How to see diffraction in photos

Started 4 months ago | Discussions thread
Tom Axford Veteran Member • Posts: 9,780
Re: How to see diffraction in photos

Tivoli Tuesday wrote:

I am still learning the technical/science stuff but I think I have unwittingly done this experiment before. I was actually just trying to see the difference in DOF at different stops and I was surprised that the images at the higher stops weren't quite as sharp (when zoomed in on my monitor). I assumed it was something I had done wrong or misunderstood about DOF. I had taken several photos of a distant solitary tree on a hillside, focused directly on the tree, at different stops. It was just a casual experiment but I was surprised that the lower stops (especially f/5.6) seemed to give me the sharpest shots of the tree itself. I tried this "experiment" (just checking the effect on DOF) on a couple of different subjects and the results seemed to be more or less the same. Does this sound like I was seeing the effects of diffraction?

Yes, that was almost certainly caused by diffraction.

The only other likely cause of more blurring at larger f-numbers would be motion blur (camera shake) because you probably used slower shutter speeds at the larger f-numbers.  However, that is less likely to be a problem with cameras using image stabilisation.

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