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Introducing OptimumCS - An innovative tool for photographers seeking maximum image sharpness.
OptimumCS, the Optimum Camera Settings calculator for professional and enthusiast photographers is available now on iPhone and iPod Touch. Particularly designed for landscape, architectural, travel and any other photography where maximum sharpness over a large depth of field is required, OptimumCS determines the camera settings that minimize the combined effects of defocus blur and diffraction in order to achieve maximum image sharpness — the sharpest photographs the laws of physics will allow.
If we shoot at too wide an aperture, we lose image resolution due to defocus blur (the blurring of objects in front of and behind our focus distance); at too narrow an aperture, we lose out due to diffraction (the spreading out of light when it passes through small openings). So we need to know, for the scene we’ve composed and the lens we’re using, what the optimum aperture is. And what the optimum focus distance is. This is where OptimumCS comes in.
The OptimumCS approach is quite different from practices based on the international depth of field standard — the standard behind all depth of field scales. These have the goal of finding the largest aperture that will provide acceptable sharpness on relatively small prints. “That was a perfectly understandable goal back in the 1930s, when film was slow,” says George Douvos, OptimumCs’s developer, “but photography has moved on since that standard was set. OptimumCS brings things into the modern era.”
“The difference between the results of standard practice, and the results of OptimumCS’s optimal approach, is not a trivial one — you can, in some circumstances, lose half or more of your potential image sharpness by doing things the old way.”
Importantly, OptimumCS works the way photographers work, so the creative process remains perfectly natural:
- Decide which are the nearest and furthest elements in the photograph that need to be sharp.
- In OptimumCS, simply input their distances, along with the focal length of your lens. OptimumCS displays the focus distance and aperture that will give the sharpest possible image, along with an indication of how sharp it will actually be.
- Simply set your camera as indicated and shoot.
OptimumCS is available now from Apple’s App Store.
For further information, see the developer’s website, www.georgedouvos.com.