Diffraction Limit

Started Aug 28, 2013 | Discussions thread
Paul De Bra
Paul De Bra Forum Pro • Posts: 12,499
Diffraction isn't as bad as some people think.

GB wrote:

In short, it is entirely possible for the FZ200 to be sharper at f/4 than it is at f/2.8, even though at f/2.8 it is already well within the realm of strong diffraction softening, and the lesser lens aberrations at f/4 may outweigh the increased diffraction softening.

Regardless, the effects of diffraction softening at f/2.8 on an FZ200 are identical to the effects of diffraction softening at f/8 on mFT and f/16 on FF, it's just that diffraction softening is one of many forms of blur.

The problem on m43 is similar to what you see on the FZ200. Very sharp primes are sharper at f/4 than f/5.6 already because of diffraction at f/5.6. Mediocre zoom lenses are sharper at f/8 than f/5.6 because they become more sharper by stopping down than they are becoming less sharp by diffraction. The optimum of sharpening by stopping down and softening due to diffraction is different for each lens.

The FZ200 can be sharper at f/4 than at f/2.8 but if it is it just means the lens isn't sharp enough to get the most out of the sensor.

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Slowly learning to use the Olympus OM-D E-M5.
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