If shooting at f/22, is a fast 1.8 lens still considered fast?

Started Apr 17, 2011 | Discussions thread
RBFresno
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Are all lenses equal at f22? No.
In reply to ianz28, Apr 20, 2011

Something I didn't see mentioned in any of the other responses.

Are all lenses equal at f22?

Simple answer is NO!

Agree.

There is an evil effect of light and physics (at least I think that is the cause?) that results in what is called diffraction. Diffraction results in a loss of sharpness and contrast. I believe (once again) that the culprit is reflections of light within the lens between the various elements.

This being said not all lenses are created equal when it comes to diffraction and shooting at smaller f stops. Typically speaking macro lenses perform better than standard zooms or fast primes at small apertures like f22. There are other lenses that hold up more at the smaller f-stops than others as well such as the old AI 25-50mm f4.

This isn't a subject that I've studied a whole lot of as I very rarely shoot at slower apertures than f11 but

I hope others can chime in on lenses that perform well stopped down.

The Zeiss 100/2 is very good at f/22:

http://www.dpreview.com/challenges/Entry.aspx?ID=394062

Best Regards,

RB

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