Getting razor sharp images is achieved by a series of small steps that each contribute to the sharpness of your photos.
One of the most important steps is to use a good quality tripod. This will eliminate camera shake caused by hand-holding your camera which is especially noticeable with slower shutter speeds.
Even if you use a tripod, you may get a small amount of vibration when you press the shutter button. To alleviate this problem you can use a remote release cable connected to your camera. As an alternative, some cameras allow you to use a wireless remote. If you don’t want to invest in either of these accessories most cameras have a self-timer.
If you are using a DSLR camera, there is a small mirror inside your camera which allows you to see what your lens see. At the moment you take your shot this mirror must lift up so the sensor can be exposed to what your lens is seeing. This movement of the mirror causes a small vibration which can affect the sharpness of your image. There is a feature called mirror lock-up which will lock the mirror in the upright position, before your shot is taken. Check the manual for your camera to find out how to enable this feature.
Note the sharpness of the upper portion of the white flower
This was taken using a tripod and a cable release.
Some areas of the photo are not as in focus as others due to being shot at close range with a wide aperture which produces a shallow depth of field.
Every lens’ aperture has a sweet spot which will achieve the sharpest image. You may have to experiment a bit to find the sweet spot, but it is often one or two stops away from the maximum aperture setting. For example, if you have 50mm f/1.8 lens the sweet spot would likely occur one or two stops beyond f/1.8.
While each of these steps will only achieve a minute improvement in sharpness on their own, they will have a noticeable affect on the sharpness of your images when used together.
Good luck in your photographic endeavors.
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