Depth of Field in Macro Photography

Adjusting composition for greater depth-of-field

Take a look at the image below. In comparison to the robber fly image we discussed on the previous page, this fly was shot using both a wider aperture and at a higher magnification ratio. This means beyond doubt that DOF is smaller. Yet, the image doesn’t lack for greater DOF. Almost the entire fly is in focus.

The difference here is that the subject was shot from a direction which enabled me to fit most of its interesting parts along a single plane of focus. Remember that DOF controls how far in front of and behind the point of focus can be rendered in sharp focus. Yet all points in the scene that exist at the same distance from the lens can be in focus simultaneously, no matter the amount of DOF available. What I've done here is to carefully position the camera so that all of the parts I want to be in focus fall along a plane that is parallel to and therefore equidistant from the lens. The fly’s side is relatively flat, so by adjusting the camera lens to be parallel with the fly's body, I managed to get sharp focus on all of the body parts which stand out the most.

A fly shot from the side. All important parts are in focus, even though DOF is extremely shallow.

It’s very important to understand that we have not extended DOF. It is still extremely shallow. Look at the fly’s front right leg. It’s only a millimeter behind its front left leg, but still out of focus. Shallow DOF is also visible in the wings. The section closest to the viewer is focused, the part farther away is out of focus. The point is that although DOF is shallow, if the subject is flat enough we can shooting at an angle parallel to the subject and produce an image with satisfying focus.

While this method might seem very basic, it’s by far the easiest and most common method of dealing with the DOF problem in macro, and is definitely the first method I teach all students. It’s easy to use – just remember to be parallel to the subject’s body. Since arthropods usually have at least one flat side, this method is very effective with a wide range of subjects.

Let's examine another image. The Levantine leopard (Apharitis acamas) shown below was shot using an aperture of  f/8 - which is relatively wide for macro work - but still I managed to get focus from head to abdomen, including the wings. When shooting butterflies it’s important to remember that one needs to be parallel not along the right-left axis (with both head and abdomen existing at the same distance from the sensor), but also along the up-down axis (with both body and wings at the same distance from the sensor).

Butterflies have very flat bodies. This makes shooting them from a parallel angle very effective for maintaining focus over the entire body.

Faking depth-of-field: Focus Stacking

So problem solved, right? Well, not quite. What happens if we don’t want to shoot parallel to the subject? It’s extremely limiting to constrain our shooting angle this way every single time we photograph. Sometimes we want to view the subject at a frontal angle or even a diagonal. And of course some subjects have such irregular shapes that they have no flat side! Think of protruding body parts such as antennae, a proboscis and wings.

This robber fly has no flat side,
and so shooting it from a parallel
angle is not a viable option. Here
the eye is in focus, but little else.
Another shot, this time with focus
on the mustache and proboscis,
but now the eye is out of focus.

Luckily, the digital revolution has brought a very efficient method of actually increasing DOF. It is called 'focus stacking' and I’ll be covering it in detail in an upcoming article. Simply put, focus stacking is a process that involves two stages. First, in the field, you shoot a series of images with identical composition, each focused on a plane of different depth on the subject’s body. For example, one shot can be focused on the eye, the other on the proboscis, and so forth. You shoot as many images as you need. The main rule is that every part of the subject you want to appear sharp in the final image must exist in sharp focus in at least one image of the series. 

By combining the images above via focus stacking, we achieve a result
that has both detail and sufficient DOF.

Next, in the comfort of your home, you can use any number of software programs which automatically select the focused parts of each image and stack them together - hence then term 'focus stacking' - into a composite image that exhibits a wider DOF than you could ever hope to capture in a single exposure. 

Focus stacking is a fantastic innovation for the macro photographer. And while it does take more time and careful preparation in the field, there just isn’t a better way of obtaining both detail and increased DOF in extreme magnifications.

A praying mantis portrait, created by stacking two images. Without focus stacking, either the mouth parts or the eyes would have been out of focus.

