Struggling with Focus on Macros

Discussion in 'Macro Photography' started by Ricky21, Apr 5, 2010.

  1. Ricky21

    Ricky21 TPF Noob!

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    I was shooting some macro shots this weekend and I'm struggling with getting the whole image, in this case flowers in focus.

    I'm using a Canon 100MM F/2.8 lens. I'm shooting at about a 22-29 aperture. I am getting pretty close and using a tripod and lighting. I'm curious on how others are getting these shots. It seems like my DOF is too shallow and I'm only getting part of the flower, (middle) in focus and not the whole thing. Do I need to back off the flower some and then crop and zoom in photoshop to make larger?

    Thank you.
     
  2. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    The problem is indeed that when shooting so close to your subject, your DOF is going to be very shallow. This is one reason why some macro lenses (and some large & medium format lenses) can close down to F64 and beyond.

    Backing up (and cropping) would be one way to get more DOF. There is also a technique called focus stacking where you take multiple shots at different focus points, then combine the images to 'build' an image that is fully in focus.

    For the most part, if you want to shoot that close, you usually just make sure that your focus is on the most important part of your subject, and let the rest fall out of focus.
     
  3. c.cloudwalker

    c.cloudwalker TPF Noob!

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    +1
     
  4. tomhooper

    tomhooper TPF Noob!

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    One other thing that I would mention is that f/22-f/29 is awfully small. You lose a lot of detail at that tight an aperture. I usually start shooting my macros at ISO 100-200, f/11, 1/250sec, flash, and both tripod/mono-pod or handheld. You can adjust from there. Take your time and make sure there is no movement of camera or subject. Post some shots so we can see what they look like. Might be able to help a little more with suggestions.
     
  5. Ricky21

    Ricky21 TPF Noob!

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    Here is one of my macro shots. I think I got most of this one in focus. Please see the second one as well. I couldn't get it all in focus. I think I shot these at F/18 mostly.

    Sorry about having to use the link. I'm new to the site and I couldn't get the attach image link to work. I use pbase. i wasn't sure if anyone else could help me out with this issue for future posts.


    Texas Wildflower photo - Ricky Robinson photos at pbase.com

    http://www.pbase.com/rlrobinson/image/112652588

    http://www.pbase.com/rlrobinson/image/123342616
     
  6. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    You need to copy the URL of just the image (ends in .jpg) and paste that in the IMG code here in the forum. (click the insert photo button and paste the URL). To get the image url, right click and choose properties.

    [​IMG]
     
  7. TiaS

    TiaS TPF Noob!

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    I find that when I shoot with a large aperture, I lose detail. If I want more detail I need a smaller one. This is why you get more bokeh with an f number of 2.0 but if you shoot with an f number of 22 you get more detail in focus.
     
  8. Ricky21

    Ricky21 TPF Noob!

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    Please critique this one as I'm trying to learn all tips. Any tips or notes for next time would be appreciated.


    [​IMG]
     
  9. tomhooper

    tomhooper TPF Noob!

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    Actually those images aren't that far off from being in focus. I would suggest that you just keep practicing. It takes time and macro photography is not easy. It's like every other type of photography. You have to work at it.

    Actually most lenses are sharpest at f/8. When shooting macro f/11-f/16 is the norm. Any smaller and you will lose detail. You may get increased DOF but the small details of the image will be diminished. Larger apertures actually show more image detail, but the DOF gets more narrow the larger you go. You have to hit a happy medium.
     
  10. Phranquey

    Phranquey TPF Noob!

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    This was shot with a Nikon 105mm at f/45, and I still only have around 1" DOF... if that.

    [​IMG]
     
  11. aprillove20

    aprillove20 TPF Noob!

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    wow...that is a amazing captured Ricky21.
     
  12. Formatted

    Formatted TPF Noob!

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    Are you using Manual Focus? I tend to find it easier with the Canon 100mm f/2.8. Just put it on 1:1 so the closest you can go. Then just move back and fourth till you what you want is in focus.

    This is what I did yesterday with the lens you are using,

    [​IMG]
     

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