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Old Jul 23, 2010, 9:31 AM   #1
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Default Question about settings

What settings should I primarily be looking into when trying to achieve a good crisp image across the whole field of view of the camera or is this maybe a lens issue... I'm using an Olympus E-420 I've got the kit 14-42 lens and a 40-150 lens. Basically I want everything in the frame to be in focus and crisp. Any pointers in achieving this?
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Old Jul 23, 2010, 9:55 AM   #2
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See this page for more information on Depth of Field. What you're shooting, how much you're filling the frame and aperture will all impact depth of field. Basically, you'll need to use a smaller aperture (higher f/stop number) for a given subject framing (how much of the frame your subject occupies) to get more depth of field.


The closer you are to your subject and/or the longer your focal length, and the wider your aperture (wider apertures are represented by smaller f/stop numbers), the shallower your depth of field.

If you're shooting a smaller subject and it's occupying a greater percentage of the frame (either because you're zooming in more, or shooting from a closer distance), it can be very hard to get a lot of depth of field, even when using much smaller apertures (higher f/stop numbers, which may require higher iso speeds and/or a tripod to keep shutter speeds from being too slow and causing blur from camera shake). You'll probably need to "stop down" your aperture (use higher f/stop numbers) quite a bit for smaller subjects that occupy a greater percentage of the frame to get much depth of field.

Yet, if you're shooting a larger subject from further away and/or using a shorter focal length, it's much easier to achieve more depth of field.

IOW, go for a full length shot versus a head shot if shooting people to make it easier to get more depth of field without resulting to using much smaller apertures (higher f/stop numbers).

Also note how Hyperfocal distance works on the pages you'll find on that same site. By focusing part of the way into the frame, you can get more of the image in focus for a given aperture setting. IOW, rather than focusing at a distance portion of a landscape type scene, focus about 1/3 the way in, depending on the focal length and aperture you're using, so that more of the closer and further away areas are sharper. Plug in your camera model and and play with the DOF calculator and you'll get a better feel for how that kind of thing works.
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Old Jul 23, 2010, 10:03 AM   #3
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Can you post some examples of the shots you're not happy with?
  • The lens is the thing.
  • 'Full Frame' is the new 'Medium Format'.
  • "One good test is worth a thousand expert opinions." - Tex Johnston, Boeing 707 test pilot.
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Old Jul 23, 2010, 10:42 AM   #4
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I cant post anything right at this moment, but I may be able to come up with something when I get home. It just seems as if I've never really been able to get real sharp looking pictures, but I'm also new to photography and have only been playing with this camera and the manual settings for a couple months, I have lots to learn!

I posted a few shots in some of the other topics and I guess the sharpness is just not there for my lanscape photos.

I will take a look at the DOF info above, I think if I'm pointed in the right direction, I can figure it out. I feel I've been a fairly quick learner when it comes to photography and photoshop thus far.

I've been capturing in jpeg format, will it preserve any detail if I start shooting in RAW mode?

Thanks for pointing me in the right direction.

Last edited by hoffam19; Jul 23, 2010 at 10:46 AM.
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