With these new tools in hand I don't want to leave you with the impression that shallow DOF is inherently bad. On the contrary, it is one of the most effective compositional tools at our disposal. By purposefully using shallow DOF you can create a dramatic appearance and lead the viewer’s attention to specific elements in the scene, control that is critical to success in every style of photography.


For further reading on macro photography take a look at Erez's previous articles in this series:

The what and why of wildlife macro photography
What we want in a macro shot - Detail
What we want in a macro shot - Background
What we want in a macro shot - POV and special scenes
Macro photography: Understanding magnification


Erez Marom is a professional nature photographer and photography instructor based in Israel.
Erez will lead a macro and nature photography workshop in Costa Rica in July 2012, where he will explain his photography techniques and methods with which he achieves his unique results. Registration is open for this unique opportunity to learn first hand from one of the world's leading macro artists.

You can see more of his work at www.erezmarom.com and follow him on his Facebook page and 
deviantArt gallery.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions held by dpreview.com or any affiliated companies.

Comments

Total comments: 158
12
sulco101
By sulco101 (Nov 16, 2012)

That is a great idea changing the composition to get greater DOF.

My question, is there any difference in DOF at 1:1 if a use a 60mm/105mm or 200mm lens apart from the distance the camera is from the subject

1 upvote
Erez Marom
By Erez Marom (Dec 7, 2012)

There is no difference. DOF depends solely on magnification and aperture value, not on focal length.

0 upvotes
cjsivakumar
By cjsivakumar (Aug 19, 2012)

Which type of camera is using take this macro photos.

0 upvotes
Erez Marom
By Erez Marom (Dec 7, 2012)

Canon 40D and 7D.

0 upvotes
chori88
By chori88 (Jun 21, 2012)

what means "stacking images",this is paste images above image ? how many image can I paste ? what software is usefull?

0 upvotes
DLBuck
By DLBuck (Jun 14, 2012)

I have a very basic question: How do you get the subject bugs to sit still so long? dbuck

0 upvotes
Erez Marom
By Erez Marom (Dec 7, 2012)

I'll talk all about that in the future.

0 upvotes
Skull477
By Skull477 (May 2, 2012)

Hi,
What software do you suggest for better photo stacking? I currently use Photoshop CS5

1 upvote
Skull477
By Skull477 (May 2, 2012)

I meant focus stacking!

1 upvote
bluesydude
By bluesydude (Apr 4, 2012)

What macro lens did you use on these shots? How do you control aperture settings when using extension tubes? Thank you for sharing your insight and experience.

Comment edited 27 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
Erez Marom
By Erez Marom (Apr 6, 2012)

Hi,
I used either the Tamron 180mm macro or the Canon MP-E 65mm macro lenses.
I use Kenko extension tubes, which preserve aperture control.
Erez

1 upvote
bluesydude
By bluesydude (Apr 6, 2012)

Thank you for your reply.

0 upvotes
dock
By dock (Apr 3, 2012)

Your article was a clif hanger. Hopefully, I will be able to find the next article.
You mentioned that early morning or a (mine)cold morning would slow down insects but some you come across are constantly moving. Would this technique be useless?

0 upvotes
Erez Marom
By Erez Marom (Apr 4, 2012)

When subjects are moving you have to either chase them or wait until they stop moving...

0 upvotes
Emily G Photos
By Emily G Photos (Mar 31, 2012)

Great article.

1 upvote
ChronoBodi
By ChronoBodi (Mar 30, 2012)

does all these shots need 1/8000 of a second? don't make me have buyer's remorse for getting the a65...

1 upvote
Erez Marom
By Erez Marom (Apr 4, 2012)

None of them do :)

1 upvote
Dabbler
By Dabbler (Mar 22, 2012)

great article, the examples really demonstrate your principles. How did you get these bugs to pose? Are they trained modeling bugs?

1 upvote
Erez Marom
By Erez Marom (Apr 4, 2012)

I will discuss all the methods for "persuading" the insects to stay still in a future article. None of my subjects are "trained", and all of them are shot in their natural surroundings.

