Table of Contents
Below is the full Table of Contents for Making Sharp Images.
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Introduction and overview of making sharp images.
How a lens blurs when out of focus is a Big Deal.
- Blur for Visual Impact
- Bokeh Overview
- Aperture Blades
- Pleasing Bokeh
- Color Bokeh
- Candy Bokeh
- Mushroom Bokeh
- Bird-wing Bokeh
- Lens Diaphragm Bokeh
- Concentric Diaphragm Echo Bokeh (from diffraction)
- Aspheric “Onion Ring” Bokeh
- Internal Dust 'Eyeball' Bokeh
- Replication Bokeh
- Diffraction Star Patterns
- Cat’s Eye Effect
Blur from optical behavior or subject-related issue.
Sharpness loss by focusing or zone of sharp focus.
Sharpness loss by camera or support or technique.
- Blur by Camera Movement
- Blur by Mirror Slap
- Shutter Vibration / Shutter Shake vs Electronic First Curtain / EFC Shutter
- Examples of Blur by Shutter Vibration / Shutter Shake
- Blur Caused by System Alignment
- Blur Caused by Image Stabilization
- Resolving to Sensor Resolution
- Blur Caused by Anti-Aliasing Filter
- Blur Caused by Digital Capture
- Blur Caused by Demosaicing
Digital Sensor Behavior
Digital capture technology is discrete, and not the same as film.
- Blur by Bayer Pattern Demosaicing
- Resolution with Color Sensor vs Monochrome Sensor
- Blur from Anti Aliasing Filters
- Effects of Diffraction Blur on Color Aliasing
- Diffraction vs Color Aliasing (Leica M240)
- Blur Inherent to Digital Capture
- Resolving to the Sensor Resolution
- Are More Pixels Better?
- Are More Pixels Better at High ISO?
- Oversampling for High Image Quality (Sony NEX-7)
- Future Cameras and Lenses
- Photosite Sizes of Various Cameras
Evenness of illumination, color shading, digital sensor effects, ray angle.
Making image captures look sharp.
How to choose a camera, lenses, and the other stuff that’s worthwhile.
Focusing is more complicated than it first appears.
- Focusing Overview
- Autofocus Tips
- Fine Tune Autofocus for Each Lens
- Bracket Your Focus
- Check Your Camera
- Focus Fast Lenses Stopped Down
- Use Focus Assist (Electronic Rangefinder)
- Hedge Your Bet By Stopping Down
- Use Supplementary Light
- Focusing Aids
- Rangefinder Focusing Aids
- Use a Different Focusing Screen
- Use a High Contrast Target
- Check your Diopter Setting
- Check Your Eyes and Your Accuracy
Focusing accuracy and errors.
- Focus Bracketing with a 15mm Lens on Nikon D800E
- Autofocus Error with Nikon 24mm f/1.4G
- Autofocus Consistency With Canon/Nikon 35mm f/1.4
- Focus Assist Error (Electronic Rangefinder), Nikon D3x
- Contrast Detect Autofocus Error, Nikon D800E
- Focus Bracketing Study (Canon 5D Mark III, 40mm f/2.8 STM)
- Autofocus Error with Leica S2
- Field Confirmation of Autofocus Error with Leica S2
- Rangefinder Focus Error With Leica M9 and Zeiss Lenses
- Rangefinder Focus Error With Brand-new Lens
- Rangefinder Focus Error With Leica M9 + 50/1.4 Summilux
- Focus Bracketing Study (Nikon D800 / Leica 100/2.8 APO)
Using your camera’s mirror lockup, self timer, and Live View features.
- How to Hold a Camera Steady (Mass Coupling)
- How to Press the Shutter Release
- Mirror Lockup and Remote Release for Sharper Photos
- Self Timer and Mirror Delay
- Enabling and Testing for Electronic First Curtain Shutter (EFC Shutter)
- Key Aspects of Tripod Stability
- Live View Overview
- Alternatives to Live View
- Using Mirror Lockup With Canon DSLRs
- Live View Settings With Canon DSLRs
- Step-by-step Live View for Canon
- Canon Silent Shoot Mode for Zero Vibration
- Mirror Lockup and Self Timer on Nikon
- Using Live View With Nikon DSLRs
- Step-by-step Live View for Nikon
- Mirror Slap in Live View Mode on Nikon
- Seven Things Nikon Could Fix or Improve for Sharper Images
Controlling the zone of sharp detail.
- Depth of Field As a Creative Tool
- Circle Of Confusion
- What are F-stop and T-stop?
- Format-Equivalent Depth of Field and F-Stop
- Case Study: Format-Equivalent F-Stop: Micro Four Thirds vs 35mm Full Frame (Pellegrino)
- Case Study: Format-Equivalent F-Stop: APS-C vs 35mm Full Frame (Pellegrino)
- Depth of Field at the Periphery
- Delay in Depth of Field by Double Image Bokeh
- Delay in Depth of Field by Color Divergence
- What is Acceptably Sharp?
- Practical Tips
- Example: Sensor Size and Focal Length (Bottles)
- Photo Techniques Nov/Dec 2009 (PDF)
Increasing Depth of Field by means other than stopping down.
