Group Photo - Everything You Need To Know - NFI (2023)

Group photos are fascinating. They appear simple, but most people must know that they require an eye for composition and positioning and understand the ideal lens for large and small groups.

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We have put together the following advice on how to be confident and arrange subjects in a formal setting to help you navigate the turmoil. These will assist you in capturing great group portraits and allow you to have fun while doing them. So let’s get this party started.

Equipment Needed

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AmazonBasics Lightweight Camera Mount Tripod

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NEEWER Light Reflector

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Flash Diffuser Light Softbox Altura Photo

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Tips to Take Group Photos


Nothing will turn group photo subjects against you faster than your lack of preparation. People dislike being kept waiting, so prepare ahead of time.

Here are the recommended tips to stay prepared ahead of time to click group photos:

  • Prepare for your shoot by scouting the venue.
  • Consider how you will pose your subjects and frame your shot.
  • Make sure everyone you want in the shot is aware of your intentions.
  • Make sure your camera is turned on and the batteries are charged.

How to Take Group Photos


The location of the group shot is crucial for a variety of reasons. For starters, it can provide context for the image. A photograph of a sports team on their playing field, for example, conveys more information than a photograph of the group in front of a brick wall.

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Second, the setting can either aid in highlighting your organization or bring attention to it. You will need a setting with no distractions to make the group stand out. So pick a location that will accommodate your gathering, has enough light for the image, and is free of distracting elements. Also, avoid taking a group shot immediately in front of a window since the light from your flash may reflect back and cause an unsightly reflection.

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Take a Lot of Shots

Getting everyone to appear similar at the same moment can be challenging. As a result, it is strongly advised that you snap many images fast. So, set your camera to continuous mode and take pictures in small bursts. The initial image is frequently unsatisfactory, but the images that follow produce a picture that appears less posed and more relaxed.

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Shoot some frames before everyone is ready on a related point. How a group shot is put together can sometimes be amusing and photogenic. Also, change up the framing of your photographs. For example, try capturing some images with a wide focal length and some shots with a more narrowly framed focal length if you have a zoom lens.

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There will be a lot of subjects to focus on during a group session. To ensure that all your subjects are focused, choose a higher f-stop, such as f/16 or f/22.

How to Focus on Everyone in Group Photos

Freeze Your Moments

You can create funny moments while clicking group pictures. Not everyone will have an idea to pose for a group photo. Thus, you can suggest these, grab your client’s attention, and take control of the moments:

You can ask girls and women to show off their curves by having their hands around their hips, bending their knees, or leaning on their friend’s shoulders.

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Men usually cross their hands in the front. You can suggest having their hands around their friend’s shoulders or in the front/side pockets to appear cool.

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In addition, while posing for group photos, all can stay in the same pose or each one tries a different pose to have little naughtiness and frolic.

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Never let your audience’s hands be straight at the sides, leaving no gap between their bodies and arms or crossing their hands in the front. These poses are formal and barely exhibit enthusiasm in group photos.

Move in Closer

Try to get as near to the group you are photographing as possible. The closer you go to them, the more detail you’ll be able to catch in their faces, which can help elevate an image.

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Take some head and shoulder photos if your group is small. Another great strategy is to urge everyone to lean in so you can get closer to them without cutting them out. You may also move everyone out of a straight line and ask them to take different positions by moving forward, sideward, and backward.

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Make the Group Pose

Your group will, in most situations, pose very naturally. For example, taller people will be seated at the back, while shorter people will be in the front. However, there are other things you may do to improve the composition of the photo:

Tips to Setup a Great Group Photo

  • Ensure the group is manageable (i.e., let the distance be smaller between the front line and the backline of people). It will aid in maintaining everyone’s attention. Use a narrow aperture if the composition becomes too deep.
  • Suppose the event focuses on specific people (such as weddings or birthdays). In that case, you can focus on them by placing them in the group’s center (you can click multiple shots where everyone looks at the camera and the couple kisses/ person looks at the group, everyone looks at the person/couple and the couple/person pose at the camera, etc.)
  • Taller persons should be at the back center of the image, while shorter people should be towards the sides.
  • Tell everyone to raise their chins slightly to avoid double chins in the photos.

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Schedule Your Time

Choose your photo’s location with care. Choose a time that coincides with what is going on at the gathering. For example, take a group shot when everyone is already close together, and there is a pause in the action.

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The beginning of an event is a perfect moment to shoot because everyone is together and looks their best. If there is alcohol involved, it has yet to have a substantial impact on the group.

