Close up shots: Sharpness/Diffraction of (My) M43 lenses

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alcelc Forum Pro • Posts: 15,176
Close up shots: Sharpness/Diffraction of (My) M43 lenses

This had been discussed a lot and it seems that a general consensus should have been reached that for M43 system, diffraction could start to kick in after f/8. Unless for specific requirement f/8 or slowest @f/11 could be the smallest aperture we should go for the best (sharpest) of M43 system.

I did a home test last year as below:

Background of this thread:

A recent discussion on another forum (on other system and was centered on moire vs aperture) had prompted my curiosity. I did a brief testing and it suggested that on CLOSE UP shooting, it might be controversial to the result on diffraction from my last home testing.

I therefore had taken out a test on my 9 native M43 lenses having similar focal length (@14/15mm) and had a very consistent result:

f/11 is the sharpest and diffraction would be found at f/22 only.

I would like to post the result below if you have interest to look at them.

Test condition:

  • 9 lenses all at 14mm (except 15 f/1.7 at 15) on G85,
  • on a tripod at the min shooting distances of the lenses,
  • A mode,
  • Aperture Bracketing = ALL,
  • AFS, single Focus box in its smallest size (focus on the eye of President Washington as per the green box below),
  • Self timer = 2" delay,
  • Vivid mode, SOOC jpg,
  • EC +2/3ev,
  • WB= Cloudy:

The original shot:

Red Box: cropped for easier line up of shots from various lenses

I judged on the Shoulder and the printed name "WASHINGTON" as below on approximately 1:1 view in FastStone:

The result:

Yellow box: weakest among the pack at that aperture

Among the 9 lenses in the comparison:

Lenses have reasonable good sharpness (to my eye) range from f/4 to f/16:

  • 7-14 f/4,
  • 12-32 f/3.5-5.6; &
  • 12-35 f/2.8 mk-I.

Lenses have reasonable good sharpness range from f/5.6 to f/16:

  • 14 f/2.5,
  • 15 f/1.7,
  • 14-45 f/3.5-5.6; &
  • 14-140 f/3.5-5.6 mk-I.

Lens has reasonable good sharpness range from f/8 to f/16:

  • 14-42 f/3.5-5.6 mk-I.

Best of the lenses: f/11, the weakest among the pack is 12~32.

At the next sharpest: f/8, the weakest among the pack is 12-32 and 14-42 mk-I.

** Note: 15 f/1.7 is the worst on wide open**

I am not sure would the DoF benefit close up shooting out weight the diffraction factor so gave the above result.

Thank you for reading.

-- hide signature --

** Please forgive my typo error.
** Please feel free to download the original image I posted here and edit it as you like **

 alcelc's gear list:alcelc's gear list
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