Strange D800+14-24mm phenomena at f/4 vs f/8

Started Jul 15, 2012 | Discussions thread
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Horshack
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Strange D800+14-24mm phenomena at f/4 vs f/8
Jul 15, 2012

After shooting some comparison shots with my D800+14-24 vs E-M5 7-14mm I've noticed a repeating pattern...when I stop down from f/4 to either f/5.6 or f/8.0 the extreme edges on the D800+14-24mm appear softer at f/5.6 and f/8.0 than they do at f/4. I've only tested at 14mm so I don't know if it happens at other focal lengths on this combo. I've repeated this phenomena several times in different scenes.

Below is an example of the same scene, one shot at f/4 1/640 and f/8 1/160. Both were CDAF in Live View at infinity (boat), both shot in Live View with exposure delay. I'm using a 40lb+ rated tripod+head, there wasn't any wind, and this is at 14mm...so I don't think the shutter speed matters.

Any ideas on what's going on here? Perhaps field curvature but at this focal length/DOF I wouldn't expect it be noticeable and certainly not this extreme.

Images shot raw, processed in ACR 6.7/CS5 with all defaults, no lens profile/correction applied.

Scene:

Extreme Left 100% crop:

Center 100% crop:

Extreme Right 100% crop:

Full-sized images:
f/4: http://horshack.smugmug.com/photos/i-F7MtdMB/0/O/i-F7MtdMB-O.jpg
f/8: http://horshack.smugmug.com/photos/i-k9G3t57/0/O/i-k9G3t57-O.jpg

Nikon D800
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