by damned truths

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It sounds like you're doing almost everything right, but there's one detail that caught my attention: Aperture highest the lens offers. I'm assuming that this means that you are stopping the lens all the way down. You shouldn't do that, because the small aperture results in a less sharp image overall due to diffraction. See What is a "diffraction ...


I agree with the comments about aperture, but also don't forget about mirror lockup and using a remote release (or the timer function) for the exposure.


Benjamin, I want to encourage you to consider something different than pursuing only sharpness. That is continue with the different techniques already discussed, focus stacking, super resolution, etc. However, add to your tool belt two sets of other tools. I say this because of your statement "I'm getting great shots.. but I want to capture all the fine ...


Use the delayed shutter release (or a remote) will reduce any shake from touching the camera (which can still affect a camera on a tripod) and the mirror lockup which moves the mirror out of the way early again reducing any vibrations caused by the internal mirror moving during the shot. This may help along with the other advice about finding the sweet spot ...


About the digital processing part, you should avoid using the general purpose sharpening methods like unsharp mask, as these methods will only increase the local contrast — making details more visible but you won't get details back that have become invisible. It is better to use methods that are based on actually reversing the blurring due to imperfect ...


You could also consider trying using a wide aperture, (resulting in a narrow depth of field), and then focus stacking or several different exposures and exposure stacking possibly both - some software options can be found here. While focus stacking is normally used for macro photography it is not restricted to such use and can be very rewarding and should ...


I would use the 50mm, stop down the aperture to f/4 or 5.6, aim for iso 200 and under a second exposure. I would also underexpose by a stop or two. I would tweak the contrast and sharpness in post, but you could try doing a custom picture style by adjusting the picture style contrast and sharpness settings. If you have a flash maybe consider adding some side ...

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