Mavic 2 Pro: Aperture Performance / by Adon Buckley

2.8-11 Compare.jpg

All aperture values were not created equal

Don't skip on buying those ND Filters just yet...

Test Image: RAW Auto photo taken with Mavic 2 Pro  f/2.8 @ 1/2000sec

While there might be a sigh of relief among Mavic 2 Pro users with the adjustable aperture, the truth is that you will still need a set of ND Filters to dial in your exposure settings when shooting video.

 

TLDR: f/11 Sucks!

 

Coming from a DSLR background and knowing that each lens has a "sweet spot" when it comes to aperture value and sharpness before light diffraction starts compromising the image.

I went out on a typically grey London afternoon and locked all settings besides the aperture value and captured images at the most common aperture settings, below are my findings:

Click to view larger.

From this centre 200% crop you can see a few interesting behaviours.

Sharpness

f/2.8 is the best but it is then comparable until f/4.5, after that, it is become a serious compromise. f/11 is an emergency setting it's severely distorting the detail in the image.

When looking at the edge-to-edge sharpness I think you will find the best of both worlds around f/4 - f/5.6. At those settings you are trading some center sharpness for a overall more in-focus image.

Contrast

This is best at f/2.8 once again, but here you don't see any noticeable degradation until you go beyond f/5.6. After f/5.6 you start to see the blacks loose punch and are softer. Additionally the colours begin to fade and loose tonal definition.

bottom-right 200% crop.

Summary

Basic really, if you are shooting for quality use f/2.8. In everyday use i will try to keep a working range of f/2.8 - f/5.6.

f2.8 is King

 

 

Methodology: All photos were shot RAW on ISO100, with shutter speeds between 1/2000 to 1/100th of a second, locked White Balance. All photos were processed opened/exported in Adobe Photoshop with ACR on default settings. JPEG Exports were highest quality-Baseline.