Depth of Field

So I broke down.  After months of planning of saving to buy the Nikon 18-200mm telephoto lens (and at $849 it was going to take several more months) I broke down and bought a Nikon 60mm Micro lens instead.  This is the same lens that I rented when I visited Longwood Gardens last summer.  Not really sure what exactly possessed me to decide this – it’s still a big chunk of cash and if you follow me you know that I’ve been back and forth in my relationship with macros.  But one thing I’ve noticed is lately I’ve been finding things that I might like to try a macro shot with – snow and Christmas ornaments being the primary candidates.  And it’s usually not something I could have planned for and rented the lens.  So a little on the spur of the moment – I ordered the lens.

It arrived last week and I’ve been fiddling around with it since.  BOY IT IS FAST!!!  And it really was purely a coincidence that we visited Lamberton Conservatory last weekend – giving my first opportunity to shoot flowers with my new lens.  With mixed results – but I’m learning.

One thing I’m learning is depth of field re: macros is a little different ball game.  With the nifty fifty I could go f/1.8 and get some nifty bokeh – with the macro lens it’s different.  When I’m shooting with the macro lens my head is saying I need to get as close to the subject as possible.  But with a really open aperture – I end up with a lot of blur (my camera does not have a depth of field button).  To get some better focus I need to pull back/stop down a little more.  I wish I had paid more attention to how close I was to my subjects – but in my excitement I did not.  So I’m going to have to guess on that.  For example this shot is f/4.5 and I’m guessing I am 6-12″ away from the moss.I did get some good closeup and I’m fairly happy with this shot.

This next one is f/9.0 – a fairly neutral aperture from what I’ve read and f/9.0 should be able to accommodate most focal distances.  Therefore I’m not really sure what happened here – but I wish I had more sharpness in the needles.  Perhaps I should have tried a different angle, maybe shooting more from above instead of straight across.  This just didn’t turn out how I had in mind.But don’t fret – things improved.  Again, this is f/9.0 and this one I’m very happy with. My focal point was the bottom of the stamen (my high school biology teacher would be so proud!!) about 12″ away.

Christmas Cactus

My final shot to share is f/5.0 and I’m not really sure how or why it worked. I don’t really know how far away I was  – 12″ plus maybe – but there is a lot of focus here. I’m very happy with how it turned out.

Ouch

As a disclaimer I shot all of these hand held mostly because I’m lazy and didn’t feel like taking the time to get a tripod set up just the way I wanted. So all of them could be clearer.

So I’m learning. And hopefully you’re learning right along with me!!

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