The Effects Of Diffraction In Photography

Sometime last year I posted an article about why you shouldn’t always shoot with small apertures in landscape photography. I’ve noticed a lot of photographers just defaulting to f/16 or f/19 with their landscape photos. 

I did the same thing when I was first learning to shoot landscapes. I would always default f/16 or f/19. This was fine on many older cameras with only 16 or even 22 megapixels, but on the newer higher megapixel cameras this can get you into trouble.

I found this really awesome video by Steve Perry who covers all the ins and outs of diffraction in photography.

One thing that is interesting. He compares a D4 do a D800e at f/16. And the D4, when scaled to the same resolution as the D800e, was only slightly better than the D4. He says significantly better but that’s only slightly better in my opinion. 🙂

This sort of comes to show that a big jump in megapixels doesn’t always translate to significantly higher quality images at higher apertures. Personally I would always like to have more megapixels for when I’m not at higher apertures and I’ve also noticed some newer lenses like the Tamron 15-30mm are performing better at higher apertures as well. 

But what’s even more important to me than resolution is color rendition and dynamic range. Which is why I’ve been so excited about Fujifilm cameras lately. They are just unmatched when it comes to color. But Sony and Nikon are unmatched with dynamic range and color depth. Where as Canon is unmatched in marketing gimmicks. Kidding, Canon actually puts together some really solid camera and lens packages that you can always count on. Although I do think they will continue to be hurt by massively inferior sensor design. It’s to the point now where it’s just embarrassing. 

So for me, It’s all about Sony and Nikon when I want resolution and dynamic range, but for everything else, I’ll grab a Fuji, and I really want to check out Olympus this year as well.


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