I take pictures of fishes in my photo tank. But every time the photos come out a little blurry and never totally sharp. I only get to know that my photos are useless is when I see them on the computer screen. In the back (LCD) the image looks as sharp as tack. Look at the head region, out of focus I'm at a loss, please help.

I use Canon 1100d and the kit lens(18-55) and I keep my shutter speed at 1/200th and Aperture between F11-F22.

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    This doesn't answer your specific question, but good grief, open your aperture up! There is no need to have the aperture anything above f8 for this kind of photography, and you will be able to boost your shutter speed considerably - enough to reduce the camera shake you're probably getting at 1/200 – ElendilTheTall Nov 14 '14 at 20:20
  • How are you looking at the image on the camera LCD to assess sharpness? Are you looking at the whole picture, or are you zooming in to a section to see pixel-level detail? – coneslayer Nov 15 '14 at 20:13
  • LCD screens lie like politicians! – Michael C Nov 15 '14 at 23:07
  • @coneslayer: I zoom into a section to see the pixel level detail. – Priyankar Chakraborty Nov 17 '14 at 19:24
  • A "photo tank" to most readers, btw, would most closely mean a film development tank, which is not a good place for live fish :) Not for dead fish either. – rackandboneman Aug 15 '19 at 20:59

Your LCD sreen wil never have the resolution of your computer screen. The pixel compression is much more compact so an image will look very sharp on the LCD even when it has slight blur and camera shake.

Never rely on your LCD screen to decide to keep or delete a photo. You won't know what you are getting until you put that guy up on a proper monitor.

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  • On the contrary -- if an image is out of focus on the LCD, it's going to be out of focus on a larger monitor. On the other hand, you can (on most models) magnify on the LCD to check focus, and it's not uncommon to use Live View plus heavy magnification to ensure that an image will be in focus. – Caleb Nov 14 '14 at 22:33
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    @WilliamShakespeare I have not said a thing about the LCD being out of focus and the image being in focus... I said if it is IN focus on the LCD it could still be out of focus on a monitor. Even the heavy magnification is not a truly reliable indicator of a tack sharp image. – MikeV Nov 14 '14 at 22:44
  • I was responding to your "Never rely on your LCD..." My point is that there are plenty of times when you can judge from the LCD that an image is worthy of deletion. I know what you're trying to say and I don't disagree, but the way you've phrased it is easily misunderstood. – Caleb Nov 18 '14 at 15:32

In the back (LCD) the image looks as sharp as tack.

You're looking at a 12 megapixel image on a 0.23 megapixel screen, so you're not seeing much detail in the image. When you view the image on a larger screen, or when you print it, you're seeing more pixels and can more easily see that the image is blurry. To check focus using the camera's screen, use the magnification option to zoom in as far as possible on a detail that you expect to be sharp.

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Neither other answer has addressed this if you're shooting in RAW: the image on the LCD screen on your camera has sharpening applied (by default, but it can be changed) so that even if you zoom in until you see the pixels of the image on your LCD, the image will look sharper than the raw will on your computer.

This is so you can apply sharpening manually with greater control, to bring out the details you want for the medium you want to produce (screen sharpening and print sharpening are different).

I'm on my phone so I can't see your image clearly enough to see if you have lens blur, missed focus, or motion blur, (leaning toward missed focus, he's pretty sharp in the middle and less sharp around his eye) but unless you have an insanely high quality camera, your images will look better with light sharpening applied in post-production.

Keep in mind that everything between your camera and your subject is effectively your lens—which in your case includes fish tank glass and water—so you may get blurry and lower contrast images as a result of that even if you're doing everything perfectly right behind the lens.

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  • The thing is this;when I see the image through my image viewfinder, it seems perfect and the red light on the AF points even blink. Do you think this could be a problem with the lens itself rather than my technique? – Priyankar Chakraborty Nov 17 '14 at 19:28
  • @PriyankarChakraborty I don't know Canon equipment as well as nikon, but how many AF points do you have? I'd say the middle of the fish is fairly sharp; if you had it focused on his eye your image would look much sharper. Anything you see through the viewfinder is through the lens, so its just that your eyes are adjusting for motion blur and looking at a very small image; your camera sensor has more detail than your eye in your viewfinder. – Ryan Nov 17 '14 at 20:34
  • there are 9 focus points in Canon 1100d. Thanks for the explanation. I'll try to take some new pics and post them. – Priyankar Chakraborty Nov 20 '14 at 18:41
  • @PriyankarChakraborty With only nine points you might want set the focus mode to single focus, and then focus using the center point (the most sensitive/accurate) and recompose. – Ryan Nov 20 '14 at 18:46
  • Okey dokey. Will try out some shots and post the results . – Priyankar Chakraborty Nov 20 '14 at 18:55

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