I want to ask one final question here -- What about The F64 Group? Seriously. They prided themselves on tiny apertures, and unlimited depth of field, (pre-Photoshop). Were they the most misguided group ever, or was it truly a non-issue with film?
- kicks in at higher number f-stops wise with larger formats
- kicks in at higher number f-stops the higher the capture resolution
- is noticeable only if the print is large enough to show it
- is important only if the other elements of quality would have allowed a sharper image*Examples at the extremes of both ends
- Large prints from a G10 may show diffraction at extremely low f-stop numbers.
- A 3x4" reproduction in a text book from a 16x20 Polaroid camera may not show diffraction at ANY f-stop
The idea of judging quality based on a view which shows the maximum theoretical quality (100% pixel-to-pixel view) is very very recent in the life of photography.
I think the f/64 folks would have been the first to tell you that allowing a *slight* amount of sharpness degradation (visible only in large prints) is sometimes the price you pay to have all parts of the image equally sharp (if that is your artistic intention) since I remember more than one image from my studies where members of that group stopped down past the theoretical diffraction limit for their format.
*e.g. if you're hand holding a 1" exposure than diffraction is not going to be a meaningful limiting factor at any f-stop
Doug Peterson (e-mail Me)
Head of Technical Services, Capture Integration
Phase One, Canon, Apple, Profoto, Eizo & More
National: 877.217.9870 | Cell: 740.707.2183
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