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Handle the Lighting

If it is a bright, sunny day with the sun low in the sky, avoid making your subjects encounter the light directly; If they do, you’ll end up with squinting faces.

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A sufficient amount of light is required to produce enough detail in the final shot. The best way to achieve this depends on the situation. If the group is small enough and you’re close enough for it to work, consider utilizing a flash, especially if the primary light source is from behind the group.

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Be in Control

When taking a group shot, keep chatting, tell the group what you want them to do, encourage them to smile, tell them they look fantastic, and let them know how long you will need them.

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It is also crucial to give your subjects a reason to smile for the camera. “The happy couple has requested me to grab some group photographs,” you can remark during a wedding to motivate folks. “Let’s take a group shot to commemorate our win,” you could suggest at a sporting event. “If you can see the camera, it can see you” is another great statement to use with a group. You will find that if you offer folks a cause to pose, they will be a lot more ready to stand for a few minutes while you take pictures.

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If other photographers are present, wait until they have completed their photos before attracting the entire group’s attention. Otherwise, everyone will be looking in various directions.

Of course, when posing with your group, you do not want to be a dictator; otherwise, your group photographs will feature furious expressions. The finest photographers know how to capture people’s attention and communicate their desires while keeping them calm and having a good time.

Family Group Photos

Use a Pedestal When Clicking Large Groups

Photographing large gatherings of people can be challenging. Fitting everyone inside the shot will be tricky, even with careful tiering and staggering.

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Elevating yourself is one option. A high vantage point allows you to accommodate many people into the frame while keeping relatively near to them. It also provides a fascinating viewpoint, mainly if you use a wide focal length.

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Utilize a Tripod

Tripods are ideal for group photography for a variety of reasons. A tripod, for starters, indicates your seriousness and can aid in gaining the focus of the gathering (it is incredible what a professional-looking setup can accomplish).

Second, a tripod allows you to pose your subjects more freely. Set up your camera on a tripod and adjust the exposure and focus. Then direct your subjects through various stances — and when everything appears just right, instantly capture the moments.

Make Use of an Assistant

An assistant can be handy if you are covering a large event. Assistants can arrange the gathering by telling people when to arrive, where to stand, etc.

If you capture many group photographs (for example, at a wedding or photographing different family configurations), an assistant is handy.

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Having a family member act as your helper assures you do not forget anyone (provided they are linked to group members). Furthermore, because the group is accustomed to them, they will respond well when the “helper” orders them around.

Keep Smiling

Yes, you should put a smile on your face! Nothing is more annoying than a cranky, stressed-out photographer during a group shoot. Instead, have a good time and enjoy getting your photographs; you’ll discover that the rest of the group will also.

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Utilize a Mid-Range Lens

There are better choices than a wide-angle lens for large group shots. Though “wide” may imply that the lens would cover more ground, it will distort anything in the foreground.

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Remember to consider the available space; you may need to take a few steps back, which is how to shoot group shots without missing the lens focus.

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Mid Range Lens

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Creative Ideas for Group Photos

It is not easy to take a memorable or unique group shot, but that is because our imagination and the number of crazy friends limit us. However, combining those two aspects with the willingness to take countless upon countless frames of the same shot to capture that one snapshot, you may create some fantastic masterpieces that will make other photographers jealous.

Creative Group Photos

One Leg Kick Group Photo

Here is a natural beauty. Get a few buddies to join you in forming a line some distance from you. Get them to imagine how horrible they would look if they had a real kick in the stomach.

You can even ask them to jump as one of them kicks others, the hero to deliver his ultra-powerful kick, and the camera to go into burst mode and click away.

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Super Punch Group Photo

This punch does not need to be delivered with a grunting face. It is okay for people equipping themselves with a cheerful countenance to pose with a punching hand. Take the time to carve out the circles of destruction in the sand, similar to what you see around the kung fu master who throws the super punch for the best effect.

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Perfect Formation Group Photo

While clicking your unique group photo, you can show off your creativity and pun by making weird poses, from workouts to dances to funny movements.

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Water Group Photo

Part of photography’s magic is capturing something as it happens, even if we cannot see it with our own eyes. For example, how often do you get to photograph water droplets tracing a path in mid-air?

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It may take some practice to get it ideally, so eager players should fling their hair more than once. But in the end, you can tell when you have captured a winning shot.

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Always keep in mind that your shot should convey a story. Therefore, many photographers need to pay attention to this feature. When smiles are forced, they become stale, and the most impactful images are genuine. Hence, capturing the situation’s mood and tempo in group photographs is vital to cherish the moments forever.

