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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre Macro Talk 
Thread started 27 Apr 2016 (Wednesday) 07:35
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Macro Depth of Field

 
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Apr 28, 2016 21:50 as a reply to  @ post 17988861 |  #16

The group.... https://en.wikipedia.o​rg/wiki/Group_f/64 (external link)




  
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Post edited over 2 years ago by Dalantech. (2 edits in all)
     
Apr 30, 2016 05:52 |  #17

birderman wrote in post #17986778 (external link)
First off, I apologise if this has been covered previously.

I currently use extension tubes for macro shots, but sometimes I find difficult getting sharp results dues to slight movement when pressing the shutter. It seems that the depth of field is so shallow that the slightest movement is enough to cause missed focus ?

My question is will a dedicated Macro lens have a large DOF than the standard Kit Lens (Canon) used with extension tubes ?

I am considering the Sigma 105mm Macro lens...

I guess the other method may be to use a tripod and cable release to reduce movement....but not always practical or available....

TIA

For a set of all around, really good articles it's tough to beat this set at Coin Imaging (external link). There is a pretty good explanation of how effective aperture effects diffraction (has to do with the distance between the aperture and the sensor changing). That being said there's more to image quality than diffraction, and sometimes you'll get the best performance out of a lens when you're shooting well past the diffraction limit of your sensor.

Now to hopefully give some decent advice to the OP: I use a couple of cheap tricks to control where I'm placing the area of acceptable focus. One is to grab onto whatever the critter is perched on with my left index finger and thumb, and then rest the lens on that same hand so that both camera and subject are on the same "platform". I call it the Left Hand Brace technique and it works best with short focal length macro lenses.

I'll also pick a spot in the foreground that I want to be in focus, and then push the opposite end of the frame deeper into the scene. Like when I focused on the leg in the lower left side of this frame and then pushed the upper right corner toward the bee's head:

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The trick is to create a lot of apparent depth from what little actual depth exists at the Fstop you're using.

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May 01, 2016 03:18 |  #18

Wilt wrote in post #17986870 (external link)
DOF is related to the magnification, not so much extension vs. native macro lens. Same f/stop, same FL, same focus distance = same DOF

I will disagree about the comment about 'effective aperture'...where f/11 is the setting and the effective aperture is f/22, that is due to the spread of the lens' image circle at the focal plane, 4X as much area covered (as at Infinity) is -2EV the amplitude of light, as when focused at Infinity. The fact that the effective aperture is twice as small does NOT make the DOF twice as much!

But the effective aperture is indeed the same at the same magnification level for same FL macro lens vs. extension tube, which is what makes it SEEM to be in the DOF relationship.

To be sufficiently pedantic the effective aperture depends on the linear magnification, the lens pupillary magnification and of course the set aperture. The pupillary magnification depends on the lens design, for SLR lenses this will be associated with focal length. The upshot if the effective aperture at a set f/11 and linear magnification of say 1:1, the effective aperture and thus DOF will be slightly different for say a 50, 100 or 180mm lens. The equations for all this are on various web sites including my own.

The equations posted by swftlet are approximations for a lens pupillary magnification of 1.

In the real world this is of second order interest if you are using modern TTL metering systems.

To the OP;
In practice the DOF issues will be almost the same for tubes and macro lenses, as stated a macro lens is more convenient, better corrected for closeup work and arguably better balanced for handholding.

Yes the DOF will be very small, if working handheld or any small movement by the subject can move the focal plane around. Taking plenty of shots with reasonable set apertures is advised. For ambient light I aim for ~f/8, for flash f/11 up to 1:1 then f/8 above to limit diffraction softening.


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Post edited over 2 years ago by Wilt. (4 edits in all)
     
May 01, 2016 09:33 as a reply to  @ Lester Wareham's post |  #19

Hi Lester,
It would be useful to know if your comments are in agreement with your quote of my post, or if what you say in your comment is contrary to what was quoted.

I'm just trying to understand more on the topic, factoring the pupilary size, and wonder about that.

The DOF calculators I have tried to consult for macro seem somewhat goofy in their design at times...like one which permits subject distances to be input in millimeters, yet the DOF calculations are in METERS and with insufficient number of places in the calculation to see any difference in the DOF zone depth! :rolleyes:
And (lack of) explanations of the equations used keep one blind as to whether there is a computation of 'effective aperture' which is USED within the DOF calculation or it is simply a byproduct of the computation of the DOF with no direct role in the DOF values resulting.


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May 01, 2016 10:14 |  #20

Wilt wrote in post #17991627 (external link)
Hi Lester,
It would be useful to know if your comments are in agreement with your quote of my post, or if what you say in your comment is contrary to what was quoted.

I'm just trying to understand more on the topic, factoring the pupilary size, and wonder about that.

