If you’ve ever gone out to capture some epic landscapes I’m sure you’ve experimented with taking the same shot at a variety of apertures to see how it’ll look. And of course, you’ve probably noticed that sometimes, a shot at F22 is softer, sometimes MUCH softer than a shot captured at F8?!
It seems bizarre and counter-intuitive but in pretty much every lens you use, you’ll eventually hit a point when upping the f-stop where you start to experience softness issues in your frame. Well, thankfully the team at ZY Productions has released a great video explaining the concept of diffraction and why it causes softness at narrow apertures.
What you need to keep in mind, is Diffraction by definition is an optical effect that limits the total resolution of your photography. No matter how many megapixels your camera may have. It happens because light begins to disperse or “diffract” when passing through a small opening (such as your camera’s aperture). The smaller we make our aperture, the more obvious the diffraction becomes. The tricky part is there’s no set number where it happens as every camera, lens, and accessory will differ in design and thus have a different impact on when you start to notice the diffraction in your shots.
So, when you’re out in the field and ready to capture that breathtaking moment. Instead of jumping to f16-f22 for your shot, it may be better to stick at the F8 area and toss on a good quality ND filter instead! Check out the awesome video above to get the full run down and let us know what you think in the comments below.