Maximal Depth of Field

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by w._douglas_lewis, Apr 15, 2007.

  1. I've tried using a D200 with the 105AFS VR macro lens on AUTO everything to shoot flowers.

    The DOF is VERY shallow. I know I need to go to Aperture Priority and a high f-stop to increase the DOF.

    How do I know if the exposure is going to be adequate?

    Is there any way to stay with the AUTO mode and get more DOF?
  2. "How do I know if the exposure is going to be adequate?"

    Shoot an image and look at the image's histogram:
  3. when you look in the view finder look at the exposure will tell you if you have enough light for your chosen aperture. If not then you need to open up the aperture or add light (ie use a strob) or use a higher ISO rating (which will, of course, increase the noise).

    Realize that using aperture priority you probably will have adequate exposure no matter what ISO or aperture or available light you choose, but the shutter speed will be very slow...maybe on the order of 1/15th second or slower....thus you'll need to use a solid tripod, consider mirror lock up, remote release, etc.

    If you insist on staying in full auto (why'd you buy a D200 if you're going to do such a thing?) then just add light with some sort of strobe or set your ISO to'll get some more DOF, but at the expense of noise in your image.
  4. If you'd like a deep range of focus shooting flowers very close-up, you need a tripod and some patience. You need very small apertures; try at least f/11 and preferably f/16 or smaller (just ignore diffraction for the moment). Stopped down that far and shooting close-up, you'll get tripod-demanding shutter speeds, but you'll also get as great depth of field as you can. However, you may also want to be focusing manually, using the principles of "hyperfocal" focusing (google it; there is stuff in the forums here, too).

    The D200 doesn't really have scene modes, so to be in auto mode, you're probably looking at using aperture priority and dialing in a small aperture for a start.
  5. with Aperture priority you choose the F stop and the camera chooses the shutter speed. With my Fuji S2 this tends to be under exposed (by 1/2 stop or so).

    The only problem I have had is if there is a lack of light over all, I have to get out the tripod. What I really need to get is a "ring" flash (which isn't a true ring anymore) for macro work. I don't know if the D200 has an internal flash etc. and I do shoot a lot of film and I also shoot 100% manual most of the time.
  6. If you just set the ISO to 200, aperture priority at f/22, in daylight you should be shooting at 1/30 to 1/60 of a second. Unless the subject is moving quite a lot, that should be sufficient. You can also choose a higher ISO. I wouldn't go to a smaller aperture than f/22. Even that is questionable because of diffraction. You shouldn't expect much depth of field in close-up photography, whatever the format. Under some plausible assumptions, the DOF, at f/22 for 1:1 as measured in a final 8 x 10 print, would be about 9 mm.
  7. actually the Nikon 105 AF-D micro I use is beautiful at F32, since that's what it was made for... minimum apertures maximum magnification. I would't use the 85mm 1.8 at f22, because that lens is best at about f2, where it was designed to be used. Most of my macro work is in softer light than bright sun, and shutter speeds of over a second are common. Learn to use the mirror lockup feature... t
  8. Aperture Priority is an "auto" mode of sorts. You choose the f/stop for depth of field and the camera sets the shutter speed for proper exposure. However, as others have said, the shutter speeds may be slow (and able to stop wind motion) and will most likely require tripod use.
  9. This is why they make "ringlights" for macro work.
  10. Ah... welcome to the wonderful world of macro photography. In order to maximize DOF, you need to stop down your aperture, probably to f22, if not greater (if your lense allows it). However, if you stop down, it is likely that you won't have enough light, so you'll have to "manufacture" light. I use a Nikon R1 rig, although there are certainly other flash units or even other ways to "create" light. After that, it becomes a challenge of making adjustments so your lighting is not too harsh. A tripod is cerainly highly recommended. Here's an exmaple of a macro I shot a couple of days ago, with a D200, 60mm/2.8 micro, R1 macro light, all on a tripod.
  11. Technically speaking, that's not a macro by even the most generous of definitions -- it's a close-up.

    Shooting macros requires extreme apertures, special lighting, long exposures with MLU, and is a different beast from other photographic genres.

    BTW, that's a very nice shot.
  12. Anthony - you're right, it's more accurately a CU, rather than a macro. But I do not agree that a macro necessarily requires MLU.
  13. I usually shoot most of my macro photography from f16 to f22.
  14. Just a stupid remark... on the right side of the lens there is a button to press to check the DOF. You can press it at any time to check without exposing... change F-settings and press again (look in the viewfinder while doing so), and you'll notice the difference :)

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