Milkweed Bug and Aperture (Two Photographs)

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As you get closer to a subject like this milkweed bug, the depth of field shrinks for any given aperture. At F 11 I would expect to get a farmhouse a mile away in focus from front to back. This milkweed bug was taken at F11 and as you can see it’s not all in focus. Had I used F 16, slightly more would be in focus but due to a phenomenon called diffraction I would get a soft result (a complicated explanation and calculator for when it is most likely to happen can be found at My rule of thumb is max out my F stop at F14 and rarely go to F 16. You will also see here what is called selective focus, our subject is mostly in focus and not much else. More importantly you should be aware that the size of the camera sensor affects depth of field (multiply the Fstop by the crop factor e.g. a Nikon DX  crop factoris 1.5.) So on a full frame camera like the Nikon D800 thephotos here would have less depth of field at the same aperture. Macro and close up photography benefit from smaller sensor cameras.

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