Comment edited 11 seconds after posting
1 upvote
Charles Baxter
By Charles Baxter (Mar 17, 2012)

Very fine article. Will watch for more on Focus Stacking. Charles Baxter

1 upvote
dijstelberge
By dijstelberge (Feb 29, 2012)

the praying mantis you say you need stacking. You can also change the angle to get both mouth and eyes sharp...

What I miss in that photo are the pupils. did you stack it out or did it not look at you? It gives the critter a dead look imho.

http://www.mdsign.nl/fotos/D300/DSC14478.jpg

cheers, Mark

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 4 minutes after posting
1 upvote
Erez Marom
By Erez Marom (Mar 1, 2012)

Hi Mark.
Please read the article in its entirety to see that I wrote about both ways. Since I wanted this specific composition, I had to stack.
The mantis is completely alive. It's pseudo-pupils weren't so visible from that angle.
Erez

0 upvotes
igruh
By igruh (Feb 28, 2012)

Not bad, but quite far from great. This article shows very briefly the simplified steps (not the first steps, but, surely, not more than second) in macrophotography. These simple tricks are widely used by any amateur photographer with 1 year of experience. Resume: good for novice.

0 upvotes
snyderaa
By snyderaa (Sep 5, 2012)

Let's see *your* article...

1 upvote
max metz
By max metz (Feb 24, 2012)

Excellent article.

1 upvote
John Sargent
By John Sargent (Feb 24, 2012)

Very interesting and worthwhile article, but I’m a little puzzled by the elaborate fuss that’s being made of something that in my experience needn’t be all that difficult. Way back in prehistoric times, I used to enjoy macro photography using a tripod-mounted Asahi Pentax Spotmatic with extension tubes, loaded with Kodak Ektachrome slide film.

What you saw through the viewfinder was what you got, by and large, and you simply adjusted aperture, speed and focus until things looked right, and then pressed the shutter button (or button at the end of the remote cable). There were some duds, to be sure, but there was a sufficiently large number of successes to encourage one to keep on going.

Now that I’m a pensioner, I can’t afford a DSLR, but I’d be astounded if state of the art what-you-see-is-what-you-get DSLRs can’t do the same job as my Spotmatic did all those years ago.

0 upvotes
ericimbs
By ericimbs (Feb 22, 2012)

great article, thanks.

1 upvote
alphasm
By alphasm (Feb 21, 2012)

how to make bacground into one color only ... We must edit by Photoshop??? ..

0 upvotes
The Pete
By The Pete (Feb 22, 2012)

That actually happens automatically when using large magnifications, then everything at a distance just becomes one big blur. E.g. the green background in this shot is actually my lawn: http://www.flickr.com/photos/stroiman/5824693157/in/set-72157626810317935 - no photoshop or anything, that is straight out of the camera.

Comment edited 34 seconds after posting
1 upvote
Ron Credit
By Ron Credit (Feb 20, 2012)

awesome.

2 upvotes
mikesee
By mikesee (Feb 19, 2012)

Stacking is neat. But it is not photography.

0 upvotes
tessl8d
By tessl8d (Feb 21, 2012)

Neither is digital photography, 20 000 shots in a lifetime VS 20 000 in a year,and most are still hacks.

1 upvote
ewelch
By ewelch (Feb 21, 2012)

Stacking is no less photography than many other techniques. Using flash, filters, depth of field, angle of view, cropping, etc. The question: "Did it look like that?" is a much more relevant question as to whether it's "photography" or not.

Not to mention the literal meaning of photography is writing with light. How is this not that?

5 upvotes
ericimbs
By ericimbs (Feb 22, 2012)

by that logic, building up tones in a painting using diffrent paints brushes and application techniques, wouldn't be painting.

1 upvote
brliv
By brliv (Feb 27, 2012)

Not, Eh? Actually, it's been used in scientific application for years, in microphotography. Oh Yeah, a division of photography.

