Thursday, December 23, 2010

Is Your Lens Sharp?

In this photograph, the whiskers and hairs on the animal's body are tack sharp.

Several factors contribute to sharp images:

• The sharpness of the lens.
• Accurate focus.
• The aperture at which you shoot. Three stops down from the widest aperture is often the sharpest aperture.
• Contrast, with pictures taken in high-contrast situations looked sharper than pictures taken under soft  light.
• The shutter speed at which you shoot, with faster shutter speeds usually producing sharper hand-held pictures.
• A clean front and rear lens element.
• Lens flare.
• Camera shake, with the mirror lock-up feature helping when a camera is on a tripod.
• Condensation on the front element of your lens.
• The sharpness of the actual subject, with say a baby's skin looked softer than the skin of a sexy senior citizen.

Consider all the aforementioned factors before you shoot.

Here's a cool product that I just discovered that lets you check the sharpness of your lens. It's called the LensAlign PRO Focus Calibration System.

If you are serious about getting sharp shots, check out this sharp accessory.

You really can't turn an out-of-focus shot into a sharp shot. However, InFocus, a plug-in from Topaz Labs, does the best job I've seen.Topaz Details can also help you fine-tune the sharpness of your images.

Explore the light,

P.S. Speaking of sharpening, it's not a good idea to over-sharpen your images. A way-cool plug-in for sharpening is Nik Software's Sharpener Pro. Use this code to get a discount upon checkout: RSAMMON

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