Macro Photography Tips - Digital Photography Reviews and Digital Photography Tips for Beginners

How to Widen Your Depth of Field for Beginners

How to Widen Your Depth of Field

Learn How a Wider Depth of Field is affected by the Distance to Subject, Lens Focal Length, Aperture Size and Lightning.

Depth of Field Calculator

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Macro Photography Tips - Depth of Field
Depth of Field – Shallow vs. Wide

What is Depth of Field?

Depth of Field is the length of the subject that is in sharp focus. Sometimes in Macro Photography, your depth of field will be only a few millimeters wide. One of the toughest issues with all Macro Photography and Hummingbird Photography is achieving a Wide Depth of Field (DOF).

Depth of Field is controlled by the Aperture Size or f/Stop. Larger Apertures like f/2.8 and f/4.0 will have a Shallow Depth of Field, where Smaller Apertures like f/11 and f/16 will have a Wider Depth of Field.

Smaller Apertures like f/11 and f/16 require More Light on the Subject, a Slower Shutter Speed, or a Higher ISO. All of these factors need to be part of the balancing equation.

The Two Special Sony Macro Photography Lenses, the Sony 50mm f/2.8 Macro Lens and the Sony 100mm f/2.8 Macro Lens, reduce the Depth of Field and drop the light by 2 f/stops, so achieving a Wide Depth of Field in Macro Photography is critical to keeping all of your Macro Subject in Sharp Focus.

Depth of Field Calculator

How to Widen Your Depth of Field

1) Add More Light – Use a LED Ring Light or small Zoomable LED Flashlight to Light Up Your Subject. Adding more light lets you reduce your ISO and use a Smaller Aperture.
2) Use a Smaller Aperture – Try using a smaller Aperture like f/111 to f/16 for a Wider Depth of Field. This will require more light.
3) Reduce Your Shutter Speed to Let In More Light – Longer Exposure Times require a Tripod or Monopod – Not For Handheld Use.
4) Move Further Away – Moving further away from your Subject will Widen your Depth of Field.
5) Zoom Out – a 50mm Lens will have a Wider Depth of Field than a 100mm Lens.
6) Increase Your ISO only as a Last Resort – Increasing your ISO up to ISO 1600 will allow you to use a Smaller Aperture, but it will add noise. Keep your ISO as low as possible to avoid noise.

Meta shoots all of her Macro Photography Photos in Manual (M) Mode, start at ISO 50 using a Monopod, because carrying around her heavy Tripod isn’t very practical or much fun.

Depth of Field Extends 1/3rd in Front of the Focus Point and 2/3rds Behind

Depth of Field Triangle

In Macro Photography, you want your Focus Point Closer to the Front than the Back.
The Depth of Field Widens as the Aperture Size Decreases.

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