October 24, 2014, 11:47:23 PM

Author Topic: How do I get the whole picture sharp?  (Read 5556 times)

CarlTN

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Re: How do I get the whole picture sharp?
« Reply #15 on: April 29, 2014, 08:29:38 PM »

In macro photography, if you want to get your subject completely in focus you should try focus stacking:


Focus stacking is both time consuming, and consumes more storage space, and more processing power.  Using apertures smaller than f/11 can be perfectly acceptable, in practice...especially for shooting an object that is mostly flat, and parallel with the sensor.  If the subject has more depth in the third dimension, that is when focus stacking really makes more sense, and can come into its own.  The question really should be, at what point does the image justify the effort spent for focus stacking?  Is it really required, or is it more an academic exercise?

For example, magazines such as "Nature Photographer", rarely even include landscape images that were shot at wider than f/14 aperture (whether that is always the right philosophy, might be up for debate...but the editor certainly voices their opinion in favor of it, and very often includes it in the text with the image).  In those cases focus distance is not only not in the macro realm, but is usually more than 10 feet from the camera, and on a wider angle lens to boot.  Yet at f/14, the lens is yielding noticeable softening at the pixel level, due to diffraction.  But the 8.5 x 11 full page (or sometimes smaller) prints in the magazine, do not appear soft.  And in most cases, there was no focus stacking.

As photographers, it's our judgment call, based on our experience and our willingness to commit time...as to which technique we use.
« Last Edit: April 29, 2014, 08:31:37 PM by CarlTN »

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Re: How do I get the whole picture sharp?
« Reply #15 on: April 29, 2014, 08:29:38 PM »

privatebydesign

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Re: How do I get the whole picture sharp?
« Reply #16 on: April 29, 2014, 09:11:56 PM »
For example, magazines such as "Nature Photographer", rarely even include landscape images that were shot at wider than f/14 aperture (whether that is always the right philosophy, might be up for debate...but the editor certainly voices their opinion in favor of it, and very often includes it in the text with the image).  In those cases focus distance is not only not in the macro realm, but is usually more than 10 feet from the camera, and on a wider angle lens to boot.  Yet at f/14, the lens is yielding noticeable softening at the pixel level, due to diffraction.  But the 8.5 x 11 full page (or sometimes smaller) prints in the magazine, do not appear soft.  And in most cases, there was no focus stacking.

As photographers, it's our judgment call, based on our experience and our willingness to commit time...as to which technique we use.

Clearly the editor doesn't know what they are talking about, had the same problem when they all insisted we had to have 360dpi for magazines. F14 on what format size?

A 135 format f14 gives the same diffraction as f8.75 on an APS-C and f96 on an 8"x10".
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CarlTN

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Re: How do I get the whole picture sharp?
« Reply #17 on: April 29, 2014, 09:28:29 PM »
For example, magazines such as "Nature Photographer", rarely even include landscape images that were shot at wider than f/14 aperture (whether that is always the right philosophy, might be up for debate...but the editor certainly voices their opinion in favor of it, and very often includes it in the text with the image).  In those cases focus distance is not only not in the macro realm, but is usually more than 10 feet from the camera, and on a wider angle lens to boot.  Yet at f/14, the lens is yielding noticeable softening at the pixel level, due to diffraction.  But the 8.5 x 11 full page (or sometimes smaller) prints in the magazine, do not appear soft.  And in most cases, there was no focus stacking.

As photographers, it's our judgment call, based on our experience and our willingness to commit time...as to which technique we use.

Clearly the editor doesn't know what they are talking about, had the same problem when they all insisted we had to have 360dpi for magazines. F14 on what format size?

A 135 format f14 gives the same diffraction as f8.75 on an APS-C and f96 on an 8"x10".
 

I suggest you write the magazine a notarized letter of complaint.  I'm sure the editor will realize they are wrong and you are right, and will issue a front page apology in the next issue, for the error in judgment over the years.  This should fix the problem.  If not perhaps organize a protest rally around their headquarters, that will teach them a lesson they will never forget!  Those always work exactly as intended...and are never a waste of time.   :)     

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Re: How do I get the whole picture sharp?
« Reply #18 on: April 29, 2014, 09:47:43 PM »
For example, magazines such as "Nature Photographer", rarely even include landscape images that were shot at wider than f/14 aperture (whether that is always the right philosophy, might be up for debate...but the editor certainly voices their opinion in favor of it, and very often includes it in the text with the image).  In those cases focus distance is not only not in the macro realm, but is usually more than 10 feet from the camera, and on a wider angle lens to boot.  Yet at f/14, the lens is yielding noticeable softening at the pixel level, due to diffraction.  But the 8.5 x 11 full page (or sometimes smaller) prints in the magazine, do not appear soft.  And in most cases, there was no focus stacking.

As photographers, it's our judgment call, based on our experience and our willingness to commit time...as to which technique we use.

Clearly the editor doesn't know what they are talking about, had the same problem when they all insisted we had to have 360dpi for magazines. F14 on what format size?

