Yesterday I did some corporate portraits using my AF 20mm f/2.8 and a SB-900 on-camera. At home flipping through the files in LR4 I was not satisfied with the sharpness of the photos - especially those photos shot at a distance to the subject and wide open (f/2.8-f/3.5-f/4.0-f/4.5).
So my assignment for today was to investigate if this could be true or if I was not able to hand hold a camera at an exposure time of 1/80 sec (and/or manage the flash output correctly).
The set-up was two identical lanterns positioned on a table against a wall in a wind free area. My Nikon D300 was on a tripod and release was done using a Nikon MC-36 cable release (highly recommendable). Obviously the lens was my AF Nikkor 20mm f/2.8.
Here is the original frame.
From there I shot a frame for each f-stop - (f/2.8/3.5/4.0/4.5/5.0/5.6/6.3/7.1/8.0/9.0/10.0/11.0/13.0/14.0/16.0/18.0/20.0/22.0). Instead of showing all those photos I have chosen a photo representing both f/2.8 and f/22.
It is evident that the f/2.8 is sharper than the f/22. The loss of sharpness occurred already at f/16. So the verdict over my blurred photos yesterday is clear. It was 100% the photographer's fault - not the equipment ;-).
The final photo - at the top of this article - gas undergone carefull but extensive post processing in LR4.