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My2Girls66
06-05-2011, 11:18 AM
I found a used Nikon 60mm 2.8 for a good price so I got it. Now to learn how to use it. Does anyone have any tips? I played with manual focus at 1:1 and got this..
http://susancw.smugmug.com/Other/2011-Stuff/i-DGVbZGN/0/M/60mm-28-micro1261-M.jpg

Is there a way to use 1:1 and get the whole subject in focus? How about 1:1 and being able to autofocus? The one tutorial I read said to manually set the lens to 1:1 and then move closer to the subject until it comes into focus. Is that the best way to use the lens?

http://susancw.smugmug.com/Other/2011-Stuff/i-8Bq7qzK/0/M/60mm-28-micro1260-M.jpg

http://susancw.smugmug.com/Other/2011-Stuff/i-xkjKtn2/0/M/60mm-28-micro1259-M.jpg

Thanks:)

photo_chick
06-05-2011, 01:19 PM
There is only one point of focus so the whole subject will not usually be all in focus. Greater depth of field, which is that area that is considered acceptably sharp, will help. But when you shoot macro your subject is so large that even what technically falls in the depth of field often seems soft. Things that affect depth of field are aperture, focal length and distance to subject. A smaller aperture (which is a larger f number) will give you more depth of field. A shorter focal length can also give you more depth of field. And the farther away from your subject you are the greater the depth of field will be.

The general reason many people manually focus when shooting macro is because you are normally working with such a small depth of field and having that point of focus exactly where you want it makes a big difference.

ssanders79
06-05-2011, 06:02 PM
Is there a way to use 1:1 and get the whole subject in focus?

As photo_chick mentioned no. But it can be done by taking multiple shots with the focus point changed and then stacking them in photoshop then spending way too long masking the layers.

My2Girls66
06-05-2011, 08:17 PM
Thanks so much:)

stevert
06-06-2011, 03:12 AM
Its really great thanks so much................

disneyboy2003
06-06-2011, 04:00 AM
As photo_chick mentioned no. But it can be done by taking multiple shots with the focus point changed and then stacking them in photoshop then spending way too long masking the layers.

Actually, Photoshop CS4 introduced a Focus Stacking feature that automates this whole process.

You take a whole bunch of photos of the same subject, but with the focus point set at different spots. (this works if your subject is completely stationary and you take all these photos on a tripod)

Then, bring all your photos into Photoshop, and use the automated Focus Stacking feature (look up specific instructions on Google for how to do this).

Photoshop will automatically create all those layer masks for you. If needed, you can then tweak the different layer masks to get the perfect final photo with everything in-focus.

disneyboy2003
06-06-2011, 04:52 AM
Is there a way to use 1:1 and get the whole subject in focus? How about 1:1 and being able to autofocus? The one tutorial I read said to manually set the lens to 1:1 and then move closer to the subject until it comes into focus. Is that the best way to use the lens?


Often, when you're doing macro photography and you're very very close to your subject, you're dealing with depths-of-field that are razor-thin, often in the fractions of millimeters!

I used a macro depth of field calculator (link (http://www.cambridgeincolour.com/tutorials/macro-lenses.htm)). Using a magnification of 1:1 and an aperture of f/2.8, I get a depth of field of 0.22 millimeters! That's about the width of 4 human hairs! (assuming the width of a human hair is about 0.05 millimeters...it varies)

If you increase the aperture to f/22 to "maximize your depth of field", you get a depth of field of 1.76 mm (that is 7/100 of an inch!).

Or, if you decrease the magnification to 0.5x (by moving the camera farther away from the subject), at f/22 the depth of field is 5.28 millimeters!


Anyway, the point of all this is that with macro photography, you're working with razor-thin depths of field. It can often be very very hard to get "the entire subject" in-focus. photo_chick suggested some things you can do to get more of your subject in-focus.

Because of these razor-thin depths-of-focus, it is very very hard to get what you want in-focus. Let's say you're trying to focus *only* on the pistil of a flower (that's the middle / center part of the flower). If your focus is off by just a couple millimeters, then your pistil is out-of-focus!

You can start with your camera's auto-focus. But it's probably not going to be accurate focusing down to the millimeter. :eek:

You can try manual focusing, which many macro photographers do. However, are your fingers sensitive enough to caress the lens's focus ring until you get precise millimeter-level focusing? Mine aren't. :sad2:

What do macro photographers use for manual focusing? You put your camera on a tripod and use a focusing rail. Here are some pictures of cameras on focusing rails:

http://www.markusjaisphoto.com/images/tech/100-14.jpg http://macro-photography.org/img/web/focusing-rails---set-up.jpg

Using a focusing rail, you will physically move your camera back and forth along the rail, millimeter by millimeter, until you get your macro subject in-focus.

One other tip for macro photography is you can light your subject with a ring flash. Canon, for example, makes a Macro Ring Lite:

http://www.markusehrenfried.de/Resources/photographymr14e.jpeg

Or, if you already have an external flash, you can simulate a ring flash by using a Ray Flash:

http://images.digitalmedianet.com/2009/Week_40/s3etgspa/story/ray%20flash.jpg


I'm sure others will have better tips for macro photography. Macro photography opens up a whole new world of possibilities for you. Plus, it gives you a LOT more ways to spend more $$$$$ on MORE camera equipment! :)

My2Girls66
06-06-2011, 08:11 AM
Oh Boy! So this isn't going to be as easy as I thought! ;) Really not much depth of field even at f/22. The lens is an older/used model and I wasn't sure if it was me, an aged/used and abused lens or if it was just the way it is. As I was getting closer to get it in focus, moving away just an itty bit and just when I thought I had it... I moved just ever so slightly and poof, focus was gone. I can see where that focus rail would come in real handy. I thought I was pretty steady but I could see through the viewfinder how much I was moving.
Now the farthur I get away from 1:1 the greater the depth of field should be? When I see macro photos of things that are all in focus they are probably not taken at 1:1?
I can barely use regular photoshop so stacking anything is not going to happen anytime soon:laughing:

The place I bought the lens has a 21 day return policy so I have a bit of time to see if I like the lens.

Thanks so much! :thumbsup2

mom2rtk
06-06-2011, 09:31 AM
Can you guys explain the 1:1 magnification? I've never done Macro, but read these threads when they come up, hoping to give it a try one day!

photo_chick
06-06-2011, 09:53 AM
Can you guys explain the 1:1 magnification? I've never done Macro, but read these threads when they come up, hoping to give it a try one day!

1:1 means that the subject is represented as life sized on the film plane. It's what traditionally defines macro photography.

My2Girls66
06-06-2011, 09:55 AM
Can you guys explain the 1:1 magnification? I've never done Macro, but read these threads when they come up, hoping to give it a try one day!

This link that disneyboy provided has some great info:thumbsup2

http://www.cambridgeincolour.com/tutorials/macro-lenses.htm

disneyboy2003
06-06-2011, 11:52 AM
1:1 means that the subject is represented as life sized on the film plane. It's what traditionally defines macro photography.

I do all my portraits in 1:1. :upsidedow