ISO to around 2000 to keep noise manageable. In dim light, let it range up to 6400 if you need to. Its better to get the shot, even if its noisy than to get nothing.

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