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Hibiscus with "soft" focus on stigma
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May 15, 2021 21:11:40   #
frankNichols Loc: The Villages. FL
 
I am having a hard time getting the stigma sharp on these - suggestions? It was my intent to get the front stigma in focus and I wanted the rear to be a bit more OOF. I guess a different lens might help, something with an f2.8 or so?

Nikon D7500
AF-S NIKKOR 200-500mm 1:5.6E ED
ISO 640, 1/320, f6.3, 500mm

Date: 05/15/2021 10:15

Edited in: Capture One 21


(Download)

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May 15, 2021 21:51:03   #
PixelStan77 Loc: Vermont/Chicago
 
frankNichols wrote:
I am having a hard time getting the stigma sharp on these - suggestions? It was my intent to get the front stigma in focus and I wanted the rear to be a bit more OOF. I guess a different lens might help, something with an f2.8 or so?

Nikon D7500
AF-S NIKKOR 200-500mm 1:5.6E ED
ISO 640, 1/320, f6.3, 500mm

Date: 05/15/2021 10:15

Edited in: Capture One 21


Change your angle so that only one Hibiscus is in the picture or do a severe crop on the sharp Hibiscus.

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May 15, 2021 22:16:00   #
kpmac Loc: Ragley, La
 
That's the key, Frank. You need a wider aperture/different lens. Preferably a macro. It's a nice image as shot, though.

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May 15, 2021 23:24:01   #
frankraney Loc: Clovis, Ca. For the last 50 years.
 
frankNichols wrote:
I am having a hard time getting the stigma sharp on these - suggestions? It was my intent to get the front stigma in focus and I wanted the rear to be a bit more OOF. I guess a different lens might help, something with an f2.8 or so?

Nikon D7500
AF-S NIKKOR 200-500mm 1:5.6E ED
ISO 640, 1/320, f6.3, 500mm

Date: 05/15/2021 10:15

Edited in: Capture One 21


First off, welcome to the hog.....a heart wealth of info here.

You did not mention discuss distance, so I will just say, open up to about 5, or less. And faster ss for same exposure.

You can blur in post. This pic is ok the way it is. The back flower is out of focus and the front one in focus.

Download the app, hyper focal pro, on your phone. Input you settings and you can see what is in focus and change settings until you get what you want. After some time you will get used to the relationship of the settings and use the app less.

Happy shooting.

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May 16, 2021 06:34:46   #
Orphoto Loc: Oregon
 
At 500mm depth of field is quite shallow. Vanishingly so. Looks to me like the bottom portion of the front flower part is in focus but the top, showy part is just a bit soft.
What can you do? 1) if using autofocus put the focus spot over the top portion of the structure, 2) trade some shutter speed for deeper depth of field, 3) consider manual focus using live view for precision focus, or 4) if conditions permit try focus stacking.
By the way, if using af, double check af fine tuning.

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May 16, 2021 06:56:17   #
Gspeed Loc: Rhinebeck, NY
 
I think if you change your direction so the lighting comes more from behind, that can help. Also, a lens in the 70-105 range might be better.

frankNichols wrote:
I am having a hard time getting the stigma sharp on these - suggestions? It was my intent to get the front stigma in focus and I wanted the rear to be a bit more OOF. I guess a different lens might help, something with an f2.8 or so?

Nikon D7500
AF-S NIKKOR 200-500mm 1:5.6E ED
ISO 640, 1/320, f6.3, 500mm

Date: 05/15/2021 10:15

Edited in: Capture One 21

Reply
May 16, 2021 08:15:32   #
R.G. Loc: Scotland
 
Orphoto wrote:
At 500mm depth of field is quite shallow. Vanishingly so....


. Is there any reason why you couldn't just get closer?

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May 16, 2021 08:29:03   #
JohnSwanda Loc: San Francisco
 
It would help to change the angle and composition so both flowers are equally distant from the camera.

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May 16, 2021 08:45:37   #
frankNichols Loc: The Villages. FL
 
R.G. wrote:
. Is there any reason why you couldn't just get closer?


This was taken on a walk-about in a neighborhood. The Hibiscus was in a person's yard, and it is "rude" to go onto people's property to take photographs (The Villages where I live is a retirement community of about 175,000 grump old people :) ).

So, I was using my Nikkor 200-500, which allows me to walk down the street and take shots that are 20 to 30 feet away. I honestly don't recall how far away I was with this shot, I will start recording that so I know next time. I do know the shot was not cropped very much, so I had to be about as close as that lens will focus.

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May 16, 2021 09:02:43   #
Thomas902 Loc: Washington DC
 
Frank since there is no client involved and you do not have access to shoot at a proper distance would suggest you setup a small studio in your residence... Then purchase the floral component from a florist shop and do this properly...

With a tripod you can use window light. That said you choice of lens is not appropriate... even an old AI 50mm f/1.8 or AI 105mm f/2.5 prime with a Nikon PK-12 Extension Tube works well in this scenario...

Total cost of a vintage AI or AI-S Nikkor prime and a Nikon PK-12 Extension Tube is not much more than the cost of the UV Filter of your AF-S 200-500mm f/5.6

And like Orphoto said "...consider manual focus using live view for precision focus..."

btw, without a tripod (or flash) you are likely wasting you time... been there done that...

