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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

 
Dalantech
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May 02, 2016 02:05 |  #31

Swiftlet wrote in post #17992590 (external link)
...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.)...

Just wanted to add that the quality of the light that you use can also impact the level of detail that you can record. If the light isn't well diffused you can get a lot of micro contrast that will wash out a lot of texture detail. I use to shoot with light that gave me a lot of micro contrast because it makes a scene look sharper but I was shooting myself in the foot because all those little bright spots were not only robbing me of texture detail but also limiting how much I could sharpen an image in post.


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Post edited over 2 years ago by Swiftlet.
     
May 02, 2016 05:24 as a reply to  @ Dalantech's post |  #32

I meant to "like" the light post, rather than the previous one ;)

Yes the light makes a huge difference. Part of that is straightforward to explain in terms of the reduced effective aperture that harsh light can give, leading to more DOF, but definition loss, as mentioned above. The highlights tend to really go really bad, becoming small high contrast blobs which give an initial impression of good detail.


Using appropriate lighting, aperture and focus plane slant were mastered by many who read these forums, decades ago.
Now anyone can get there much faster by trial and error.
There are even some Johns out there who can understand a page of text without being "put off", and use it to MOVE ON, or decide to postpone going into it.

Some however, may now eg be misled into thinking that there is merit in aiming to "send all the pixels to the printer".

"John Q. Public, someone who either isn't a photographer or doesn't shoot macro, really doesn't care about ... XYZ"
is rather presumptive? Posts don't have to appeal only to the lowest common denominator.



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Dalantech
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May 02, 2016 08:18 |  #33

Swiftlet wrote in post #17992723 (external link)
Some however, may now eg be misled into thinking that there is merit in aiming to "send all the pixels to the printer".

There actually is merit to doing that if you're making a large print. Up scaling an image after cropping won't add detail to a scene but if you frame with the view finder, and not the cropping tool in post, then you can send all of the detail that the sensor recorded to a printer...

Swiftlet wrote in post #17992723 (external link)
"John Q. Public, someone who either isn't a photographer or doesn't shoot macro, really doesn't care about ... XYZ"
is rather presumptive? Posts don't have to appeal only to the lowest common denominator.

I should have expanded on that by saying that John Q. doesn't care about how sharp an image is, or how it was taken, unless he's impressed by how a shot looks edge to edge. John Q. for the most part isn't looking at 100% crops, he's looking for something to save to his desktop as wallpaper or a print. As a photographer, weather you like it or not, you're a performance artist. As such you have to be careful not to play to a limited audience. But I guess it depends on how much of a fallowing you want outside of the macro community.


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LV ­ Moose
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Post edited over 2 years ago by LV Moose. (3 edits in all)
     
May 02, 2016 08:44 |  #34

After slogging through this thread, again, and then going back to the originator's simple question, and implied questions, I'll say the following: I've been shooting macro for a few years now, and have learned most of what I know from two members of the forum, orionmystery and LordV. I don't think I've ever seen Kurt or Brian post responses to a newbie's question like the ones I've seen in thread, bloated with theories, formulas, and verbosity. Perhaps they, along with myself, are members of the aforementioned "lowest common denominators." :oops:

I was hoping to see them, and a few others, chime in with useful input, but perhaps they stopped by, rolled their eyes, and moved on.

Birderman, (if you're still with us) for some very good information on shooting macro, I suggest starting here: https://photography-on-the.net/forum/showthre​ad.php?t=807056

Also, go to the Macro Talk section and read some of the stickies: https://photography-on-the.net/forum/forumdis​play.php?f=123

For more threads on DoF for macro, I went to the search engine and just typed in "macro dof" in the title block. You'll find decent examples and useful tips in some of those threads.

Happy shooting :-)


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Post edited over 2 years ago by Wilt. (4 edits in all)
     
May 02, 2016 09:10 |  #35

LV Moose wrote:
After slogging through this thread, again, and then going back to the originator's simple question, and implied questions, I'll say the following: I've been shooting macro for a few years now, and have learned most of what I know from two members of the forum, orionmystery and LordV. I don't think I've ever seen Kurt or Brian post responses to a newbie's question like the ones I've seen in thread, bloated with theories, formulas, and verbosity...

