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The Digital Photography Workflow Handbook by Uwe Steinmueller, Juergen Gulbins

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Maximizing Depth of Field Using Focus Stacking

If you need greater depth of field in a photo, the usual solution is simply to close down the aperture. Unfortunately, the laws of optics mean that there are limits to the depth of field you can produce with any one lens. Stopping your lens down beyond a certain point (known as the “optimum aperture”) reduces contrast as well as visible sharpness. This image quality drop-off is caused by the diffraction of light rays hitting the edges of the aperture blades on their way through the lens.

Other factors influencing depth of field are the size of the individual light-sensitive elements making up the image sensor, as well as the focal length and the reproduction ratio of your lens.[130] The optimum aperture ...

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