Foggy/pixelated images Nikon D70

Started 2 months ago | Questions thread
David Lal Forum Pro • Posts: 11,216
Not the way to do it!

BrokenCrayons wrote:

I'm using a 28-80 mm lens with a macro setting. The picture is clear as a bell at a normal size, it's only when you enlarge it. I am photographing the subject about 6-8 inches away. Manual focusing does not change anything.

I have not needed to take long distance pictures and blow them up. This is to get details for examination on a coral specimen.

The lens isn't having any issue with focusing, that I can tell. And yes, I am shooting at a narrow depth of field because I am only wanting to capture small sections of the subject at a time. Those small sections are what will be examined.

I have my auto focus set to center.

The subject I'm shooting is about 2 inches tall. The polyps in the example photos are about a single mm in size.

The picture I posted is enlarged from a shot 400% +.

This is not the way to do it!

Ideally you should be using a proper macro lens that will give you at least a 1:1 reproduction ratio (i.e. lifesize magnification) and possibly 2:1 (two times lifesize 'magnification'). The 28-80mm is not a brilliant lens - at least, mine wasn't.

You should not be trying to 'enlarge' the image taken: aim for achieving the right size image at the point of taking the photograph in the first place and for proper macro photography never use autofocus. One does not 'select' depth of field. DOF is an attribute or consequence of chosen aperture and reproduction ratio. Use aperture priority and see what the image looks like at F8 to F11. You may need to decrease this to F22 although the increased depth of field comes at the cost of image degradation due to diffraction.

Macro photography at this kind of magnification makes use of a tripod mandatory and look to your lighting as well: flash is usually necessary and will help make your final image look nice and contrasty (less fog, sharper outlines).

I haven't got any coral polyp macros but here is my image of the head of a (live) common housefly, Musca domestica at a reproduction ratio of about 3.5x lifesize:

D70; Sigma 105mm + reverse coupled Tokina 24mm + some flashguns

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