whats up with my FZ200 images

Started Jan 4, 2014 | Discussions thread
sherman_levine Forum Pro • Posts: 11,536
Re: f/8 (like f/22) isn't always a no-no

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.


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