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Why Aren’t My Photos Sharp! Tips to Get Razor Sharp Images

Last Updated on November 1, 2020 by Devaun Lennox

Hey what’s going on my friends so today we’re gonna talk about why are you not getting sharp photos from the lenses that you guys are using especially if you’re using more variable zoom or like wider zoom lenses that have the ability to go through multiple spectrums of the focal lengths

so they start out maybe more wide and they go more telephoto this is definitely something I shall enjoy GLE dand I battled with for a long time and after even after about a year or shooting as a matter of fact yeah I bought multiple lenses when I first started out and and it’s some of those lenses you know you go to different camera stores and stuff like that and you get recommendations and sometimes you make

decisions knowing recommendations are are maybe you’re going against some of the feedback so like that and I made those mistakes and I just kind of found out the hard way that it’s it’s not necessarily the lenses fault it was literally me I didn’t understand aperture I didn’t understand how to actually set your camera up for proper focusing and that’s really the remain reason like and now thinking back and reflecting on what were some of the biggest issues that I had like being able to get sharp photos for a long

time which is something I struggled with like day after day shoot after shoot just being out here in the hunter group degree heat and you know just taking photos and just going on a continuous and just Hamming away and a lot of the photos were just soft man and and I was like dude like is my camera bad I just got this brand new lens I spent $600 on this lens as a variable zoom like g.g quality lens somebody else like dude like what is going on and now reflecting back it was just like I was shooting too shallow my

depth of field and my aperture setting was just too narrow for what I was actually trying to get in focus so yes sometimes part of the subject would be in focus but not all of the subject that I wanted and I thought that was the lenses fall but that was actually really just me so the main thing reason why you’re not getting really sharp photos is you have to make sure you’re setting your aperture and you have enough depth of field so that you can get all the subject that you want and focus whether that be a

person or you’re doing fashion and you’re doing editorial maybe you’re doing sports photography or you’re doing wildlife or macro all of that is applicable because of the depth of field isn’t wide enough for all the stuff that you want focus you’re gonna have issues and you’re gonna think your camera or your lens is bad and it’s not that’s just the truth it’s just it’s literally just not enough definite field so if you’re just a lot of people are just like oh my god if you want like out-of-focus background to set

your camera to the most wide open aperture and and and you’re good it’s not really that simple I mean yes if you want how to focus backgrounds in your camera has a good focusing system that focuses on the eyes and the face and you have a lot of auto focus points I mean yeah you you’ll get pretty far just doing that but the same time you may not get the results that you truly want and you may not get everything else in focus maybe you wanted something in the background and the foreground that was actually

supposed to be focused and now you’re just like dude like I said I did the thing you know I set my my camera to 1.8 or 1.4 or a 2.8 whatever that may be and like dude it’s so like not sharp and that’s the issue guys you have to make sure you set your aperture to whatever makes sense for the results that you want and we we talked about this in aperture video of making sure if you if you want more of a subject and background in focus asking yourselves the question was like okay what is important for me to focus on in

this image what do I actually really want people to focus on because the thing is like when things are out of focus it our eyes do not go to go to that so we get the ability to draw the attention of our viewers eyes based on what’s in focus and what’s vibrant in color what has the most contrast we get to choose that though but that’s also something that you can you can choose yourself when it comes to changing your aperture and changing some same camera settings so the biggest reason why you’re not getting sharp

photos is it’s typically gonna be your aperture is not allowing you get the depth of field that you want in that photo so think about that it’s like okay what do I need to be focus and then just start with maybe just start with the most open aperture take a photo look at the back of your camera and be like okay it’s still a little bit out of focus I need more depth of field and just go up a setting like it started maybe 1.8 and then go to maybe go up let’s stop and go to 2.8 and or two point two two point eight

