Which DOF is nicer? Please critique


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red_ryder

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Jun 23, 2003
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#1
Shot these with my new D80 (first DSLR!) + 50mm lens, I shot at f1.8 and f4, but can't decide which looks nicer. Any comments? When you shoot macro, how shallow a DOF do you use? I'm also trying to learn spot metering, how's my exposure for these pics?



This was shot at f1.8



This was shot at f4.

Thank you for reading!
 

Jan 14, 2005
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The 50mm f/1.8 lens is a little soft wide open. You can also see the difference is sharpness between the 2 photos. The sharpness will probably be better from f/2.8 onwards.

As for the bokeh, the larger the aperture, the more blur the out-of-focus area gets.

As for macro shot, what aperture to use depends on the subject and the distance of the subject from the lens. Give it enough DOF to give enough sharpness on the subject. Do some trial-and-error and you can try the DOF preview button during shooting.
 

red_ryder

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Generally is it preferable to shoot the macro subject with as shallow a DOF as possible or to have some DOF?
 

red_ryder

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The 50mm f/1.8 lens is a little soft wide open. You can also see the difference is sharpness between the 2 photos. The sharpness will probably be better from f/2.8 onwards.

As for the bokeh, the larger the aperture, the more blur the out-of-focus area gets.

As for macro shot, what aperture to use depends on the subject and the distance of the subject from the lens. Give it enough DOF to give enough sharpness on the subject. Do some trial-and-error and you can try the DOF preview button during shooting.

Also, thanks for pointing out that the 50mm is a bit soft at f1.8! I didn't know that and all along I was blaming it on camera shake. I often shoot at f1.8 when indoors to maximise light, but now I know better. thanks again!
 

zac08

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Feb 21, 2005
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I rather believe that it's due to the shallow DOF tat makes ppl believe that the lens is soft at f1.8

Here's a pic which I took of a cat at night at f1.8



I dun think it's tat soft...
 

Jan 14, 2005
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Generally is it preferable to shoot the macro subject with as shallow a DOF as possible or to have some DOF?
If you talk about real macro photography, you get really close to your subject and the DOF will become very very shallow. Sometimes so shallow that you cannnot use large apertures because you cannot get you whole subject in focus. Usually you need quite small aperture to get your subject in focus. Typically, you may use aperture of f/11 or smaller. In real close-ups, I sometimes use aperture smaller than f/18 or f/22.

BTW, you can't really take macro photos using just the 50mm f/1.8. You will probably need to couple it with close-up lens or extension tubes to do macro photography.

(That photo you shown will not be consider as macro photo.)
 

Jan 12, 2005
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#8
Generally is it preferable to shoot the macro subject with as shallow a DOF as possible or to have some DOF?
IMHO, i guess you shoot with enough DOF to show what you wanna show, like if you wanna show all the details of a flower, make sure the whole flower is in focus and the rest OOF, but if you just want to show the stamen (did I remember by primary school science lesson correctly??), just have enough DOF so that the stamen is in focus... no fixed rule lar... :p
 

Breathe

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Jan 20, 2006
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#9
My 1.5cents.
Both DOF not so nice. I think to make use of DOF, the subject must stand out. In this case, the subject and background has a lot of purple, making it very messy in terms of colors. It is nicer if the flower in focus is different color.
Furthermore, there is no clear single subject. The offcentre flowers are half infocus and half outoffocus making the background and foreground transition unclear.
 

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