whats up with my FZ200 images

Started 6 months ago | Discussions
Steen Bay
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Re: ISO 400 and f8!
In reply to bruckshaw1, 6 months ago

bruckshaw1 wrote:

Seeing the last couple of images at F/8 and IS 400 persuades me that this is not the problem the OP has. Look at the OP's pic at 1/1 and compare it with the last two also at 1/1 .. the effect is entirely different. OP's detail has almost completely disintegrated.

Eric

Difficult to compare. The last couple of image are heavily downsampled, so they look much better at 100% view than the original full resolution images would do.

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sherman_levine
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It's the small aperture
In reply to cmc1, 6 months ago

cmc1 wrote:

sherman_levine wrote:

cmc1 wrote:

Just to confirm both of the submitted images were shot in RAW and converted to JPEG via LR4.4 export.

How large were the LR JPG exports? I wonder if you've created the JPGs at low quality.

(or, and I suppose a better question is, did the images look this bad in LR)

For reference, the "high quality" JPGs created by FZ200 are about 5mb each.

Also, did you have image stabilization on or off?

Sherm

Images were exported at full quality (100) and the image stabilisation was on.

I'll try and post some more later if I get time

I took three sets of images at ISO 100, full W/A, A mode, on a tripod with self-timer. These are screenshots of 100% crops of the .RW2 viewed in Faststone.

Left to right:

#1 - f/2.8 with stabilization enabled

#2 - f/2.8 with stabilization disabled

#3 - f/8.0 with stabilization disabled

The f/8.0 image was much blurrier than either of the f/2.8 images. The stabilization seemed to do no harm.

Sherm

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Steen Bay
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Re: It's the small aperture
In reply to sherman_levine, 6 months ago

sherman_levine wrote:

cmc1 wrote:

sherman_levine wrote:

cmc1 wrote:

Just to confirm both of the submitted images were shot in RAW and converted to JPEG via LR4.4 export.

How large were the LR JPG exports? I wonder if you've created the JPGs at low quality.

(or, and I suppose a better question is, did the images look this bad in LR)

For reference, the "high quality" JPGs created by FZ200 are about 5mb each.

Also, did you have image stabilization on or off?

Sherm

Images were exported at full quality (100) and the image stabilisation was on.

I'll try and post some more later if I get time

I took three sets of images at ISO 100, full W/A, A mode, on a tripod with self-timer. These are screenshots of 100% crops of the .RW2 viewed in Faststone.

Left to right:

#1 - f/2.8 with stabilization enabled

#2 - f/2.8 with stabilization disabled

#3 - f/8.0 with stabilization disabled

The f/8.0 image was much blurrier than either of the f/2.8 images. The stabilization seemed to do no harm.

Sherm

Quite a difference. Maybe not that surprising considering that the FZ200 at f/8 has the same DoF and diffraction as a 12mp FF camera has at f/45 (wish that my SX50 was a bit faster than f/6.5 at the long end).

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kkardster
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Re: It's the small aperture
In reply to Steen Bay, 6 months ago

Steen Bay wrote:

Quite a difference. Maybe not that surprising considering that the FZ200 at f/8 has the same DoF and diffraction as a 12mp FF camera has at f/45 (wish that my SX50 was a bit faster than f/6.5 at the long end).

I agree that's quite a difference.  The constant f/2.8 lens of the FZ200 is often lauded for its ability to keep shutter speeds up and/or ISO down at telephoto, but it also affords the use of wider apertures above the diffraction limit rather than forcing stopping down  - something I haven't seen noted in its favor before.

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gardenersassistant
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f/8 (like f/22) isn't always a no-no
In reply to Steen Bay, 6 months ago

EDIT: Sorry, this was meant to be posted as a response to the top post.

I can see that in this case, neither f/8 nor ISO 400 were necessary, and both would degrade the image quality compared to f/2.8, ISO 100 and 1/160 for example.

However, I believe that f/8 does have its place in the FZ200 (or any bridge camera) toolkit, just as f/22 has its place for larger sensor cameras.

