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videotec 14 8 United Kingdom
19 Aug 2008 3:14PM

Quote:Quote:not TOO Expensive means......?

£200 ish.
Thanks for your reply
Regards
Pete
Coleslaw 17 13.4k 28 Wales
19 Aug 2008 3:43PM
For your budget, either sigma 105mm or tamron 90mm would do nicely.
Coleslaw 17 13.4k 28 Wales
19 Aug 2008 3:53PM
Andrew uses Sigma 105, and you can have a look at his portfolio.
brownargus 14 85 England
19 Aug 2008 4:24PM
I have a Sigma 105 and a Vivitar Series 1 105 mm f2.5 manual focus (made by Kiron) and I can detect no performance difference between them. Manual focus is not a disadvantage with macro work - autofocus doesn't always work satisfactorily and can be much slower. You could probably pick up a Vivitar (or the Kiron version) second hand for around £80 or perhaps less. They are very highly rated if a little heavy but will give excellent results.
billip 18 425 United Kingdom
19 Aug 2008 8:50PM
As regards focussing methods, I was advised by someone I thought knew their stuff that for macro work manual focussing was to be preferred, and that this was best achieved by a gentle rocking motion back and forth holding the lens steady until the desired focus was achieved. Was he talking rubbush ?
dougv 18 8.4k 3 England
19 Aug 2008 9:00PM

Quote:Was he talking rubbush ?

Macro work should really be done using a tripod, so rocking backwards and forwards would be difficult to say the least.

I use a Sigma 105 and just use the manual focus ring.
Must remember to upload some macro shots at some point...
Boyd 18 11.2k 11 Wales
19 Aug 2008 9:03PM
A true professional would tie a tiny piece of thread to a butterfly's testicle, gently though we don't want to be cruel, and then slowly pull the reluctant model into focus. If you pull him too close push him back by holding a photo of a tougher and meaner looking butterfly in front of him.
dougv 18 8.4k 3 England
19 Aug 2008 9:07PM
You been on the cooking sherry again Boyd?
Smile
Boyd 18 11.2k 11 Wales
19 Aug 2008 9:09PM
Shurrup you, I'm waiting for my helpful post greening.
videotec 14 8 United Kingdom
19 Aug 2008 9:14PM
Many thanks everyone for your help.
Regards
Pete
keith selmes 18 7.4k 1 United Kingdom
19 Aug 2008 9:20PM

Quote:Macro work should really be done using a tripod

There are strong arguments both ways, (and we've had some of those arguments here!)
Depends a lot on the subject and location, aside from any personal preference, and the weather.
I don't see any point in being dogmatic about it, do what works on the day, with what you've got. There will be times when the subject is long gone while you're setting up a tripod, others when you've a target rich environment within working distance, and plenty of time to set up.
If its general close up stuff in a controlled environment, I'd use a tripod, but insects were mentioned, and that opens up a whole different can of annelidae.
keith selmes 18 7.4k 1 United Kingdom
19 Aug 2008 9:25PM

Quote:tie a tiny piece of thread to a butterfly's testicle, gently though we don't want to be cruel
This is easier if you cool off the butterfly in the fridge beforehand, so its more docile, and also it can't feel its nadgers. Otherwise it might bite.
Hope that helps.Smile
Overread 14 4.1k 19 England
19 Aug 2008 9:36PM

Quote:As regards focussing methods, I was advised by someone I thought knew their stuff that for macro work manual focussing was to be preferred, and that this was best achieved by a gentle rocking motion back and forth holding the lens steady until the desired focus was achieved. Was he talking rubbush ?


tripod or handheld manual focusing is the way to do it as there tends to not be always enough light for af - and further it tends to hunt a lot. If its early morning you can get a tripod out for many insects as they have not warmed up yet - meaning they will sit still as you setup. If you are tripod shooting you will need a focuing rail - this you use to move the camera and lens back and forth as the focusing plane is very small - too small to make the adjustment by moving the tripod - it is also quicker than moving the whole setup. The advantage of tripod shooting is - of course - slower shutter speeds and also the possibility to use a very wide aperture (f2.8) and take a series of shots at different focus points to make a stacked photo (that is stacking a series of photos with a program or manually together to get a greater depth of field at a wide aperture)

For handheld you definatly will be needed the rocking motion and a lot of patience and practice - it works well for the greater part of the day when insects are more likley to be mobile - giving you only very short times to shoot before they are off again.
A good set of settings that I use myself for handheld macro are:
f13
1/160sec (1/200sec also works well)
ISO 200
manual mode (ap tends to not work well when you are using a flash for macro)

note that for that I am using a speedlite flash - you might need to use a smaller aperture if you only have access to the popup.

Like Keith said tripod or handheld both have their times of use and both their strengths - no point sticking only to one and ignoring the other
strawman 18 22.2k 16 United Kingdom
19 Aug 2008 9:45PM
I found that when using a monopod, a rocking motion to focus worked. Half way house?
Overread 14 4.1k 19 England
19 Aug 2008 9:53PM
monopod is certainly something I would like to use with macro - quick to use and it would take some of the weight out of the lens - at first its not a probem, but after you start to get tired it makes focusing really hard!

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