It is my understanding that as the photosites on a sensor become smaller diffraction becomes an issue. I believe Thom Hogan recommends f/13 as the smallest f-stop you should use with a D200 (and f/11 on a D300). Anything physically smaller and sharpness begins to fall off. For those of you using a D3 do you find that you can use the smaller apertures, say f/16 and f/22, without losing sharpness? If so would the D700 be a good camera to use for macro-photography?
#1. "RE: Diffraction" | In response to Reply # 0Valentino Registered since 04th Dec 2004Tue 01-Jul-08 03:58 PM | edited Tue 01-Jul-08 04:01 PM by Valentino
It is not that simple. Yes, with a lower density sensor softness from diffraction does not begin until smaller apertures. However, the flip side is that you either need to get closer with the same FL, or use a 50% longer FL to capture the same composition. The longer FL or short distance reduces DOF so you need to stop down more to compensate. So in some cases an extra stop can be a wash
For example, at the same distance to subject, 100 feet...
-D200/D300 @ 50mm @ f/11 the Hyperfocal distance is 36.4 feet
-D3/D700 @ 75mm @ f/16 the Hyperfocal distance is 38.7 feet
As for macro, you lose 50% of the working distance with the same lens/FL.
Albert J Valentino
Nikonian Moderator Emeritus
Vantage Point Images
Mastery of Composition is the Key to Great Photography
#2. "RE: Diffraction" | In response to Reply # 1RWCooper Nikonian since 04th Jul 2004Tue 01-Jul-08 04:38 PM
Thanks for the excellent response.
I use a 200mm macro lens, from my film days, and found it to be just right for me. On my DX bodies it is a bit long sometimes, so on an FX body it should be just right again.