A 135 format f14 gives the same diffraction as f8.75 on an APS-C and f96 on an 8"x10".
 

I suggest you write the magazine a notarized letter of complaint.  I'm sure the editor will realize they are wrong and you are right, and will issue a front page apology in the next issue, for the error in judgment over the years.  This should fix the problem.  If not perhaps organize a protest rally around their headquarters, that will teach them a lesson they will never forget!  Those always work exactly as intended...and are never a waste of time.   :)     

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Re: How do I get the whole picture sharp?
« Reply #19 on: April 30, 2014, 01:51:35 AM »
Your test shot looks okay to me, so here's another possibility.  It looks to me like the lens was tilted at a slight angle to the leaf because the top left and bottom right corners look a tiny bit softer than the others.  With this kind of magnification, even very slight angles affect depth of field and (even) f/13 in the macro world is about like f/2 when shooting portraits :)  Macro, unless focus stacking, is often about creative choices in terms of what's sharp vs. what's blurred.

Personally I don't find the "softness" to be concerning at all and would be happy with this shot had I taken it.

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CarlTN

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Re: How do I get the whole picture sharp?
« Reply #20 on: April 30, 2014, 02:38:38 AM »
For example, magazines such as "Nature Photographer", rarely even include landscape images that were shot at wider than f/14 aperture (whether that is always the right philosophy, might be up for debate...but the editor certainly voices their opinion in favor of it, and very often includes it in the text with the image).  In those cases focus distance is not only not in the macro realm, but is usually more than 10 feet from the camera, and on a wider angle lens to boot.  Yet at f/14, the lens is yielding noticeable softening at the pixel level, due to diffraction.  But the 8.5 x 11 full page (or sometimes smaller) prints in the magazine, do not appear soft.  And in most cases, there was no focus stacking.

As photographers, it's our judgment call, based on our experience and our willingness to commit time...as to which technique we use.

Clearly the editor doesn't know what they are talking about, had the same problem when they all insisted we had to have 360dpi for magazines. F14 on what format size?

A 135 format f14 gives the same diffraction as f8.75 on an APS-C and f96 on an 8"x10".
 

I suggest you write the magazine a notarized letter of complaint.  I'm sure the editor will realize they are wrong and you are right, and will issue a front page apology in the next issue, for the error in judgment over the years.  This should fix the problem.  If not perhaps organize a protest rally around their headquarters, that will teach them a lesson they will never forget!  Those always work exactly as intended...and are never a waste of time.   :)     

Well am I wrong?

About their philosophy?  No, but my point was, it's their magazine.  People with power tend to have things their way.  Why don't you start a magazine?  I wonder if that is even possible now.  They all lose money.  But I do prefer to look at one that is printed well, rather than a screen.  Call me old fashioned, but there it is. 

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Re: How do I get the whole picture sharp?
« Reply #21 on: April 30, 2014, 04:54:16 AM »

In macro photography, if you want to get your subject completely in focus you should try focus stacking:


Focus stacking is both time consuming, and consumes more storage space, and more processing power.  Using apertures smaller than f/11 can be perfectly acceptable, in practice...

For example, magazines such as "Nature Photographer", rarely even include landscape images that were shot at wider than f/14 aperture (whether that is always the right philosophy, might be up for debate.
As photographers, it's our judgment call, based on our experience and our willingness to commit time...as to which technique we use.

The herewith discussed example is an example of macro-photography; and if you follow the link I have provided you can clearly see the effect of diffraction on sharpness. At closer focusing distances even if you go to a setting like f22 or f32 the DOF is on the order of milimeters. Therefore, if your subject is not perfectly flat (like a leaf having water droplets) and a setting like f13 does not help to have both center and corners sharp, taking a few more pictures (for this examplea stack of 5or8 pictures) and stacking them will not take that much space or need higher processing power. Of course if you go to extreme cases, stacking can be very time consuming.

Whether you should go to stacking or just use a smaller aperture, the decision will depend on the specific purpose of the photograher, and there may not be one true answer...

For landscapes I have not used stacking, using apertures like f16 (for APS-C) or f22(for full-frame), and setting the focusing distance to hyperfocal distance yields very good results; however the example we have discussed here was about a close-focus distance (macro) subject. In landscaped the subject can be meters/or even kilometer away from the sensor !

Happy shooting,

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Re: How do I get the whole picture sharp?
« Reply #21 on: April 30, 2014, 04:54:16 AM »

danski0224

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Re: How do I get the whole picture sharp?
« Reply #22 on: April 30, 2014, 06:57:29 AM »
This morning I took this photo with the 100mm L.
Iso 160 - f/13 - 0,5 sec.
Distance about 30 centimetres.
I used a tripod and cable release.
I didn't crop the photo and shot it in raw. Yes, the colour is about that green, that's why I like it.
How is it possible to get everything sharp with this lens even in the corners?


What did you focus on: the beads of water or the leaf?

I'd guess that your leaf is not perfectly flat.