Beautiful Hibiscus.... loving the color harmonies latent within...
All the best on your journey Frank

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May 16, 2021 09:08:47   #
lamiaceae Loc: San Luis Obispo County, CA
 
frankNichols wrote:
I am having a hard time getting the stigma sharp on these - suggestions? It was my intent to get the front stigma in focus and I wanted the rear to be a bit more OOF. I guess a different lens might help, something with an f2.8 or so?

Nikon D7500
AF-S NIKKOR 200-500mm 1:5.6E ED
ISO 640, 1/320, f6.3, 500mm

Date: 05/15/2021 10:15

Edited in: Capture One 21


I should first say, lovely flower(s) and good capture at fist look. Use a real micro lens, say a Nikkor (FX) 105mm f/2.8. Take a close-up of just the forward flower and let any background go OOF. Why bother with the second flower? Objects in art should be in odd numbers, 1, 3, 5, 7, 9, after that evens are OK too since your artistic eye does not count that high. Did you use a tripod or was that handheld at 500mm. If no tripod you did a good job as it is! I'm viewing on my Smartphone not Photoshop, but you just might be happy cropping to the left side of your existing image. Hibiscus are tricky because they are big!

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May 16, 2021 09:09:21   #
frankNichols Loc: The Villages. FL
 
Thomas902 wrote:
Frank since there is no client involved and you do not have access to shoot at a proper distance would suggest you setup a small studio in your residence... Then purchase the floral component from a florist shop and do this properly...

With a tripod you can use window light. That said you choice of lens is not appropriate... even an old AI 50mm f/1.8 or AI 105mm f/2.5 prime with a Nikon PK-12 Extension Tube works well in this scenario...

Total cost of a vintage AI or AI-S Nikkor prime and a Nikon PK-12 Extension Tube is not much more than the cost of the UV Filter of your AF-S 200-500mm f/5.6

And like Orphoto said "...consider manual focus using live view for precision focus..."

btw, without a tripod (or flash) you are likely wasting you time... been there done that...

All the best on your journey Frank
Frank since there is no client involved and you do... (show quote)


Thank you, I appreciate your input. I do have a studio set up in my office. These shots are on walkabouts - being 71 my PCP requires me to walk at least a few miles per day. So, to entertain myself on these walks I take along a couple of cameras, one with the 200-500 and one with a 10-20. I am trying to learn how to do this type of photography without the advantage of macros (I have a Tamron 100 macro) or studio setup. I consider it a challenge. :)

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May 16, 2021 09:10:26   #
steve Loc: Iowa
 
Perfect

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May 16, 2021 09:15:30   #
frankNichols Loc: The Villages. FL
 
lamiaceae wrote:
Use a real micro lens, say a Nikkor (FX) 105mm f/2.8. Take a close-up of just the forward flower and let any background go OOF. Why bother with the second flower? Objects in art should be in odd numbers, 1, 3, 5, 7, 9, after that evens are OK too since your artistic eye does not count that high. Did you use a tripod or was that handheld at 500mm. If no tripod you did a good job as it is! I'm viewing on my Smartphone not Photoshop, but you just might be happy cropping to the left side of your existing image. Hibiscus are tricky because they are big!
Use a real micro lens, say a Nikkor (FX) 105mm f/2... (show quote)


Thank you, I have a Tamron 100mm macro. I could not use it in this situation.

This was taken on a walk-about and is handheld. I am "challenging" myself to learn how to take these without studio or tripods. The 200-500 was used because I don't want to go onto neighbors' property to get the shots, and yes, it was hand help at 500mm.

Most of my flower shots are single blossoms, and yes, those look better. I had hoped the second blossom would be more OOF and add to the diagonal. But, I agree with your point, it should be one or three. Here is one from the same walk that is "sort of three". The second here is a single of the same bush. I blew the highlights a little intentionally to get a sort of glossy/waxy look - I don't like the results - LOL. But, it does show the isolation I expect to get with the 200-500.

And a third example from that walk of a single blossom taken at 1/250 sec.






(Download)

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May 16, 2021 09:16:29   #
olemikey Loc: 6 mile creek, Spacecoast Florida
 
frankNichols wrote:
I am having a hard time getting the stigma sharp on these - suggestions? It was my intent to get the front stigma in focus and I wanted the rear to be a bit more OOF. I guess a different lens might help, something with an f2.8 or so?

Nikon D7500
AF-S NIKKOR 200-500mm 1:5.6E ED
ISO 640, 1/320, f6.3, 500mm

Date: 05/15/2021 10:15

Edited in: Capture One 21


IMHO... Small subjects at longer distances = Maybe faster shutter speed is in order, or tripod/trigger....you may never get much sharper at a such slow shutter speed, handheld with 500mm lens....... try kicking the ISO up to say 3200/4000 and double or better on the shutter speed for starters. If the D7500 reacts like my D7100 and D7200 (ISO Invariant cameras), noise should be no issue, and you may increase the sharpness more toward what you are looking for. I "practice" a lot on our own Hibiscus flowers, typically in much lower light due to canopy overhead and even if using a 500mm lens, I'd try some more; be at a shutter speed of at least 640 to 800 or greater, and I wouldn't hesitate to kick the ISO up. Do some experimentation, the shots don't cost much these days, other than the time. Have fun!!!

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