I'm looking to try out macro photography and have a rental of the Canon 100mm 2.8L IS and the MT-24EX flash to try out on my Canon 7D.

I've been reading that with the flash, you can stop down to some seriously high f-stops for best DOF, but I haven't found much talk regarding diffraction issues. Is this not something to worry about with macro photography?


Diffraction is a big issue in macro photography, however the usual guidelines don't apply. This is because depth of field is so shallow at macro distances. The increase in depth of field when shooting a very small aperture often more than makes up for the softness introduced at the plane of focus.

  • For a solution to both shallow depth of field and diffraction issues, try focus stacking. – ElendilTheTall Aug 28 '12 at 15:52
  • True. Sometimes you have to stop down to f/32 and focus stack... – Matt Grum Aug 28 '12 at 15:53
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    and sometimes focus stacking is not possible, e.g. when your subject is alive! – Matt Grum Aug 28 '12 at 16:12
  • oh, I don't know, I've seen quite a few focus-stacked insect macros in my time. – ElendilTheTall Aug 28 '12 at 17:56
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    @ElendilTheTall ah, but do you know for sure those insects were alive? – Matt Grum Aug 31 '12 at 10:59

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