Skip to content


I posted a writeup on magnification the other day where I defined what magnification is in our world of photography and showcased a diptych with 1x and 5x images of a pencil. For kicks, I thought it would be fun to show you what 10x looks like. I really don’t have the equipment to do a good job at this level but here are some things to note when going from 1x to 5x to 10x.

Depth of Field: The DOF is more challenged with the higher magnification so more images are needed in order to get the entire subject in focus.  For the 1x I took 3 photos, 6 for the 5x and 12 for the 10x. The DOF for the 1x was 0.9 mm, 0.1 mm for the 5x and 0.02 mm for the 10x.

Light Requirements: Higher magnifications require more light. I set the aperture at f/6.3 for all three magnifications and I used the same LED lighting configuration. The 1x shutter was set at 1/10th of a second, the 5x shutter was set at 2.5 seconds and the 10x was set at 6 seconds. As you can see, the lighting requirements increased significantly as the magnification increased.

Field of View: The field of view of a 1x image is 24 x 36mm, compared to a field of view of a 5x at 4.8 x 7.2 mm and 10x at 2.4 x 3.6mm.

As you can see, looking at every-day objects in high magnification can provide a different and interesting perspective.

Pencil – 10X Magnification

This image was taken with my Canon EOS 5D Mark III using my Canon MP-E 65mm f/2.8 1-5x Macro Lens set on 65 mm. The camera was set on Manual mode with the aperture set at f/6.3, shutter speed at 6 seconds and the ISO set at 100. I took a total of 12 images and used Helicon Focus to focus stack the images into a single image.

Let me know if you can think of any common, every-day objects that you would like to see at high magnification. I may take it on as a challenge and post the results on my blog.

This image is best when viewed large. Click on the image to enlarge it. Please use the section below to post your comments, questions or suggestions.

T Kahler Signature
© 2015 T. Kahler Photography

Please share your thoughts or comments:

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.