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Diffraction Effects at f/11 to f/16

This page assesses what happens to image quality from f/8 to f/16, the contrast-robbing effects of diffraction being the concern.

For in-depth coverage of diffraction and depth of field and more, see Making Sharp Images.

Contrast and diffraction

When I tested the Leica S2, I discovered that the lenses were so outstanding that diffraction effects were already visible at f/8, with a clear loss of micro contrast at f/11, and a very dull f/16.

Similar contrast loss should be expected from the Pentax 645D, but the degradation from diffraction depends on how good the optics are to begin with, and might also depend to a small extent on sensor technology.

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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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Pentax 645D + 55mm f/2.8 @ f/11, 2 sec, ISO 100
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