Playing around with my DSLR and APROC

Thread: Playing around with my DSLR and APROC

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  1. #1
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    Playing around with my DSLR and APROC

    I am fortunate to live close to Dimer (also active on this forum). He showed me how to handle my DSLR, flashlight, Lightroom and Photoshop a bit better. Today, I took a picture of my watch, fountain pen and moleskine and retouched it with the aforementioned applications. Took me some hours, but I am fairly happy with the end result. What do you think?



    I used a Nikon D90 with my 17-55/F2.8 Nikkor lense and SB600 flashlight (bounced it via the wall).

    RJ

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    Re: Playing around with my DSLR and APROC

    Technically well done, I think it looks good. It does appear that the plane of focus is about where the strap on the book is placed - or right in front of the dial. I don't think you needed to use f/22, for shots like these, I normally start with f/11, which is normally (depending on distance between subject and camera) enough to keep everything I want in focus. As far as composition, I'd have placed the watch where the dial was a bit more prominent, there seems to be too much bracelet - for me at least. it's perfectly fine for the moleskin book to be somewhat out of the frame, but you cut off the tip of the pen, which is not so good.

    Interesting that you call it a flashlight. I just call it a flash, or flash unit - no matter, we know what we're talking about. What do you call a hand-held battery operated light device? I know a lot of countries call that a torch.
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    Re: Playing around with my DSLR and APROC

    Great photo. Only thing that bothers me a little is that you cut off the tip of the pen. Anyway, looking forward to see more pictures.

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    Re: Playing around with my DSLR and APROC

    Quote Originally Posted by DragonDan View Post
    Technically well done, I think it looks good. It does appear that the plane of focus is about where the strap on the book is placed - or right in front of the dial. I don't think you needed to use f/22, for shots like these, I normally start with f/11, which is normally (depending on distance between subject and camera) enough to keep everything I want in focus. As far as composition, I'd have placed the watch where the dial was a bit more prominent, there seems to be too much bracelet - for me at least. it's perfectly fine for the moleskin book to be somewhat out of the frame, but you cut off the tip of the pen, which is not so good.

    Interesting that you call it a flashlight. I just call it a flash, or flash unit - no matter, we know what we're talking about. What do you call a hand-held battery operated light device? I know a lot of countries call that a torch.
    I'll be back in the Netherlands this summer!
    Flash will do :)

    Thanks for the tips, I will try again this weekend. I set the diafragma to F/22 as I want to have as much in focus as possible.. Will try with F/11. You are also right about the composition, I should have moved the lens a bit more to the left so the tip of the fountain pen was in the picture as well.

    RJ

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    Member AZJack's Avatar
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    Re: Playing around with my DSLR and APROC

    Nice to include what appears to be a Moleskine notebook!

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    Member DragonDan's Avatar
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    Re: Playing around with my DSLR and APROC

    Quote Originally Posted by Robert-Jan Broer View Post
    I set the diafragma to F/22 as I want to have as much in focus as possible.. Will try with F/11. RJ
    I've been experimenting with various f-stops for this type of work. There's a concept that I'm working to understand and put into play, called circles of confusion. Basically it says that the higher the f-stop (say f/22) the photons will have some difraction before they hit the sensor because it is passing through such a small aperture.

    My current thinking is that may be true, but it is highly dependent on the distance between subject and camera. I can shoot a landscape at f5.6 and everything looks in focus, due to the distances involved. That shot you did was f/22 at probably less than a foot (30cm) and it has a very defined plane of focus. The front edge of the book is oof (out of focus) and just beyond the watch is oof.

    It's interesting stuff, and I certainly need more study in this.
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    Member markot's Avatar
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    Re: Playing around with my DSLR and APROC

    Maybe you will like this depth of field calculator.

    Online Depth of Field Calculator

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    Re: Playing around with my DSLR and APROC

    Quote Originally Posted by DragonDan View Post
    I've been experimenting with various f-stops for this type of work. There's a concept that I'm working to understand and put into play, called circles of confusion. Basically it says that the higher the f-stop (say f/22) the photons will have some difraction before they hit the sensor because it is passing through such a small aperture.
    Some rules of thumb that helped me out when I was a n00b (there's much more to it than this, ofcourse):
    - Higher f/number (so smaller) aperture gets you more depth of field, ie the bit of the picture which is in sharp focus. The background and foreground not inside this DOF will be fuzzy
    - Higher f/number also increases diffraction, which in the long run makes the entire image fuzzy. This usually doesn't become an unacceptable issue until the f/18s or higher
    - The 'general' sweetspot for any lens balancing DOF and diffraction is f/8 to f/11. Good place to start laying out your shot if light and other factors allow it.
    - At the macro level the DOF becomes very important: if your DOF is just 1mm wide it's almost impossible to get a pleasant composition. Increasing the aperture to f/22 or higher helps your DOF and your composition, but you'll trade-off overal sharpness against the diffraction effect. It's a bit of a balancing act.

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    Re: Playing around with my DSLR and APROC

    IMHO using very small apertures i.e. f22 or smaller is wasting lens quality, photographers who specialize in macro work, be it jewelry, food, cosmetics etc. usually use a Tilt-Shift lens (available in Canon and Nikon) the Nikon 85mm PC-E is an example. The Tilt Shift allows you better control over depth of field without stopping down too much, it also allows you deliberate shallow focus if you need it.

  11. #10
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    Re: Playing around with my DSLR and APROC

    Quote Originally Posted by DragonDan View Post
    My current thinking is that may be true, but it is highly dependent on the distance between subject and camera. I can shoot a landscape at f5.6 and everything looks in focus, due to the distances involved. That shot you did was f/22 at probably less than a foot (30cm) and it has a very defined plane of focus. The front edge of the book is oof (out of focus) and just beyond the watch is oof. It's interesting stuff, and I certainly need more study in this.
    Most of my experience with photography was (is) with 35mm film and 120 / 220 format film SLR's, as I sold cameras as my vocation between high school and college, and it has been almost a life-long hobby. The digital era has been a learning curve for me, and I'm still learning, so it is great to read a lot of comments here. I am, by no means, an authority on photography and as I have learned by belonging to the forums at dpreview.com, there is always someone else who "knows more that the other guy." That's not the atmosphere that I find here, and it's great without the attitudes.

    With that, it is my understanding that the distance between focal plane and subject does affect depht of field. Likewise, the "length" of the lens also affects depth of field, that is, a wide-angle lens can produce a deeper DOF as compared to a long telephoto lens.

    Generally, trying to avoid starting any controversy here between opinions, the f-stop number is a measurement of the diamater of the opening compared to how many times the diameter would fit between the plane of the lens opening itself and the focal plane (i.e. film in the ol' days, sensor now). Thus, this is why a smaller f-stop number has a larger lens opening (aperture), and the inverse is true for a larger f-stop number having a smaller aperture. I am a new owner of a macro lens, and as my Nikon D200 menu was a learning curve, it is as interesting to be working with a macro lens. The fun part of digital is the ability to see instant results right on the computer screen, and easily go back, make an adjustment of some type, and try again. With film, it takes a lot of time.

    Two great books are (a) Basic Techniques of Photography [An Ansel Adams Guide] by John P. Schaefer, and (b) Mastering Your Digital SLR by Chris Weston. There are numerous other books on the subject, and I would like others here to share their favorites.


    Thanks! Jack

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