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Olympus E-1 E-1 specific discussion.

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Old 21st April 2012
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Diffraction "limit"

Anyone know what the optimal f stop for the e-1 sensor is? I only just learned of this (here) inregards the 12mp sensor, and so naturally wondered whether the e-1 sensor is the same or different.
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Old 21st April 2012
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Re: Diffraction "limit"

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Originally Posted by Stewart G View Post
Anyone know what the optimal f stop for the e-1 sensor is? I only just learned of this (here) inregards the 12mp sensor, and so naturally wondered whether the e-1 sensor is the same or different.
I'd say it's F11 and f16 the max before it sets in, but that's just a guess and what I have seen from my own camera and work but nothing scientific. Ian is probably the best one to answer that.

E-1 and 50mmMacro at F16

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Old 21st April 2012
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Re: Diffraction "limit"

That's sort of my guess, too. But I only trust my own eyes so far. It was Ian's statement in another thread that opened them in the first place, when he stated that f7.1 was the limit for the 12mp sensor. That was when another piece of the puzzle clicked into place. Earlier to that I'd been in the film mindset where f16 was optimal, so was surprised and pleased to learn that both sensor and lenses like things more open.
Lovely flower btw.
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Old 21st April 2012
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Re: Diffraction "limit"

In an article Ian wrote for "dpnow" last March he compared Aperture before defraction limit against sensor px capacity for a whole range of sensor formats from Full Size to Compacts.

From his table for a 4/3 sensor @ 16 megapixels the aperture was f5.6, at 12 MP and 10MP it was f8 so maybe even f16 could be the value for the 5MP E-1

Terry
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Old 21st April 2012
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Re: Diffraction "limit"

Thanks, Terry, for the link, is just what I was looking for. And thanks to Ian as well, for writing it. DPnow is my new "go to" source for information (we're still a bit behind the curve over here...)
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Old 21st April 2012
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Re: Diffraction "limit"

Diffraction seems to be the new buzz word these days and suddenly some folk are worried about what min f stop to use.
Pictures don't suddenly turn soft at and above the diffraction limit and for most scenes particularly landscapes and the like even a moderate amount of diffraction will go unnoticed, particularly when viewing pictures at normal viewing size (i.e. much less than 100%).
I have used using f8 or f9 sometimes even f11 with the 16MP G3 (or any 4/3camera) and the pictures are absolutely fine, sharp and detailed, but I typically don't go above f7.1 as the DOF at value of aperture is sufficient to cover pretty much any scenario.
I'm also surprised DPnow stated that the diffraction limit for a 16MP sensor using 4/3 is f5.6, other articles I have read stated f7.1 which I would concur with.
I have found diffraction is something to be aware of but not something to worry about to any extent.

Paul
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Old 21st April 2012
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Re: Diffraction "limit"

Paul, I have to agree with you - we photographers are a weird bunch, and seem to go through phases of finding things to fret about. Personally I wouldn't know diffraction if I fell over it....
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Re: Diffraction "limit"

Well, my reason for the question is two fold:
First, I think it's worth learning the sweet spot of any tool, in order to know what to expect outside of its optimal zone. The E-1 doesn't have an excess of resolution to play with, so if there are sharper settings for a lens, that's information that can be taken advantage of, or not.
Second, I do a lot of stacked focus photography that allows me to use the entire focus range of a lens if I need to. I like the look that gives, insofar as it mimics what I see with my eyes (and allows me to eliminate that word "bokeh" from my vocabulary ). Stacking requires some thought about just how deep the focus is at a particular f stop. Each image becomes a slice of depth in a plane extending away from the camera; with any luck the near and far edges of each slice have a bit of overlap. Since stacking lets me shoot any depth of composition at any f stop, why not learn where the camera and lens are best paired?
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Old 21st April 2012
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Re: Diffraction "limit"

Diffraction at smaller apertures is a significant factor, as can be seen in the examples in Ian's DPnow article.

However, it doesn't mean you should never use an aperture beyond the diffraction limit but just be aware of the possible effect it may have upon the sharpness of your image. It goes without saying that it's better to use f5.6 rather than f11 if there is no specific reason to choose the smaller aperture, but what if you need enormous DOF or a slow shutter speed?

I was in the situation of wanting a slow(ish) shutter speed for this picture, in order to record some movement in the waves breaking around the old sea defences. I did not have an ND filter with me so had to use F16 in order to get 1/20th of a second at base ISO. I'm sure it would have been sharper if I'd used f8, but I would not have got the movement I wanted and it still looks sharp enough as a 16x12 print. This was taken with the 10mp E-3 and 14-54mm lens.

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Re: Diffraction "limit"

Loved that photo the first time I saw it, still love it!
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Old 22nd April 2012
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Re: Diffraction "limit"

That's a lovely shot John very classy. Can I ask you where you focussed in the image? (second log from the front?) and was it af or did you do it manually? and I presume it was on a tripod? Oh and did you get your feet wet.....only joking with the last one
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Old 22nd April 2012
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Re: Diffraction "limit"

There are various ways of evaluating this. You can say a camera is diffraction limited if the aperture set means the airy disk value is greater than the circle of confusion value for the camera, then you are diffraction limited. If you go by this method then the threshold for Four Thirds is actually as little as between f/11 and f/16. This calculation does not take into account pixel pitch. If you set the coc value by pixel pitch then the threshold is much the same for a 5MP Four Thirds sensor - so between f/11 and f/16. For 10MP it's between f/8 and f/11. For 12MP it is almost exactly f/8, and for 16MP it is about f/7.1. Sometimes the limiting factor is the lens itself, so the lens resolution will be more of a limiting factor than dffraction, making the threshold aperture a bit tricky to determine.

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Old 21st July 2012
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Re: Diffraction "limit"

I get the impression that quite a lot of 'togs' seem to suffer from something akin to the OCD disorder, looking out for things because someone has pointed out some 'issue' ... Just use it and enjoy, rather than let 'doubts' creep in, which will in turn, mean you'll miss a shot for the sake of the 'Nth degree of precision whilst shooting.
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Old 21st July 2012
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Re: Diffraction "limit"

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Originally Posted by Footloose1949 View Post
I get the impression that quite a lot of 'togs' seem to suffer from something akin to the OCD disorder, looking out for things because someone has pointed out some 'issue' ... Just use it and enjoy, rather than let 'doubts' creep in, which will in turn, mean you'll miss a shot for the sake of the 'Nth degree of precision whilst shooting.
I quite agree, though with focus stacking the aperture chosen can mean the difference between 10 images, or 100 images, for the same depth of field capture. Because of that there's a strong inclination to shoot at f16 or f22, and wish for f32. Coming from a film perspective, I was unaware of the whole diffraction thing until I read Ian's helpful article.
With the E-1, I don't worry much about small apertures, but my e-620 struggles with detail sometimes, so I like to give it every leg up I can.
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