Does the "f/22"/diffraction concern still valid for lenses that only go to f/16

Started 2 months ago | Discussions thread
gardenersassistant Veteran Member • Posts: 8,903
Re: Does the "f/22"/diffraction concern still valid for lenses that only go to f/16

Erik Baumgartner wrote:

Unless I’m after a sunstar, I tend to avoid going beyond f/10 or so with APS-C. Diffraction induced softness tends to respond well to sharpening, but besides the aforementioned sunstars, there really isn’t much to be gained by such small apertures.

That isn't my experience. It depends on the context. Sometimes the roughly doubling of depth of field for each two stops reduction in aperture can outweigh the concomitant loss of detail from diffraction softening. For example, I routinely use f/45 (on full frame) for macros (with the effective f-number in the range of around f/56 to f/135 for the magnifications of around 1:1 to 8:1 that I typically use).

What little extra DOF you might gain is mostly nullified by diffraction losses.

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