I mostly take close-ups of invertebrates and flowers. For invertebrates I almost always use f/8 with my FZ200 (and if I'm using my G3 for close-ups I almost always use f/22). With these small apertures there is a very significant loss in sharpness from diffraction, but there is a very significant increase in dof, which is at a premium for close-ups. (In fact, the increase in dof is so large that it can give an overall impression of increased sharpness.) For my purposes, preferences and priorities, the trade-off between detail/sharpness and dof favours the use of small apertures. YMMV, of course, but my point is that there is nothing so intrinsically and necessarily awful about f/8 on the FZ200 that rules out its use for any sensible purpose (as I fear might be the message some might take away from the comments in this thread).

Here are four images, one each from a (2007) Canon S3is, a (2009) Canon SX10is, A Panasonic G3 and an FZ200. All used the cameras' minimum aperture, f/8 for the bridge cameras and f/22 for the lens I was using on the G3. (All used achromats, but that is beside the point I think.)

For my purposes (1100 pixel high screen viewing, and printing generally at A4 or occasionally 16x12) these have sufficient detail and sharpness to meet my visual comfort level. Other things being equal, more would of course be better, but other things (dof in particular) are not equal. For my purposes, given that I want as much dof as I can get, with adequate (to my eye) sharpness/detail, this will do. Again, YMMV of course - you may have higher standards for sharpness/detail than I do.

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Steen Bay
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Re: f/8 (like f/22) isn't always a no-no
In reply to gardenersassistant, 6 months ago

gardenersassistant wrote:

EDIT: Sorry, this was meant to be posted as a response to the top post.

I can see that in this case, neither f/8 nor ISO 400 were necessary, and both would degrade the image quality compared to f/2.8, ISO 100 and 1/160 for example.

However, I believe that f/8 does have its place in the FZ200 (or any bridge camera) toolkit, just as f/22 has its place for larger sensor cameras.

I mostly take close-ups of invertebrates and flowers. For invertebrates I almost always use f/8 with my FZ200 (and if I'm using my G3 for close-ups I almost always use f/22). With these small apertures there is a very significant loss in sharpness from diffraction, but there is a very significant increase in dof, which is at a premium for close-ups. (In fact, the increase in dof is so large that it can give an overall impression of increased sharpness.) For my purposes, preferences and priorities, the trade-off between detail/sharpness and dof favours the use of small apertures. YMMV, of course, but my point is that there is nothing so intrinsically and necessarily awful about f/8 on the FZ200 that rules out its use for any sensible purpose (as I fear might be the message some might take away from the comments in this thread).

Here are four images, one each from a (2007) Canon S3is, a (2009) Canon SX10is, A Panasonic G3 and an FZ200. All used the cameras' minimum aperture, f/8 for the bridge cameras and f/22 for the lens I was using on the G3. (All used achromats, but that is beside the point I think.)

For my purposes (1100 pixel high screen viewing, and printing generally at A4 or occasionally 16x12) these have sufficient detail and sharpness to meet my visual comfort level. Other things being equal, more would of course be better, but other things (dof in particular) are not equal. For my purposes, given that I want as much dof as I can get, with adequate (to my eye) sharpness/detail, this will do. Again, YMMV of course - you may have higher standards for sharpness/detail than I do.

Sure, if you need the DoF, then stopping down as much as necessary is the only sensible thing to do (at least when focus stacking isn't possible). Excellent images, btw.

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Robiro
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Re: ISO 400 and f8!
In reply to bruckshaw1, 6 months ago

bruckshaw1 wrote:

Seeing the last couple of images at F/8 and IS 400 persuades me that this is not the problem the OP has. Look at the OP's pic at 1/1 and compare it with the last two also at 1/1 .. the effect is entirely different. OP's detail has almost completely disintegrated.

Eric

But daRRski is showing downsampled version of his shots. Not full-res shots.

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sherman_levine
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Re: f/8 (like f/22) isn't always a no-no
In reply to Steen Bay, 6 months ago

Steen Bay wrote:

gardenersassistant wrote:

EDIT: Sorry, this was meant to be posted as a response to the top post.

