Macro Photography Definition Using camera equipment that renders a 1:1 or 1x image on a film or sensor. The image is the same size on the film or sensor as it is in real life, at minimum focusing distance. Macro lenses Typical macro lens focal lengths and 1:1 distance (for 35 mm film) – 50 mm macro – 1.5 inches – 105 mm macro – 4.5 inches – 180 mm macro – 9 inches Special adaptations allow for close focusing. Increasing Ratio from 1:1 Adding 50 mm of extension tubes (no glass) or bellows to a 50 mm macro lens changes the ratio to 2:1. Adding a 2x teleconverter changes the ratio to 2:1 or doubles the working distance at 1:1. Using close-up lenses or filters that come in 1x, 2x, 3x or other magnifications. Important Items Depth of Field Eliminate Movement Depth of Field Lighting Depth of Field (DOF) DOF – Lens Focal Length Shorter focal length = Wide angle of view More DOF Longer focal length = Narrow angle of view Less DOF DOF - Distance to Subject Given the same camera, aperture and lens combination: An image taken closer has less DOF than an image taken further away. DOF - Aperture Large aperture = More light = Small depth of field = Small f-stop number Small aperture = Less light = Large depth of field = Large f-stop number DOF – Sensor / Film Size The larger the film size, the smaller the DOF, given the same focal length, the same distance, and the same aperture. APS-C has less DOF than full size sensor. Movement Kills! Don’t hand-hold! Use a sturdy tripod that is appropriate for your camera / lens size. Eliminate Vibration! Use a remote shutter release to eliminate any movement from your fingers. Use a mirror lock-up to eliminate any vibration internal to the camera. Minimize Wind Use Plamp™ to hold subject or “wind breaks”. DOF – Creative Use DOF - Isolation DOF – Isolation 2 DOF – Parallel Planes DOF – What’s the Subject? Natural Light Macro Flash Units Ring Flash – – Off-camera (hand-held) – – “Flat light” Cannot direct One directional Potential shadows Twin Lights – Greater “depth” Diffusers / Reflectors Diffuser: – “softens” harsh light Reflectors: – – Bounces light back into subject Eliminates shadows Shadows DOF – Rule of Thumb DOF is 1/3 in front of the focal plane and 2/3 behind the focal plane. DOF for 35mm Film Focal Distance Aperture DOF 50 mm 8 in F8.0 0.24 in 50 mm 8 in F22.0 0.67 in 105 mm 8 in F8.0 0.03 in 105 mm 8 in F22.0 0.1 in 180 mm 8 in F8.0 0.00 in 180 mm 8 in F22.0 0.01 in 180 mm 8 in F45.0 0.02 in Stacking Images Use software, such as Helicon Focus™, to “stack” images with different DOF, to get one image with a larger DOF. This picture was made by stacking 37 images.
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