Just wondering if you have any tips on getting a sharper image with a Nikon D3200? I was using a kit 18-55mm but solved the problem by taking someone's recommendation and shot a pic at F8 while in 55mm and now my pic seems sharper now. I will have to learn more about "Stops" as for example at 55mm - max 5.6 and did 2 stops from that to F8 and pic quality improve better and yes I do agree in purchasing a better lense.

  • Sorry, but this started out fairly unclear & is now muddied by having a response to the answer already provided edited into it :/ – Tetsujin Jun 14 '17 at 19:13

The very best thing you can do to improve sharpness is to get a better lens. Since you did not specify which one you use, I am guessing an 18-55mm kit lens which is extremely soft. It improves slightly if you close down the aperture but this is really not much to work with. At 18mm, the maximum is F/3.5 and you can stop-down to F/6.7 to improve things. At 55mm, the maximum is F/5.6 and you must go to F/9.5 or so to get sharper results but you cannot stop down much more or you will hit the diffraction limit.

So there are two things to do:

  • Get a sharp lens.
  • Shoot at its optimum aperture and focal-length, if it is a zoom.

Before buying a lens it is a good idea to read reviews and see technical analysis of the lens. The best ones I know of are published at Imaging Resource, formerly SLR Gear. They give you a widget (Flash Required) where you can change aperture and focal-length at it gives you a visual representation of the resulting sharpness. Depending on the quality of the lens you will see that some are always soft, some take several stops to sharpen and others can be at or close to maximum sharpness when wide open.

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