0 upvotes
gluino
By gluino (Feb 19, 2012)

About focus stacking, do any post processing software do alignment for camera movement / subject movement?

Are there any cameras that automatically fire off focus-bracketed shots? CHDK on supported Canon models? But what about cameras with better IQ? Any ILC's and DSLRs offer configurable focus bracketing??

Comment edited 18 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
Erez Marom
By Erez Marom (Feb 20, 2012)

Photoshop does the alignment job very well.

0 upvotes
The Pete
By The Pete (Feb 22, 2012)

So is it possible to do handheld?

0 upvotes
Erez Marom
By Erez Marom (Feb 22, 2012)

Possible - may be, but not practical.

0 upvotes
brliv
By brliv (Feb 27, 2012)

A lot of artifacts in PS, and one can't edit very well. Also a loss of image. Zerene Stacker is the best software for the job.

0 upvotes
WilbaW
By WilbaW (Feb 19, 2012)

Enjoyable article. I'd prefer that you explain, or at least mention the fundamentally perceptual basis of DOF (image size, viewing distance, and visual accuity), rather than perpetuating the misconception that it depends only on aperture, focal length, and focus distance and renders things in focus or not in some absolute way.

0 upvotes
1936Wim1107
By 1936Wim1107 (Feb 18, 2012)

Is there a computerized way of moving the cameraset from the nearest focuspoint to the most far point you want, to make stack pictures?

0 upvotes
dsvilko
By dsvilko (Feb 26, 2012)

If you can afford it there is the StackShot rail. If you can't, the cheapest fully automated solution currently possible is my DIY rail: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XeXjpZpaZns

0 upvotes
Erez Marom
By Erez Marom (Feb 18, 2012)

Hi Guys, thank you so much for all your supportive comments and criticism. I appreciate them very much.

I'd like to ask you to please consider participating in my Costa Rica workshop this coming July. Costa Rica is the PERFECT place to improve your macro shooting, and you'll be shooting tons of incredible subjects - during the best season to do it - with yours truly as a dedicated guide. This workshop is my baby and I will do whatever I possibly can to make it an awesome experience for all who attend.
Please don't hesitate to contact me with any question regardong the workshop.
You can view the details here:
http://www.fotoverdetours.com/workshops/macro-more-werez-marom/
Best regards,
Erez Marom

2 upvotes
LateralNW
By LateralNW (Feb 18, 2012)

Great article Erez, thank you.
I noticed in previous articles that mentioning 1:1 really started a discussion and confusion it seems.

I have been trying to take macro shots with my Pentax K-X but found I had to use the crop method as I could not focus close enough. I used the Pentax standard 300mm lens at full zoom. The bee just took off as I took the photo so you can't see the wings clearly.
I have read the 1:1 advice but I don't know how to convert that in to a real lens purchase. There seems to be so many to choose from and the prices have large variations as well.
I know you mentioned that the lens will have 1:1 stamped on it so is that all I need to check?
I was also wondering if I grab a lens and look through it without the camera connected and can see things really close, is that a simple way to find a lens that's suitable?

Thanks again for the articles. I don't think I can use Focus stacking as my bees move to fast unless you know of a trick or fast camera

Comment edited 3 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
joe6pack
By joe6pack (Feb 17, 2012)

I wonder what is the aperture value used for the robber fly close up? Is the subject alive? If so, how fast do you have to shoot for focus stacking?

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
1 upvote
Erez Marom
By Erez Marom (Feb 18, 2012)

Hi,
The robber closeup was shot using f/9.
It's absolutely alive, as are all my subjects. I shot it early in the morning, when it's less likely to fly away.

0 upvotes
TGThomas
By TGThomas (Feb 17, 2012)

Thanks. Nice article.

1 upvote
upbeatparadox
By upbeatparadox (Feb 17, 2012)

Thanks. Much appreciated.

