Lunch atop a (Springfield) skyscraper

Lunch atop a (Springfield) skyscraper
by andy-m                

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Possible Duplicates:
What is a “diffraction limit”?
Why are my photos taken at f/11 less sharp than those taken at a wider aperture?

I have made 3 landscape pictures with f/12, f/22 and f/32. Shutter speed and ISO are almost same, but last one has a lot of blur and is very pale. Why this happen? My purpose was to get maximal DOF.

Details: Nikon d5100, 18-55 kit

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marked as duplicate by Itai, MikeW, Matt Grum, ElendilTheTall, John Cavan May 17 '12 at 10:37

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

    
If you provide the pictures, it might be easier to diagnose what is happening. – Dylansq May 17 '12 at 3:16
1  
You are very confused, see the question as suggested duplicate. F/22 is a very small aperture and causes your camera to pass beyond its diffraction limit, causing everything to become blurry. There should be very little reason to shoot beyond F/11 with such a DSLR. If you need longer shutter-speeds, use a quality ND filter. – Itai May 17 '12 at 3:29
    
See also photo.stackexchange.com/questions/20430/… – Itai May 17 '12 at 3:31
1  
FYI: for the Nikon D5100 + 18-55mm kit lens, the lens only goes up to f22. – Vivek May 17 '12 at 3:44
1  
Also if your aperture changes, your shutter speed / ISO should change to maintain the same exposure (Assuming that you are not in manual mode). Did you use a tripod? – Vivek May 17 '12 at 3:51
up vote 1 down vote accepted

Without wishing to get into detail - the short answer to your question is diffraction. This happens at smaller apertures, usually when you get above f/16 to f/22 etc, and the extent to which it occurs depends on the optical quality of the lens used. In your case, the 18-55mm kit lens which is a mass-produced cheap kit lens will show this problem moreso than say a fixed focal length prime lens.

You can achieve good depth of field with a more modest aperture such as f/14. There is rarely if ever good cause to go all the way up to f/22.

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