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By yorki50
trying out my new macro lens . Should I have used a smaller aperture to get a slightly bigger depth of field. Wanted the two snowdrops at the back to be blurred but not sure if I have overdone it a bit

Tags: Close-up and macro

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banehawi Plus
15 2.1k 4012 Canada
6 Mar 2015 4:13PM
The aperture and shallow depth are fine; its the shutter speed that you need to pay attention to in this image; unless you used a tripod?

The guide for minimum shutter speed when hand-holding the camera is that it should not be slower than 1/(the focal length at the 35mm equivalent); with this, using the 40mm focal length, and knowing the camera is a 1.5 crop APS-C camera, the minimum speed is 1/(40 X 1.5) which is 1/60th. The closer you get to the subject, the faster the shuuter speed you need.

So, once the aperture is chosen, as you did here, half press the shutter and see what speed the camera has selected; if its below 1/60th, as it is here, you need to increase the ISO, until the camera chooses the appropriate speed. need to use an even faster shutter. What would work here is ISO 400.

Also, and this may have been mentioned before, focus manually, using a single focus point.

Heres a link that will tell you exactly what the depth is at different settings:



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yorki50 4 5 Eritrea
6 Mar 2015 4:23PM
thanks Willie. this is my first attempt with the macro lens .find it really difficult with the manual focus at such small depth of fields but I will keep trying.
Otinkyad 16 2 7 United Kingdom
6 Mar 2015 5:50PM
I agree with Willie's comments about shutter speed, focus etc.

Another thought was that the shot might be better without the background, blurred snowdrop that overlaps with the main one. I've taken it out in the my modification - what do you think?

A nitpick, but I'm wondering also if reversing the main flower to point towards the centre might be another improvement.

By the way I like the dark background to the flower.
mrswoolybill Plus
12 1.5k 2060 United Kingdom
6 Mar 2015 6:03PM
Just to add to Willie's point:

Quote:its the shutter speed that you need to pay attention to in this image; unless you used a tripod? etc...

Even if using a tripod, be wary of using slow shutter speeds for flowers out of doors unless you have totally still air. Snowdrops for example have quite a weight of flower hanging from a very slender support - the slightest breath of wind will cause subject movement, and a snowdrop can move quite a bit in 1/15 second!
yorki50 4 5 Eritrea
6 Mar 2015 7:00PM
thank you everyone
paulbroad Plus
11 127 1282 United Kingdom
7 Mar 2015 8:06AM
You have done very well. The shutter speed could be an issue and there is the slightest sign of subject movement, but not much. 40mm f3.5 macro lens? I don't know one new to fit a main line DSLR mount. Is it a true macro?

I would have gone to f5.6 I think and used support. A bean bag at snowdrop level, to get the main bloom fully sharp. At f5.6 the depth of field will be very small indeed this close. Depth of field depends on distance from subject and aperture. From the plane of sharp focus about 1/3 in front and 2/3 behind, depending on aperture for depth, will be acceptably sharp.

Thus, focus slightly behind the ideal spot.

dudler Plus
15 877 1496 England
8 Mar 2015 9:43PM
A manual focus lens and macro is a real challenge!

A tripod is a good thing to have, and so is a focus rack, so that you can move the camera backwards and forwards - trust me, it makes getting focus and composition right far simpler!

I see what you mean about the croci being less sharp than is ideal - it's a matter of taste, though, and they're certainly not horribly out of focus - though, like you, I think I would have gone for slightly sharper than they are.

Having seen hundreds of snowdrops today, and not photographed one of them, I am glad that someone has done the Right Thing!

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