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Author Topic: Landscape Question  (Read 5578 times)

bdunbar79

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Landscape Question
« on: August 12, 2012, 03:50:24 PM »
I'm going to be using my 24L lens this afternoon for some landscape shooting.  I won't have a whole lot of time to screw around and do any testing, so I had a question.  Suppose I'm doing a scene, and want maximum DOF.  I know setting the aperture too narrow can lead to diffraction.  However, since I don't do a whole lot of landscape, what are the consequences of narrowing from f/8, to f/11, to f/16, and to f/22?  Will there be any negative consequences at f/22?  Thanks.
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Landscape Question
« on: August 12, 2012, 03:50:24 PM »

Richard Lane

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Re: Landscape Question
« Reply #1 on: August 12, 2012, 05:57:05 PM »
As your aperture becomes too narrow, the incoming light gets diffracted or dispersed by the edges of the diaphragm blades, and it is this dispersion of light that can lead to a loss of resolution.

http://www.luminous-landscape.com/tutorials/understanding-series/u-diffraction.shtml

In this example below you will see that as the aperture went from f/5.6 to f/16 there was a loss of resolution:

http://www.the-digital-picture.com/Reviews/ISO-12233-Sample-Crops.aspx?Lens=458&Camera=779&Sample=0&FLI=0&API=4&LensComp=458&CameraComp=779&SampleComp=0&FLIComp=0&APIComp=7

Usually with most higher-end cameras you should be pretty safe in avoiding diffraction if you keep your aperture between f/8 to f/11.  Commonly referred to as the Diffraction Limited aperture (DLA).  You shouldn't be afraid to use f/13, just be aware that the narrower you go, the greater the affect from diffraction.

Rich

well_dunno

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Re: Landscape Question
« Reply #2 on: August 12, 2012, 06:15:28 PM »
Hi,

I do try not to exceed f/11 usually. I think it also depends on what you are looking for in the composition, at times it might be worth to sacrifice some resolution to get max DOF...  Recently saw this on DPR, all landscape shots at f/22:  http://www.dpreview.com/articles/4491391950/evolution-of-an-image

Cheers!


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Re: Landscape Question
« Reply #3 on: August 12, 2012, 06:42:23 PM »
Well_Dunno, 

You're certainly on the right track with your settings. 

Some people do feel that diffraction is a bit over-rated, namely the well respected Bryan Peterson in his book entitled "Understanding Exposure."  Diffraction is certainly more noticeable with pixel peeping.  However, it is an accepted physical limitation.

I do think as long as you're aware of it, like you are and you don't shoot everything at the narrowest apertures then you'll be ok. It's also good to know what the DLA is for the particular camera and lens combinations that you'll be working with.

You may also enjoy this article:

http://www.cambridgeincolour.com/tutorials/diffraction-photography.htm

Check out the fabric example and DLA Calculator towards the bottom of the page.

Edited:  Thanks for your link to dpr.  I also wanted to point out that in that particular landscape shot @f/22, a GND filter was used in conjunction with a slower shutter-speed and narrow aperture in order to achieve a certain desirable effect, namely smooth water and blurred clouds.

« Last Edit: August 12, 2012, 06:53:55 PM by Richard Lane »

bdunbar79

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Re: Landscape Question
« Reply #4 on: August 12, 2012, 06:47:47 PM »
Thanks.  I do notice on landscape shots where I've been f/22, it just doesn't look as sharp as f/11.  Thanks.
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Re: Landscape Question
« Reply #5 on: August 12, 2012, 06:52:52 PM »
My Pleasure!

Richard Lane

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Re: Landscape Question
« Reply #6 on: August 12, 2012, 07:24:30 PM »
Recently saw this on DPR, all landscape shots at f/22: 
http://www.dpreview.com/articles/4491391950/evolution-of-an-image


As I finished the entire article, the OP of that link, states at the end in the comments section that he was used to medium Format and the f/22 setting just stuck with him, certainly not ideal pertaining to our discussion, unless you're trying to achieve a slower shutter-speed for affect.

I personally don't understand the ISO 400 @f/22 settings.  ???

