fine swing [deleted] 8:17pm, 13 July 2009
All of the following points will help you get the super sharp images that you often see in glossy magazines:

1. If possible, use the sharpest aperture for your lens. This is usually about 2 stops down from the maximum aperture. So if you have an f/2.8 lens, optimum sharpness will be around f/5.6.

2. The lens itself can have an effect on image sharpness. Most kit lenses that come with DSLRs are not going to be particularly sharp (especially at maximum and minimum apertures). Investing in better quality lenses can make a significant difference.

3. Use the lowest ISO possible. High ISO means more noise, which generally means the camera uses a greater level of noise reduction. This can impinge on the sharpness of the image.

4. Use a tripod - preferably a sturdy one. Professional photographers will often use a tripod even in daylight and with a fast shutter speed as it really can improve overall image sharpness.

5. Pressing the shutter button can cause the camera to move (even when it's on a tripod) so use a remote form of release. A cable shutter release or wireless shutter release if your camera supports this. (I bought one and love it!)

6. If you are using a tripod but don't have a remote release, use the timer (set to 2 to 5 seconds if this is an option). Press the button then lift your hand clear of the camera.

7. Another source of vibration is the mirror moving up to reveal the shutter and sensor. This can also cause vibration. Many cameras feature a mirror lockup capability which moves the mirror on the first press of the button, and takes the picture on a second press.

8. Many lenses now come with Image Stabilisation (Canon IS lenses and Nikon VR lenses for example). This is great if you want to hand hold the camera, but if there is little chance of there being any camera shake (i.e. on a tripod), then turn the image stabilisation OFF.

9. Post processing can be used to increase the apparent sharpness of an image after it has been transferred to the PC. Most image software features something called the 'Unsharp Mask' which despite the name, actually makes the image appear sharper.

10. With a DSLR, use live-view if available. Not many people know this, but even though when you look through the optical viewfinder you are looking through the lens, you do not see exactly what the sensor will eventually see when the shutter opens. Specifically it shows an image with a greater depth of field. So if you are using manual focus (common for macro photography), it is best to use live view, and use the zoom feature to check accuracy of the focusing.

I hope these tips are helpful!!

(here is the link to the original article)
www.creativephotobook.co.uk/pg03002.html
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