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Focus and Focus Questions

I believe I have two handicaps to better photos - focus(optics) and focus(my attention). I'm working on shooting A-preferred, manual focus with a zoom (150-600mm Sigma) on my D7100. I've posted two examples of static shots - from the same distance with different zooms. At first look, these are ok, but not as sharp as I would like - especially when looking at the image on the computer and expanding the image. I would prefer to not use a tripod - just another thing to tote through the woods - but perhaps a monopod would be helpful?