Ever since I got my Canon EOS 760D, I felt like my images weren't as sharp as they were on my Nikon 1 V1. I hadn't used my 760D for a long time, but on recent photos I felt as if it was worse than it used to, example: enter image description here

A little zoomed: enter image description here

To me, it's as if the out of focus parts have some kind of bloom, it even seems as if some parts are "doubled" (edges).

I use a Canon EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM lens, I don't know if that's normal (low lens quality?) or if there is something wrong with the lens.

What do you think?


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    \$\begingroup\$ Possible duplicate of Why are my photos not crisp? \$\endgroup\$
    – mattdm
    Jun 18, 2019 at 13:41
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    \$\begingroup\$ have you shot anything on a tripod? Or manually set a fast shutter speed? Seems like motion blur due to a slow shutter speed almost \$\endgroup\$
    – timvrhn
    Jun 18, 2019 at 13:42
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    \$\begingroup\$ I think that @Tetsujin has the answer for this particular photo...but you say there are others. Most of the time, I ask posters to focus on single images. However, in your case, I think it would be helpful to have a few more to see if there is a pattern in your technique that needs to be fixed. Cheers, \$\endgroup\$
    – OnBreak.
    Jun 18, 2019 at 15:53
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    \$\begingroup\$ Also note that most lenses are sharpest a stop or two down from max. I've no experience with you lens in particular but would assume, based on this generality, that 18mm would perform best around ~f/5.6 (1 and a third stops up from max). In addition to what's written below, please make sure to test and understand the limits of your gear. \$\endgroup\$
    – OnBreak.
    Jun 18, 2019 at 15:57
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Hueco Most cheap zoom lenses are also sharper zoomed in a tad from the widest setting, too. \$\endgroup\$
    – Michael C
    Jun 19, 2019 at 0:28

4 Answers 4


I'm going to try spin some of the comments into an answer, even if this does eventually end up being marked as a dupe of Why are my photos not crisp?

From your settings, 1/1000s, f/4, ISO 100 at 18mm then motion blur is probably not the principal cause. Autofocus error is a much more likely candidate.
There is some slight aberration at the edges of the frame, but I don't think this is a major issue, considering the focus is off.
Wide angle lenses don't really lend themselves to beautiful bokeh anyway.

It looks like the camera chose the woman in left nearfield as the point of focus, which then will leave the entire 'subject' ie the garden itself, out of focus.
After comments - I think it's quite possible that the autofocus selected the woman whilst she was closer to camera. She then took another pace or two before the shot was taken, leaving even her just slightly out of focus too.

Practically, this could have been ameliorated by either forcing the camera's focus point to a specific area of the frame, or by manually focussing somewhere in middle distance. At 18mm f/4, any focus point more than 5m away would be as close to infinity as makes no difference for anything over 2.5m away.[1]
Opening the aperture still further would have softened the foreground, which may have better pushed attention towards the garden itself, & softened the foreground distraction.

Aesthetically, I'd have waited til she got right out of the way.
Even in a busy place sometimes standing there for 5 minutes might give you just one good opportunity with no-one near enough to distract..

[1] See the DoF calculator at Cambridge in Colour

  • \$\begingroup\$ Playing around w/ cambridgeincolour.com/tutorials/dof-calculator.htm - I assumed the woman was 12 feet away, which does put the furthest acceptable sharpness at 112 feet. That being said, had OP focused at 14 feet away, everything from 6 feet to Infinity would have been acceptable. I believe there's a point here to be made about wide/super wide lenses and hyperfocal distance being the go-to focus distance for "everything sharp" images. \$\endgroup\$
    – OnBreak.
    Jun 18, 2019 at 15:27
  • \$\begingroup\$ A pure guess is that the autofocus picked the woman, who then took another couple of paces before the shot was taken - that's my guess as to why even she isn't fully sharp; focal distance closer to 2m + 2 paces would do that. Though that DoF calculator says infinity at anything past 5m, which I wouldn't have guessed, so I'll tweak that in my answer. \$\endgroup\$
    – Tetsujin
    Jun 18, 2019 at 15:46
  • \$\begingroup\$ I believe that you are right about the woman being picked as subject and her moving while OP composed and shot. \$\endgroup\$
    – OnBreak.
    Jun 18, 2019 at 15:52

