Not making the most of manual focus
When you use autofocus, there are a number of links in the chain that can break, leaving you with soft pictures. For instance, a lens may suffer from a back-focus or front-focus issue, where the sharpest focus is actually fractionally behind or in front of the edge that your AF point has locked onto. Nikon’s AF Fine-Tune function can help remedy this somewhat, enabling you to compensate for a specific lens’s AF performance with a specific camera.
For this reason, for critical work where focus is everything, such as macro photography or landscapes, manual is the way to go. Live View potentially makes this a piece of cake, allowing you to magnify details to 100 per cent. However, some cameras use so-called ‘interpolation’ to create the magnified view, resulting in a Live View image that’s not particularly sharp, and therefore harder to judge accurate focus on. One option here is not to magnify the image too far. Alternatively, shoot in RAW and then fine-tune the Picture Control setting to produce a sharper, higher-contrast preview image that’s easier to judge focus ‘snap’ on – shooting in RAW rather than JPEG means the image will be unaffected by the effects of the Picture Control setting.
Live View can make focusing manually easier, although zooming too far into the image can actually make it tricky to evaluate sharpness