The Barefoot Photographer®

a photography blog

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Minimum Focus Distance

Since I am such a macro photography freak, minimum focus distance is a very important for me to know.  I will admit -- sometimes I know how close I can get and other times I find out by pushing it -- getting so close that I can't focus -- so I do have to back off a little.  

If you know your minimum focus distance you have a good idea of how close you can get.  But -- do you know -- visually -- what 17 inches looks like?  I don't.

The photo on the blog today is another from last Wednesday.  This is a close up of one of the peach blossoms.  This was also taken with my Tamron 14mm lens.  The photo from the blog entry last Thursday was a wide landscape shot taken with that same lens.  You can see by comparing these two photos -- the close up and the landscape just how versatile such an ultra wide angle lens can be.

Usually I don't use this lens much.  Like many other photographers, I feel I stereotype this lens as being good for great wide open landscapes and not much else.  I purposely used it in the orchard and also, purposely got super close with it to see what it would do.  The minimum focus distance for this lens is 8 inches.  Who carries a ruler in their camera bag?  Not me.  So I got close -- really close -- and some times too close.  When I knew I was too close -- I backed up a little.  Just a little -- just enough to allow the lens to focus.

 The aperture for this shot was f/2.8 and the shutter speed was 1/4000.  Pretty darn fast shutter, huh?  Well, just think -- when the aperture is open that much -- as far as that lens would allow -- more light comes in so the shutter can work faster.  A super fast shutter was becoming important to me as a breeze was picking up.  The blossoms were not blowing much -- but the petals were.  Just a little breeze when you are working that close can ruin a photo.

I really like the shallow depth of field.  Also -- as with the other photo -- I love the spring colors presented to me that day.  This photo was taken in bright sunlight at almost high noon.


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