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Depth of field

Most digital cameras have a close up setting; it is often shown as a flower icon on the camera screen. You should know what the distance range is in this mode; check the manual. My Pentax has two close up modes, one which still relatively far away from the object. I can still use my optical zoom to get closer. The second close up mode allows you to get closer to the object but the optical zoom is disabled. Every mode has its own advantages.


Generally there's one law you will soon encounter: the more you close in on your subject the harder it will be to get a sharp picture. Every cameralens produces an area where you subject will be sharp. This area of sharpness is called depth of field. I will save you the theoretical backgrounds of depth of field. Suffice to know that it is a range in which your subject will be sharp and that range gets smaller when you are closer to your subject. You can check it out on the ruler: the depth of field lies between 4,5 and 7,5 cm on the ruler

The effect of depth of field als clearly demonstrated by the model at the right. The smoke box and stack are sharp.
The more the model "moves" away from the camera the more unsharp it becomes

One final tip: always use the highest quality image setting on your camera, for the largest file size. You can always make a larger file smaller, but you cannot make a smaller one larger.