1 upvote
Gioradan
By Gioradan (Feb 17, 2012)

Thanks Erez.

Great images! Have not tried bug photography yet. Here in New Zealand the bugs are big and lazy and not as poisonous as in your part of the world. so maybe I should give it a go.

Toda

2 upvotes
sgtsalamander
By sgtsalamander (Feb 16, 2012)

I've been an aspiring macro photographer for years, and have dabbled in the technique. Although I've got a handle on the basics, it's great to read a detailed explanation, and learn of techniques new to me (i.e. photo-stacking). Thanks for the article, I eagerly await the stacking article.

1 upvote
spencerberus
By spencerberus (Feb 16, 2012)

Thanks for the article - there's nothing here new to me, as I've been doing a lot of research on macro photography lately, but its always good to know when you're using the right techniques. It's also a good reminder, and seems to cover all the main options I've seen. I've been reading a lot about focus stacking but haven't tried it yet, largely due to most of my macro photos being of bugs that don't sit still long enough for multiple photos. Does anyone have any good techniques for dealing with this, without hurting the animals?

Comment edited 50 seconds after posting
1 upvote
kkardster
By kkardster (Feb 16, 2012)

Do you see the Lytro-style multi-focus camera making its place in macro soon? Not only could this help solve DOF issues but could offer 3-D macro shooting as well.

0 upvotes
Erez Marom
By Erez Marom (Feb 18, 2012)

Well, I can't really say as I'm not familiar enough with the technology involved, not to mention the vusiness plans and strategies of the company, but I'd definitely like it! :)

0 upvotes
brliv
By brliv (Feb 27, 2012)

I've studied the results. The resolution is still primitive.

0 upvotes
StephaneBr
By StephaneBr (Feb 16, 2012)

Played with that a few years back.
Stacking software has serious limitations due to the fact that an objects is larger on the sensor when out of focus, leaving a lot of blur around the pulled in focus details.
I came with some good results by hand but with a lot of time:
http://www.thefrenchguy.com/gallery/RoachXL.html

1 upvote
brliv
By brliv (Feb 27, 2012)

Try Zerene Stacker. I believe there's a free trial version.

0 upvotes
disraeli demon
By disraeli demon (Feb 16, 2012)

Ha! I've been using focus stacking for several years for tabletop photography, but I never knew there was a name for it! Cheers!

1 upvote
crisarg
By crisarg (Feb 16, 2012)

Very nice article, I enjoy reading it.

I'm looking forward to the stacking article. There are so many challenges when stacking but results well worth doing it! :)

1 upvote
larrytusaz
By larrytusaz (Feb 16, 2012)

Can I say "way to go DPreview." Please, please, PLEASE!!--more articles like this for enthusiasts. This is great. Those of us into this as a hobby, many of us for sure (definitely me), THIS is what we come here for, not stuff for the masses like another "Hipstamatic" commentary about using your smartphone to take pictures. Leave that to the "mass" websites. That isn't what you are. If I were a chef visiting a fine culinary cooking site I wouldn't want to read about Chef-Boy-Ardee every 5 seconds. This is an article we can relate to and I sincerely appreciate it.

Having said, that, the depth-of-field challenges make me sometimes miss those ancient Nikon Coolpix models like the 5400. They were outstanding in macro capture. They focused VERY close & depth-of-field wasn't such a pain. I don't use point & shoots anymore but I wonder sometimes if they aren't more suitable for macro photography, at least if you want to do it the easy way anyhow.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 4 minutes after posting
6 upvotes
bokane
By bokane (Feb 16, 2012)

the number one question is: how do you get the insects to remain still in the field while you take, not just one photo, but enough for focus stacking?

2 upvotes
Erez Marom
By Erez Marom (Feb 16, 2012)

I will discuss all the methods for "persuading" the insects to stay still in a future article. Please keep reading the series! :)

1 upvote
jgardia
By jgardia (Feb 16, 2012)

Get a longer macro lens, so you can stay further away.
you can also try with a zoom lens (like a 50-200mm) and an achromat (+2 to +4), so you will have 40 to 60 cm to your object.
Of course, the big problem there is the light, so try to do it in a sunny day.