- Depth of Field: Bypassing the Limits Using a Tilt Lens
- Focusing for Optimal Tilt Placement
- Example: Using a Tilt Lens for Product/Tabletop Photography (D800E, Pellegrino)
- Example: Using a Tilt Lens to Isolate a Subject (D800E, Pellegrino)
- Example: Using a Tilt Lens for a Landscape Scene
- Example: Focus Stacking For Infinite DOF (Wagon)
Bypass the limits on depth of field and diffraction.
- Overview of Focus Stacking
- General Shooting Tips for Focus Stacking
- Tips for Focusing for Focus Stacking
- Choice of Aperture for Focus Stacking
- Overview of Focus Stacking Software/Processing
- Zerene Stacker: Retouching Stacked Images
- Example: Near-Macro Focus Stacking (Shimano Cassette)
- Example: Medium-Far Range (Two Bristlecone Logs on Hillside)
- Example: Stacking at 135mm (Unicorn and Cathedral Peaks)
- Example: Near Far at 28mm (Hardy Pine View of Unicorn and Cathedral Peaks)
- Example: Vista at 85mm (View North in Blue Dusk from Pothole Dome)
- Example: Handheld (Dana Lake)
- Example: Close Range to Distance at 18mm (Backlit Boulders)
- Example: Subject Movement (9050 Pine Creek Rd Waterfall)
- Example: Extreme Range Perfection (Weathered Bristlecones)
- Example: Dual Not-Quite-Enough Examples (Bristlecones Near to Far)
- Example: Short Stack for Sharpness in Narrow Zone (Blue Engine on Green Machine)
- Example: Two-Frame Stack (Spuller Lake, Zeiss Loxia 35/2)
- Example: Two-Frame Stack (Huge Boulder, Sony 85/1.4 GM)
Getting peak performance from your lens
Zone of focus, not plane of focus
Actual example of field curvature.
Elusive sharpness, depending on aperture
Focus shift with a variety of lenses.
- Focus Shift: Nikon 14-24/2.8G and 24-70/2.8G
- Focus Shift with the Nikon 14-24mm f/2.8G (Early Tests)
- Focus Shift Over the Frame, Nikon 14-24mm f/2.8G (Cabin)
- Mitigating Focus Shift In the Field, Nikon 14-24/2.8G (Cottonwood Canyon Cabin)
- Focus Shift with 28mm Lenses
- Examples of Focus Shift with 50mm Lenses
- Focus Shift: Canon 50mm f/1.2L (Dolls)
- Dual-Focus Focus Shift : Nikon 45mm f/2.8P (Dolls, Canon 5DM3)
Understanding resolution and contrast graphs.
- MTF Introduction
- Fantasy Land MTF
- Reading MTF Charts
- MTF Measurement vs Field Curvature
- MTF and Sensor Size
- Lateral Chromatic Aberration and Astigmatism
- Zeiss MTF Examples
- Leica MTF Examples
- Leica MTF Analysis / Summilux, Elmarit, Elmar 24mm
- Leica MTF For Leica 35/1.4 Summilux-M ASPH
- Canon MTF Examples
- Nikon MTF Examples
Understanding the various optical aberrations and behaviors.
Evenness of illumination across the frame and related effects.
Diffuse haze at wide apertures.
Understanding lateral chromatic aberration (color fringing).
Understanding Longitudinal (Axial) chromatic aberration (LOCA).
- Longitudinal Chromatic Aberration (LOCA / Violet Fringing)
- Examples of Violet Fringing from Longitudinal Chromatic Aberration (LOCA)
- Violet Fringing Case Study (LOCA with Zeiss Otus vs Others)
- Violet Fringing Case Study (LOCA with Zeiss 85mm and Leica 90mm)
- Correcting Longitudinal Chromatic Aberration During RAW Conversion
- Spherochromaticism (Spherical Aberration by Color)
Secondary Longitudinal Chromatic Aberration (SLOCA).
Testing and Research
Sharpness issues related to camera and lens tolerances and build quality.
How to verify a good sample and assess all aspects of lens performance.
- My Approach to Testing a New Lens
- Know Your Goals
- General Issues
- Choosing a Test Scene for Evaluating Sharpness
- Focus Targets
- Focusing Accuracy When Testing
- Testing and Adjusting Autofocus Accuracy
- Eliminating Camera Movement when Testing
- Ruling Out Camera/Sensor Alignment
- Checking for a Good Sample
- Comparing Lenses
- Testing for Focus Shift and Secondary Color
- Testing for Field Curvature
- Testing for Lateral Chromatic Aberration
- Testing for Longitudinal Chromatic Aberration (LOCA)
- Testing for Bokeh
- Testing for Autofocus Accuracy
- Testing for distortion
- Testing for Flare
- Downloadable High-Res Ruler Target
Illuminating examples of lens behavior.
Pros and cons of using a polarizer.
Research into sharpness of handheld images with and without image stabilization
Stability of tripods and ballheads, controlling camera vibration, selecting equipment.
- Overview of Tripod Stability
- Tripod vibration and resonance
- Mirror lockup vs Exposure Delay, focal length
- Shutter Speed and Critical Sharpness on a Tripod
- Sharpness on Light/Medium/Heavy Tripods
- Sharpness with Mirror Lockup, Exposure Delay, VR
- Shooting Technique: Steadying the Lens
- Tripod Performance for Burst Shooting
- Tripod Collars: Wimpy or Strong
- General Conclusions on Tripods/Shooting