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Diffraction limits me to f8 - really ?

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    JackAllTog
    JackAllTog e2 Member 53627 forum postsJackAllTog vcard United Kingdom58 Constructive Critique Points
    21 Jun 2012 - 6:16 PM

    I know this website has been mentioned many times before, but now there is a section saying what my diffraction limit is: see CALCULATING THE DIFFRACTION LIMIT

    http://www.cambridgeincolour.com/tutorials/diffraction-photography.htm

    If i read it right then with my 18M APS-c camera I'm diffraction limited at f11.

    So there is no point me shooting landscapes at f16.

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    21 Jun 2012 - 6:16 PM

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    Overread
    Overread  63763 forum posts England18 Constructive Critique Points
    21 Jun 2012 - 6:28 PM

    Not at all - read after the Diffraction Limit calculator into the real world application part - plus the real world examples part just under the calculator.

    All the calculator is showing is when diffraction softening of your photo will start to appear on a 100% crop view or on a regular print (depending on the option you tick). This does not mean you can't shoot any smaller than that point, it simply means that you've started to get softer results than the optimum the lens is capable of.

    Just as you can shoot wider than the sharpest aperture on your lens you can shoot smaller too - real world shooting, subject requirements, post processing after taking the photo and real world presentation of the result will all factor into where you draw your own line on diffraction.

    User_Removed
    21 Jun 2012 - 6:58 PM

    Sometimes Science and Art conflict.

    As photography is very much a combination of science and art, we are often on the divide. And oftentimes right in the middle.

    If I try to use that to resolve your problem I get a very mixed solution.

    If you are in artistic mode, say "stuff the diffraction".

    If you are in scientific mode, say "Ooops".

    Frankly, at the margins (or even quite a way in from the margins) the difference is of very little consequence.

    ikett
    ikett  4351 forum posts England
    21 Jun 2012 - 8:09 PM

    I can't recall talk of this on the LL site and they're the most demanding I've come across.

    User_Removed
    21 Jun 2012 - 8:32 PM

    Diffraction limitations exist. Fact.

    Will they matter on a 40' Billboard? No.

    Will they matter on a 6' x 4' Canvas print? No.

    Will they matter on a 10" x 8" print? No.

    Will they matter when analysing a lens optical results when doing a 100% crop of the the image? Yes.

    Smile

    mattw
    mattw  105189 forum posts United Kingdom10 Constructive Critique Points
    21 Jun 2012 - 8:46 PM

    Try shooting at different apertures (F8, F11, F16 and F22) to see the difference your self - you will likely see only small differences are you go just past the diffraction limit, which then get progressively bigger as you continue to stop down. for example, you might find F11 perfectly acceptable, but F16 less so

    Also worth checking out the hyper-focal distance for your camera + lens.... chances are you you may not need to go past F11 anyway.

    Last Modified By mattw at 21 Jun 2012 - 8:47 PM
    robs
    robs  11660 forum posts United Kingdom2 Constructive Critique Points
    21 Jun 2012 - 8:52 PM

    ikett - it is all over Luminous Landscapes like a bad rash! They have a lot of talk of using deconvolution sharpening to overcome/lessen the impact and discussion of whether it works or is snake oil.

    Personally I am not going to worry too much about it, even on the D800.

    User_Removed
    21 Jun 2012 - 9:55 PM


    Quote: Ikett - it is all over Luminous Landscapes like a bad rash! They have a lot of talk of using deconvolution sharpening to overcome/lessen the impact and discussion of whether it works or is snake oil.

    Personally I am not going to worry too much about it, even on the D800.

    Quite.

    Unfortunately many of the LL contributors demonstrate that unique American combination of abject ignorance coupled with unbridled arrogance. Best just to ignore them and stick to ePz.

    Overread
    Overread  63763 forum posts England18 Constructive Critique Points
    21 Jun 2012 - 10:33 PM

    Artists VS tech people

    I'll never understand either branch of the extremists fully. Suffice to say some get all wound up when people talk about photography in a purely technical and factual manner whilst others get all wound up when its all about art and nothing else.

    The only firm similarity I can draw is that a lot who get wound up about the other side being wrong often don't actually understand what it is that they are reading. Sadly compositional theory and artistic methods can be as alien to some as physics and computer tech is to others.


    Myself - I try to learn a smattering of both and then balance each as the situations occur. In the end learning what the technical limitations of your equipment is, is an important factor. It gives you the power of choice through information as opposed to just blind guesses (eg you've good light, a good shutter speed and a subject which isn't calling for a specific aperture - if you want to maximise image quality knowing where on the aperture scale your sweet spot is is important - just as it is to know where the point at which diffraction softening becomes too great for your own standards).

    Yes there will always be situations where the lighting and the shot call for less than perfect settings.

    mikehit
    mikehit  56475 forum posts United Kingdom9 Constructive Critique Points
    21 Jun 2012 - 11:18 PM

    Diffraction is a real phenomenon whose effect has grown out of all proportion for two reasons: its main proponents are people who like to sound technical and as if they know what they are talking about; and some things become 'fact' for no reason other than it is repeated a zillion times on the internet.
    It is not a real world problem.

    In all my years on different phot websites, I have never, ever seen/heard someone criticise a photo by saying 'nice picture, shame about the diffraction'.

    Overread
    Overread  63763 forum posts England18 Constructive Critique Points
    21 Jun 2012 - 11:33 PM


    Quote: In all my years on different phot websites, I have never, ever seen/heard someone criticise a photo by saying 'nice picture, shame about the diffraction'.

    Sure but they might say "nice photo - how come its a touch soft though?"

    strawman
    strawman  1022006 forum posts United Kingdom16 Constructive Critique Points
    21 Jun 2012 - 11:46 PM

    Mike to try it a different way. Diffraction is more an issue if you are trying to justify why you need a camera with lots of MP. But if you are bumbling along at a lower level of resolutions its less of an issue Smile From what I can see my compact looks to spend most of its life taking photo's that are diffraction limited. Its why putting more pixels into it will result in small changes in resolution.

    So to my eyes diffraction is real, but is it a problem. I would say if I go past f16 on my SLR I believe I can start to see a real world difference. Conversely running it at @ f11 looks to be fine. If you shoot a lot of blue things you may notice it more. Its like depth of field calculations. It is good to comprehend the principal and have a rule of thumb understanding. But worrying about absolute calculations may not be so important. Unless you are trying to produce very high resolution images.............

    ianrobinson
    ianrobinson e2 Member 41107 forum postsianrobinson vcard United Kingdom8 Constructive Critique Points
    21 Jun 2012 - 11:57 PM

    worry about getting the shot. simples Grin

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