0 upvotes
feilchenfeldt
By feilchenfeldt (Feb 16, 2012)

liquid nitrogen ;)

3 upvotes
Erez Marom
By Erez Marom (Feb 18, 2012)

Oy vey :)

0 upvotes
doak
By doak (Feb 16, 2012)

Could an installment of the macro series be written about lighting? Like use of diffusers, off camera flash, ring flash, etc.

2 upvotes
Erez Marom
By Erez Marom (Feb 16, 2012)

I will definitely do that. Please stay tuned! :)

1 upvote
doak
By doak (Feb 17, 2012)

Thanks! Looking forward to it.

1 upvote
racketman
By racketman (Feb 16, 2012)

for the record that is a Leafhopper nymph not a Cicada nymph.

0 upvotes
ThePhilips
By ThePhilips (Feb 16, 2012)

> fit most of its interesting parts along a single plane of focus

Very very good tip. (Same btw applies to the shallow DOF shooting in general.)

That is so obvious that it escapes me most of the time.

Yet when I remember to align the focus plane, often there is simply no room to move the camera around. Oh snap.

1 upvote
Hen3ry
By Hen3ry (Feb 16, 2012)

Focus stacking! Good grief. Never heard of it before but I am certainly going to try it in the near future.

1 upvote
sunniland
By sunniland (Feb 16, 2012)

The plane of sharp focus is normally perpendicular to the lens axis, so to get a good in-focus shot of , say, a basking alligator, one must indeed get broadside to it. A Tilt & Shift lens (or adapter) can reorient the in-focus plane, "tilting" it forward and downwards (for a field of flowers), or sideways (for an alligator basking at a 45° angle, relative to the photographer's position (which often can't be changed, e.g. when shooting from a blind). I've got a couple of T&S adapters, which work fine with bellows lenses and Leica Visoflex lens heads (135-280mm). One must stop down manually, and to get image stabilization (which is definitely helpful, when using a shoulder stock), I mount them on a Olympus E-620, which has the "sensor-shake" kind of image stabilization, and works with any lens; with this 4/3-sensor camera, the 280mm Visoflex lens head is effectively a 560mm telephoto, in term of FoV, enough for serious, long-distance telephoto work.

0 upvotes
sunniland
By sunniland (Feb 16, 2012)

Great series.

Much of the discussion is also applicable to telephoto photography: for example, the Nikkor 200-400mm VR lens has a maximum Magnification ratio of 3.7 (zoomed to 400mm, at the 2m minimum focusing distance), and thus will fill a 35mm wide full-frame sensor with a 35 x 3.7 = 120.5mm (about 8.5") bird (if you can get that close) or cluster of flowers.

I'm no expert, but have gotten good results (mostly animals, birds & flowers, a few large insects) by using a shoulder stock, manually focusing as well as possible, then gently rocking back and forth an inch or so, towards and away from the subject, while firing a rapid burst (10fps in the D2X; the D700 can be "tricked" into firing a 9-shot 8fps burst, even without the (heavy) auxiliary battery pack). This usually yields one or two properly focused images, and might be useful for focus-stacking as well (haven't tried). A tripod is simply not practical for active birds & animals.

0 upvotes
pharcyde416
By pharcyde416 (Feb 16, 2012)

Amazing article. I'm picking up my first true macro lens in the near future and this was incredibly helpful. I can't wait for the focus stacking article. Thank you so much.

1 upvote
tr6me
By tr6me (Feb 16, 2012)

Very interesting article, thanks! Another option is to work with a tilt belllows device for control of DOF and focussing plane. http://forum.mflenses.com/userpix/455_tiltshift_bellows_1.jpg

Focus stacking and setting up macro compositions takes time. The insects in the photographs above were they drugged, glued to a leaf or... dead...?