The DOF calculators I have tried to consult for macro seem somewhat goofy in their design at times...like one which permits subject distances to be input in millimeters, yet the DOF calculations are in METERS and with insufficient number of places in the calculation to see any difference in the DOF zone depth! :rolleyes:
And (lack of) explanations of the equations used keep one blind as to whether there is a computation of 'effective aperture' which is USED within the DOF calculation or it is simply a byproduct of the computation of the DOF with no direct role in the DOF values resulting.

Wilt,

You are right, most on-line DOF calculators, as well as DOF apps for phones, do not report DOF to sufficient accuracy to make them useful for macro. Ironically that's where they would be most useful (for many of us).

So -- just pop the equation into an Excel spreadsheet. Then you have total control over output.

And regarding pupilary magnification, it is significant with many lenses but can mostly be ignored since it affects DOF and diffraction equally. But if you want, pupilary magnification can be estimated just by looking at the front and back of the lens and comparing apparent sizes of the hole. If you are going to do this, it needs to be done at a range of distance settings for each lens.


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Post edited over 2 years ago by LV Moose. (2 edits in all)
     
May 01, 2016 10:37 |  #21

birderman wrote in post #17986778 (external link)
I currently use extension tubes for macro shots, but sometimes I find difficult getting sharp results dues to slight movement when pressing the shutter. It seems that the depth of field is so shallow that the slightest movement is enough to cause missed focus ?

My question is will a dedicated Macro lens have a large DOF than the standard Kit Lens (Canon) used with extension tubes ?

I am considering the Sigma 105mm Macro lens...

I guess the other method may be to use a tripod and cable release to reduce movement....but not always practical or available....

The following are just my thoughts/techniques; other may (and will) disagree:

a) If you're interested in macro, I highly recommend a "real" 1:1 macro lens.
b) The focal length you're considering is a good one: I think anything in the 90-105 range is best, considering trade-offs in size/weight, and working distance.
c) I find f/13-14 a good compromise between decent DoF and diffraction.
d) Unlike many others, I find stabilization very useful; such a thin DoF requires precise focus, and stabilization helps steady the subject in the viewfinder.
e) I'll use anything I can find to rest the lens on (I have shaky hands)... beanbag, rolled-up towel, a piece of wood, or even just the ground.
f) I rarely use a tripod when chasing bugs; too cumbersome and takes too much time to set up. Shooting a wasp nest or something else static, like a sleeping dragonfly, okay.
g) Patience and perseverance ;)

Good luck


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Post edited over 2 years ago by Wilt. (2 edits in all)
     
May 01, 2016 10:41 |  #22

Archibald wrote in post #17991664 (external link)
So -- just pop the equation into an Excel spreadsheet. Then you have total control over output.
.


But then I have to understand the darned equations and the inter-relationships between them all, and all of the darned symbols for the terms of the equations, to input them into Excel!
Plus, in order to really do it right, I'd have to correctly calculate the right CofC value to use for 20/20 vision, rather than the usual stupid 'manufacturer' assumption of CofC size, since most everyone -- except for the typical DOF calculator publishers on the web -- knows that DOF calculators are usually overly optimistc in their calculation! And I left behind the 'proof is left for the student' days all too long ago to care enough to spend the hours doing it.


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May 01, 2016 11:15 |  #23

Wilt wrote in post #17991718 (external link)
But then I have to understand the darned equations and the inter-relationships between them all, and all of the darned symbols for the terms of the equations, to input them into Excel!
Plus, in order to really do it right, I'd have to correctly calculate the right CofC value to use for 20/20 vision, rather than the usual stupid 'manufacturer' assumption of CofC size, since most everyone -- except for the typical DOF calculator publishers on the web -- knows that DOF calculators are usually overly optimistc in their calculation! And I left behind the 'proof is left for the student' days all too long ago to care enough to spend the hours doing it.

I have a simple Excel spreadsheet for doing generic DOF calculations. It ignores lens idiosyncrasies like changing focal length with focus distance and location of nodal planes. Still, it is useful for estimating DOF and seeing trends. I put it on Dropbox if you would like to download it. Link (external link)


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May 01, 2016 11:25 as a reply to  @ Archibald's post |  #24

Bless you, my son!

Hey Swiftlet!...I can SEE that the Total DOF includes the Effective Aperture within the computation provided by Archibald! I stand corrected.
Now I just need to read the book to understand the ins and outs of Why.

Using just the standard values already embedded in the spreadsheet, I can see that the Effective Aperture value in this case effectively triples the Total DOF compared to the engraved f/stop value (substituting '8' in cell B9). Now I need to see what other macro DOF calculators include similar factor in their computation.