I can see that in this case, neither f/8 nor ISO 400 were necessary, and both would degrade the image quality compared to f/2.8, ISO 100 and 1/160 for example.

However, I believe that f/8 does have its place in the FZ200 (or any bridge camera) toolkit, just as f/22 has its place for larger sensor cameras.

I mostly take close-ups of invertebrates and flowers. For invertebrates I almost always use f/8 with my FZ200 (and if I'm using my G3 for close-ups I almost always use f/22). With these small apertures there is a very significant loss in sharpness from diffraction, but there is a very significant increase in dof, which is at a premium for close-ups. (In fact, the increase in dof is so large that it can give an overall impression of increased sharpness.) For my purposes, preferences and priorities, the trade-off between detail/sharpness and dof favours the use of small apertures. YMMV, of course, but my point is that there is nothing so intrinsically and necessarily awful about f/8 on the FZ200 that rules out its use for any sensible purpose (as I fear might be the message some might take away from the comments in this thread).

Here are four images, one each from a (2007) Canon S3is, a (2009) Canon SX10is, A Panasonic G3 and an FZ200. All used the cameras' minimum aperture, f/8 for the bridge cameras and f/22 for the lens I was using on the G3. (All used achromats, but that is beside the point I think.)

For my purposes (1100 pixel high screen viewing, and printing generally at A4 or occasionally 16x12) these have sufficient detail and sharpness to meet my visual comfort level. Other things being equal, more would of course be better, but other things (dof in particular) are not equal. For my purposes, given that I want as much dof as I can get, with adequate (to my eye) sharpness/detail, this will do. Again, YMMV of course - you may have higher standards for sharpness/detail than I do.

Sure, if you need the DoF, then stopping down as much as necessary is the only sensible thing to do (at least when focus stacking isn't possible). Excellent images, btw.

Artifact at at narrow aperture seems to be much more of an issue at full W/A than at full zoom.  I'm not sure why.

For thin lenses, diffraction varies with f-stop  (for w/a lenses, the aperture is physically smaller than for tele lenses, but the w/a lens is closer to the sensor).  On the other hand, FZ150 (for example) does just fine at its maximum zoom, with very little evidence of diffraction artifact despite the high f-stop.

Sherm

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bruckshaw1
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Re: ISO 400 and f8!
In reply to Robiro, 6 months ago

I agree Robiro, but the nature of the "noise" "artifacts" etc in the 1/1 view of the OP's shot is something I have never seen before. Even Sherm's cookbooks do not show the same effect. Can anyone reproduce it by shooting at ISO 400 and F/8 in similar conditions?. If anyone can I will be convinced that the problem lies in those settings. There are some difficult bird images on this forum which have noise issues but nothing like the OP experienced.

BTW I am not a pixel -peeper but sometimes you need to do it to analyse problems.

Eric

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sherman_levine
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Re: ISO 400 and f8!
In reply to bruckshaw1, 6 months ago

bruckshaw1 wrote:

I agree Robiro, but the nature of the "noise" "artifacts" etc in the 1/1 view of the OP's shot is something I have never seen before. Even Sherm's cookbooks do not show the same effect. Can anyone reproduce it by shooting at ISO 400 and F/8 in similar conditions?. If anyone can I will be convinced that the problem lies in those settings. There are some difficult bird images on this forum which have noise issues but nothing like the OP experienced.

BTW I am not a pixel -peeper but sometimes you need to do it to analyse problems.

Eric

Eric

I agree - The original images show a artifact which is different from my unprocessed f/8 Raws.  I'd like to see the original .RW2 file as the "next step" if possible

Sherm

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gardenersassistant
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Re: f/8 (like f/22) isn't always a no-no
In reply to sherman_levine, 6 months ago

sherman_levine wrote:

Artifact at at narrow aperture seems to be much more of an issue at full W/A than at full zoom. I'm not sure why.

