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Thread: need depth in digital photography- Help!

  1. #1

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    need depth in digital photography- Help!

    Hi All,
    I'm new here and need help...
    I tend to be shooting with the Nikon digital cameras these days- although I miss the magic of film- and am running into a depth of field issue. I shoot portraits with a 100mm macro lens,& at head and shoulder framing (about 5' away) I still can't get tip of nose to ears sharp...even at f29.
    I remember from my photo school days that 4x5 was sharper, but do you think I could pull 1.5 ft of depth without tilts if I put a Nikon on a 4x5? maybe with a 240mm lens?
    Any help is appreciated!
    Thanks.

  2. #2

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    Re: need depth in digital photography- Help!

    No, a Nikon on a 4x5 will make matters worse. Tilt won't help you, unless you want chin and hair to be totally blurred. Longer focal lengths tend to give less depth of field, a 100mm lens on a 4x5 with a Nikon attached will give you exactly the same depth of field as a 100mm on the Nikon at the same aperture. f29 is far too much for this setup, diffraction will mess up the overall sharpness. Check the MTF figures on page 2 of this review: http://www.photozone.de/nikon--nikko...report?start=1

    Michael
    Last edited by Michael E; 2-Apr-2012 at 11:17.

  3. #3

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    3,116

    Re: need depth in digital photography- Help!

    Quote Originally Posted by ewax1 View Post
    Hi All,
    I'm new here and need help...
    I tend to be shooting with the Nikon digital cameras these days- although I miss the magic of film- and am running into a depth of field issue. I shoot portraits with a 100mm macro lens,& at head and shoulder framing (about 5' away) I still can't get tip of nose to ears sharp...even at f29.
    I remember from my photo school days that 4x5 was sharper, but do you think I could pull 1.5 ft of depth without tilts if I put a Nikon on a 4x5? maybe with a 240mm lens?
    Any help is appreciated!
    Thanks.
    No.
    One man's Mede is another man's Persian.

  4. #4

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    Re: need depth in digital photography- Help!

    Wow

  5. #5

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    Re: need depth in digital photography- Help!

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael E View Post
    No, a Nikon on a 4x5 will make matters worse. Tilt won't help you, unless you want chin and hair to be totally blurred. Longer focal lengths tend to give less depth of field, a 100mm lens on a 4x5 with a Nikon attached will give you exactly the same depth of field as a 100mm on the Nikon at the same aperture. f29 is far too much for this setup, diffraction will mess up the overall sharpness. Check the MTF figures on page 2 of this review: http://www.photozone.de/nikon--nikko...report?start=1

    Michael
    So according to the chart, a Nikon 105mm is sharpest at 5.6 or 8...
    How can I get more DOF? would a 90mm rodenstock give it to me? that is if a 90mm is a 90mm same for all formats....Is there a depth of Field difference between a barrel focus lens and a bellows focus lens?
    Thanks!

  6. #6

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    Re: need depth in digital photography- Help!

    "digital nikon" == ?
    and there is no micro nikkor in 100mm focal either

  7. #7

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    Re: need depth in digital photography- Help!

    Quote Originally Posted by ewax1 View Post
    So according to the chart, a Nikon 105mm is sharpest at 5.6 or 8...
    How can I get more DOF? would a 90mm rodenstock give it to me? that is if a 90mm is a 90mm same for all formats....
    Thanks!
    Search for DOF calculator on google.

  8. #8

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    GA, USA
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    Re: need depth in digital photography- Help!

    I have done many portraits with both a 135mm f/2 and 300mm f/2.8, both at almost full aperture, and I have no problems with DOF. Something else is awry with your setup.
    Bryan
    My blog about shooting film in south GA:
    valdostafilm.blogspot.com

  9. #9

    Re: need depth in digital photography- Help!

    I agree that something else is awry here. But to some of the questions:

    --Everything with the any digital camera will depend on the size of the chip. On a full-frame digital, a 105mm is a 105mm. However, on a Nikon DX, a 105mm is a 136.5. That may be throwing off anything you see from a DOF chart. Canon has the same attributes.

    --There are 100mm micro lenses out there that will fit a Nikon, but they're off-brand and I wouldn't recommend them. Nikon does make a sweet 60mm, but could be a 78mm, depending on your camera body.

    --When a chart tells you that a lens is really sharpest at on f-stop or another, it doesn't mean you loose focus at the higher f-stops. With most, you have to try really hard to tell the difference to the naked eye.

    --I also agree that putting the Nikon on a 4x5 won't help. The large format lenses are made to handle huge image circle compared to the size of the image that would be recorded. And, you probably wouldn't be able to focus very well even though a viewfinder.


    Something else is going wrong here.
    "I meant what I said, not what you heard"--Jflavell

  10. #10

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    Re: need depth in digital photography- Help!

    Quote Originally Posted by John Flavell View Post
    I agree that something else is awry here. But to some of the questions:

    --Everything with the any digital camera will depend on the size of the chip. On a full-frame digital, a 105mm is a 105mm. However, on a Nikon DX, a 105mm is a 136.5. That may be throwing off anything you see from a DOF chart.
    105mm would have field of view of 157.5mm on a Nikon DX (1.5 crop factor) (but same DOF assuming shooting from the same position).

    Macro lenses are designed to allow for easy fine tuning of focus on very close objects. They don't work well for focusing for portraits. The focus control beyond 1 meter can be very tricky because a slight change of focus can move the focus point significantly.

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