Group photos are challenging, but they are easy if you are well-equipped and well-prepared. In the end, a good photograph is worth a lifetime of memories.



What is the best setting for group photo? ›

Set the aperture to between f/2 and f/4 for single subjects and f/5.6 to f/8 for group shots. Use a shutter speed of at least 1/200th if handheld and 1/15th on a tripod.

What is the rule of 1 3 in photography? ›

The rule of thirds is a composition guideline that places your subject in the left or right third of an image, leaving the other two thirds more open. While there are other forms of composition, the rule of thirds generally leads to compelling and well-composed shots.

How do you stand out in a group photo? ›

11 Dos and Don'ts for Posing Group Portraits
  1. Don't align faces on the same level. ...
  2. Try imagining a triangle instead of a grid. ...
  3. Make sure everyone is visible. ...
  4. Don't spread them too far apart. ...
  5. Mix it up. ...
  6. Think patterns. ...
  7. Don't forget individual portrait tips. ...
  8. Try giving them an action instead.

What is the best focal length for group shots? ›

If you're shooting a big family, a 50 or 85mm lens will give you the wide angle you need to get everyone in the frame. If you're shooting family portraits with only a couple of subjects, you can use a lens with a slightly longer focal length, like an 85mm, to fill the frame without having to stand too close.

How do you look thinner in group photos? ›

How to Look Skinny and Thinner in Pictures
  1. Stick Your Chin Out.
  2. Avoid Patterns.
  3. Know How to Hold Your Body.
  4. Don't Place Your Arms at Your Side.
  5. Avoid Bulky Clothing.
  6. Stand/Sit Straight.
  7. Have Pictures Taken From Above.
  8. Hold Your Purse in Front of Your Body.

How do I make my group photos look professional? ›

Let's start!
  1. Be confident.
  2. Arrange people in a staggered formation.
  3. Keep the group close together.
  4. Make sure people's faces aren't covered.
  5. Be strategic about lighting.
  6. Shoot a sequence of photos.
  7. Let your subjects have fun.

What is the best aperture for group portraits? ›

Shooting couples or group family portraits requires a smaller aperture – f/5.6 or f/8 is a good starting point.

What is the golden triangle in photography? ›

We use Golden Triangle compositions to identify main subjects in food photography by using imaginary diagonal lines across the frame. The Golden Triangle consists of a diagonal line that goes from one corner to the opposite corner and two lines from the other two corners that meet that line at a 90-degree angle.

What is the rule of 9 in photography? ›

The guideline proposes that an image should be imagined as divided into nine equal parts by two equally spaced horizontal lines and two equally spaced vertical lines, and that important compositional elements should be placed along these lines or their intersections.

What are the 7 elements of photography? ›

There are seven basic elements of photographic art: line, shape, form, texture, color, size, and depth. As a photographic artist, your knowledge and awareness of these different elements can be vital to the success of your composition and help convey the meaning of your photograph.

What is the best angle for group photos? ›

A wide angle lens is perfect for group photos. It allows you to get everyone in the shot without having to move the camera too far away.

What is the best lens for group photos? ›

Lens Choice for Group Photos

The best versatile lens for both portraits AND large groups is a 35mm. This gives you the ability to capture a larger group without the use of rows. You could also use a lens like the 24mm or the 24-70mm.

Is a 50mm lens good for group shots? ›

The great thing about a 50mm lens is that the curvature of the focal plane is minimal compared to other focal lengths, especially wider lenses. That's another reason why a 50mm is a great option for shooting larger groups if you have the room.

What aperture should I use for large groups? ›

For most lenses, it's around f/8 – f/11. So if you're really worried about getting everyone in a large, multi-layered, generational group shot sharp and in focus, something in that range will definitely do the trick!

What is the most popular focal length? ›

The 35mm is possibly the most popular focal length in all of photographic history. The 28mm is also a popular and highly versatile wide angle, without being too wide.

Why do I look so awkward in group photos? ›

"If you're in a group photo always position yourself in the middle, as most mobile phone cameras have a wide angle lens and if you are positioned on the outer the lens distortion will make you look wider." "I think for most people, front on is the most flattering but you need to work out what your best angle is.

How do you not look chubby in pictures? ›

12 Posing Tips to Make You Look Thinner in Pictures INSTANTLY!
  1. Watch your posture. ...
  2. Tilt your hips back. ...
  3. Show your neck. ...
  4. Stand at an angle, put one leg in front of the other. ...
  5. Lean away from the camera. ...
  6. Don't put arms flat against your body. ...
  7. Bend your limbs. ...
  8. Tuck your legs when sitting down.
Jun 5, 2019

What to do with your arms in pictures? ›

The worst thing you can do in a photo is smoosh your arms tightly against your sides. Instead, place one hand on your hip, relax your wrist and keep your shoulders down. As long as your posture is casual, the overall look will feel natural.

