Login or Join Now

Upload your photos, chat, win prizes and much more

Username:
Password:
Remember Me

Can't Access your Account?

New to ePHOTOzine? Join ePHOTOzine for free!

Like 0

Good macro

Join Now

Join ePHOTOzine, the friendliest photography community.

Upload photos, chat with photographers, win prizes and much more for free!

Leave a Comment
    • «
    • 1
    • »
    bfgstew
    bfgstew  7668 forum posts England105 Constructive Critique Points
    27 Jul 2011 - 10:39 AM

    Maybe this has been discussed before, if it has I apologise now, but just need to understand and see how a really good macro shot is obtained.
    I use a Nikon D200 with a Sigma 150 EX DG APO MACRO lens, I do use a tripod (when I remember it), mirror lock up and remote release trigger, usual set up is between f8 and f11 on manual settings so compensate aperture to get correct exposure, iso 200, WB on Auto and normally spot metering and manual focussing.
    It seems that I cannot get a really 'sharp' front to back shot, I understand the area of focus or sweet spot is very limited on this size lens but even if I set up a fair distance away from the subject so the sweet spot increases, i'm still not getting it sharp, or if I do the B/G is coming into focus so spoiling the shot. I understand that composing the shot to suit is important, i.e. a butterfly taken side on or from above is better than end on, but were is the best place to focus on a subject? Am I setting the camera up correctly? Is there something I am missing or is it me?
    I get so dissapointed after I have taken, what I think are decent shots looking on camera monitor, only to find they are ever so slightly blurred or OOF when opened up on PC, it is very frustrating and would love to be able to produce some quality images as I see on here.

    Thanks in advance for your time......Wink

    Sponsored Links
    Sponsored Links 
    27 Jul 2011 - 10:39 AM

    Join ePHOTOzine for free and remove these adverts.

    crookymonsta
    crookymonsta e2 Member 6685 forum postscrookymonsta vcard England10 Constructive Critique Points
    27 Jul 2011 - 10:52 AM

    I thought it was just me having this problem, although I use the Sigma 105mm. I would love to know what I'm doing wrong too.

    JJGEE
    JJGEE  96225 forum posts England18 Constructive Critique Points
    27 Jul 2011 - 10:57 AM

    Macro.... is that truly 1:1 ?

    If so, I have the same issues, focussing is critical, but now I also move back a little and then crop / enlarge post capture which has helped enormously.
    Recently bought the Sigma 50mm macro and with limited usage to date am quite pleased with the sharpness / depth of field ranging from around f32 to f45... especially on subjects like roses with all the open petals
    But of course, even the slightest breeze is going to be even more obvious, affecting sharpness, at such close range. Sad

    Last Modified By JJGEE at 27 Jul 2011 - 11:00 AM
    MeanGreeny
    27 Jul 2011 - 10:58 AM

    I had problems recently because I habitually stepped back while stood next to the tripod. The floor was wooden - not concrete - and that slight movement was enough to spoil the shot.

    I've since found that unless you are on very stable flooring then any movement on floorboards has a major impact on image quality.

    It may not account for all your problems but it may eliminate some of them. I'd look for several small reasons - not one big one.

    mikehit
    mikehit  46186 forum posts United Kingdom9 Constructive Critique Points
    27 Jul 2011 - 11:57 AM


    Quote: I cannot get a really 'sharp' front to back shot

    Do you mean there is some part of the photo that is in focus but it is not very much?

    How close is the subject to the background that you want to be out of focus? At 2meters distance and f8 your DOF wil be a little under 4cm either side of the focal plane
    http://www.dofmaster.com/dofjs.html

    If part of your problem is separation of subject and background, remember that as aperture gets smaller it becomes disproportionately harder to achieve this even though the depth of field calculation seems to give you a shallow DOF.



    Quote: I do use a tripod (when I remember it), mirror lock up and remote release trigger,

    How long do you wait between hitting the release first and second time. I generally wait for a slow count of 2 before releasing the shutter to give the vibrations time to die down.
    I presume the lens does not ahve inmage stabilisation (if you do it should be turned off)?



    Quote: i.e. a butterfly taken side on or from above is better than end on, but were is the best place to focus on a subject?

    Always the eyes - if that is OOF then it is harder to make the shot appealing. Sometimes I like the effect of eyes in focus with the insecnt's body/wings becoming more OOF but the composition is everything to carry this off.

    Last Modified By mikehit at 27 Jul 2011 - 11:58 AM
    JenniCh
    JenniCh  832 forum posts England2 Constructive Critique Points
    27 Jul 2011 - 12:07 PM

    I've recently bought a Sigma 105mm macro and was in despair at first that all my shots were at best soft and more usually absolutely useless; but, having read as much as I could find on macro technique etc., I started experimenting and practising more and am, I think, just about beginning to understand the complexities ................ with the 105mm in manual mode I am making sure lens is fully extended to get 1:1 and having got used to roughly how near I need to be to focus, having mounted camera on tripod, am moving camera back and forward to get as good as focus as poss and then having decided exactly where tripod needs to be positioned am just slightly adjusting focus with focusing ring until I'm happy that I've got the best focus before taking shot. The other thing is using a higher f-stop number than I usually do to get a better area in focus, if you're keeping to f8 to f11 the are of focus is going to be very limited.

