Monday, January 11, 2010

A Photographic Journey of Discovery: Depth of Field

One of the things I'm really struggling to get a handle on with this new camera is some sort of decent depth-of-field. In case you have forgotten, depth-of-field is the part of the picture that is still in focus in-front-of and behind the actual point that is in focus.

I have been comparing the original lens that came with the camera, which is a 18 - 55 mm lens - a telephoto lens from wide angle (18 mm) to normal (55 mm) vs the 60 mm Macro lens that I got in addition.

This photo, where you can see the dish the beads are in, is shot with the 18 - 50 mm lens - set at 50 mm, and the camera set on the macro setting (which is the little flower icon.) Note where the beads cease to be in focus - there is a band of sharply focused beads across the centre.


Now this is the same picture, taken with the macro lens, from the same distance. Notice that dish more than fills the frame - I haven't cropped at all. The depth of field isn't that much smaller, actually - but the drop-off in focus is so much more extreme here - that it is distracting,


The resolution is so much higher, however, that I can crop down to the focused areas only, and eliminate the out-of-focus areas. This one is the first photo, the 18 - 50 mm lens.


And this is the 60 mm lens. Cropped like this, this picture has held up better, because the area being cropped was larger to start with.


I'm torn on this 60 mm macro lens. I think it is a superiour lens - but I have to wonder if it is really the best lens for what I need to do.

But on the other hand - it takes totally juicy pictures like this. How can you not love it?

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