How to see diffraction in photos

Started Sep 21, 2022 | Discussions thread
OP Dann-Oh Contributing Member • Posts: 976
Re: How to see diffraction in photos

Bassam Guy wrote:

And apparently diffraction free!

And all this time I've stayed at f8 max!

Well thanks, these were just a quick snap to try out the strobe kit. These images were hand held. I'm defiantly going to set up the tripod for the next shoot.

JosephScha wrote:

Since you asked: Zoom in to 100% view and try to find the sharpest, in focus, thing in each picture. I think you will notice that even that sharpest feature is slightly soft. Just slightly. That is likely due to diffraction. f/8 would be sharper. f/5.6 even sharper.

I am defiantly going to try to redo these images with the 60mm macro lens. Ill try to use F5.6 or so. I also want to try to work on focus stacking but we shall see how time allows for that. Ill try to set up the tripod for the next shoot.

c8imager wrote:

Nice pictures of nice flowers.

If you pixel peep, diffraction shows as a general softening of the image, and, indeed, your images show a bit of general softening at magnification. Something like Topaz Sharpen AI might or might not improve the overall impression of sharpness.

While the depth of field at f/16 can be enticing, there really is a downside, and if your images will be subject to much enlargement, wider apertures should be used.

Ahh okay good to know. I know a lot of people talk about diffraction but I've never really looked into it within my photos.

Tom Axford wrote:

As you increase the f-number, the image slowly becomes more blurred and this blurring is caused by diffraction. The effect is quite small, so you have to pixel peep to see it.

Here are a couple of test shots to demonstrate diffraction blurring:

First at f/8:

Then at f/16:

In each case the image is a very small crop shown at full size (you are seeing a very small part of the original image enlarged to 100%).

Thanks for the examples. That makes sense.

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I take photos, not particularly good photos, mostly abstract photos. Yeah abstract is what I would call them, you might call them blurry.

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