Focus issue

Discussion in 'Macro Photography' started by Feezor, Jul 11, 2010.

  1. Feezor

    Feezor TPF Noob!

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    Hey guys been practicing my macro some more and it is improving (or at least I think). Anyway I seem to have trouble getting bugs eyes in focus. Today for example I was trying to get some shots of a fly and they look "okay I guess" but the eyes are not completely in focus and it is starting to bug me haha. I tried taking about 20 photos before it got spooked and left.

    Here is what I came up with. Maybe someone can give me some hints on how to focus better. I tried staying in one spot and manually adjusting focus, and I also tried putting it at 1:1 and moving the camera back and fourth but seem to still have trouble getting the eyes in focus completely.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    In the last one I do realize I got someone's hand in the background. I was getting frustrated and thought maybe if I have someone hold the flower in place I could better focus. There was a little bit of a breeze but nothing too drastic.


    Oh and all these photos are unedited un-cropped just straight from the camera
     
  2. DennyCrane

    DennyCrane No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Well, I'd say you're off to a good start.
    What aperture are you using? You might want to stop the lens closed a stop or 2 to widen the usable depth of field space. Too low an f/stop and you're going to be hit and miss on what's in focus.
     
  3. TheSolicitor

    TheSolicitor TPF Noob!

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    If you're shooting in the outer reaches, like f/1.2 to 1.8, your margin is going to be RAZOR thin, and the difference between someone sitting in a chair with their back against the back of the chair, and leaning forward a bit will make the difference between razor sharp and soft.

    I agree with Denny, and say to ratchet it up a bit to f/2 or less so that you have more depth, but not so much as to void the ultimate goal that you're seeking.
     
  4. Feezor

    Feezor TPF Noob!

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    These were all taken as follows:

    F 13
    1/250
    ISO 100

    On camera flash
     
  5. Hardrock

    Hardrock TPF Noob!

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    The settings you have are perfect.you may need to adjust flash or iso depending on your exposure. You don't want to shoot macro at F2 unless you want a very very thin DOF. I shoot anywhere from f11 to f16 but mostly f13(for bugs and flowers). Im not sure what lens you are using but since its 1:1 its obviously a true macro lens. Its very tough handholding and getting what you want in focus. I think for starters you need to set your camera on a tripod and focus on something at 1:1 to verify that the focus is on. Once you know the focus is good its basicaly trial and error. I leave my lens at 1:1 for almost all bugs just because I want to be as close as possible. On bigger bugs like dragon flys or flowers I wil go to 1:1.5 or 1:2 depending on what I want to see. When shooting 1:1 im not very steady (I think NateS is very good at 2:1 so you may want to ask him his technique) But for me what I do is find the subject exhale and while moving as slow as possible from front to back when the focus is where I want it I take the shot. I have about a 30% keeper rate. Good luck hope this helps.

    edit: cant see you pictures due to work websense!
     
  6. Feezor

    Feezor TPF Noob!

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    I will try using my tripod. Just usually when I am shooting bugs I seem to take too long adjusting it and when I get it just right the bug moves so I have trouble in that sense for using a tripod
     
  7. Dao

    Dao No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I used my tripod but use it as a monopod at this point until I purchase one. What I did was extend only one leg so that it works like a monopod.

    I set my lens to 1:1 and than focus by moving my camera to and fro with the support of the tirpod/monopod where the tripod/monopod is tilted at an angle. (sometimes I put my foot next to the tripod/monopod tip to stop it from sliding backward)

    With that and a off camera flash held by my left hand, I got this.

    [​IMG]


    Hope that helps.
     
  8. Hardrock

    Hardrock TPF Noob!

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    I guess I did not explain very well. Use the tripod just to check the focus of the lens. That way you know its not the camera or lens thats the issue. I shoot all of my bugs handheld! The tripod takes way to long to get situated. I use the same technique as Dao move front to back until in focus but I have the flash on camera.
     
  9. NateS

    NateS TPF Noob!

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    How many shots are you firing? I always fire off about 20 shots while rocking back and forth through the focal plane...I fire about 1-2 shots per second doing this (basically however fast my flash will recycle). Doing this usually gets me a handful of in focus shots and sometimes even a few that can be used for stacking.

    YOu need to work on your lighting as well. No shot will look sharp when underexposed as your first few seem to be.
     
  10. Feezor

    Feezor TPF Noob!

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    How can I make the best use of my current lighting accessories? I am willing to buy something to get the flash off the shoe but what kind of stuff should I be looking at. Or is it one of those go big or go home things and get a ring flash or a twin light like this one Canon MT-24EX Macro Twin Lite Ringlite Flash 2357A002 - B&H

    I have 1 580 ex II but I think I would need something to control it if I put it off camera
     
  11. Dao

    Dao No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I used a cheap radio trigger for the off camera flash (with DYI diffuser) but I am thinking of changing it to PC cord. It's because the max sync speed drop from 1/250 to 1/200. Must be a slight delay with my radio trigger.
     
  12. Feezor

    Feezor TPF Noob!

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    Here are some edits I tried. I will be the first to admit I am no Photoshop wiz but here are my attempts to make them look better


    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Comments?
     

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