Why not always shoot wide open with m4/3s?

Started Aug 6, 2012 | Discussions thread
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Re: Why not always shoot wide open with m4/3s?
In reply to bowportes, Aug 6, 2012

For the prime lenses(F2.5 and below) that is correct you typically would not be able to shoot in true wide open in VERY bright sunlight. However, it definitely is not common that you need to stop down much past F2.8 if you are willing to let your shutter speed go all the way to 1/4000th.

F2.8 is about as wide as you can affectively go with very bright sunlight and regular mechanical shutter speeds(1/4000th of second).

Now if you are talking about inducing motion blur with slow shutter durations then yes you would need much smaller apertures. I hadn’t really considered that as a scenario. I accept that in that scenario you might need apertures that go past the point of maximum sharpness.

Please look at the links I cited above. All of the m4/3s lenses that dpreview has tested reach their maximum sharpness in less than 1 stop from their wide open aperture. Like I said before stopping down 1/3rd of a stop or 2/3rds of a stop is understandable to get maximum sharpness. Stopping down 1 stop or more just does not give you a sharper image with more detail for any of the Panasonic m4/3s lenses.

In addition stopping down 1 extra stop is really not changing your depth of field noticeably with the current m4/3s lenses unless you are talking about the macro lenses. And once you stop down past 2 stops you are deteriorating sharpness and resolution with diffraction.

Other than the two rare instances I described above(motion blur and macro images) I don’t see a reason to shoot in any mode other than Shutter priority with Auto ISO. That will typically select wide open unless you are in very bright sunlight where it will usually select within 1-2 stops of wide open.

Can you guys post some examples(other than motion blur and macro) of situations where shooting at or very near wide open would present an issue with the image?

bowportes wrote:

mpgxsvcd wrote:

With Shutter priority I can change both shutter and ISO in 1/3 stops with a single button turn. That is very fast and effective especially in drastically changing light.

This doesn't make much sense to me.

I shoot in S (shutter priority) mode with Panny cameras a lot. In broad daylight, if ISO is set to Auto and you are in S mode, increasing or decreasing the shutter speed typically modifies the aperture setting rather than the ISO, which remains at 160. It is only in dimmer light, when the aperture has already opened to the maximum at ISO 160, when increasing the SS will bump up the Auto ISO as you describe. In many cases there is enough sunlight that it is impossible to take shots at maximum aperture without a neutral density filter.

F5.6 on most m4/3 lenses will give sharp results and considerable DOF.

Having greater DOF at f2.8 compared to full-frame cams can be an advantage as well as a disadvantage for M4/3. Depends on whether you're looking for selective blurring or greater range of focus in your shot.

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