Froggy: Take 3 - Is This As Good As It Gets?

Discussion in 'Macro Photography' started by Cortian, Feb 12, 2018.

  1. Cortian

    Cortian No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Canon 40D. Tamron 90mm f/2.8 Di VC USD Macro F017 lens. Tripod. OttLite 445 lumen LED "daylight" temperature lighting. (Throwing on a pair of "cheaters" and looking at the frog under daylight coming through the window: The colour rendition looks pretty darn close. The table-top is darn close, too, though a bit blown-out because I was spot metering on the frog, which is darker.)

    "Froggy" is a solid silver casting (yes: much in need of polishing) about 1.5cm long by 1cm tall.

    Here is a 100% crop of the best shot I could get:

    [​IMG]

    That was at f/16. Was going for DoF. As I stopped-up, further-back bits would would of course go increasingly OOF. As I stopped-down, overall softness increased. E.g.: At f/22 that left rear leg didn't gain appreciable focus, but overall softness increased visibly. At f/11 the closer bits were subtly sharper, but that back leg appreciably more OOF.

    According to the EXIF data the focus distance was 50cm (20 in.), which looks about right. (I assume that's from the camera's focal plane.)

    So is this as good as it gets, or am I missing something fundamental?


     
  2. JonA_CT

    JonA_CT TPF Supporters Supporting Member

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    Still looks pretty soft to me overall. I don't do much macro work, but my understanding is that focus stacking is the key to a crisp, front-to-back in focus subject.

    Something like this, maybe... A Beginner's Guide to Focus Stacking

    Then, you could keep your F11 for your shots.

    Way to keep working at it ...soon, this will all become natural for you. I wish I had the dedication to set goals and practice like you, haha.
     
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  3. Cortian

    Cortian No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Thanks for the comment, suggestion and pointer, Jon.

    Once again I guess I left out critical information: That being the point of this exercise. I'm going to want to shoot "nature macros" when the weather for it gets here. E.g.: Flowers & insects. Doubt I'll use a tripod, so focus stacking will be out of the question. I'm trying to figure out what I can expect out of camera, lens and myself.

    The silver frog just happens to be a nice test subject size. And, like my stuffed animal subjects: Is very patient :)
     
  4. Steven Dillon

    Steven Dillon No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Back when I was shooting bugs I bought a bag of small plastic kids toys filled with all type of critters. They made useful test subjects for learning. It helped, but once you take your gear out into the wild there is a whole other learning curve. Have fun.
     
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  5. smoke665

    smoke665 TPF Supporters Supporting Member

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    What you may be seeing is not just DOF. Every lens has a sweet spot where they are sharpest. Increasing or decreasing aperture, may gain DOF but will decrease sharpness. Couple of articles that might interest you. How To Find Your Lens' Sweet Spot: A Beginner's Guide to Sharper Images or Rules of Thumb - Finding Your Lens' 'Sweet Spot' or How to Select the Sharpest Aperture
     
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  6. Cortian

    Cortian No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Thanks for the hints, guys!
     
  7. PhotoPro1

    PhotoPro1 TPF Noob!

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    You've made all the beginner mistakes. First you have an old low res camera. Your sharpness is going to be limited by that and won't be the same as a new $3000 camera with 4x the resolution you have. Second you have no flash, which will give you a much crisper image. Third you are looking at it 100% which never looks good + you are cropping and loosing pixels as well. Also I am guessing you are not sharpening in post which can give you double the sharpness out of camera. Additionally you are stopping your lens down way past it's optimal sharpness, try F/11. Also make sure you are not coming in any close then your cameras minimal focus distance. If you try all this, we expect to see a much better image on the 4th try.
     
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  8. Cortian

    Cortian No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Thanks, PhotoPro1!
     

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