FZ200 Diffraction Limit - Panasonic Tech Service

Started Aug 27, 2013 | Discussions thread
Stephen Barrett Contributing Member • Posts: 683
Re: FZ200 Maximum Desirable F-Number to achieve adequate "Sharpness"

Thanks Detail Man,
      Your approach is much more sophisticated than mine, which is quite crude.
I don't really know anything about the low-pass filters in cameras, or about de-mosaicing algorithms or details about Bayer arrays. What I have called "sensor resolution" also has an implicit "fudge factor" of 2" so maybe my "sensor resolution" could be considered to include some of these factors that you mention.
       Combining my "lens resolution" and "sensor resolution" in quadrature has some cited precedent, but I have seen an argument ( http://www.normankoren.com/Tutorials/MTF.html ) that they should be combined linearly. For now though, I have kept the quadrature combination because it seems to match the resolutions that I see in my tests for a variety of situations (telephoto, macro & telemacro). In particular, the linear combination of factors predicts that the camera should not be able to resolve things that it can resolve, whereas the quadrature combination seems to work well. Because of the quadrature combination, only the larger of the two is noticeable when one is much larger than the other. The smaller factor only becomes noticeable when it grows to a size that is comparable to the larger one. This seems to match what people report seeing. For example, people do not report any diffraction effects at short focal lengths but, as focal length is increased so that images on the sensor are spread out over more pixels, the limits of lens resolution become apparent rather suddenly. The same thing seems to happen with change of aperture.

Most of us are probably unwilling or unable to deal with MTF functions and Bessel Functions, demosaicing algorithms etc. Is it possible to derive a simpler formula that combines several factors in order to compute resolution? Perhaps it would have to be calibrated for each camera + lens combination. The formulas that I have proposed seem to work well for my camera, but I don't really know about other cameras.   Are these formulas reasonable, even if they are crude? Can they be corrected or refined? Any insight that you have on this would be much appreciated.

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