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Hedge Your Bet By Stopping Down

Remember that while a smaller aperture increases the zone of acceptable sharpness (depth of field), if focus is too far off, then the image will lose its intended center of attention, the place where the viewer expects sharpness. For example, sharper hair on the back of the head won’t fix blurred eyes.

Recommended apertures for all-around use on full-frame cameras, as a rough guideline—

These figures vary by photosite size; see the Stop down cheat sheet table.

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Diglloyd Making Sharp Images articulates years of best practices and how-to, painstakingly learned over a decade of camera and lens evaluation.

Save yourself those years of trial and error by jump-starting your photographic technical execution when making the image. The best lens or camera is handicapped if the photographer fails to master perfect shot discipline. High-resolution digital cameras are unforgiving of errors, at least if one wants the best possible results.

  • Eases into photographic challenges with an introductory section.
  • Covers aspects of digital sensor technology that relate to getting the best image quality.
  • Technique section discusses every aspect of making a sharp image handheld or on a tripod.
  • Depth of field and how to bypass depth of field limitations via focus stacking.
  • Optical aberrations: what they are, what they look like, and what to do about them.
  • MTF, field curvature, focus shift: insight into the limitations of lab tests and why imaging performance is far more complex than it appears.
  • Optical aberrations: what they are, what they look like, and what to do about them.
  • How to test a lens for a “bad sample”.

Intrigued? See Focusing Zeiss DSLR Lenses For Peak Performance, PART ONE: The Challenges, or (one topic of many) field curvature.

What is the effect of reducing blur here (stopping down from f/0.95)?
Would the image appear sharper by stopping down?

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