Bug Macro... I know it sucks..

DGMPhotography

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So I tried taking a close up shot of this bug.. I used my 50mm f/1.8.. and had the single point focus set right on the bug's head, but after multiple shots, refocusing, manual focusing, and moving around between 1-3 feet of the subject, I couldn't get the bug in focus, but everything around it is. Any explanation why?

$DSC_0162-2.JPG

I tried some post sharpening/clarity, but still looks pretty bad. Any advice?

Thanks!
 

tirediron

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Yep (don't I always? ;) )The problem is depth of field; depending on your distance, you had somewhere between 1/4" and 1" of DoF. This is why so much macro work relies on small apertures (necessitating supplemental lighting), tripods, and focusing rails. If you look at the area around the left-most two legs, you'll see that the bark/rock/?? is nice and sharp.
 

DarkShadow

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DOF and missed focus point is what it looks like to me.If you haven't already try single focus point on it's head. It's not as bad as you make it sound though.Opps I should ready better you did use single point Duh on me.
 
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DGMPhotography

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Yep (don't I always? ;) )The problem is depth of field; depending on your distance, you had somewhere between 1/4" and 1" of DoF. This is why so much macro work relies on small apertures (necessitating supplemental lighting), tripods, and focusing rails. If you look at the area around the left-most two legs, you'll see that the bark/rock/?? is nice and sharp.

Yeah, but why wouldn't it focus on its head? Is the Nikon D5100's auto focus system just not good enough for such a small subject?
 

tirediron

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Could be a number of things; you may have moved ever so slightly, or the AF module may have been able to "see" the area beyond the insect's head and liked the two-tone contrast of the wood better than the almost monochromatic appearance of its head...
 
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DGMPhotography

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Could be a number of things; you may have moved ever so slightly, or the AF module may have been able to "see" the area beyond the insect's head and liked the two-tone contrast of the wood better than the almost monochromatic appearance of its head...

I'm thinking it's the second one, cause I took a lot of photos and just couldn't get it to focus on the head. I suppose my other option may have been to turn on live-view, and manually focus?
 
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DGMPhotography

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Or... manually focus through the viewfinder?

Haha, well like you said, the creature is pretty dark... and my vision isn't exactly superb.
 

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