Macro Focusing Issue


TPF Noob!
Nov 27, 2007
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Hey guys,

I'm BRAND NEW to this forum and also BRAND NEW to photography as well. I'm having an issue with my photos and was wondering if you guys would be able to help. Now, granted, my camera is not high quality at all. It's just a basic portable point-and-shoot type, but I still think you should be able to help me out.

If you look at these photos:

You can see that in one the background is nice and clear, while the foreground is VERY blurry. However on the other one you can see that the foreground is decently clear and the background is blurry. Is there some way to clear this up so that when I'm taking Macro shots that both the foreground and background are nice and clear?

Also, these photos seem to have a lot of noise. Is there someway to make them nice and crisp and clear? I know that it is a problem with my camera to an extent, but I would still like to create nice looking photos without having to spend a fortune. (I do have Photoshop CS3).

Any help would be GREATLY appreciated! Thanks a bunch!
What kind of camera do you have? If I understand correctly (and that'd be a first for me), what you want to do is get a greater depth of field -- many point and shoot cameras can do that, but some can't. I think you just need a smaller aperture (a higher aperture setting), if that's an option -- though you may need more light or a slower shutter to do that.

As far as noise, more light and a lower ISO setting when taking the picture are the best way -- though that's not always possible, of course. I don't know if CS3 has a way to fix it, but there are programs out there that can correct noise to some extent -- I can't remember them off the top of my head (Noise Ninja, maybe?), but I'm sure someone can recommend one.
I think they are shooting with a Casio EX-S880

According to EXIF the aperture was F/8, ISO was 64.

With such low ISO the shots shouldn't have any noise. It might just be a cheap sensor. You might find some suggestions for a better performing point and shoot, that could run you $300 or less if you're interested. Although grabbing a used SLR for $500 and a lens or two might be better, depending on how serious you wanna take your hobby.
Depth of field (ie what appears to be acceptably sharp) decreases as you focus on closer objects. When taking objects as close as those in your photographs the depth of field will be just a few millimetres. If you can decrease the lens aperture (use a higher f number) then you can increase the depth of field but you will almost certainly not be able to do so to the extent where both your background and foreground appear to be in focus.
Wow! Thanks so much for all your help guys!

Yes, I'm shooting with a Casio Exilim EX-S880. It is definately not the best camera at all. It's probably not a very good one even at that. But it should be able to take 'reasonable' pictures right? It's just user error.

I'll take the suggestions and trying to decrease my aperture. Thanks again for everything.
Also check your focusing point(s) to see where you are focusing in on and your minimum focusing distance. The first shot does not appear sharp at all and the second image appears back-focused. There is a "shutter-lag" between actuation and the sensor firing so any movement will cause this blurring. At closer magnificaiton, this problem is amplified. You could try getting a small table top tripod if you want to take steadier shots. Without mirror lock-up, a good alternative is to use the timer to take the shot.
The noise issue is the sensor, CCD I reckon. Not much you can do there except get a better camera. A noise reduction program will cost as much as a new camera, and will not improve the images.

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