Focus and Lens Tests

This weekend I am starting some focus testing. While I’ve deducted I can shoot miniatures the same kinds of lenses that you’d use for regular photography, but I want some depth of field references to give me a much better idea of just how soft of focus will look like real life situations.

It will tell me whether I should consider focus stacking my shots (no, you can’t make me) for certain shots and give me a frame of reference for post if I do.

At the same time I have a few prime lenses I’d like to test. Two old Leica lenses for an old 35mm film camera and a newer 50mm prime lens meant for a dslr.

After hunting for the right test images for my needs I’m using the test image below for testing courtesy of Bob Atkins. The prints won’t be the most accurate in terms of tone since they’ve just been printed on my office printer but they should give me the info I want to see the depth of focus and to compare the lenses.

I’ve printed them off in a larger size just in case the detail is too small to be useful for the background.

I’m sure some photographers or DOPs would have a much better idea of what their final product is intended to look like and so testing would be much more exacting.

But like my first tests I don’t yet know exactly how I’ll be shooting the next set of images. I am not limited by budget, client requirements or other collaborators decisions so I have the luxury of allowing experimentation and the creative process dictate each stage of the work. So I look at these tests as I kind of roughing in, bringing me ever closer to what the final images will inevitably be.

This is tedious work though. I wish I had the means/circumstances to hire someone who loves to do these things. 🙂