Factors that contributed to overall blurriness in the example image:

  • The camera centered focus a tad closer than the lady in the foreground. You might have locked focus with a half-press of the shutter (One Shot AF mode?) and then she walked a bit further from you before you fully pressed the shutter.
  • Most of the frame is filled with things much further from the camera than the focus distance. The further things are proportionally from the focus distance, the blurrier they get. Something 100 feet further than a focus distance of 5 feet will be blurrier than something 100 feet further than a 15 feet focus distance. In the first case the object 105 feet from the camera is 21X further than the 5 feet focus distance. In the second case, the object 115 feet from the camera is only 7.67X further than the focused subject at 15 feet.
  • At f/4, the lens is only one-third stop from wide open at f/3.5. Most lower priced consumer lenses, such as the EF 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM, are a little blurrier wide open than they are stopped down between one and two stops.
  • Your shutter time of 1/1000 is unnecessarily short for an 18mm focal length. You could have stopped down to f/8 (two stops dimmer than f/4), exposed for 1/250 second (two stops brighter than 1/1000), gotten the same exposure, but much deeper depth of field. Even if that had revealed a bit of motion blur in the woman walking away from the camera, it would have almost certainly been less blur than that which resulted from waiting too long between focusing and exposing.

One thing that is not mentioned in the other answers but probably a contributing factor to

Ever since I got my Canon EOS 760D, I felt like my images weren't as sharp as they were on my Nikon 1 V1

Is that the Nikon 1 V1 has a smaller sensor and because of that it's harder to "get out of focus".
This means your in focus area is much more tolerant and the camera will give you a sharper overall image.
Note that with 'sharper overall' I mean anything from near to far will be better in focus, kind of like with a cell phone.
It's hard to get any bokeh at all if your subject is even just a few feet away.
If you go very close a small sensor camera can give you bokeh.

I believe "the problem" is that you need to learn how to use a larger sensor.
If you want a "cellphone picture" (with everything in focus) then you need to close that aperture to f8 or f11.
If you want to take a portrait photo open the aperture as much as possible.

My intention is not to insult you now, but this kind of photo of nothing straight out like that is not what a larger sensor camera is meant to be used for. At least not without a subject that helps focus the eyes.
Use a point and shoot (or phone) with a smaller sensor for that or close down the aperture (meaning don't use auto mode).

The auto mode is not your friend when you use larger sensors.


The problem in the picture is that the auto-focus chose the woman on the left as the primary subject, and everything beyond her is blurry. So in a sense, that blur is normal -- it's what the camera decided to do with that subject. It got fooled.

For complex subjects like this one, I use a somewhat manual mode. I set my camera to use a single focus point rather than its default dozen-or-so. That way I decide where the focus should be. I aim the camera at the object that should be the main focus and press the shutter release halfway down, and check that the lit-up focus point in the viewfinder is on that subject. Then, holding the shutter release halfway down, I recompose to get the framing that I want.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Please be careful w/ the recompose method using big apertures on telephoto lenses. When DoF is mere millimeters, recomposing can work against you. \$\endgroup\$
    – OnBreak.
    Jun 18, 2019 at 15:29
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Hueco - on long lenses I seem to spend half my life moving a single focus sensor around the viewfinder with the cursor controls to avoid focus & recompose. Definitely best on occasions your subject isn't getting bored ;-) \$\endgroup\$
    – Tetsujin
    Jun 18, 2019 at 15:58
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Tetsujin same. Thank god for that little thumb joystick on mah Canon digitals. When I switch over to the 1V...I really miss that thing...I wish Canon would re-release an updated 1V...maybe refunded via Kickstarter? I know I'd toss up quite a few thousand to see the update... \$\endgroup\$
    – OnBreak.
    Jun 18, 2019 at 16:35

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