    As I say I'm only just getting there, in that now I'm beginning to get a few shots exactly how I want them, but as opposed to getting frustrated with it as I was originally, I'm now enjoying the challenge and getting a lot of fun out of just finding subjects and experimenting with how good a shot I can get.

    I still don't know how anyone gets sharp shots handheld with this sort of macro lens, I am definitely having to use my tripod to get anything half-way decent.

    Hope that is of some use, I definitely think that it's just a matter of perseverance because macro work is essentially a more complex area of photography.

    Andy_Cundell
    27 Jul 2011 - 12:17 PM

    Take a photo in autofocus and if the result is sharp, it's not the camera. Have you tried adjusting the diopter on the camera viewfinder, try this?

    MeanGreeny
    27 Jul 2011 - 12:20 PM


    Quote: Maybe this has been discussed before, if it has I apologise now, but just need to understand and see how a really good macro shot is obtained.
    I use a Nikon D200 with a Sigma 150 EX DG APO MACRO lens, I do use a tripod (when I remember it), mirror lock up and remote release trigger, usual set up is between f8 and f11 on manual settings so compensate aperture to get correct exposure, iso 200, WB on Auto and normally spot metering and manual focussing.
    It seems that I cannot get a really 'sharp' front to back shot, I understand the area of focus or sweet spot is very limited on this size lens but even if I set up a fair distance away from the subject so the sweet spot increases, i'm still not getting it sharp, or if I do the B/G is coming into focus so spoiling the shot. I understand that composing the shot to suit is important, i.e. a butterfly taken side on or from above is better than end on, but were is the best place to focus on a subject? Am I setting the camera up correctly? Is there something I am missing or is it me?
    I get so dissapointed after I have taken, what I think are decent shots looking on camera monitor, only to find they are ever so slightly blurred or OOF when opened up on PC, it is very frustrating and would love to be able to produce some quality images as I see on here.

    Thanks in advance for your time......Wink

    Let's not forget here that at 1:1 [Minimum Working Distance of 194mm] your depth of field in total with the above camera/lens combo is only 0.2 of a millimetre. That's 0.1mm in front and 0.1mm behind the chosen point of focus.

    Nailing it depends hugely on practice, practice and more practice. Oh, taken with a huge side salad of disappointment.

    Persevere - it'll suddenly click.

    HTH

    discreetphoton
    discreetphoton Site Moderator 93447 forum postsdiscreetphoton vcard United Kingdom20 Constructive Critique Points
    27 Jul 2011 - 1:09 PM

    It's always a trade off. Sometimes you can plan with all the will in the world, but the things that make the difference are the things you can't plan for easily (distance to background; angle of view, what's actually in the background). Don't forget to use your DOF preview (easily done), and take a few at different apertures, either side of the one you think you'll need. Mixing flash with ambient light can also help to get sharp shots. Figuring this out made a huge difference to my own photographs. I try to use aperture and ISO combinations that allow me to work as close as possible to flash sync speed.

    Ade_Osman
    Ade_Osman e2 Member 114484 forum postsAde_Osman vcard England36 Constructive Critique Points
    27 Jul 2011 - 2:28 PM

    A common mistake I find with folk is that they always try to fill the viewfinder with the subject. If you pull back a little you can always resize and crop in processing. But as someone else has already mentioned practice and more practice is the key, you will soon find what works and what doesn't, don't be frightened to experiment and don't expect the same results as folk who have been doing for years, not initially anyhow. It will come I promise you.

    Ade

    adrian_w
    adrian_w e2 Member 63280 forum postsadrian_w vcard Scotland4 Constructive Critique Points
    27 Jul 2011 - 2:40 PM

    An alternative is to take multiple shots at slightly different focusses and use focus stacking software to combine them all. Never done it myself but I have seen some stunning results from other people.

    bfgstew
    bfgstew  7668 forum posts England105 Constructive Critique Points
    27 Jul 2011 - 5:36 PM

    All in all, I knew it is a tricky subject, and yes practise does make perfect, it is so frustrating though, just goes to show good kit doesn't mean good images, it is down to the idiot behind it to make it work?!?!?!?!?!?
    Many thanks for the input guys, most of it is common sense that gets forgotten when something goes wrong and you end up blaming your kit and want to go and buy bigger and better, NOT the case, just keep practising. The hardest side is out in the field, indoors you can set up to suit.
    One day it will click into place thanks to you lot, very much appreciated.

    Oh, just remembered ring flash may be on the agenda to help out, will have to see how thay goes?

    bfgstew
    bfgstew  7668 forum posts England105 Constructive Critique Points
    28 Jul 2011 - 5:29 PM

    I have just had a play with my camera with my SB-600 attached and was taking some nice sharp images, getting flash and shutter synched was easy, well for me anyway, as a complete flash novice. Now the next thing is getting a ring flash. I have seen those Marumi things knocking around for just over the 100 quid mark but the opening is fairly small for the 150 Sigma so need to find one that accomodates it or will have to make one that was shown to me on a different thread.

    • «
    • 1
    • »

    Add a Comment

    You must be a member to leave a comment

    Username:
    Password:
    Remember me:
    Un-tick this box if you want to login each time you visit.