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May 01, 2016 12:06 |  #25

Wilt wrote in post #17991627 (external link)
Hi Lester,
It would be useful to know if your comments are in agreement with your quote of my post, or if what you say in your comment is contrary to what was quoted.

I'm just trying to understand more on the topic, factoring the pupilary size, and wonder about that.

The DOF calculators I have tried to consult for macro seem somewhat goofy in their design at times...like one which permits subject distances to be input in millimeters, yet the DOF calculations are in METERS and with insufficient number of places in the calculation to see any difference in the DOF zone depth! :rolleyes:
And (lack of) explanations of the equations used keep one blind as to whether there is a computation of 'effective aperture' which is USED within the DOF calculation or it is simply a byproduct of the computation of the DOF with no direct role in the DOF values resulting.

Your physical explanation is correct for lenses that focus by overall linear extension, the light loss is simply the application of the inverse square law, the light flux is spread out more resulting in a lower flux density. The situation is less physically intuitive for modern internal focus lenses, these work by shortening the lens focal length to focus closer; effectively the shorter focal length has it's exit node the appropriate distance from the sensor. The light is still spread out but the focal length change makes the maths less direct. The change in focal length also changes the lens pupillary magnification further complicating the issue.

My point was more along the lens that the lens design has an impact on the light loss, thus the effective aperture and so the DOF.

It is all largely of academic interest unless working with manual exposure on film using external light meters where can't just check the histogram etc <certainly not the good old days>.

I have found most folks don't finding quoting equations or plotting graphs that helpful, but the actual equations are here if you want to amuse yourself http://www.zen20934.ze​n.co.uk …oF_with_Macro_P​hotography (external link). The actual providence is from a Kodak paper on macro photography from the 70s and repeated in lots of books on the topic back in the day. I have a memory of checking the derivations myself but have since lost the Kodak paper and my working, if I remember correctly all that is needed is schoolboy trig.

For info I measured the 100mm f/2.8 macro USM to have a pupillary magnification P range about 0.73 at infinity to 0.32 at 1:1. By contrast the 180L ranges from 0.62 to 0.4. The MP-E 65mm is difficult to measure because of an internal light baffle but is probably around 0.7-0.85. I don't have the 50mm compact macro but being and OLE lens (I think) it should have a P of around 1.


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May 01, 2016 12:10 |  #26

Archibald wrote in post #17991664 (external link)
Wilt,

You are right, most on-line DOF calculators, as well as DOF apps for phones, do not report DOF to sufficient accuracy to make them useful for macro. Ironically that's where they would be most useful (for many of us).

So -- just pop the equation into an Excel spreadsheet. Then you have total control over output.

And regarding pupilary magnification, it is significant with many lenses but can mostly be ignored since it affects DOF and diffraction equally. But if you want, pupilary magnification can be estimated just by looking at the front and back of the lens and comparing apparent sizes of the hole. If you are going to do this, it needs to be done at a range of distance settings for each lens.


Wilt wrote in post #17991718 (external link)
But then I have to understand the darned equations and the inter-relationships between them all, and all of the darned symbols for the terms of the equations, to input them into Excel!
Plus, in order to really do it right, I'd have to correctly calculate the right CofC value to use for 20/20 vision, rather than the usual stupid 'manufacturer' assumption of CofC size, since most everyone -- except for the typical DOF calculator publishers on the web -- knows that DOF calculators are usually overly optimistc in their calculation! And I left behind the 'proof is left for the student' days all too long ago to care enough to spend the hours doing it.


Archibald wrote in post #17991783 (external link)
I have a simple Excel spreadsheet for doing generic DOF calculations. It ignores lens idiosyncrasies like changing focal length with focus distance and location of nodal planes. Still, it is useful for estimating DOF and seeing trends. I put it on Dropbox if you would like to download it. Link (external link)


Wilt wrote in post #17991793 (external link)
Bless you, my son!

Hey Swiftlet!...I can SEE that the Total DOF includes the Effective Aperture within the computation provided by Archibald! I stand corrected.
Now I just need to read the book to understand the ins and outs of Why.

Using just the standard values already embedded in the spreadsheet, I can see that the Effective Aperture value in this case effectively triples the Total DOF compared to the engraved f/stop value (substituting '8' in cell B9). Now I need to see what other macro DOF calculators include similar factor in their computation.

Wilt wrote in post #17991793 (external link)
Bless you, my son!

Hey Swiftlet!...I can SEE that the Total DOF includes the Effective Aperture within the computation provided by Archibald! I stand corrected.
Now I just need to read the book to understand the ins and outs of Why.

Using just the standard values already embedded in the spreadsheet, I can see that the Effective Aperture value in this case effectively triples the Total DOF compared to the engraved f/stop value (substituting '8' in cell B9). Now I need to see what other macro DOF calculators include similar factor in their computation.

