Remeber, Sharpness is not everything !

Started Feb 20, 2014 | Discussions thread
Sheld Senior Member • Posts: 1,899
Re: Ansel Adams, he could stop down to F/64

brecklundin wrote:

I don't recall where I read it but there is a quote from Ansel Adams when he was asked to help design or was simply asked what needed to be done to make a "perfect" lens. His response was what sort of describes this issue. It was, and I am quoting from memory, " need, it has already been done..." or something to that effect.

Adams was saying that the lenses he had were already perfect. Look at his results and even though he was a master in the darkroom, it's hard to argue against the sentiment in that comment.....

Ansel Adams could stop down to F/64, where all lenses are exactly diffraction limited and more or less perfect. This is because was using an 8"x10" negative, and a tripod to allow slow shutter speeds.

We're shooting APS-C sensors, with complex zoom lenses, in color, where stopping down past F/8 limits resolution, for 16megapixel sensors. If you want to make Ansel Adam sized landscape photos on APS-C, you better have a darn good lens to begin with, stop down to F/8 (or maybe F/5.6), and damn well know your lenses characteristics, back focusing, curvature, distortion, CA's, all of that.

For shallow DOF portaits, a 300mm F/11 on 4x5 is about equivalent to an APS-C 50mm F/1.8.... it is easier to make a black and white lens work good at F/11 than it is to have a color lens at F/1.8, but I imagine large format shallow DOF focusing is really hard....

- Shel, my photos,

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