Landscape shooting on the d800e: diffraction, focus stacking, and lens choice

Started Jan 28, 2013 | Discussions thread
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moonpeep
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Landscape shooting on the d800e: diffraction, focus stacking, and lens choice
Jan 28, 2013

So in my researching of lens options for my d800e I've noticed that at landscape type f-stop ranges many lenses become quite equal...save the edges on some of them.

By f11 the 24-120 and 24-70 nikon offerings are essentially equals.

The great new sigma 35 1.4 offering actually lags behind them a bit at f11. (if lenstip is to be believed)

The 70-300 4.5-5.6 is essentially the equal of the 70-200 II in the center and corners. (again, per lenstip)

All this led me to ponder how much bang for your buck you're really getting with the more expensive offerings if you're shooting f8 + most often.

This is especially true with the longer lenses -- for most traditional landscape type work you're going to almost have to have a high f number.

Of course if you open them up a bit, the more expensive glass is hands down much better. But your DOF is also gone.

Which leads me to believe that it's halfway pointless to drop lots of money on a 70-200 II type lens for landscape work unless you want to focus stack.

In fact, to get the most out of the d800e period, you've got to focus stack when it comes to landscapes. By f16 diffraction renders the d800 and d800e  essentially equal... per photo tests I've seen. (d800e advantage is more readily apparent in shallow DOF work)

All that said... how many of you focus stack around here?

(please feel free to pick at my observations)

* Few more thoughts:

- It makes more sense to spend $$$ on really good wide glass. You've got a better DOF advantage here and can more often be on the good side of diffraction.

- Some of the cheaper lenses mentioned might contain more distortion... though this is relatively trivial with post processing today.

Nikon D800 Nikon D800E
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