What colors are best for professional group photos? ›

Neutral or Solid Colours

Solid and neutral colours always work well as the eye is used to seeing them and they have little chance of overwhelming the frame. Light neutral shades include white and cream, while dark ones include navy and black. Neutrals are timeless, non-competing and emotionless.

What is the best light modifier for group shots? ›

Reflective umbrellas are the best light modifiers to use for a portrait with a very large group of people. Softboxes are for smaller groups or individuals.

Which f-stop is sharpest? ›

If you're shooting flat subjects, the sharpest aperture is usually f/8. My lens reviews give the best apertures for each lens, but it is almost always f/8 if you need no depth of field.

What is the most flattering aperture? ›

The best aperture for portraits to use are the following:
  • f/8 or more for large group portraits.
  • f/4 for small group portraits.
  • f/2-f/3.2 for portraits with a couple.
  • f/2-f/2.8 for portraits of one person.
Mar 24, 2022

At what aperture is everything in focus? ›

F22 aperture creates a photo with all parts in focus, from elements close to the camera to subject matter far away in the background. This phenomenon is known as a wide depth of field — it's the opposite of photos where the background is blurred and an object is in focus.

How can I make my hands look better in pictures? ›

How to Photograph Hands
  1. Consider the lighting. Always light your hand photography properly, as you would any other type of photo. ...
  2. Try different lenses. ...
  3. Switch up the angles. ...
  4. Capture a natural position. ...
  5. Relax the hands. ...
  6. Experiment with different poses. ...
  7. Incorporate color. ...
  8. Mind the details.
Jan 24, 2022

What is the best hand position for photos? ›

Hands should be at least at a slight angle away from the camera. Or you should photograph hands from the side. This is most important when the pose keeps the entire hand visible. It's less essential when it's only a portion of the hand in the shot.

What is the rule of odds in photography? ›

What is the Rule of Odds? The rule of odds states that when you're including a group of subjects in your photo, an odd number, rather than an even number will produce a more interesting, and visually pleasing composition.

What is the rule of space in photography? ›

The rule of space relates to the direction the subject of the photograph is moving in, or even just looking in. If you photograph a runner, the rule says that you should have more space in front of the runner than behind, thus giving him space to move into within the picture.

What is the golden rule of photo? ›

The golden ratio is a guide to where to place a subject (a tree, person, building, etc.) or element in a photo (like the horizon) where it will be most pleasing to the eye. That divine ratio is 1.618:1. The first recorded definition of the golden ratio came from Euclid in the 3rd Century BC.

What is the 3 4 rule in photography? ›

To understand and use the rule of thirds, simply break up an image into thirds both horizontally and vertically, as seen here. The four intersection points of these lines, and the four lines themselves, are where subjects, or strong compositional lines of a photograph, can be placed to create a strong, balanced image.

What is the 500 rule in photography? ›

Rule of 500 (or 300)

When taking an untracked photo of the night sky using a camera on a tripod, this rule tells you how long you can expose before the stars begin to trail. You take the number 500 and divide by the focal length of your lens. For example, if you have a 20-mm wide angle lens, then 500 / 20 = 25.

What is rule 4 in photography? ›

The rule of four tells us that anyone buying a camera needs to budget four times the initial cost of anything bought. Furthermore, any memory card needs to contain four times as many photos as actually appreciated. And anything shall have to be done four times before getting it right.

What are the five photography basics? ›

Basically, there are five common elements that great images typically have; Good use of light, color, a captivating moment, correct composition for the given situation, and the photographer's choice of distance to their subject.

What makes a strong photo? ›

Elements of a Successful Photograph

Your lighting, composition and the overall quality of the image has to be just right. If the colors aren't vibrant, the staging isn't eye-catching or the picture does not look professional, the viewer is not going to focus on the image long enough to appreciate the content.

What is a good quality photo? ›

A high-resolution JPEG is an image that is typically 300 DPI (dots per inch) or higher. While its file size may be larger, it can be ideal for those wanting to save a photograph or art piece and retain detail and quality.

How many group photos should you have? ›

Why do you want them - is it because you really want them or feel you should have them? We suggest a maximum of 12 group photos but if you can bring it down to 8, even better! This means you and your guests won't get too fed up with the process and we can get those natural, candid photos too.

