Aperture for nice skies
I've been finding myself opening up my aperture more often lately when there are nice clouds. A year ago, many of my landscape shots were f/11 or smaller for 35mm, f/22 or smaller for 120, and often f/32 or f/45 for my old antique cameras.
These days, I often choose f/5.6 or even f/4 on 35mm and f/11 or f/8 for MF, and f/16 on my old kodak folders. In other words I'm making a choice that the sky looks enough better to frame my picture differently or accept some foreground softness. I've seen this effect in all of these film formats, on contact prints as well as enlarged prints.
My question is why? There are lots of related threads on APUG, e.g. http://www.apug.org/forums/forum51/9...portraits.html but what's actually going on? I can see that not everyone stops way down for landscape shots, but not the WHY of it!
When people say a lens has a "sweet spot" at f/4 or f/5.6, what exactly is better than at f/16? I've heard the term "micro-contrast" but I don't know what it means... is that it? I'm not seeing any obvious difference in the range of tones in my prints, and all are in focus if you look closely.
Honestly, I look at the prints, and I know I like the skies in one better, but I can't say what's different. I don't think it's my imagination.
I suppose in the end it doesn't matter why... I'll keep doing what I like, but it's curious and it seems like it goes against the "common f/64 wisdom" for landscapes...
Last edited by NedL; 08-30-2013 at 08:27 PM. Click to view previous post history.
Reason: clarity, hopefully