Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Improving Focus: Aperture "Sweet Spots"

Did you know there are sweet spots for a lens's aperture that will result in crisper images???

There is.
And I wish someone would have told me this years ago!

I tend to bump my aperture all. the. way. open. 
My 50mm lens goes to f1.8.
While I love the smoothness in the backgrounds and the beautiful bokeh it achieves, I usually don't need those things to the extreme that I get them.
 I'd willingly trade some of that bokeh and blur for crisper images. 

Rule #2. The middle of a lens's aperture range is the best at achieving crisp images.
Generally speaking, f8 or f11 are the typical mid-ranges.
Specifically speaking, two stops in from either end of the aperture range are usually the best.
For example: my 50mm lens has an aperture range of f1.8 to f22, so the best spots on this particular lens would likely be at f4 and f11.

But the specific "sweet spots" will vary depending on your lens.

The best way to find your particular lens's sweet spot is to do some field testing. There's a good article on Digital Photography School that will walk you through finding your lens's sweet spot in more depth.

All of this talk isn't to say you should never use those aperture "extremes", because there are certainly times when they can be advantageous...it's just best to know the trade-off of using one aperture over the other!


  1. Thanks for sharing this. I want to give it a try! There are always so many more things to learn about photography (and life!) that it's exciting.

  2. Interesting information. I knew there was a "sweet spot" but just didn't quite know how to figure it out. Thanks for sharing!

  3. Never knew this - thanks! Love learning something new!


Thank you for your visit and comment! I read and value each and every one. I am no longer able to keep up with returning comments on blogs, but please know that your visit and comment is greatly appreciated!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...