For thin lenses, diffraction varies with f-stop (for w/a lenses, the aperture is physically smaller than for tele lenses, but the w/a lens is closer to the sensor). On the other hand, FZ150 (for example) does just fine at its maximum zoom, with very little evidence of diffraction artifact despite the high f-stop.

How interesting. With my achromats I use the whole range of zooms beyond 4x or so, possibly 7x or so with the FZ200 with Raynoxes on the tube. I remember doing some tests which clearly showed loss of detail as aperture decreased, but I'm afraid I can't remember which camera that was! It was a year or three ago.

Very interesting about the FZ150 at maximum zoom. I think I might try a series with the FZ200.

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sherman_levine
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Re: f/8 (like f/22) isn't always a no-no
In reply to gardenersassistant, 6 months ago

gardenersassistant wrote:

sherman_levine wrote:

Artifact at at narrow aperture seems to be much more of an issue at full W/A than at full zoom. I'm not sure why.

For thin lenses, diffraction varies with f-stop (for w/a lenses, the aperture is physically smaller than for tele lenses, but the w/a lens is closer to the sensor). On the other hand, FZ150 (for example) does just fine at its maximum zoom, with very little evidence of diffraction artifact despite the high f-stop.

How interesting. With my achromats I use the whole range of zooms beyond 4x or so, possibly 7x or so with the FZ200 with Raynoxes on the tube. I remember doing some tests which clearly showed loss of detail as aperture decreased, but I'm afraid I can't remember which camera that was! It was a year or three ago.

Very interesting about the FZ150 at maximum zoom. I think I might try a series with the FZ200.

Nick,

At least in the range 2.8-5.6 at full zoom, the differences in quality seem negligible. We had a bunch of discussion about this when the camera was first released.

I cited the FZ150 only because it's pretty much fixed aperture at full zoom, and people don't complain about fuzzy

Sherm

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Rodger1943
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Re: What have I gone And Done???
In reply to richj20, 6 months ago

Superb series of different shots from the FZ200 Richard. You have shown how versatile the camera really is when used for different scenes and subjects.

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gardenersassistant
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Re: f/8 (like f/22) isn't always a no-no
In reply to sherman_levine, 6 months ago

sherman_levine wrote:

Nick,

At least in the range 2.8-5.6 at full zoom, the differences in quality seem negligible. We had a bunch of discussion about this when the camera was first released.

I cited the FZ150 only because it's pretty much fixed aperture at full zoom, and people don't complain about fuzzy

Sherm

I just did a test that seems somewhat consistent with the earlier conclusions.

I took the achromats out of the equation, and just used the camera as is.

I set up a test chart and photographed it, using (centred) single point autofocus, from about 10ft using full zoom, and using f/2.8, f/4, f/5.6 and f/8. The camera was on a tripod and I used a wired shutter release. IS was off. I captured RAW and JPEG.

I then set the zoom to 16X and moved the camera towards the test chart until the framing was as nearly the same as I could get it. I then took another four shots with the same apertures. Then moved in again and took another four shots at 8x, and another four very close to the target at 1X.

I then imported the images into Lightroom, with no adjustments. I did a crop from the centre of the image for one of them, and also upped the exposure by 0.4 stop to make it easier to see what was going on. (I had the camera set to underexpose by one third of a stop.) I then got lightroom to make exactly the same crop and exposure adjustment to all of the images. I exported the crops to JPEG, with no sharpening, resizing or anything else.

I then did the same for a crop right at the top of the image and quite near to the left hand edge.

I then resized the uncropped images to 1100 pixels high, which is what I work to these days.

I have posted here at flickr some images taken from the RAW captures. These are, for all the apertures and zooms: The centre crop; The upper left crop; Whole image, resized to 1100 pixels high.

I have flicked back and forth between various of the images. I used Faststone Image Viewer to do the comparisons, because this enabled me to select pairs and larger sets of images to flick between, using the arrow keys to change between images without having to take my eyes off a particular part of the screen. I find this is the most powerful way of seeing fine differences between images, when one image/version exactly (or in this case nearly) overlays the previous one.

