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09-22-2009, 02:18 PM   #1
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What is the ideal aperture for this?

Hi, I just got a DA 35mm macro and I took a picture of a halloween prop but I want all the detail to come out crisp, while giving a reasonable bokeh in the background.

I realize the background looks like crap, but with something that has a reasonable amount of detail with a reasonable amount of depth, where's a good starting point for my f-stop?

As you can see, the top of the skull is a little blurred. Ideally, i'd like to get all of the skull in high detail while achieving a solid amount of bokeh.

Thanks.

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09-22-2009, 02:24 PM   #2
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That's impossible to say without knowing the distance from your object, the depth of the object and the distance the object is from the background.

If you can take the time to pose the skull, put it a good distance from anything directly behind it, and be sure the background is not distracting. Then, why not try a bunch of shots? Digital is free to use!
09-22-2009, 02:31 PM   #3
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Use the DoF markings or calculators, or simply stop down and review the results on screen again (beauty of digital...)
09-22-2009, 02:41 PM   #4
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Great thanks, i'll look up a calc.

Is there a specific f# in which the background goes from bokeh to sharp? I'm guessing somewhere between 6 and 8?

09-22-2009, 04:01 PM   #5
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Look back at Robin's post.
Acceptably in-focus areas are dependent on focal length, aperture and distance to subject.
So there is no magic aperture that brings backgrounds in focus - there are other variables at play.
09-22-2009, 04:11 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ash Quote
Look back at Robin's post.
Acceptably in-focus areas are dependent on focal length, aperture and distance to subject.
So there is no magic aperture that brings backgrounds in focus - there are other variables at play.
so the answer is really situation-dependent i take it?
09-22-2009, 07:07 PM   #7
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Yes. Another factor is how far away that bakcground is compared to the subject. General rule, start with something middle of the road like f/8 or f/11, do a DOF preview or take a test shot, and then stop down or open as according to whether you decide you need more or less DOF. For macro photography of anything but a compeltely flat object, you'll almost always need to be at f/8 or f/11 as a *minimum* just to get an entire object in focus.
09-22-2009, 08:47 PM   #8
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The depth you get at any given aperture is different at every distance. The closer you get to the subject, the thinner the range of in-focus gets. So you have to either tighten down the aperture or get farther away to broaden that field to include everything.

And doing either of those increases the distance you have to have between your subject and background to keep it out of focus.

The background in the sample photo is a good example of the need to give as much thought to what is in a photo that you're not taking a picture of as to what you are taking a picture of.

09-23-2009, 07:51 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Marc Sabatella Quote
Yes. Another factor is how far away that bakcground is compared to the subject. General rule, start with something middle of the road like f/8 or f/11, do a DOF preview or take a test shot, and then stop down or open as according to whether you decide you need more or less DOF. For macro photography of anything but a compeltely flat object, you'll almost always need to be at f/8 or f/11 as a *minimum* just to get an entire object in focus.
I'll start at the f8's as a starting point. Thanks Marc.

I'm new to Macro photography, so the standard rules coming from a 50-135mm f2.8 are vastly different...

...as you guys have just taught me
09-23-2009, 07:52 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Mike Cash Quote
The depth you get at any given aperture is different at every distance. The closer you get to the subject, the thinner the range of in-focus gets. So you have to either tighten down the aperture or get farther away to broaden that field to include everything.

And doing either of those increases the distance you have to have between your subject and background to keep it out of focus.

The background in the sample photo is a good example of the need to give as much thought to what is in a photo that you're not taking a picture of as to what you are taking a picture of.
I totally agree with you - the background is grossly distracting. Will keep that in mind when trying to achieve a nice bokeh. Thanks
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