Macro shots and limited depth-of-field...

Started Jun 5, 2012 | Discussions thread
Barrie Davis
Barrie Davis Forum Pro • Posts: 21,460
Re: Macro shots and limited depth-of-field...

HEA-45 wrote:

Is this a true statement for macro shots?

Move the camera further away from the object (drawback? smaller image)

Pulling back doesn't really increase DoF. It just reduces the size of the blur in your personal field of view. This is fine if the smaller image scale suits the picture composition better than the closer view...

... but not if to see the detail which one expects from macro photography you have to re-enlarge the image, or hold the print closer, such that the image scale is increased again, and DoF consequently returned to what it was....

.... (but with worse image quality because of the cropping and enlarging).

Make sense?

Decrease the aperture (say f/22) (drawback? slow shutter speeds)

Shooting at smaller apertures genuinely does increase DoF. Unfortunately it also increases blur caused by diffraction... However, diffraction blur does respond fairly well to sharpening applied in post processing software, so may be the lesser of two evils.

I love macro shots, but I often wish for more depth of field from my 90mm macro lens (yes my expectations are realistic.) I could live with a smaller image if it gave me greater DOF.

Lack of DoF always has been big problem with ultra close-up photography, although miniature cameras help when it comes to shooting those miniature subjects. This is the reason so much macro is done with smaller-sensored cameras, the ones with inherently greater DoF. My favourite macro camera is a Konica Minolta A2. It's sensor is a mere 8.8 x 6.6 mm [commonly known as 2/3]... with crop factor of 4...

.... which means it has a DoF advantage over full frame of about 4 stops, 3 stops over APS.

Hint: To increase DoF with still subjects, have you tried focus stacking?

"Ahh... But the thing is, they were not just ORDINARY time travellers!"

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Konica Minolta DiMAGE A2
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