Which lens is the most flattering? ›

Most photographers tend to use a moderate telephoto lens—70mm to 200mm—as that range generally produces the most flattering angle of view for most people's features.

What are the three main lenses in photography? ›

There are three basic types of lenses for DSLR cameras: normal, telephoto and wide angle. Explore each type to determine which lens is appropriate for capturing the image that communicates the message you are trying to convey.

What lens to use for parties? ›

Best Lenses for Event Photography:
  • Sigma 24-70mm f/2.8 DG DN Art (for Sony)
  • Canon EF 85mm f/1.2L II USM.
  • Nikon AF-S 85mm f/1.4G.
  • Sony FE 85mm f/1.4 GM.
  • Sigma 35mm f/1.2 DG DN Art (for Sony)
  • Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 STM.
  • Nikon AF-S 50mm f/1.8G.
  • Sony FE 50mm f/1.8.
Jan 12, 2023

Should I smile with or without teeth? ›

Showing some of your upper teeth and even some of your bottom teeth can help to brighten up your face. However, showing too many teeth can make your face look over-exuberant and strained but showing none can make you seem very serious.

How do you take a flattering group selfie? ›

Aim High

A universal truth: The higher up you hold the camera, the more flattering the photo will be for everyone. Also, the farther away you hold your camera, the more group hugs (and middle fingers) you can get into the picture.

How do you look good in group selfies? ›

How to look better in selfies and group photos
  1. Get rid of your "turkey neck"
  2. Determine your best selfie angle.
  3. Make your eyes twinkle.
  4. Look better in full-body photos, too.
  5. Smile, even if you don't want to.
Jan 21, 2022

What are the best settings for outdoor group photo? ›

The best camera settings for outdoor photo shoots.

Aperture - How wide the lens opens. An aperture (or f-stop) around f/4 or lower is good for single subjects, while an f-stop around f/11 is best for group shots and landscapes. Shutter speed - How long the shutter stays open.

What is the best size for group photo? ›

What size is a Facebook group cover photo size in 2023? The ideal size for your Facebook group cover photo is 1640 pixels wide by 856 pixels tall with an aspect ratio of 1.91:1. 2.

What aspect ratio is best for group photos? ›

Most photographers choose to shoot in 3:2 aspect ratio in the camera, a standard ratio of an image based on 35mm film. But if you're planning to shoot just for social networks purposes, choosing 4:5 in your camera may work in your favor.

How do you make outdoor photos look professional? ›

What Makes a Photo Look Professional?
  1. CORRECT COLOR. Color, or white balance as it's called when referring to photographs, is what sets professionals apart from the amateurs. ...
  2. CORRECT FOCUS. If your image isn't in focus, it doesn't matter how pretty or wonderful it is. ...
Aug 24, 2020

What are the 7 principles of photography? ›

There are 7 principles of Photography i.e. Pattern, Balance, Negative Space, Grouping, Closure, Colour and Light/Shadow. By applying these 7 principles, Photographers can create a complete image in the foundation of art theory.

What is the most popular photo size? ›

4 x 6 inches.

This is perhaps the most common photo size in print. This size of photo fits perfectly into a 3:2 aspect ratio. If you take a photo using this ratio, you shouldn't have to crop out any of the image to make it fit. This size is ideal for framed photos, greetings cards and postcards.

Which is better 16x9 or 4x3? ›

The best aspect ratio to shoot videos in is 16:9 since most modern displays, such as TVs, tablets, phones, and computer displays have a 16:9 aspect ratio display. This allows you to display your entire video without cropping the sides to fit in the display, as you would have to do with a 4:3 aspect ratio video.

What is the golden ratio in photography? ›

The golden ratio is a guide to where to place a subject (a tree, person, building, etc.) or element in a photo (like the horizon) where it will be most pleasing to the eye. That divine ratio is 1.618:1. The first recorded definition of the golden ratio came from Euclid in the 3rd Century BC.

What are popular photo ratios? ›

The most common aspect ratios for standard photography and art prints are 3:2 and 5:4.

Where do you focus in a group? ›

If you have a two rows of people standing, make sure to focus on the person who's front and center. Aperture, like a lot of things in photography, works in a system of thirds. So, if your aperture is f/4, then within that focal plane, wherever you focus, 1/3 of that will go forward and 2/3 will go backward.

Which aperture is sharpest? ›

Generally speaking, for almost every lens, you'll get a sharper image―with all other factors being equal―at the middle apertures and not at its widest or smallest aperture. Let's dive deeper into why that is, and how you can figure out your lens's sweet spot.


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