In the second test you stopped down to f13 at 15mm. Not only is that probably pointless, it will introduce some softness that may be bothering you. You appear to be using highlight tone priority because you used ISO200. You can disable this and access ISO100. Lastly, your shutter speed due to your aperture was only 1/30th a second. More than enough to hand hold but not enough to stop the motion of fluttering leaves.
Yeah, I was hoping to extend the depth of field by reducing fstop, so I would have more of a section in focus/sharp. I was thinking that wide open would confuse the issue as only a small bit would be in focus, but I'm not experienced enough to know if it would make a difference at the distances involved.