Dif­frac­tion or DOF?

Smart Photography - - Ask Uncle Ronnie -

When shoot­ing ‘macro’, at very small aper­tures, we get dif­frac­tion which causes the im­age to go soft. On the other hand, if we do not use small aper­tures, we don’t get enough depth of field. What can be done other than in­creas­ing the ISO? S.S Nair, Chen­nai A very in­tel­li­gent query. But first, to avoid the pos­si­bil­ity of any con­fu­sion, let us never use the words ‘small’ or ‘ big’ when re­fer­ring to aper­tures. In­stead, use the words ‘nar­row/ nar­rower’ or ‘ wide/wider’. Hence, for ex­am­ple, f/11 and f/16 would be ‘nar­row’ aper­tures while f/2.8 would be a ‘ wide’ aper­ture. Here’s what I would do when faced with the prob­lems you have nar­rated: I would dis­re­gard the pos­si­bil­ity of dif­frac­tion of light and go ahead and shoot with nar­row aper­tures. In my opin­ion, it is bet­ter to have a slightly diffracted but fo­cussed sub­ject rather than have a out of fo­cus sub­ject that has no dif­frac­tion. An­other ‘trick’ for higher mag­ni­fi­ca­tion look, is to shoot at 1:2 ( half-life size) rather than 1:1 ( life size), and then en­large the im­age as re­quired. You should see bet­ter DOF and bet­ter sharp­ness in your picture.

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