There is some random variation, but some patterns did seem to emerge (although caution is needed because there was no repitition in the observations and so the random effects might be predominating). That said ...

It seemed to me that for the centre crops, the f/5.6 crops were sharper than the f/8 crops, and the f/4 crops were sharper than the f/5.6 crops. However, in both the centre and corner crops, f/2.8 seemed less sharp than f/4. I suspect this may have to do with dof. The test chart was the midde two sections of a four section fold-out , so there was a crease down the middle, meaning that it was not absolutely flat. Also, the camera surely cannot have been absolutely straight on to the test chart; the extent of this would have varied with the amount of zoom, as moving between zoom factors meant physically moving the camera and tripod. The f/4 crops might be sharper because the slightly larger dof compensated for irregularities in positioning the camera in relation to (that part of) the target. That said, the area of the centre crop was where I was focusing, so I'm a little sceptical of the dof explanation. Is it possible that f/4 is in fact a bit sharper than f/2.8?

For the top left crops it appears that the f/5.6 versions may be sharpest. Again, this makes me wonder about dof effects.

And what is the likely impact of these differences, at least for my images at 1100 pixels high? Looking at the whole images resized to 1100 pixels high the differences in sharpness are still visible, although not massive to my eye. It depends on where you look, centre, middle edges or corners, but f/2.8 still seems generally to be less sharp than f/4 around the edges. At the corners f/5.6 may be fractionally sharper than f/4, with f/4 and f/5.6 level pegging at the middle edges. f/2.8 and f/4 seem be sharpest at the centre, sometimes one and sometimes the other in no pattern I can discern.

It's a matter of interpretation as to exactly what words to use to describe these differences. I don't feel entirely comfortable with "negligible", although that seems to me to be quite close to how I feel about it. The differences certainly don't seem to me to be, in practical terms, as large, or as unambiguous, as one might be led to expect by some of the rather unqualified assertions that are sometimes made about this subject.

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Steen Bay
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Re: f/8 (like f/22) isn't always a no-no
In reply to gardenersassistant, 6 months ago

gardenersassistant wrote:

It seemed to me that for the centre crops, the f/5.6 crops were sharper than the f/8 crops, and the f/4 crops were sharper than the f/5.6 crops. However, in both the centre and corner crops, f/2.8 seemed less sharp than f/4. I suspect this may have to do with dof. The test chart was the midde two sections of a four section fold-out , so there was a crease down the middle, meaning that it was not absolutely flat. Also, the camera surely cannot have been absolutely straight on to the test chart; the extent of this would have varied with the amount of zoom, as moving between zoom factors meant physically moving the camera and tripod. The f/4 crops might be sharper because the slightly larger dof compensated for irregularities in positioning the camera in relation to (that part of) the target. That said, the area of the centre crop was where I was focusing, so I'm a little sceptical of the dof explanation. Is it possible that f/4 is in fact a bit sharper than f/2.8?

Quite likely. Fast lenses are rarely sharpest wide open.

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Timj351
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Re: f/8 (like f/22) isn't always a no-no
In reply to gardenersassistant, 6 months ago

Nick, thanks for doing these test shots. It's very informative and matches my own, much less scientific, results. I've pretty much concluded that F4 is a good setting for outdoor scenes where you want good detail out to the edges of the frame. For just about anything else where the primary area of interest is anywhere in the middle than F2.8 is the best. Shutter speed and lower ISO is very important to me on this camera so I try to use the fastest aperture that my scene will allow.

After looking at the OP's image again a little closer it makes me wonder if the focus was off just slightly. I can't remember if there was any kind of filter used but I noticed that my FZ200 and FZ150 has a slight problem focusing with a polarizer filter. It focusses and appears fine in the screen but just not as critically focused all of the time. I'm also not convinced that Quick AF focusses quite as accurately as to when it is off. These are things I am still looking into and any thoughts on this from the members here would be appreciated.

