Bean Plants on a Cloudy Afternoon

When I was watering our square foot garden in front of our porch, I noticed some baby bean plants that just called to be photographed.

20160804 194557 DSCF0932 X100T_DCE

It was a nice cloudy afternoon and a perfect opportunity to shoot with the 23mm f/2 lens on my Fuji X100T.

Background bokeh was very soft at f/2, but happens surprisingly early. At this distance from the subject (6-8 inches) at f/2, the depth-of-field is insanely narrow (4-6mm according to http://www.dofmaster.com/dofjs.html). This means that the photos look great when reduced to web size (600×400 in this case) or on a smartphone or tablet, but closeups (or future digital wallpaper sized displays) show the difficulty with focusing this narrowly.

Everything is slightly fuzzy despite something being in focus in the photo. (I’ve read many times that some people want this “dreamy” effect.)

Even with focus peaking in manual focus mode:

  • it is tough to know exactly what is in focus
  • and the slightest movement of your body or the wind on your subjects is likely to throw off focus

If you aren’t in a studio situation, getting nailed down focus might involve high frame rate shooting so you can pick from the slight changes in focus between shots. I’ve done this before with mixed results. When you only have a few millimeters in focus, its just hard.

Good luck!

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