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Mineral Photographyquestion about auto focus on cameras

14th Jan 2018 06:29 GMTKyle Kustka

hello recently taking pictures of minerals in order to cataloger them i've noticed the camera i'm using(its the camera on the Samsung s8) has a feature on it which blurs the corners of mineral specimens, is there any way to fix this?

14th Jan 2018 07:37 GMTUwe Ludwig

A mobile phone is not the best way to make makro-pictures of mineral specimen. You need a camera where you can switch off auto focus. Then you use stacking procedure. The software for this is free ware. For more information to stacking you can look in the WEB.


Uwe Ludwig

14th Jan 2018 09:29 GMTVolker Betz Expert

As Uwe mentioned, a mobile phone camera dos not fulfil the conditions to make good macro pictures. You shot at f=1.7 with a focal length of 4 mm.

So there is no wonder if the picture ist blurred.

To get sharp pictures you need a camera, not a phone. At present a MFT camera with a macro lens and a stand would fulfill your requirements. Not to forget focus stacking.

Phone cameras are a tool for selfies.


14th Jan 2018 15:30 GMTThomas Lühr Expert


As the others already stated, a phone cam (even a good one) is not the best tool for taking mineral photos. Also, the most of the "tourist cameras" have a fix autofocus that can''t be dsabeled and don't have a 'true' adjustable aperture. Both is required though.

If you don't have access to an upper class camera and *have to* use the phone cam, then you have two ways to go to improve your photos.

Try to take your photo from a more far distance and use the (digital) zoom. This will let decrease the resolution (general sharpness), but increase the Depth Of View (your goal). You will have to find a compromize.

The second and better way is to go for focus stacking. This is also possible with a phone cam, but you need a stable stand/tripod for the phone (available in the web). You have to take then several shots, that you get each detail sharp in at least one photo. Then transfer the photos to the computer and let run a stacking software, such as 'combine zp' 'picolay' ' zerene stacker' or 'helicon focus'. The first two are freeware, the other available as free trial version. A google search will lead you to the dowload sites.
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