The picture, as a picture, looks fine as it is. 
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Marsu42

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Re: How do I get the whole picture sharp?
« Reply #23 on: April 30, 2014, 07:30:03 AM »
This morning I took this photo with the 100mm L.

Magic Lantern. Focus Stacking (= Tripod, no wind, stable lighting).

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Re: How do I get the whole picture sharp?
« Reply #24 on: April 30, 2014, 07:56:29 AM »
You guys are so deep!

My rookie self looked at that picture and wondered if the leaf was perfectly flat, and what the focus was on, the leaf or the water. A few posts later, he posts a picture of a flat sheet of paper that didn't look so bad.

You all are so smart, you crack me up. I did learn one thing here, what those charts that are assigned to lenses actually represent  :) Thanks.

Have a great day everybody!
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Re: How do I get the whole picture sharp?
« Reply #25 on: April 30, 2014, 10:31:50 AM »
and stacking them will not take that much space or need higher processing power.

The general overhead of stacking cannot be discussed away, it doesn't depend on the number of shots (unless 100+) but the general workflow ... but it's well worth it and imho makes the difference between good macro shots and Joe Sixpack with a "macro" setting on the p&s.

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Re: How do I get the whole picture sharp?
« Reply #26 on: April 30, 2014, 10:41:11 AM »
Focus wise, I'd say the picture is fine; I think you have a really nice shot there, but if it really bothered me, I'd consider a few things:

1. Back up a tiny bit, take the shot again and crop to this size. The slight loss of resolution from cropping might be an acceptable tradeoff for uniform sharpness.

2. Embrace it.  Add some vignetting or even soften the edges even more to make the center pop.  Add contrast to taste. Example:
Autumn Leaves by dawgfanjeff, on Flickr
3. Crop the less sharp edges it if it will still accommodate the framing you're looking for.


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Re: How do I get the whole picture sharp?
« Reply #27 on: April 30, 2014, 11:48:11 AM »

Well am I wrong?

About their philosophy?  No, but my point was, it's their magazine.  People with power tend to have things their way.  Why don't you start a magazine?  I wonder if that is even possible now.  They all lose money.  But I do prefer to look at one that is printed well, rather than a screen.  Call me old fashioned, but there it is.

My point wasn't about their philosophy, or ownership, I just stated that your editors opinion is incomplete, it is like saying the answer is 42, well yes as we all know it is. But what is the question that arrives at the answer?

Stating diffraction at f14 as a limit displays a fundamental lack of understanding of what diffraction is and how aperture interacts with it, without knowing the sensor size/crop/reproduction ratio, f14 is a meaningless number. If they said f14 on a 135 format camera we wpould know that for consistency we could submit f8 images from an APS-C and f96 images from an 8"x10".
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Re: How do I get the whole picture sharp?
« Reply #27 on: April 30, 2014, 11:48:11 AM »

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Re: How do I get the whole picture sharp?
« Reply #28 on: April 30, 2014, 06:00:19 PM »
As mentioned before, focus stacking or using a tilt shift lens will help

Check the website from helicon:

http://www.heliconsoft.com/heliconsoft-products/helicon-focus/

I use it a lot for my macro work and it works!

Not cheap though
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CarlTN

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Re: How do I get the whole picture sharp?
« Reply #29 on: May 01, 2014, 03:06:27 AM »

In macro photography, if you want to get your subject completely in focus you should try focus stacking:


Focus stacking is both time consuming, and consumes more storage space, and more processing power.  Using apertures smaller than f/11 can be perfectly acceptable, in practice...

For example, magazines such as "Nature Photographer", rarely even include landscape images that were shot at wider than f/14 aperture (whether that is always the right philosophy, might be up for debate.
As photographers, it's our judgment call, based on our experience and our willingness to commit time...as to which technique we use.

The herewith discussed example is an example of macro-photography; and if you follow the link I have provided you can clearly see the effect of diffraction on sharpness. At closer focusing distances even if you go to a setting like f22 or f32 the DOF is on the order of milimeters. Therefore, if your subject is not perfectly flat (like a leaf having water droplets) and a setting like f13 does not help to have both center and corners sharp, taking a few more pictures (for this examplea stack of 5or8 pictures) and stacking them will not take that much space or need higher processing power. Of course if you go to extreme cases, stacking can be very time consuming.

Whether you should go to stacking or just use a smaller aperture, the decision will depend on the specific purpose of the photograher, and there may not be one true answer...

For landscapes I have not used stacking, using apertures like f16 (for APS-C) or f22(for full-frame), and setting the focusing distance to hyperfocal distance yields very good results; however the example we have discussed here was about a close-focus distance (macro) subject. In landscaped the subject can be meters/or even kilometer away from the sensor !

Happy shooting,

I never said your subject was not about macro.  But even with macro, it depends on the actual focus distance, and the focal length used...but most especially, whether the subject is flat or not.  Again, for a flat leaf that is perpendicular to the sensor, I see no need for focus stacking.

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Re: How do I get the whole picture sharp?
« Reply #29 on: May 01, 2014, 03:06:27 AM »