60mm macro but photo not clear :-(

Discussion in 'Macro Photography' started by booda303, Dec 6, 2017.

  1. booda303

    booda303 TPF Noob!

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    IMG_1081.JPG I took this picture hand held and waiting to get my tripod and by the way this forum sure did answer my tripod questions. I did use the pop up flash and had the ISO low. What did I do wrong ?


     
  2. Designer

    Designer Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Well, what's wrong with it? Other than the light being flat, I see nothing wrong.

    ps; what do you mean by "not clear"?
     
  3. SquarePeg

    SquarePeg Hear me roar Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Although it's not a complete miss, it looks to me like your camera focused in on that branch top left. What were your settings? If you were using a shallow DOF and you moved even a smidge, your focus would be missed.
     
  4. booda303

    booda303 TPF Noob!

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    G
    i tried to focus on the face like with a person but looks blurry
     
  5. booda303

    booda303 TPF Noob!

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    My camera settings were f2.8 1/250 and ISO 160 and flash. I thought it was just me thinking that branch did look sharper than his face.
     
  6. weepete

    weepete TPF Supporters Supporting Member

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    looks like a missed focus. did you have it on single point focus?
     
  7. booda303

    booda303 TPF Noob!

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    Good , question. I just checked. It wasn't on single point
     
  8. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

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    A few thoughts:

    1) Af works by generally finding areas of change in contrast and then locking onto them; furthermore when you've got more than one Af point active the camera will always pick the closest thing to it to focus upon. So if in this case you had all AF points active then the main subject in the middle might not be the closest thing it chooses to focus on.

    If you only had the middle AF point active though, then it should have had the camera trying to focus on the face area

    2) Think of focus like a sheet of paper parallel to the front of the lens. The distance is the point of focus; then the depth of field is the thickness of the paper. So a very wide aperture (small f number) will give you a very thin depth of field (thin paper) whilst a small aperture (big f number) will give you a deeper depth of field (ergo thicker paper - thus more in focus).

    Now the depth of field is also influenced by several other factors including distance. The closer you are to a subject the thinner your depth of field is. In macro f 2.8 can be very tiny; making even a slight miss focus way out. In more regular distances at, say f5.6 you get a lot more leeway to work with.

    3) Now if you keep point 2 in mind consider also that when your focusing on a very close subject (ergo doing macro and close up photography) you've got 2 kinds of shake taking place. The first is the general up/down left/right motions of your body as you hold the camera and lens (which is always present when hand holding). However the second kind is back/forward motion as well. Because the depths of field are so thin this back/forward motion actually has a noticeable impact.

    This general rocking back/forth is a challenge for AF systems to tackle; because in macro its so slight that the AF can find it tricky keeping up. So with f2.8 and even with a single AF point active and your AF in continuous mode (ergo keeps focusing all the time the shutter is half depressed) you can still get a miss focus, which leads us to point 4

    4) A lot of close up/macro is done with manual focusing. You focus the lens manually to get the focus on the subject then you gently rock your body back and forth to finalise it. This also lets you have the shutter half depressed the whole time without the AF engaging and causing issues. This is important because when you go the press the shutter to take the shot your hand causes motion to the camera, so the more you are gently squeezing rather than pressing , the less motion is generated.
    It takes practice to get used to the back/forth motion as you focus and learning when the press the shutter to get the shot. Sometimes a short burst of shots helps you get the shot you want.

    Macro can be a challenge, but is also a lot of fun.
    If you're getting a tripod then one thing that will help a lot is a focusing rail. This mounts between the tripod and the camera which lets you move the camera back and forward to help you focus. This is a lot easier than trying to move the tripod legs a little bit back/forward on the ground. Some focusing rail kits come with two sliders so that you can go side to side as well, again helping make it easier in many situations.

    An affordable set of rails would be the Adorama focusing rails, also sold under a slew of other names (basically a single design farmed out to different logos). Searching Ebay for "macro focusing rails" would give you a whole hose of similar options (and most of the 4 way choices are good).
     
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  9. jcdeboever

    jcdeboever TPF Supporters Supporting Member

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    I would manual focus on it
     
  10. Dave442

    Dave442 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    As Overread noted, the back and forth motion in macro while taking a handheld shot can make it difficult for the camera to focus. In manual focus I set the focus very close to where I want it and then I rock back and forth and take the shot when I see the main subject in focus. Stop down for additional DOF, raise the ISO and keep the shutter speed up for the slight movement - at least 1/125.
     
  11. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    Needed to have been shot with the lens set to a smaller aperture, not f/2.8. An f/stop in the f/11,f13,or f/16 range would have possibly been able to get the entire face into proper focus. On a close-up like that, the small f/stops, in the f/13 to f/32 range, usually work the best, especially when flash is used for plenty of light.
     
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  12. Designer

    Designer Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    There is actually a thin band of your subject that is in good focus, notably the tree branch and part of the fur ornament. The parts that are blurry are too close or too far from the lens, given your settings and distance.

    What you have here is an example of a very shallow depth of field (depth of focus). When shooting a macro shot, the DOF is very thin, due partly to how close you are to your subject. By stopping down you can improve the DOF some, and by backing away from the subject and then cropping later to the finished image you will get a better result.

    When referring to the resolution, we usually say "sharp" rather than "clear".
     
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