Wilt wrote in post #17991793 (external link)
...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).

...and then, looking at the absolute value of the DOF zone, one sees that f/8 vs. f/24 in the computation only yields 0.456mm additional depth in the DOF zone
Yet most photographers don't realize the added DOF attributed to the 'effective aperture' , and at the practical level the 0.456mm more does not really matter all that much, most of the time!


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LV ­ Moose
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May 02, 2016 09:44 |  #36

Depends; are you shooting a dragonfly or a mite?


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May 02, 2016 10:08 |  #37

It is fun to calculate depth of field, and one soon gets a feeling for how it works, but when taking pictures, stop calculating and use generalities that you have learned.

The following statements are approximately true.

- DOF depends only on aperture at equivalent framing.

- At equal aperture and framing, all lenses give about the same DOF.

- You get more DOF as you stop down.

- But stopping down beyond about f/11 or 16 produces noticeable difraction softening.

- Every hour spent calculating is one hour less shooting.


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Swiftlet
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May 03, 2016 00:20 |  #38

Swiftlet wrote in post #17992723 (external link) Some however, may now eg be misled into thinking that there is merit in aiming to "send all the pixels to the printer". There actually is merit to doing that if you're making a large print. Up scaling an image after cropping won't add detail to a scene but if you frame with the view finder, and not the cropping tool in post, then you can send all of the detail that the sensor recorded to a printer...

No, it makes no difference, if the image is blurred anyway like you admit yours are. The print would have to be yards across to look pixelated so that's not relevant on a picture one yard or so wide. Obviously there are limits but there's no harm at all in normal "trimming".

Archibald - Every hour spent calculating is one hour less shooting.

Sure, I agree. But but until you've calculated it once you keep laboring under the same misapprehenson and give the same wrong advice, as above.
Doing it wrong for 10 years doesn't make it right, and it looks worse if you try to justify it some spurious way because the ego's gotten in the way.

--

- You get more DOF as you stop down.
- But stopping down beyond about f/11 or 16 produces noticeable diffraction softening.

That's not quite true once you've got enough diffraction to blur everything. Stopping down no longer makes things sharp, all details are bigger than the C of C so by that definition, which is what's used to define "in focus", there's NO depth of field. It's true that distant out of focus image looks less out of focus.



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Dalantech
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May 03, 2016 02:28 |  #39

Swiftlet wrote in post #17993918 (external link)
...if the image is blurred anyway like you admit yours are...

Sorry, but where did I say that my images are blurred? There's a huge difference between an out of focus image and one that's losing detail due to diffraction.

Me thinks that you just enjoy being the sand in everyone's suntan lotion...


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Post edited over 2 years ago by Swiftlet.
     
May 03, 2016 06:40 |  #40

Sorry, but where did I say that my images are blurred? There's a huge difference between an out of focus image and one that's losing detail due to diffraction.

They're the same. Loss of resolution in both cases.
If a dot is spread over 20 pixels nobody can tell the difference.

Me thinks that you just enjoy being the sand in everyone's suntan lotion...

Just snake-oil suntan lotion. It's unfortunate for it about the hard math grit getting in the way.

We find the same snake-oil line all over the internet. This thread is about depth of field yet we get the misinformation about using more blurred pixels being better than fewer.
It's wrong and nothing to do with this Depth of Field thread.

We have the story repeated all over the internet in many many many threads that it's important not to crop the image. Just from one source, with no attempt at validation.

The story may as well be telling everyone to take all photos on the left leg in the northern hemisphere because it aligns the chakras with the rotation of the earth so the pictures are better. "Look, nice pictures" - so the idea must be right? Thankfully not all forums allow splattered snake-oil.



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Post edited over 2 years ago by TeamSpeed. (2 edits in all)
     
May 03, 2016 07:34 |  #41

LV Moose wrote in post #17992859 (external link)
After slogging through this thread, again, and then going back to the originator's simple question, and implied questions, I'll say the following: I've been shooting macro for a few years now, and have learned most of what I know from two members of the forum, orionmystery and LordV. I don't think I've ever seen Kurt or Brian post responses to a newbie's question like the ones I've seen in thread, bloated with theories, formulas, and verbosity. Perhaps they, along with myself, are members of the aforementioned "lowest common denominators." :oops:

I was hoping to see them, and a few others, chime in with useful input, but perhaps they stopped by, rolled their eyes, and moved on.

