The sharpest lens in the known universe...

Started Feb 4, 2018 | Discussions thread
dougjgreen1 Veteran Member • Posts: 4,068
Re: Limits...

Mark Scott Abeln wrote:

As lens become sharper - that is, when their optical aberrations are corrected - you still have to deal with diffraction, and as that is physics, it isn't something that can be overcome.

A lens that is well-corrected is often called "diffraction limited" and so most of the blur at the focus point is due to diffraction. But there are other sources of blur, such as blur due to a lack of depth of field, and that leads us to a much bigger problem: an ultra-sharp lens will only perform at its best at a wide aperture opening, one that may very well give an inadequate depth of field.

As megapixels increase, and sharpness increases, the sorrrow of pixel peepers will only increase, as sharp lenses - in a pixel peeping sense - have a shallower apparent depth of field than do lesser lenses and sensors. Also, you'll have more pixels within the diffraction blur region as the number of pixels increases, and noise will still be an issue.

In order to minimize diffraction, the depth of field will be so small that you'll get blur anyway except for the flattest of subjects.

Apodization lenses, which have a radial neutral density filter located near the aperture, do have a modified diffraction blur more amenable to sharpening, and arguably have better bokeh, but they effectively have a higher T-stop as well.

Focus stacking is now done semi-automatically in some advanced cameras, and this is a possible solution to the sharpness problem, but it doesn't handle motion well.

Apparently, folks are working on software driven interpolation algorithms to remove diffraction blur.

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