Did you know your lens has an Aperture point that is the sharpest? This quick tutorial shows you easily How to Find Your Lens Sweet Spot.
Below is a video I put together, showing how I went about finding my lens sweet spot. So don’t forget to check that out. This can be found over on my YouTube channel.
Pick a target
All you need is something with a little bit of detail on. Writing, or something similar. I used a ‘target’ I made on the computer. Here is a shot of that on the wall, in the office.
If you would like to use this, then feel free to download by clicking on the below to get the PDF version. (no email required!)
The idea is, to focus on the same point, with the same exposure, and then shoot a number of shots at different apertures.
Choosing the best Aperture to shoot to find your lens sweet spot
To find the sweet spot, you need to take a number of photos through the range of your lens available apertures. I took about 9 in total but will focus on just three for the purpose of this blog post.
I shot wide open, at f2.8. Then took another at the smallest aperture, f22. Finally, I shot somewhere in-between, about f9.
This is so I could see the difference between the extreme Apertures, f2.8 and f22. But also something somewhere in between, such as f9.
I also made sure the exposure was exactly the same in each one by adjusting the shutter speed. The ISO remained consistent throughout. As you can see from the below photo, the exposure was +1 for each shot.
All these images are below, but I have cropped to the centre of the target so we can see the final results.
The three images shown here may not demonstrate the difference between them clearly in this post.
So, I have included the files as downloads if you would like to do a proper ‘pixel peep’.
Which aperture was my lens sweet spot?
When I took the high res files into Lightroom, and really interrogated all of them, there was a clear winner for me, and my lens sweet spot was f9.
It is quite common that the somewhere in the middle of the aperture range would be the sweet spot, somewhere between f8 and f12 is quite common. In this instance, the winner for me was f9.
Well done to f9 for winning my Lens Sweet spot competition. It was a pretty simple and easy test to do, but worthwhile. It doesn’t take long to Find Your Lens Sweet Spot and in doing so will help you out in the field. You can ensure those photos are as sharp as possible!.
I hope you found this useful. If you did, why not check out another quick blog post. Things like How to Shoot Macro without a Macro Lens, or perhaps how to Flag and Rate your photos in Lightroom may be useful.
In the meantime, don’t forget to head over to the YouTube channel for lots more content.
Until then, I look forward to seeing you in the next blog post.