How do I make my images sharper from my DSLR?

I have a Canon EF 75-300mm f/4-5.6 III do I need to put my aperture in to F. To make it sharper I had my aperture way too high above F. And I did not take take down to F.5 or lower that's the max it goes down to and I had my ISO way too high my image came out like this grainy

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9 Answers

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  • snafu
    Lv 7
    1 week ago

    Invest in a tripod.  I expect it’s a weighty lens to keep held still.  Consequently if it’s on program, (or not.) it’ll give you a higher shutter speed to reduce camera shake.  If you have image stabilisation make sure you switch it on.  Because of the higher shutter speed you will end up with a higher iso to compensate, so reducing dynamic range.  A tripod is essential to have more control over your exposure when shooting with a slowish value kit lens.

  • 2 weeks ago

    You need a better lens

  • 2 weeks ago

    pour gasoline on it

  • BriaR
    Lv 7
    3 weeks ago

    The EF 75-300 f/4-5.6 is not the sharpest lens in Canon's line-up. I am being kind!!!

    This lens has no image stabiliser so that means to avoid camera shake blurr, you should not hand-hold with a shutter speed slower than around 1/100 at 70mm or 1/400 at 300mm.

    So the answer is to use a tripod or wedge yourself against a wall or similar solid fixed object.

    Most lenses have a sharpness sweet spot around 1-2 stops below full aperture - so for your lens that is f/8-f/11.

    The ISO setting that image quality becomes unacceptable depends on your camera body. If you have a body with APS-C sensor that is under 3 or so years old then you should get good results up to around ISO800 or 1600. With a similar age full frame sensor then ISO1600-3200 should be fine.

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  • Frank
    Lv 7
    3 weeks ago

    I think far too much concern is given to using too small or too large of an f/stop.  In certain situation where a print will be made (and a large one at that) the concern is warranted especially if the print is to be up for sale.  But for the average Joe, it's far more important to get the correct amount of depth of field regardless of which f/stop is required.  But if you're okay with focus stacking, then more power to you.

    Anyway, using a high ISO (how high is too high varies from camera to camera) will have a far greater impact on sharpness than any diffraction that may occur due to a small f/stop like f/22.  This is especially true if you shoot JPEG and have the camera set to automatically reduce high-iso noise.  Most of the time, in-camera processing is far poorer than what a stand-alone app like Photoshop or Lightroom can do.  Furthermore, most of the time you don't need to apply the same level of noise reduction to the entire image.  Areas of low details such as the sky will show noise much easier than say foliage therefore the sky area will need more aggressive noise reduction than foliage.

    I would strongly suggest that you test this out with your camera and lenses.  Start off with your camera on a tripod pointed at some scene with various levels of detail.  A brick building with the sky will do well.  Set your to manual and take a series of equivalent exposures at all available f/stops.  You may find that some f/stops with a specific lens at a specific focal length is not acceptable to you.  Or you may find that your fear of using too small or too large of an f/stop was all for naught.

    The image that you posted is underexposed by about 1.5 ~ 2 stops.  The black areas of the bird look muddied and have a lot of noise.  The combo of underexposure and high ISO caused the lack of sharpness.

    Lastly is the type of light the image was made under.  The lighting appears to be from an overcast sky.  While this does produce a very nice and soft light, it does so at the expense of being able to see detail.  A classic example of this is the painted wall.  Take a flashlight and point it directly at a textured wall and note the amount of texture.  Then move the light to the side so that the light is at a very low angle and rakes across the surface of the wall.  This side light will show an enormous amount of detail compared to flat head-on light.  With overcast, the light is soft, and as a result the details are hidden because the contrast is so low.  If instead the scene was lit by the Sun at a low angle, then the texture in the bird and the concrete would have been substantially higher.  

    So overall the lack of sharpness in this shot is due to the use of too high of an ISO, underexposure and soft lighting.

  • qrk
    Lv 7
    3 weeks ago

    You need to learn about exposure adjustments and what they do for you. You need to learn about shutter speed, aperture, ISO, white balance, what a reasonable shutter speed is, and how these settings affect the artistic component of your image.

    A starting place is https://www.cambridgeincolour.com/tutorials.htm . There are many tutorials on basic camera controls on YouTube.

    For that sort of lens, f/8 will have the best performance regarding sharpness. Using f-values higher than f/13 will make the image blurrier due to diffraction. Using the lens wide-open (in the f/4 to f/5.6 range) will make the image slightly soft and depth of field will be narrow meaning that only a small sliver of the image will be in focus.

    As for ISO, use the lowest ISO setting you can. You don't say what camera body you have, but in general anything below ISO 800 will be OK on a modern body.

    If this is all to confusing, as others suggest, use Program or Auto mode.

  • keerok
    Lv 7
    3 weeks ago

    Don't be bothered with Fs and ISOs. Stick to Auto mode.

    To ensure sharp images, only shoot pictures when there are lots of light bathing your subject. Very important! Lots of light. Bear in mind that what you see is not what the camera sees so what you think is sufficiently bright in your bedroom may be pitch-black darkness to the camera already.

    If you get grainy photos in Auto mode, it means there is not enough light. Use flash. Whenever it's night or you're indoors, or under a roof or tree, use flash.

  • 3 weeks ago

    Have you tried manual focus? Also using a timer or remote shutter release? When at or near full zoom, just pressing the shutter button is enough to knock the focus off. I would shoot in auto mode

  • 3 weeks ago

    Take a picture of a knife, doesn't get much sharper than that.

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