It is all a bit academic in the field though, better to be taking pictures.

Alas I have managed to actually be out once so far this year when the conditions were favourable to get some bug pictures done, other wise it has been too cold/wet/windy or I am in the office or some family duty. Spring has been a bit of a poor start this year where I am.


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May 01, 2016 12:13 as a reply to  @ Lester Wareham's post |  #27

Thx for the explanation, Lester. I can appreciate the issue created by the modern AF lens and its need to keep focus movement abbreviated for battery longevity reasons. Yes modern lenses do complicate things compared to 'the good old days'! One cannot simplistically say 4*FL = distance to subject at 1:1, when the FL is invisibly changing on you.


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May 01, 2016 13:48 |  #28

Lester Wareham wrote in post #17991848 (external link)
...The situation is less physically intuitive for modern internal focus lenses, these work by shortening the lens focal length to focus closer; effectively the shorter focal length has it's exit node the appropriate distance from the sensor...

I've seen this in the "real world": Canon's EF-S 60mm is actually a 37mm lens at minimum focus and only requires 37mm of extension to get to 2x. If memory serves me correctly Canon's old USM 100mm macro is a 72mm lens at minimum focus.


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May 02, 2016 00:56 |  #29

But focal lengths don't change depth of field, for macro.

As far as tilting the plane of focus, of course, - see Scheimpflug principle. Only really relevant for some Lomography lenses now, it's how we used to do it.


--

The guide I use second-most is a very modified version of this: spreadsheet (external link)
Which is a model which includes diffraction. It puts a λ/4 figure on wavefront error for "relevant" diffraction, which depends on your take on how the Airy discs interact, and makes a judgment based on equal blur radius from a raytracing DOF calculation,
using the "Lefkowitz" formula, which ignores front and rear focus depth differences.

PMR is simple to measure (photograph the lens, reverse, measure in image editor), it's worth doing for any lens you use for macro, particularly if you insist on using reversed retrofocus designs. It's also way off unity for a few dedicated bellows macro lenses. A Macro Nikkor 19mm f/2.8 turns out to have a wider errective max aperture than an Olympus 20mm F/2.0, (iirc).
If you aren't sure, eyeball it. If you set an aperture, and look at it from both ends and it looks the same diameter, PMR is close to 1.

This is for maximum resolution, so C of C depends on your sensor. If you use any current Canon APS sensor you're blighted with a lowpass filter, absent on Nikon D7100, and others. You can usefully work with fewer pixels on a filter-free sensor, and get the benefit. D800E and 5DSR go part way to filter-free.
For stacking, for the very best quality on a filter free sensor and adequate lens, CofC can be set at one pixel. It takes longer and wears the camera more, but that's all. Law of diminishng returns. It's astonishing how much detail a 4x, f/1.0 (=NA 0.4) lens puts on a high MP sensor.

If you only want low resolution forum-post or flickr snaps to show at <1500 pixels wide then using high pixel count sensors is arguably a mistake (noise), as is overspending on optic excellence. You're better to reduce the effective aperture anyway (which depends on magnification) to suit the output. Then the out-of-focus areas won't be as far out of focus as they would have been if you'd gone for maximum resolution. That of course is the way everyone's been doing it by trial and error, since forever.
An easy way to reduce the system effective aperture (which gets through to the print) is to pull back and crop, as long as you have enough pixels. That's conceptually clear if you consider the angle of the cone of light from a subject detail, to the camera.

Defocus blur and Diffraction blur also don't add linearly, which is a factor included in my spreadsheet.
While we're quibbling, the light source can also affect the effective aperture considerably, as does the subject itself. (For the latter, consider the light cones from a small light, hitting a small bright area then reflecting mostly into only a part of the lens.).
(If you use the highest magnifications possible, then the magnification doesn't come into the calculation at all, only the NA (external link) is relevant. DOF by then is about 0.5µm.)


The guide I use first-most is experience, checked by what's visible on the back of the camera in Review.



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May 02, 2016 02:00 |  #30

I really like these discussions, but often feel like they're not very well "grounded": I frequently print poster size images (for myself and for paying customers) and the level of detail that I can get, even though my images are very diffraction limited, is really good. Unless someone wants a print that doesn't have a 3:2 ratio I'm sending every pixel that the camera can record to a printer, and at the distance that you'd normally view a print that's a meter wide the loss in texture detail due to diffraction isn't that bad. If I'm printing to canvas, which is pretty much matte paper on steroids, then the loss is even less noticeable. I guess if you have to have as much resolution as possible then these discussions are more relevant but John Q. Public, someone who either isn't a photographer or doesn't shoot macro, really doesn't care how sharp an image is. What I would hate to see is someone just getting into macro, reading threads like this one, and then walk away because they think that macro photography is too complicated.


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