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Thread: Aperture settings for max sharpness

  1. #1

    Default Aperture settings for max sharpness

    Hey guys, smaller apertures give us sharper pictures, but too small an aperture causes blur due to diffraction right?

    im using a 18-70mm AF-S ED, it's the D70 kit lens. just wondering what the optimal aperture is now? for me... i feel that the f/6 to f/8 range is the sharpest...

    could a kind soul enlighten me on this? =) thanks!

  2. #2

    Default Re: Aperture settings for max sharpness

    Quote Originally Posted by BhLoAlCeK View Post
    Hey guys, smaller apertures give us sharper pictures, but too small an aperture causes blur due to diffraction right?

    im using a 18-70mm AF-S ED, it's the D70 kit lens. just wondering what the optimal aperture is now? for me... i feel that the f/6 to f/8 range is the sharpest...

    could a kind soul enlighten me on this? =) thanks!
    For DX, smallest aperture to go before reaching diffraction limit is f/8. For FX, it is f/16
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  3. #3

    Default Re: Aperture settings for max sharpness

    Quote Originally Posted by BhLoAlCeK View Post
    Hey guys, smaller apertures give us sharper pictures, but too small an aperture causes blur due to diffraction right?

    im using a 18-70mm AF-S ED, it's the D70 kit lens. just wondering what the optimal aperture is now? for me... i feel that the f/6 to f/8 range is the sharpest...

    could a kind soul enlighten me on this? =) thanks!
    http://www.photozone.de/nikon--nikko...report?start=1

    optimal through its focal lengths, is around f5.6 to f8.

  4. #4
    Senior Member yyD70S's Avatar
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    Default Re: Aperture settings for max sharpness

    You are spot on.

    Based on my own photographs, the AFS 18-70mm f/3.5-4.5G DX optimal aperture is f/6.3-f/13.

    However, don't worry too much about them (sharpness, vignetting, corner softness, diffraction, etc). Know it, put them to the back of your head. Ultimately, the situation at hand + your creative needs are more important in determining what aperture to use.


    Quote Originally Posted by BhLoAlCeK View Post
    Hey guys, smaller apertures give us sharper pictures, but too small an aperture causes blur due to diffraction right?

    im using a 18-70mm AF-S ED, it's the D70 kit lens. just wondering what the optimal aperture is now? for me... i feel that the f/6 to f/8 range is the sharpest...

    could a kind soul enlighten me on this? =) thanks!
    Last edited by yyD70S; 21st December 2008 at 08:54 PM.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Aperture settings for max sharpness

    allright! thanks =)

    yeah i know, just that i think my lens is pretty soft as compared to others for some reason.. just trying to figure out the hardware side of it.

    thanks all for the input!

  6. #6

    Default Re: Aperture settings for max sharpness

    Quote Originally Posted by BhLoAlCeK View Post
    allright! thanks =)

    yeah i know, just that i think my lens is pretty soft as compared to others for some reason.. just trying to figure out the hardware side of it.

    thanks all for the input!
    Dont sweat it unless photography is your ricebowl. Most of the time imo, sharpness that can get depends if the autofocus works properly which is why there are number who prefer to "rapid fire" their cameras with the hope of one good shot.
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  7. #7
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    Default Re: Aperture settings for max sharpness

    this lens is a bit softer than the 18-55mm vr at 18mm, but from 24mm onwards, the pic by right should get sharper.
    f8 is the recommended aperture for this lens to achieve its sharpest result.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Anson's Avatar
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    Default Re: Aperture settings for max sharpness

    Is there a site that review the "sweet spot" for each lens?

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    Senior Member Kit's Avatar
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    Default Re: Aperture settings for max sharpness

    Quote Originally Posted by BhLoAlCeK View Post
    Hey guys, smaller apertures give us sharper pictures, but too small an aperture causes blur due to diffraction right?

    im using a 18-70mm AF-S ED, it's the D70 kit lens. just wondering what the optimal aperture is now? for me... i feel that the f/6 to f/8 range is the sharpest...

    could a kind soul enlighten me on this? =) thanks!
    Stopping down the lens doesn't not necessarily give you better sharpness. Smaller aperture renders greater DOF, so a bigger portion of your photos will be in focus and you can make out more details but that does not equate to better sharpness. Understand the your lenses and the photos you are taking and apply the appropriate settings for each photo. Beats asking for settings blindly.....