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Re: Landscape Question
« Reply #6 on: August 12, 2012, 07:24:30 PM »

bdunbar79

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Re: Landscape Question
« Reply #7 on: August 12, 2012, 07:56:51 PM »
Well, I think some photographers try to add that detail way back in the background when using a say, a 24mm lens vs. a 200mm lens, where the background is compressed into sort of one focal plane.  So they narrow the aperture with the 24 lens to f/22 (I've seen photography authors do it too), but on the 200mm lens they're fine shooting at f/8 to f/11.  I'd rather get more of my image sharper.  I've shot at f/22 with a 35mm lens and even the center background was not sharp. 
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Re: Landscape Question
« Reply #8 on: August 12, 2012, 08:20:46 PM »
I've shot at f/22 with a 35mm lens and even the center background was not sharp.

Exactly! 

At f/22 and ISO 400, the photographer would have the DLA and increased noise working against him.

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Re: Landscape Question
« Reply #9 on: August 12, 2012, 08:29:13 PM »
The digital picture website has a page which lists the DLA aperture for most of the Canon (sensors) cameras.

http://www.the-digital-picture.com/Canon-Lenses/Field-of-View-Crop-Factor.aspx

its shows with 5DIII you can probably go till f/10 and with 1DX till f/11. You might find the page useful for your later works (as I think "today afternoon" is already gone).

It looks like 5DC, 1DIIN and 1DII had the largest sized pixels of any canon DSLR till date and hence also allowed the smalled apertures till diffraction limits set in (all f/13)

[I rounded down all the DLAs to the nearest full stop]
« Last Edit: August 12, 2012, 08:33:28 PM by RAKAMRAK »
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bdunbar79

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Re: Landscape Question
« Reply #10 on: August 12, 2012, 08:36:37 PM »
Actually Richard,

Thank you!  Only shooting sports and indoor weddings, my gosh I never really had to think of these things.  Thanks, that actually helps me as I'm really looking to expand my photography on a personal level, and landscape is definitely always been one of my favorites, but just never had the time to do it. 

I ran across a football stadium photo I took, the field runs north-south and I was at the south end looking north, looking towards both stands on my left and right, colors were pretty saturated, right down the field.  There was also a flagpole in my center which was situated on the south end of the field.  I was shooting with the 35L lens, and in my worry to "get everything in focus" I shot at f/22.  Well when I went home, eh, even the light poles and overhead lights weren't really sharp at all.  In fact, nothing was really all that sharp at all.  The scoreboard lettering had "pixelated" and you really couldn't read it.  Now mind you I was using a tripod at 1/100 at ISO 100. 

My question is, if I return to this same scene today, which is possible, would shooting at f/8, f/9, f/10, f/11, f/16 trial shots be worth it, ie will a bit wider make a difference in your opinion or is 35mm just too dang far away (although it's hard to fit the whole scene in any longer).  Or, should I back up and shoot longer, and compress everything?  This is just for my own curiosity.

Thanks in advance.
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bdunbar79

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Re: Landscape Question
« Reply #11 on: August 12, 2012, 08:38:17 PM »
The digital picture website has a page which lists the DLA aperture for most of the Canon (sensors) cameras.

http://www.the-digital-picture.com/Canon-Lenses/Field-of-View-Crop-Factor.aspx

its shows with 5DIII you can probably go till f/10 and with 1DX till f/11. You might find the page useful for your later works (as I think "today afternoon" is already gone).

It looks like 5DC, 1DIIN and 1DII had the largest sized pixels of any canon DSLR till date and hence also allowed the smalled apertures till diffraction limits set in (all f/13)

[I rounded down all the DLAs to the nearest full stop]


Thanks!  I was using a 35L which I guess in this case would be much worse when you zoom or crop in for detail.  Even with a 22 mp camera/picture.  Even though I was totally within focus, the detail is blurred upon crop or examination.
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Policar

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Re: Landscape Question
« Reply #12 on: August 12, 2012, 08:57:38 PM »
Get a T/S lens and use Scheimpflug.  You're also losing resolution from correcting for converging verticals in photoshop.  Shooting landscapes without tilt/shift is a recipe for bad photos, one which I follow myself with consistently bad results.

