DoF Calculator, A macro photographers friend

I have a great app on my IPhone that I would like to share with you, the Martin Bailey Photography App.  Martin Bailey is an awesome photographer with an incredible body of work.  He has done some great flower close-ups as well as inspiring wildlife photography around the world.

Among the features included in the app is a connection to Martin’s website, where you can also access his blog.  I would absolutely recommend adding it to the list of blogs you visit.  In addition you can also link to his podcasts, which is a nice feature for when you have a little spare time or while traveling.

This app also has an awesome macro photography tool, a depth of field calculator.  This calculator is something every macro photographer should have in his or her toolbox.   Have you ever wondered how small your depth of field really is when shooting?  This app will let you calculate it with ease.  There are times when knowing is important, more on that later.

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The layout of the app makes it easy to use and provides a wealth of information.

Lets take a look at how the app works.  The user interface is friendly and intuitive.  You begin by enter the camera you are using.  There is an extensive list of cameras to choose from and I have been able to find any camera I have used.  Next you enter the focal length of your lens and the aperture you are shooting at.

You will need to have a small ruler or tape measure for the next step.  I carry a small Stanley tape measure in my macro photography tool kit.  A tape measure is only semi rigid making it easy to bend and fit in odd places when measuring.  You will measure from the front of your lens to the part of the subject you are focusing on.  Then enter the distance into the section named subject.

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In the middle of the third row you can see the rectangle labeled subject where you enter the distance from the focusing point to the front of the camera lens.

The app has a function were you enter the unit of length you are measuring in.  You can choose from meters, centimeters, feet and inches.  Once you have entered this final piece of info the app will give you your DoF as well as your near and far limit.  You can change any one of the variables at anytime and the app will recalculate.  No need to enter the same data again.

In this image the unit of measurement has been changed from inches to centimeters.

In this image the unit of measurement has been changed from inches to centimeters.

Back to where I said earlier knowing your depth of field will be important.  Having the DoF along with the near and far limit are absolutely necessary when you are focus stacking.  This data will guide your movement intervals with the focusing rail or slider.  For stack work this app has improved my workflow and speed.  Another situation where this data has proven useful is when pre-focusing on a flower and waiting for an insect to stop by.

To check out the app click here.

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