  10. #10

    Default Re: Aperture settings for max sharpness

    haha i know that.... just wanted to confirm my suspicions..
    well, now i know where to get DOF and sharpness when i want it =D

  11. #11
    Member gymak90's Avatar
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    Default Re: Aperture settings for max sharpness

    There is a saying that using 2 stops slower than the maximum aperture, gives you the sweet spot of the lens. I think it is a rough guide.

    As for diffraction setting in after f/8 for DX, I don't really agree. I tend to use f/11 for maximum sharpness on my lenses. Some of the lenses are DX, some FX.
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  12. #12
    Senior Member Anson's Avatar
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    Default Re: Aperture settings for max sharpness

    Quote Originally Posted by gymak90 View Post
    There is a saying that using 2 stops slower than the maximum aperture, gives you the sweet spot of the lens. I think it is a rough guide.
    Thanks... for the suggestion.. I would give it a try one of these days...

  13. #13

    Default Re: Aperture settings for max sharpness

    Quote Originally Posted by BhLoAlCeK View Post
    Hey guys, smaller apertures give us sharper pictures, but too small an aperture causes blur due to diffraction right?

    im using a 18-70mm AF-S ED, it's the D70 kit lens. just wondering what the optimal aperture is now? for me... i feel that the f/6 to f/8 range is the sharpest...

    could a kind soul enlighten me on this? =) thanks!
    anything from f/8 to f/16 will be alright for your purposes

    unless you pixel peep, prints up to s8r will not showcase diffraction that badly, even for a kit lens.

    and in any case, sharpness is an overrated concept - if your composition isn't there, if your exposure isn't there, no matter how sharp your picture is, it is useless.

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    Default Re: Aperture settings for max sharpness

    Quote Originally Posted by gymak90 View Post
    There is a saying that using 2 stops slower than the maximum aperture, gives you the sweet spot of the lens. I think it is a rough guide.

    As for diffraction setting in after f/8 for DX, I don't really agree. I tend to use f/11 for maximum sharpness on my lenses. Some of the lenses are DX, some FX.
    i just read an article which also mentioned the same think. add 2 to f/stop to f/8 will be the sharpest for most cam

  15. #15

    Default Re: Aperture settings for max sharpness

    hmmm... thanks for that...

    sharpness is overated? well since i am on this topic, is this lack of sharpness something that is correctable in pp?

    well, night86mare, i concur that sharpness can't save a bad photo... but it looks so pro, so nice... sigh..

    thanks all for comments! =)

  16. #16
    Senior Member Anson's Avatar
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    Default Re: Aperture settings for max sharpness

    Quote Originally Posted by dafansu View Post
    i just read an article which also mentioned the same think. add 2 to f/stop to f/8 will be the sharpest for most cam
    Abit confuse here... if I am using a 50mm F1.8 lens... adding 2 F stop is F2.2 right?

  17. #17
    Senior Member yyD70S's Avatar
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    Default Re: Aperture settings for max sharpness

    2 stops down is f/3.5


    Quote Originally Posted by Anson View Post
    Abit confuse here... if I am using a 50mm F1.8 lens... adding 2 F stop is F2.2 right?

  18. #18

    Default Re: Aperture settings for max sharpness

    Quote Originally Posted by BhLoAlCeK View Post
    hmmm... thanks for that...

    sharpness is overated? well since i am on this topic, is this lack of sharpness something that is correctable in pp?

    well, night86mare, i concur that sharpness can't save a bad photo... but it looks so pro, so nice... sigh..

    thanks all for comments! =)
    no. which is why people actually prefer a sharp photo.

    it is easy to make a sharp photo look blur, but not so easy to make a blur photo look sharp. when details are lost it is hard to get it back.

    what i meant is that while sharpness is not unimportant, it is not everything. for certain photographs like nature shots (e.g. macro of butterflies) it is important. but if you have a messy picture, no matter how sharp it is it is still a horrible picture.

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Aperture settings for max sharpness

    Quote Originally Posted by BhLoAlCeK View Post
    sharpness is overated? well since i am on this topic, is this lack of sharpness something that is correctable in pp?

    nope, afraid not

    You can't retrieve data that wasn't captured in the 1st place. Of course, slight sharpening of images that are mildly blur may give you the impression sometimes

  20. #20

    Default Re: Aperture settings for max sharpness

    Quote Originally Posted by Daedalus Trent View Post
    nope, afraid not

    You can't retrieve data that wasn't captured in the 1st place. Of course, slight sharpening of images that are mildly blur may give you the impression sometimes
    resizing it actually helps as well..

    of course does nothing for larger prints..

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