Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 1998/05/01

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Subject: Re: [Leica] Leica lenses stopped down below 5.6
From: Five Senses Productions <>
Date: Fri, 01 May 1998 11:42:24 -0700

What will I see in an image taken with a Leica lens stopped down to f/16 or
Will artifacts be visible or what should I look for?

At 01:01 PM 5/1/98 -0400, TEAShea wrote:
><  I must admit, I  have NEVER stopped a Leica lens down below f/8. >>
>One thing to consider is that as a lens is stopped down, diffraction becomes
>an issue.  Diffraction can degrade an image substantially.  For this reason,
>usually try not to stop down to the smallest stop or two, depending on the
>In general, Leica lenses seem to differ somewhat from other lines of lenses
>regarding the ideal aperture range.  Your sense is correct.  Present
>generation Leica lenses seem to generally  perform best at about two stops to
>four or five stops down (until diffrations starts to be an issue).  However,
>the range of excellence is quite wide.  The very newest Leica lenses seem to
>reach peak performance ( or very very close) at even one stop down.  I cannot
>speak to previous generation Leica lenses.  In contrast, most of my Canon
>prime lenses are best at about three or four stops down from max.  Zeiss
>Contax lenses seem to be closer in this regard to Leica.
>Tom Shea

Francesco Sanfilippo,
Five Senses Productions