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Maximize Image Quality with Shot Discipline, Part 2: Depth of Field and Diffraction, Focus Stacking (December 2018)

Parts 1 of this series introduced the idea of shot discipline, and covered covered several of the key areas in making a technically optimal image. This issue discusses depth of field and diffraction and touches on focus stacking.

The tradeoff between depth of field and diffraction is a tug-of-war that must be dealt with for optimal results on any camera: diffraction increases depth of field, the “acceptable” sharpness near to far. But within a few stops, its effects quickly degrades image contrast for both coarse and fine details, with loss of fine detail following soon after. Shot discipline requires that these effects be understood and mitigated when appropriate.

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Depiction of Airy Disc Size with stopping down from f/2.8 through f/32

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