(Note: I have cross-posted this from the General Discussion Thread - I am new and just now joined this group)

I wanted to give an example of the difficulty I have sometimes with macro focus. This is about macro shots taken free-hand. You can click on the links to see them and navigate back to the thread. I could not get them to insert on this thread properly and I did not want them added as submissions, this is just a learning exercise for me. I am sometimes struggling with taking good macro photos because I try to get too close. Just like over-zooming can ruin a photo so can over-closeing. Both of these were freehand shots of a fake metal coin sitting on my knee.

The first photo is 1-2 inches away the auto focus struggled and bounced in and out. It finally settled and wham this is what I got:


Even in manual focus I would have settled on something close to this. This is not "bad" but the picture above has issues while well focused in the center it is out of focus on the edges. This could be good or bad depending on what I am shooting. It was an unintended effect and I would have to argue that in this case it is not a perfect shot.

The picture below I was maybe 3-5 inches away. Auto focus zoned right in less than a fraction of a second.


I would suggest it is a vastly superior macro/close-up shot. While the lighting is not perfect because the sun from the window was hitting and over illuminating the fake metal. It got more light because the camera was away from the subject and I didn't change settings. Yet the whole coin perfectly focused and you can see detail of the fabric of the pants I was wearing. This is amazing given the fact that the auto focus was on the coin. It is particularly noticeable in the damaged area below "made in china"

If the lighting was a little less direct it would have been awesome. When this is enlarged in the non-resized files during processing the detail difference is striking. Let's look at two small parts of the earlier photos close up in similar resolutions and sizes. There is a huge difference in focus and detail. Take a look.

Here is the 1-2 inch away photo:


And here is the 3-5 inches away photo:


Over-closing. It's a word I made up, but it can kill a macro photo. My point is in macro you sometimes you can get too close. Just like over-zooming is bad, over-closing can be too sometimes. If that makes sense?

I have to learn to let the macro lens do its job. Hope this helps someone.