More analog DOF?
Yesterday I used a bellows for some real macro photography for the first time. It's a good equipment: Olympus 3.5/50mm with a 25mm extension ring and an Olympus 4.0/80mm bellows head, attached with an adapter to a Canon EOS 1v. Since yesterday I admire the handiwork of macro photographers... OMG, this is difficult. It starts with the wind shaking the leaves, focussing is a nightmare even with a loupe, and DOF just doesn't exist, even at f22. I asked a friend and his recommendation to gain more DOF was "Stack several images"... of course he assumed I am using a digital camera. 'Stacking' means to combine several shots of the same image with different focus settings into one new digital image.
So, is there an "analog way" to get more DOF in macro photography?
The only way to get more DoF is to use smaller apertures or less magnification. Depending on the bellows, it may be possible to use tilt to achieve more DoF (by taking advantage of the Scheimpflug principle). I know at least one particular Nikon bellows unit allowed this.
I'm not sure how macro I achieve, but sometimes I move the camera back and plan on cropping the print which gains some DOF.
If the leaves (petals etc.) shake about I pick the foliage and bring it inside to a windfree environment.
There goes my credibility!
Regards - Ross
A multiple exposure technique using staggered focussing is used in analog macro photography too.
However, not complete images are overlayed. Instead only parts of the object corresponding to the plane of focus are photographed. This is achieved by lighting the subject by means of slit lighting in the plane of focus. After each exposure the subject is moved by the width of that lighting.
Wow, I did not expect that. But it sounds very complicated.
Originally Posted by AgX
It is not that complicated.
There have been setups using a sturdy tripod for the camera, some slide projectors for slit lighting, all based on scissor type lab-elevators for height adjustment, and the object itself too on such an elevator.
And once there was an all-inclusive device for doing such photography.
There's no law against taking your shots on film, scanning them, and using the available software to do a combination.
Bear in mind that when you refocus with the lens, you will get small changes in perspective & magnification- the distance between the front element and your subject is changing. This could be important when you are focusing so closely. The software is probably correcting for that as well as doing the simpler image combination.
But personally I think front-to-back sharpness is far overrated. Why not use the out-of-focus transitions to convey dimension, and use tilts to place the plane of focus wherever you wish.
Here's an example of Ross's "pulling back to gain depth of field". It's by far the simplest method I know. A silver finger ring.
Originally Posted by Ross Chambers
Or use film with a higher ASA/ISO/DIN. :)