Not Really Sharp?


This story was originally published in June 2014.

It seems that the pictures I take with my 70-300mm lens are not as sharp as those taken with my 17-55mm lens. Did I get a poor quality lens?
Abhishek Gaikwad, Manmad

This is not necessarily true. The optical qualityof a lens depends on a lot of factors, including its construction. However, as the angle of view decreases and as the lens gets longer and heavier, holding it perfectly steady handheld becomes more difficult. For example, a picture taken with a 50mm lens at a shutterspeed of1/60 will usually be sharp, but it will probably show some camera shake if a 300mm lens is used at that same shutterspeed. A handy rule of thumb is to use a shutterspeed no slower than the reciprocal of the lens focal length when the camera is handheld. (1/60sec for a 50mmlens, 1/250sec for a 200mm lens, 1/500sec for a500mm lens, etc.). Using a tripod will also help.

Tags: Lens, Question of the Day, sharpness, rule of thumb