shallow DOF vs. macro

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by stevet1, Sep 23, 2019.

  1. stevet1

    stevet1 TPF Noob!

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    I was reading about a shallow depth of field challenge.
    In your opinion, is there a difference between taking pictures with a shallow depth of field and macro photography?
    What would be the technical differences?
    Are there any?

    Steve Thomas


     
  2. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    macro has to do with reproduction ratio, and at typical macro ranges there is very very little depth of field. Shallow depth of field and macro have absolutely nothing to do with one another, except for the fact that in macro ranges there is scant depth of field and many people today are using a new technique called focus stacking, where multiple frames or computer generated into one final photo with adequate depth of field.
     
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  3. Designer

    Designer Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    What's the challenge?
     
  4. stevet1

    stevet1 TPF Noob!

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    Designer,

    It was in the same FotoForum in the Photo Assignments and Technical Challenges sub-forum.
    The thread title was "Assign# 3 Shallow Depth of Field"
    Assign #3: Shallow Depth of Field
    Many of the links are broken, but in looking at some of the pictures that survived, I got to wondering what the difference is between those, and macro photography.
    Why would you call it one and not the other?

    Steve Thomas
     
  5. Designer

    Designer Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    I see, thank you.

    The challenge was to produce a photo with a shallow DOF, but it was not specified how to get that shallow DOF.

    Given that macro photography naturally has a very shallow DOF, some photographers chose to make a macro shot, which gave them the desired shallow DOF. Just a simple choice of technique.

    When you look at a DOF calculator (many free ones online) you see that there are a few variables that affect the DOF, and by maximizing one or more of those variables, you get that shallow DOF.

    For your convenience, I will list them here;

    focal length of lens
    aperture
    sensor size
    distance from lens to subject

    That last one (distance to subject) is what makes macro have such a shallow DOF.
     
  6. petrochemist

    petrochemist TPF junkie!

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    If the image size on the sensor is less than half life size it's NOT macro
    While macro shots usually have fairly shallow DOF they do not have to - if focus stacking is used (or they are taken with a technique like an electron microscope that gives vastly improved DOF)
    If a macro subject is planar DOF becomes fairly irrelevant.

    Many threads/competitions etc. asking for shallow DOF will specifically ask to exclude macro. A lifesize shot at f/22 will have fairly narrow DOF but it will be deep DOF for this magnification. Very few decent shots are taken at lifesize & f2.8...

    A portrait shot is most unlikely to be macro, but will often have shallow DOF. This will be achieved by using a relatively long focal length, a wide aperture & having the background well separated from the subject. Again combining shots from multiple exposures can be used to overcome the limits of lens design. - A panorama stitched from multiple shots of a fast telephoto, can end up with the DOF of the telephoto yet still have the field of view of a wide angle lens.
     
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  7. stevet1

    stevet1 TPF Noob!

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    Okay. I think I understand the nomenclature better.

    Thanks everyone.

    Steve Thomas
     
  8. clarc

    clarc TPF Noob!

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    yes but you are better off with a dedicated macro lens for better DOF and there are several in the less expensive price range. I have a 100mm Promaster macro lens that I purchased 10 years ago that was reasonably priced and tack sharp to this day
    DSC_3458.JPG








    Tutuapp 9apps Showbox
     
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2019
  9. 480sparky

    480sparky Chief Free Electron Relocator Supporting Member

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    A 'dedicated macro' lens won't give you any more DOF. It's all physics. A 50mm 'standard' lens with an extension ring will, all else being equal, produce the same DOF as a 'dedicated' 50mm macro lens.
     
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  10. wfooshee

    wfooshee No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    This is shallow depth of field, but it's not macro. 85mm f:1.8.

    [​IMG]
     
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  11. 480sparky

    480sparky Chief Free Electron Relocator Supporting Member

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    Given there's no official definition of macro, you could call a ham sandwich a macro photo. It's generally accepted that macro starts at a 1:1 reproduction ratio.
     
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  12. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    886591_4823985962496_1027059410_o.jpg

    Shallow depth of field, but clearly not macro 200 millimeter lens around F 2.5
     

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