P.S. Working with a DX sensor DSLR (instead of FX) gives a slight increase of DOF. Using a 24MP DX sensor would be ideal for macro.

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
0 upvotes
Erez Marom
By Erez Marom (Feb 16, 2012)

Hi,
All subjects are absolutely free and alive. I do *NOT* hurt, kill, maim, freeze, squash, glue, heat, refrigerate, skewer, disembowel or perform any other abuse on my subjects.
I'll reveal the relevant techniques in future articles. You can also join my Costa Rica macro workshop and learn first hand :)

1 upvote
marike6
By marike6 (Feb 16, 2012)

It helps to go early in the morning when it's colder and live subjects are more docile and move much more slowly.

John Shaw's book "Close-Up in Nature" discusses most of these techniques and is extremely helpful re: 1:1 macro and super high magnification macro via reversing lenses, stacked diopters, etc. I enjoyed the series, thanks.

Comment edited 25 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
marctr6
By marctr6 (Feb 17, 2012)

@Erez - :-) - I'll stay tuned! @marike6 -thanks for the input!

1 upvote
Peter Gaunt
By Peter Gaunt (Feb 17, 2012)

When I was a biology student 40 years ago we used to keep insects still long enough to identify them with cigarette smoke.

0 upvotes
Dabbler
By Dabbler (Mar 22, 2012)

I took a seminar from David Guy Maynard who shot the frog on the ExpoDisc packaging. He said he spent a lot of time in the Florida marshes and had learned how to mesmerize a frog to the point he could re-position a leg for a shot and the frog didn't budge. The seminar was free and he was of course, hawking the ExpoDisc among other things.

0 upvotes
lajka
By lajka (Feb 16, 2012)

Yeah, focus staking is the solution. Hej, big industry, macroshoters are waiting for the camera that has focusbracketing where you can define- DOF according to lens used (from 1mm to whatever), number of shots taken and the FPS (10 or higher.

3 upvotes
ThePhilips
By ThePhilips (Feb 16, 2012)

Yes.

That becomes increasingly feasible considering the burst rate and AF speed of the modern cameras. I'm pretty sure that would have been easy to automate - if only the cameras were customizable via the apps like modern mobile phones.

0 upvotes
wutsurstyle
By wutsurstyle (Feb 16, 2012)

hint: Magic Lantern with a Canon DSLR

1 upvote
doak
By doak (Feb 16, 2012)

Or a Canon point and shoot with the hacked CHDK firmware installed. Its possible to focus bracket and even write custom scripts that'll step through a user defined desired DOF.

The smaller sensor of the P/S lends to greater DOF also.

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
2 upvotes
brliv
By brliv (Feb 27, 2012)

A fine focus stack is not really an automated procedure.

0 upvotes
Michael Foran
By Michael Foran (Jun 18, 2012)

brliv, can you elaborate? Why not?

0 upvotes
alphasm
By alphasm (Feb 16, 2012)

How to make background blur or black background ????
And I always used aperture around f9-13... is it correct ???

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
_sem_
By _sem_ (Feb 17, 2012)

Background blur: by using a macro with long focal length. If you haven't got one, a tele lens 200mm+ with a closeup achromat diopter around +2 may work.
Black background: by using (diffused) flash for illumination and very short exposure. Jet-black using photoshop...

0 upvotes
Seyfi Karaman
By Seyfi Karaman (Feb 16, 2012)

I photograph with a macro butterfly. A very nice article. Thanks Erez.

1 upvote
extravacant
By extravacant (Feb 16, 2012)

you taught me a lot. "all of the scenes important elements".... mostly wth the word important. i used to hate aperture adjustment until now

1 upvote
Chaitanya S
By Chaitanya S (Feb 16, 2012)

Liked all the parts of these articles under macro photography.

1 upvote
ibic
By ibic (Feb 16, 2012)

Erez Marom, this series of Macro Photography articles you have written is *absolutely* excellent.

2 upvotes
Total comments: 158
12