Diffraction Limit

Started Aug 28, 2013 | Discussions thread
Anders W Forum Pro • Posts: 21,468
Re: In other words...

Great Bustard wrote:

Steen Bay wrote:

Great Bustard wrote:

Paul De Bra wrote:

With a sharp lens mounted on the E-M5 you can certainly see the effect of diffraction at f/8 versus e.g. f/5.6 when looking carefully at 100% pixel level on a sharp monitor. Does that qualify as noticeable?

I typically view my images on a 1920x1200 pixel 24" monitor. At that resolution and monitor size such measurable difference in sharpness is not noticeable. When I take shots with the 12-50 or 20mm there is no noticeable difference in sharpness on my monitor. When viewed at 100% there is a visible difference, and also a visible decrease in sharpness on the 20mm when going from f/5.6 to f/8. But for practical use there is no noticeable difference.

Most of the discussion about diffraction is about differences and softening that isn't really visible when admiring a photo, only when pixel-peeping.

...the effects of diffraction softening depend on the display size of the photo, the viewing distance, the visual acuity of the viewer, the other sources of blur in the photo, and the QT (quality threshold) of the viewer.

Took a look at FZ200 in IR's 'comparometer' to see what kind of resolution we're talking about here. The resolution test chart is shot at f/4 (DoF/diffraction equivalent to f/22 on FF and f/11 on mFT), and I'd say that the resolution is about 2200 lw/pH. Not that bad for a sensor with 3000 vertical pixels.

The question is how that resolution would fare against a camera with a FF system at f/22 sharpened to the same degree.

You know me -- I'm quite the fan of the FZ200 and quite the fan of putting anything I say to the test.

So, if you can sport me links to a photo from the FZ200 at f/4 (or any other superzoom) and a RAW (DSLR jpg engines don't sharpen like compact jpg engines) photo of the same scene from FF at f/22, I'll be happy to process the FF photo and post a comparison.

Here's the link you need for the FZ200. Take your pick among the RAWs available on that page and find the corresponding one for the the FF camera you want to compare with.


In general, just find the IR review of the camera you are interested in, then click on "Samples" in the top menu and then on "Thumbnails" in the menu that appears below the topmost one.

Actually, since you mention it, check this out from way back when I was joe mama:


Imagine that.

 Anders W's gear list:Anders W's gear list
Panasonic Lumix DMC-G1 Olympus OM-D E-M5 Olympus E-M1 Panasonic Lumix G Vario 14-45mm F3.5-5.6 ASPH OIS Panasonic Lumix G Vario 7-14mm F4 ASPH +28 more
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