whatever that may be and then look like I still am not I’m not really getting enough and then maybe go to three point five or F four and then look again and then go to five point six and just continue going up until you’re getting the results from a sharpness aspect and getting depth of field that you want the next thing is just when it comes to you’re not getting sharp photos is I mean honestly like some lenses are really just not that sharp guys like that’s just the truth when it comes to kit lenses and lenses

that you get as a beginning photographer on an entry level camera not to say that they’re bad they help you get started in the beginning I mean I shot with a kit lens for like seven or eight months consistently until I got my first prime which is a fifty fifty millimeter F one point eight sony sony lens and I was using the 18 to 55 kit lens for a long time and you can’t get sharp photos through a kit lens or through just a long zoom lens we have a blog post that actually talks a little bit about that gives them some

of the best recommendations if you’re shooting say a pier shooting Sony and you’re trying to jump into the Sony ecosystem using the sony a6000 a 6300 a 6500 we’re gonna have some blog posts explaining some of the best setups for those purposes and some of those lenses are actually kit length or maybe not kit lenses but variable lenses that have a wide right wide zoom and they have the ability to zoom very far but but realize when it comes to those kind of kit lenses then lower end on the spectrum and they’re

not going to be a sharp so sometimes what you’re seeing on the back of your camera is actually what the sharpness of the in the lens is able to produce if it has a you know it has an f-stop or like let’s say has a range at it’s at its most wide-open it’s at 3.5 and then it’s at its most zoomed in it’s at 5.6 I mean it’s just it’s not that good it’s not gonna be nearly as good as a zoom lens that has a constant aperture f/4 or a constant aperture at point 1.8 or 2.8 those are gonna be far better when it comes to

sharpness because their their ranges are more consistent they’re able to hit hit that that bell curve peak at a more consistent value in there be sharper be for that reason but lower end and lenses are just not going to be that sharp in general so you have to also keep that in mind maybe it’s just like what you’re seeing maybe you’re unhappy but that’s also a function of the lens so once you figure out the whole aperture thing and getting in the right depth of field consider like really taking a lot of photos and

analyzing those at post-processing I’m just pulling them all up on your computer whether that be just through Adobe Camera Raw or just if you have like a Mac Mac OS type computer I’m just you know hitting the spacebar just open it up using the default Mac software that viewing picture preview software that opens up and just looking at them side by side or you can do some some kind of more zooming and doing what it’s called pixel peeping in in Photoshop or Lightroom and really analyzing the detail looking at the

edges looking at the the subject and making sure the subject is sharp but you’ll see even if you go through the whole range maybe sometimes the lenses are just not that good and that’s also a function of why you’re not really getting sharp photos but those two things are really the biggest reasons why I think a lot of beginning photographers really struggle with that because they’re they’re not using the right camera settings and they they don’t really have the understanding that sometimes the lens that they were

using it’s really not the greatest it’s really just there to get people started be that basic foundation so they can actually jump off that and get the lenses that day or they actually need for their their shooting style and they’re shooting medium whatever that may be whether it be shooting portraits or sports or cars or you know whatever there’s a lot of things we can shoot but every everything that we shoes gonna require different lenses and require different kind of sharpness as far as like where are you

gonna be shooting in the aperture range and different depth of field but kit lenses are just there to get you started which is totally fine that’s where I started but that kind of wraps up today’s video guys as always how we end these videos you know what to do this this subscription button that subscribe button is right down there while you’re there just kind of mouse over a little bit that like and then you know while you’re also there drop drop by hit the comment button write us a comment man we are always open

to to taking back feedback writing writing questions if you have any questions we look at every single comment that we get shoot us an email if you have more questions send us a recommendation as far as what videos you guys want us to record and what kind of questions you want us to answer if we have the ability and the capability to record and do a blog or write or educate on that we’re absolutely open to doing that so let us know man until next time guys though peace out

Photo of author

Devaun Lennox

I'm a fashion, beauty, and commercial photographer turned impromptu photojournalist. Based in Las Vegas, my images are graphic, bold, and full-on contrast.