Birderman, (if you're still with us) for some very good information on shooting macro, I suggest starting here: https://photography-on-the.net/forum/showthre​ad.php?t=807056

Also, go to the Macro Talk section and read some of the stickies: https://photography-on-the.net/forum/forumdis​play.php?f=123

For more threads on DoF for macro, I went to the search engine and just typed in "macro dof" in the title block. You'll find decent examples and useful tips in some of those threads.

Happy shooting :-)

Completely agree, you can get into the science of DOF and macro shots, or you can learn some basics, use good lighting and learn to stack to produce results better and faster, than getting into the mathematical side of the hobby.


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LV ­ Moose
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May 03, 2016 11:01 |  #42

Swiftlet wrote in post #17993918 (external link)
...until you've calculated it once you keep laboring under the same misapprehenson and give the same wrong advice, as above.
Doing it wrong for 10 years doesn't make it right, and it looks worse if you try to justify it some spurious way because the ego's gotten in the way.

There's more than one way to skin a cat. You can skin this one with math, calculations, formulas... or you can skin it like a photographer. LordV posted a series of shots, less than a dozen, several years ago of the same macro subject at various apertures. They showed the changes in DoF and effects of diffraction well enough to figure out what works the best for the gear you're using (or I should say, for the gear he was using. But anyone can do it easily enough). If you constantly change formats and the gear you use, or shoot film, maybe math is the way to go. But if you use one macro lens, and one or two digital bodies, it ain't rocket science to see with your own eyeballs what works. To me, test-shots aren't "some spurious way" to justify my settings. Photographers have been doing it ever since there were photographers.


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May 03, 2016 12:14 |  #43

LV Moose wrote in post #17994390 (external link)
There's more than one way to skin a cat. You can skin this one with math, calculations, formulas... or you can skin it like a photographer. LordV posted a series of shots, less than a dozen, several years ago of the same macro subject at various apertures. They showed the changes in DoF and effects of diffraction well enough to figure out what works the best for the gear you're using (or I should say, for the gear he was using. But anyone can do it easily enough). If you constantly change formats and the gear you use, or shoot film, maybe math is the way to go. But if you use one macro lens, and one or two digital bodies, it ain't rocket science to see with your own eyeballs what works. To me, test-shots aren't "some spurious way" to justify my settings. Photographers have been doing it ever since there were photographers.

Yep, actual tests are the best. Do some math if you like doing that. It can help the understanding. But in the end it's the pictures that matter the most and tell the most.


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May 03, 2016 12:44 |  #44

LV Moose wrote in post #17994390 (external link)
There's more than one way to skin a cat. You can skin this one with math, calculations, formulas... or you can skin it like a photographer.


Archibald wrote in post #17994511 (external link)
Yep, actual tests are the best. Do some math if you like doing that. It can help the understanding. But in the end it's the pictures that matter the most and tell the most.

Yes, the only time I use DOF calculators is when I am inside posting messages on POTN, and discussing theory (boring, compared to shooting!). Otherwise it is 'everything I want, in focus', and 'everything that I do not want, blurry' in the viewfinder, assessing the qualitative image and not considering the quantitative -- ever!


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May 03, 2016 17:25 |  #45

Archibald wrote in post #17992944 (external link)
It is fun to calculate depth of field, and one soon gets a feeling for how it works, but when taking pictures, stop calculating and use generalities that you have learned.

The following statements are approximately true.

- DOF depends only on aperture at equivalent framing.

- At equal aperture and framing, all lenses give about the same DOF.

- You get more DOF as you stop down.

- But stopping down beyond about f/11 or 16 produces noticeable difraction softening.

- Every hour spent calculating is one hour less shooting.

You have got to be kidding me! This is the main reason why I don't visit here anymore, the forum is just full of theorists who continually to argue amongst themselves. Any PRACTICAL photographers still out there? Or have they all left? Theory is OK but only if you can put it into practice and I'm not seeing that here... all I'm seeing is meaningless words! Stop talking about it and get shooting! :-)


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Macro Depth of Field
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