Houtmeyers Peter wrote:
So, I've been reading up on how to attempt to achieve accurate sharpness and vast DoF in landscaping photos. Some of the concepts sorta make my head spin.
For most cameras, it sound like the aperture sweet spot is around f/8 through f/13 range. I assume the quality of the lens has an impact on how wide a range that maximum sharpness resides in.
Now, since you use blurred DoF creatively when wide open, I don't see diffraction being an issue at that point. However, but you are going to massive depth of field and cranking it up to f/16 and beyond, it sounds like diffraction becomes an issue for most digital cameras.
Here's a quote I stole from Thom Hogan's D80 review
"The smaller photosite size also brings with it a new issue: diffraction limitations. Without going into the details, visible diffraction starts to show up somewhere between f/11 and f/16 on the D80, while it's about a stop lower than that on the D70s. If you were taught to "set f/22 and hyperfocal distance" for landscape photography, you'll want to relearn that it's "set f/13 and hyperfocal distance" if you want to maximize acuity and take full advantage of that resolution boost."
f/13 seems fairly shallow for some landscape applications. Especially if you are trying to play up the depth of the photo with foreground elements.
That being said, I still find myself cranking up to F/22 or 25 when I'm composing a landscape and I have not yet noticed a significant degradation in quality. Not compared to something like upping the ISO. Are my eyes poor? Well, yes, I wear glasses so I guess that's true.
However, what I'm trying to get at is if this is anything most photographers have to worry about. I understand that if you are blowing up images for print or posters or whatever, you need that critical sharpness. For the majority of enthusiasts, is it even worth worrying about a small dip in sharpness if it means your shot composition suffers?
I'd like to hear thoughts from photographers who have contemplated this in the field before, and what they decided to go with. The sharpest possible shot, or the one with the intended effect they wanted to achieve.
What focallenght do you use that you need f22-f25 to get dof from front to back......and how far do you usually stay away from the objects closest to your lens in a scene.
I have never used an aperture smaller than f16 and i managed pretty well in getting sharp focus from front(few feet) to back(infinity). Maybe its because i dont use lenses longer than 22-24mm for landscapes.
I seldom use hyperfocal distance.......i usually focus on an object close by....then put the lens on MF and recompose the photo. I don't think wideangle lenses are very capable of getting the far horizon in a scene tack sharp, no matter what lens or aperture you use. So if you get the first 20-30 meters sharp the whole foto will look just fine.
I would really like to see the difference in diffraction and no diffraction in a big print .....i allready heard a lot of people mentioning what diffraction can cause...but i have never seen it.
Usually I'm within 18-24 mm when doing landscapes for focal length. I never actually considered that focal length has an impact on apparent Depth of Field.
As for how far away, it all depends on the setting. Usually at least 5-10 feet away, but I would like the ability to set-up a low vantage point for some shots. I guess that would be the only time I would really have to worry about using a very small aperture.
So far, I've been using the old "focus about a third into the scene from the bottom of the frame". If the foreground subject is too close, I don't end up liking the end result if I focus for it. I like it more when I focus a little past the foreground subject and then use my DoF preview to see if it's in focus.
Well, I "try" to use my DoF preview button, but sometimes the results are so dark, it just makes more sense to fire off a shot and check the LCD.
I think next time I find a good landscape with subject matter at varying distances, I'm just going to set up, set it in Aperture priority, and go from f/11 to my smallest opening and then compare the results and see what is most pleasing to my eyes.