Even with a tilt shift lens in some cases you will need to stop down, though.  The perception of depth imparted by deep focus is much more significant than diffraction limits except in extreme cases (or terrible light where there's no contrast anyway).  Lots of 4x5 is shot at f64 and it can still be enlarged to 40x50'' just fine even though diffraction would have you believe otherwise.  Give hyperfocal technique a try, too, although it's very controversial if it works as well as some would claim.
« Last Edit: August 12, 2012, 09:00:38 PM by Policar »

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Re: Landscape Question
« Reply #12 on: August 12, 2012, 08:57:38 PM »

Richard Lane

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Re: Landscape Question
« Reply #13 on: August 12, 2012, 10:00:12 PM »
Actually Richard,

Thank you!  Only shooting sports and indoor weddings, my gosh I never really had to think of these things.  Thanks, that actually helps me as I'm really looking to expand my photography on a personal level, and landscape is definitely always been one of my favorites, but just never had the time to do it. 

I ran across a football stadium photo I took, the field runs north-south and I was at the south end looking north, looking towards both stands on my left and right, colors were pretty saturated, right down the field.  There was also a flagpole in my center which was situated on the south end of the field.  I was shooting with the 35L lens, and in my worry to "get everything in focus" I shot at f/22.  Well when I went home, eh, even the light poles and overhead lights weren't really sharp at all.  In fact, nothing was really all that sharp at all.  The scoreboard lettering had "pixelated" and you really couldn't read it.  Now mind you I was using a tripod at 1/100 at ISO 100. 

My question is, if I return to this same scene today, which is possible, would shooting at f/8, f/9, f/10, f/11, f/16 trial shots be worth it, ie will a bit wider make a difference in your opinion or is 35mm just too dang far away (although it's hard to fit the whole scene in any longer).  Or, should I back up and shoot longer, and compress everything?  This is just for my own curiosity.

Thanks in advance.


I would probably shoot at f/11 (or f/13 should work if there's enough light).  But keep in mind there is more to sharp images than just avoiding DLA.  It's not just the f-stop that you choose, but it's also where within the DOF of the image that you choose to focus on. 

Policar, hit it right on the head, you have to learn about hyper-focal distance. But there is a DOF calculator, that will help you determine your hyper-focal distance and once you focus on that spot, then usually the rest of the image will be in focus.

A good rule of thumb that works for me at around 35mm is to focus about 1/3 of the way into the scene when you're shooting landscape at around f/8 and if you're shooting f/11 then you could focus about 1/4 the distance into the frame.  Plug these numbers in with your full frame or crop sensor camera and lens into the DOF Calculator, and see how the hyper-focal distance and DOF changes.

Also, the wider the lens, the greater the DOF, so you could focus closer and still have a deep DOF in focus.  Remember the photos of a close-up of a rock on the beach at 24mm on a FF camera,  the DOF is huge and they focused closely on the rock.

http://www.dofmaster.com/dofjs.html

Just so you know, Sports is my main thing and not landscapes.
« Last Edit: August 12, 2012, 10:30:44 PM by Richard Lane »

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Re: Landscape Question
« Reply #14 on: August 12, 2012, 10:28:35 PM »
Like most other people, I do not want to step a lens down to f22 or f27/32 for some lenses just because the IQ decreases too much. My main landscape lens has been the 16-35LII and it's IQ at f22 is pretty bad  I would say. I generally use f8 (sometimes the DOF isn't enough) and f11. If I want to increase the exposure time I would just stack filters, I use LEE and Singh-Ray and to my findings, stacking a LEE and a Singh-Ray together at f11 creates at least the same IQ if not better than plainly at f22 alone so....unless I really have to, say a 3 min long exposure to photograph a sea scene at dusk, I would not step it down, but when you have no choice, getting the image is better than not getting one. :)
On a side note, I generally don't use above ISO 200, due to the great lose of DR and increased noise, especially with Canon, its banding issue in its dark areas has been troubling me for ages, tempting me to switch to Nikon :'(
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Re: Landscape Question
« Reply #14 on: August 12, 2012, 10:28:35 PM »