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Nikon D800 Optimal Aperture (Diffraction)

With a top-grade lens, when does diffraction begin to degrade image quality?

The answer might surprise many photographers who have never used a truly world-class lens, since an average-performing lens masks the effects.

Added to my review of the Nikon D800 is a page examining diffraction and image contrast and detail with the Nikon D800, with an aperture series from f/2.8 through f/16, and with a much larger crop than shown below.

I intend to repeat this comparison when the Nikon D800E arrives, and also do so side-by-side with the D800.

Actual pixels
Nikon D800 + Leica 100mm f/2.8 APO-Macro-Elmarit-R @ f/4

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