51 votes

Why isn't this portrait taken at f/29 sharp?

You've run over the diffraction limit. Light rays passing through a small hole will diverge and interfere with each other and a pattern emerges--a sort of banding where different frequencies/placement ...
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48 votes
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Why isn't this portrait taken at f/29 sharp?

As mentioned in the other answers, diffraction has led to unsharpness. To put this to the test, one can attempt to sharpen the image using deconvolution by using the point spread function that ...
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  • 3,508
35 votes
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Why can't I shoot with a fast shutter speed with my continuous light at max power?

There is no reason whatsoever that you need to shoot a static object from a tripod with 1/100s or 1/200s shutter speed. The shutter speed has nothing whatsoever to do with "soft focus": it just has ...
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  • 406
34 votes
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What makes the difference on partially and fully visible moon?

What makes the difference on partially and fully visible moon? In a word: shadows. I cannot understand why the IQ is extremely diminished when doing the same with an almost fully visible moon. ...
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  • 31k
22 votes

Why do my photos appear grainy when taken at the widest aperture?

Looking at your samples, the answer seems clear to me: that's not grainy, that is, actually, out of focus. Here's a 1:1 crop of your wide-open image: It seems pretty apparent that the wooden sign is ...
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  • 140k
19 votes

Do I really need a US$1500 rig for crisp sharp photos?

As im researching now it seems to me that to make decent photos i need atleast a $1000 camera. So sayeth the gear collectors. Photographers are out shooting, and say otherwise. Many of us, myself ...
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  • 20.3k
17 votes

Why is Nikon 1.4g better when Nikon 1.8g is sharper?

1) Sharpness is complicated. Lens sharpness is just one aspect of the overall resolving power of a camera system. The appearance of crispness is separate from the rendition of detail. And a lens can ...
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  • 140k
15 votes
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How can I get a lot of detail in the face, skin as seen in this poster for The Martian?

The lighting is from the sides, which you can tell from the highlights on his face, and lack of catchlights in his eyes. The light brushing across the face from the sides creates shadows in all the ...
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15 votes

Why isn't this portrait taken at f/29 sharp?

Because of diffraction. f/29 is way too much for you to expect a sharp image. Try shooting the same thing at f/8 and you'll see the difference.
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15 votes
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How to take sharper photos

The first image was shot wide open with what is essentially the lowest cost Canon lens (50mm f/1.8), in demanding low light conditions, and at ISO 1600. I'd say your results are exactly what I would ...
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  • 45.7k
14 votes

Do more megapixels mean sharper images?

Higher megapixels do not add to lens sharpness. This has been found by many Canon EOS 90D owners. It has 32.5 megapixel APS-C sensor. Its pixel density is the same as 83.2 megapixel full frame camera....
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  • 6,087
13 votes
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How to avoid the grainy background in sunset picture?

As to the trees being unsharp: It is very difficult to tell, but I think that the autofocus decided to get the house, not the trees in focus. It really is best to specify a certain AF point (p. 61 in ...
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  • 6,317
12 votes
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How to improve image sharpness on Canon 700D?

The best way to improve image quality? Learn how to get the most out the gear you already have Please don't misunderstand the following as flippant or taking a cheap shot at a budding photographer. ...
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12 votes
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Why is Nikon 1.4g better when Nikon 1.8g is sharper?

What did the reviewers say about why they chose one lens over the other? They have their own priorities and biases. You should evaluate the information they present and decide for yourself whether you ...
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  • 26.3k
11 votes

Are there any downsides to scaling down unsharp images?

Any photo you're never going to use again is taking up "unnecessary" space, and frankly no matter what happens to image processing technologies in the future, you're probably not going to go back and ...
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  • 19.9k
11 votes

Do I really need a US$1500 rig for crisp sharp photos?

In short, No. Be very wary of anything suggesting that you throw money at the problem for the newest and latest gear to solve your photography issues, as while the newest gear makes solving the ...
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  • 2,275
11 votes

Do more megapixels mean sharper images?

Not necessarily. Each lens can only produce a certain amount of detail, which means at some point it doesn't make sense anymore to increase pixel count because the given lens is not good enough for it....
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  • 1,443
10 votes
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How can I improve the sharpness for tabletop still life of photography?

It's not you, it's the lens. The kit lens is extremely soft wide open and remains noticeably soft until F/6.3 at least. Around F/8, it gives better results but never gets tack-sharp. Stopping down ...
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  • 101k
10 votes
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Why do images sometimes look "softer" at higher focal lengths (like 300-500mm)?

Several focal-length-related factors can influence sharpness: It is usually harder to manufacture long focal lens, so at constant cost, expect a 50 mm to be sharp, a 200 mm to be not-so-sharp, and >...
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  • 1,623
10 votes
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Do cheap filters have an effect on image quality?

Does cheap lens filters (UV, ND, CPL) affect on image quality, color reproduction, sharpness and etc.? All filters affect image quality in some way or other. Some effects are desirable, and these are ...
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  • 31.2k
9 votes

Sharp, in focus portraits - analyse an example please

There are a few things going on here: The subject's hand may be considerably closer to the photographer, but not so much to the camera's sensor plane. The image was shot from just above the subject's ...
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  • 1,262
9 votes

Why are some photos sharp in the center, but soft on the edges?

The job of the camera lens is to project an image of the outside world on the flat surface of film or digital sensor. What we want is a faithful image. To achieve, the lens projects a minuscule circle ...
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  • 36.3k
9 votes

Why are my sports team pictures fuzzy?

I do not think your photos are fuzzy,I think they are noisy. You will get the best quality image by shooting as close to the 'native' ISO as possible. For most modern dSLRS that is typically ISO 100 ...
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  • 14.3k
9 votes

Why are my product photographs not sharp?

I see very little to no noise in the example provided with the question. What is evident from looking at the example is blurring that can be attributed to the effects of diffraction by using an ...
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  • 168k
9 votes

Why my DSLR is not as sharp as my smart phone?

You're looking at two different magnifications. You took the dSLR picture from farther away, and then cropped to a smaller area. When you resize that to the same size as a similar crop from an image ...
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  • 49.2k
9 votes

Can you determine if focus is sharp without diopter adjustment if your sight is imperfect?

The image in the viewfinder is focused on the ground glass screen. The focused image converges on a 2D plane. (It's not like binoculars.) When you look through the viewfinder, your eyes focus on the ...
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  • 140k
9 votes

Why can't I shoot with a fast shutter speed with my continuous light at max power?

Not sure what your subject is, but as was mentioned, you don't need fast shutter for a stationary subject with camera on a tripod. However, human or animal subjects can move. But the obvious key word ...
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  • 12.5k
9 votes

Do more megapixels mean sharper images?

It depends on the lens and the aperture at which it is used. Even a theoretically perfect (diffraction limited) lens can only generate an average of ~16MP at f/11 on a full frame sensor, and it goes ...
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8 votes
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To what extent, and how, does light source affect sharpness?

The light doesn't affect sharpness. However, too much light in the wrong place can appear to reduce sharpness due to bleeding. If you take a picture of someone inside a room against a window looking ...
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8 votes

Why can't I shoot with a fast shutter speed with my continuous light at max power?

Here are some suggestions: Move your light source closer to the subject or get a brighter light source. Since you are using a tripod, and your subject is stationary, there is no need for fast ...
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  • 11.4k

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