How To Find The Sweet Spot Of Your Lens

When you buy a good target, expect of him, above all, a lot of sharpness. But it is necessary to know that for very sharp to be an objective, if we do not use it correctly, we will not obtain the maximum degree of sharpness that is able to get used to your lens sweet spot.

It is very possible that at this point, if you’ve decided to invest in a good lens, new, or second hand, you have been somewhat frustrated with their results. That is to say, sure the thing has improved substantially, but perhaps not as much as you’d expect, is that possible? Especially if you’ve made a good light, very light, and enjoy infinitely blurring the maximum, experimenting with its maximum aperture of diafgrama and its very low depth of field.

The point more clear of your lens

The clear point of your lens (or sweet spot) is the point where the job of the lens is optimal , and where best to respond, reducing aberrations and providing greater definition.

To know the point more clear of your lens will help you whatever your optics. Is this the wonderful king of the objectives (100% recommended.) or the kit lens. No matter how good or not so good that is your goal. The important thing is to know to squeeze its capabilities to the maximum.

Find the sweet spot of your lense

The sweet spot or point sharper lens is located in the openings of diaphragm intermediate, never at the ends. It is usually said that is of the approximate form, some two or three steps above the maximum aperture of your lens.

That is to say, if you have a lens of aperture f/1.4, it is possible that the sweet spot of your lens is at approximately f/2.8 or f/4. Or, if for example you have a goal, something less bright f/4, the sweet spot of your lens will be around f/8 or f/11.

Although this calculation is not an exact science and depends on each objective, you can know specific and real the sweet spot through 3 ways:

  • Specifications lens: it is possible that in some specifications come detailed, but it is unusual.
  • Through the pages Dpreview and The digital picture: you can check if your target in question has been reviewed. If so, you’ll be able to see the analysis (in English) of sharpness that offers.
  • Empirical analysis: or what is the same, find out yourself. For all those who don’t find the sweet spot of your lens with the two options above and/or who like doing things personally ;-).
lens sweet spot

How to find out?

It is much more simple than it seems, do not worry. In addition, there are few things more pleasurable than the satisfaction of making one’s own things, don’t you think?

  • Look for a background that contains a single plane , and that it is static…
  • But, at the same time, is easy to sharpen.
  • Make sure that the ambient light is not too changing.
  • Once you have decided on the occasion of the image, place the camera on the tripod and focus.
  • Once focused properly, turn off the auto focus and leave it fixed in manual.
  • Or if not, you should check that the focus is exactly the same for each shot, so you don’t confuse a focus failed, with lack of sharpness.
  • Preparing the remote shutter release if you have one.
  • If not, use the auto shutter of the camera.
  • Set the camera on manual and go by adjusting the opening in each shot. Do it in order, for example, of more opening of diaphragm at least. Step-by-step.

If you work in manual, you’ll have to go by varying the speed in function of the opening, so that all the photos have the same exposure.

  • If you do not see clearly, set the camera on aperture priority. So the camera will change the shutter speed for each shot.
  • Once you have chosen all the photos, pass them to your editor and extends a detail of the image at 100%. What is the winning image? So, there you have the sweet spot of your lens.
lens sweet spot

What happens to the focal length?

Well, yes, you’re right. Already at the beginning intimated that the focal length was also involved in the sharpness of our photos. And it is true. As for the opening of the diaphragm, the extreme focus, there is no where better to the unfolding of our lens.

The focal lengths that you provide us with a greater sharpness are, like the openings of the diaphragm, in the middle of the range.


To know the sweet spot of your lens, is this fixed lens or zoom, this is very, or very bright, it will help you to get the highest sharpness possible in your photographs.

That does not mean, however, that you always need to work with the aperture or focal length. Rather, it allows you to be aware that you will find yourself at the ends, should be justified in some way.

That is to say, if you have a lens with an aperture of f/1.4 and you want desperately to reduce the depth of field to a minimum, nothing prevents you from using it, simply you will not get the maximum sharpness, but you will have other advantages such as a very low depth of field.

If, on the contrary, you want to close to the maximum, the diaphragm because you want the maximum depth-of-field, I recommend that values the possibility of using the hyperfocal distance, which will allow you to keep an opening of diaphragm media, and much more area in focus in the image, avoiding the aberrations typical of the diaphragm closed.

That is all, I hope I explained myself well, but, above all, I hope that you apply on your photos to be even better than the insurance, as they are.

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