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Resolution from Diffraction —120/4

Here we examine the progression in image sharpness and contrast from f/4 through f/22 on the Hartblei 120/4. Lens design has subtle interactions with diffraction, and some lenses do hold up slightly better than others; the Hartblei 120/4 holds up exceptionally well when stopped down.

This subject, the power-coated metal surface of a storage rack, was chosen because of its “fractal” nature and its contrast. The 24.4MP Nikon D3x was used for this test.

Aperture series

The subtle graying of detail is visible even by f/8, as is expected with any top-quality lens (lesser lenses start out crappy and improve by stopping down to f/8 or f/11).

By f/11 the graying of black and white is obvious, along with the loss of contrast in fine detail, most easily seen by noting the loss of the fine bright speckles.

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Since 2006, Diglloyd Advanced Photography is the authoritative review and reference for DSLRs and their lenses: Canon and Nikon primarily, but also Pentax and some medium format. Reviews of key DSLRs are included, but the primary focus is on lens performance. Also included is a wealth of technique and workflow approaches.

DAP includes thousands of pages of exclusive coverage and high resolution Retina-grade examples detailing Canon and Nikon DSLR bodies and their lenses, with in-depth analysis of sharpness and contrast, color, bokeh, vignetting, distortion, MTF, and flare, behavioral and practical usage.

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