-Tim

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gardenersassistant
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Re: f/8 (like f/22) isn't always a no-no
In reply to Steen Bay, 6 months ago

Steen Bay wrote:

gardenersassistant wrote:

It seemed to me that for the centre crops, the f/5.6 crops were sharper than the f/8 crops, and the f/4 crops were sharper than the f/5.6 crops. However, in both the centre and corner crops, f/2.8 seemed less sharp than f/4. I suspect this may have to do with dof. The test chart was the midde two sections of a four section fold-out , so there was a crease down the middle, meaning that it was not absolutely flat. Also, the camera surely cannot have been absolutely straight on to the test chart; the extent of this would have varied with the amount of zoom, as moving between zoom factors meant physically moving the camera and tripod. The f/4 crops might be sharper because the slightly larger dof compensated for irregularities in positioning the camera in relation to (that part of) the target. That said, the area of the centre crop was where I was focusing, so I'm a little sceptical of the dof explanation. Is it possible that f/4 is in fact a bit sharper than f/2.8?

Quite likely. Fast lenses are rarely sharpest wide open.

Ah ha. Thanks for that.

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gardenersassistant
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Re: f/8 (like f/22) isn't always a no-no
In reply to Timj351, 6 months ago

Timj351 wrote:

Nick, thanks for doing these test shots. It's very informative and matches my own, much less scientific, results. I've pretty much concluded that F4 is a good setting for outdoor scenes where you want good detail out to the edges of the frame. For just about anything else where the primary area of interest is anywhere in the middle than F2.8 is the best. Shutter speed and lower ISO is very important to me on this camera so I try to use the fastest aperture that my scene will allow.

It's a balancing act isn't it. That makes sense to me in your context of wanting fast shutter speeds and low ISOs. My context is different - wanting lots of dof for close-ups, and I have to balance the rest against that, which often leads me to high ISOs and slow shutter speeds, and/or using flash (about which I have mixed feelings) and/or using a tripod.

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sherman_levine
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Re: f/8 (like f/22) isn't always a no-no
In reply to gardenersassistant, 6 months ago

gardenersassistant wrote:

Steen Bay wrote:

gardenersassistant wrote:

It seemed to me that for the centre crops, the f/5.6 crops were sharper than the f/8 crops, and the f/4 crops were sharper than the f/5.6 crops. However, in both the centre and corner crops, f/2.8 seemed less sharp than f/4. I suspect this may have to do with dof. The test chart was the midde two sections of a four section fold-out , so there was a crease down the middle, meaning that it was not absolutely flat. Also, the camera surely cannot have been absolutely straight on to the test chart; the extent of this would have varied with the amount of zoom, as moving between zoom factors meant physically moving the camera and tripod. The f/4 crops might be sharper because the slightly larger dof compensated for irregularities in positioning the camera in relation to (that part of) the target. That said, the area of the centre crop was where I was focusing, so I'm a little sceptical of the dof explanation. Is it possible that f/4 is in fact a bit sharper than f/2.8?

Quite likely. Fast lenses are rarely sharpest wide open.

Ah ha. Thanks for that.

but the falloff in sharpness at full aperture isn't intrinsic to lenses - just that manufacturers tend to push the envelope a bit.

Sherm

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Ronomy
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Re: f/8 (like f/22) isn't always a no-no
In reply to Timj351, 6 months ago

Nick, thanks for doing these test shots. It's very informative and matches my own, much less scientific, results. I've pretty much concluded that F4 is a good setting for outdoor scenes where you want good detail out to the edges of the frame. For just about anything else where the primary area of interest is anywhere in the middle than F2.8 is the best. Shutter speed and lower ISO is very important to me on this camera so I try to use the fastest aperture that my scene will allow.

After looking at the OP's image again a little closer it makes me wonder if the focus was off just slightly. I can't remember if there was any kind of filter used but I noticed that my FZ200 and FZ150 has a slight problem focusing with a polarizer filter. It focusses and appears fine in the screen but just not as critically focused all of the time. I'm also not convinced that Quick AF focusses quite as accurately as to when it is off. These are things I am still looking into and any thoughts on this from the members here would be appreciated.

-Tim

F4 is what the camera uses in iA and P for best images unless more light is required.

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