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PostPosted: Tue Jan 25, 2011 12:36 am 
I've been into photography for a few years now, but just recently(about a month ago) bought my first dslr, the Nikon D5000. I'm slowly starting to learn more and more about my camera and photography. I have a question about taking landscape pics. With a kit lens, how big of an F-number can I use before I start to loose detail in the pic. I shoot raw in Aperture priority and use manual focus when taking landscape pics and generally use around F8-F11 to take all my landscape pics but I'm not sure if I'm getting everything in focus. Here's an example pic I took yesterday. It is untouched so you can see what my camera is seeing. does everything seem in focus?
Image

thanks and I appreciate all the feedback I can get! :D


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 25, 2011 4:26 am 
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Seems to be good from what I can tell at this resolution. F8 should be plenty closed to get everything in focus. When your subject is far away, your effective depth of field because pretty large. Have a look at the depth of field calculator below and play around with it to get an idea.

http://www.dofmaster.com/dofjs.html

One question thou, why are you using manual focus? Why bother?

Trevor


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 25, 2011 6:30 am 
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Because MF gives you more feel to photography as youre photographing the same way as 20 years ago?
Maybe he just likes MF.
But yes, it seems to be sharp to me. f/8 is most of the time the sharpest aperture of a lens, especially the kitlenses!

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 25, 2011 10:09 am 
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Hi piperpilot28,

If I've got my sums right the D5000 pixels are each about 30 µm² in area. That's handy when looking at the interactive chart on the CambridgeInColour Diffraction Limited Photography page as it's the same as the Nikon D2X. Put the mouse over the "Nikon D2X" text in the chart and then move it sideways to the left until it's in the Aperture column. You can now move it up and down and see how diffraction is affected by f-number. As you can see f/11 is about right though you could probably get away with f/16 if you needed extreme DoF.

Manual focus is a good technique if you are trying to focus at the hyperfocal distance to maximise DoF. I'm a bit lazier so if I can find an element of the scene at the right distance which won't also mess up the exposure I point my camera at that, press the shutter button halfway to let AF and autoexposure do their things and then recompose.

It's not possible to tell from the shot above if everything is in focus. To do that we'd have to see one or more 100% crops from areas of concern. On a post-processing note, bear in mind that when reducing the size of an image the loss in resolution means that for fine detailed subjects it sometimes helps if you add a little extra sharpening to compensate.

Bob.

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 25, 2011 11:07 pm 
Thanks for the insight guys! Bob, thanks for the info on my camera, I'll check out that site you linked and see what I can learn about diffraction. The reason why I've been focusing manually is because I was under the impression that if I needed to get everything in focus, I'd have to focus my lens to infinity. The other thing I'm having a hard time understanding is 'focal point". If im trying to achieve a landscape shot with everything in focus, I don't know what to set my camera's af area mode to. thats why I started focusing manually.


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 25, 2011 11:42 pm 
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piperpilot28 wrote:
...The reason why I've been focusing manually is because I was under the impression that if I needed to get everything in focus, I'd have to focus my lens to infinity...

Not necessarily. Can I also recommend you check out the tutorial Understanding Your Camera's Hyperfocal Distance. 8)

Bob.

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Olympus OM-D E-M1 + M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-40mm f/2.8, Lumix 7-14mm f/4, Leica DG Summilux 15mm f/1.7 ASPH, M.Zuiko Digital 45mm 1:1.8, M.Zuiko Digital ED 75mm 1:1.8.
Leica D Vario-Elmar 14mm-150mm f/3.5 - f/5.6 ASPH.
OM-D E-M5, H-PS14042E, Gitzo GT1541T, Arca-Swiss Z1 DP ball-head.
Astrophotography: TEC 140 'scope, FLI ML16803 camera, ASA DDM60 Pro mount.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 26, 2011 1:01 am 
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@Trevor Harris, thanks also for the DOF link.

Cheers

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 26, 2011 4:43 am 
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This topic has already been covered here:

http://www.cameralabs.com/forum/viewtop ... 896597a266

and here:

http://www.cameralabs.com/forum/viewtop ... 896597a266

Try searching the forums.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 26, 2011 11:09 am 
Thanks again Bob! all the Info you've provided me with really helps out a lot! I really like that tutorial on understanding Hyperfocal distance. Capital: yeah I don't think I searched the right key words, as I didn't realize the word I was looking for was "Hyperfocal distance" but thanks for the links to that Thread! All this support is why I love this site so much! Now, time to get out and apply all the knowledge to practice! :D Thanks again guys!


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