WHERE is the @#$*(&@!! sweet spot in this lens?!?!? Okay - it could be I need to try hubby's monitor instead of my laptop, but so far I am getting NOTHING sharp out of this lens, not at 5.6, 8, 9, 11... UGH!

I have NEVER gotten really sharp pictures (okay, they look good at around 8x10 in a lot of cases). The thing is I am hoping to start submitting for microstock and I keep reading that they have to be "tack sharp" and when I upsize to 200% these things are fuzzy, and at 100% aren't exactly great. I KNOW that I can sharpen in post and should, but I'm worried how much sharpening is acceptable on things like this since it can create artifacts in enlargments, etc.

So I'm trying to find this len's best sweet spot and so far I'm just tearing my hair out. For now these shots are done outside, bright sunlight, fairly good contrast and shot at ISO100. Zoom ranges vary from 55 to 250 and anywhere in between. I realize I will have to get more scientific about this but right now I'm so discouraged if I had at least a half a grand or more I'd be trying another lens entirely at this point or wondering about maybe upgrading the body (I have a T1i). :(
asked by LJ on August 25, 2011
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A
Generally lenses are sharpest at f/8
Try a tripod? It makes a big difference.
Use a tripod and take a photograph of black lines on white paper. Enlarge. If still soft at f/8 then I think you might have a bum lens. If so you can try having it recalibrated ($) or get a new lens. Hope you are using a lens from a reputable company. I am hesitant to recommend lenses from companies that are not well known. I'd stick to major manufacturers. I really doubt it is the body unless you have a real problem with the sensor.
LH in VV answered on September 13, 2011
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A
Make sure the image stabilization is ON when you use a telephoto lens handheld. Or else use a tripod and turn the IS off.
Mark L. answered on December 7, 2012
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