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equipment for macro - tips and suggestions (Group forum)


stevept 11 6 United Kingdom
6 Aug 2010 9:11AM
I carry a Canon G9 if I'm out walking. With the digital zoom set to 2x and the lens focal length set to as long a you can get witha focusing distance of 5cm it is capable of some really good macro.dungfly2008-0816-145245.jpg


(above hand held with Canon G9 set as suggested)

Image stabilization is good, and onboard flash works very well. In addition, the camera is obviously extremely portable. You can also add close up dioptres or a eversed 50mm lens using an adapter ring, but then the onboard flash becom useless so a separate flash unit is required.


If i want to get really close I use my Fuji S9600 with either alose up dioptre (up to 10+) or my favourite- 50mm reversed lens. I again set the digital zoom (2x) which enable use of a shorter focal lenght to give greater depth of field. Theres no stabilazation, so i use a tripod where possible, together with a sliding plate that allows movement of the camera without moving he tripod. Lighting is a poblem so I use external flash (secondhand vivitar 5.00) or Dorr Blitz slave flash. Though if natural lighting permits, this can be far better.0408109600-028.jpg


(above taken with Fiji S9600 with reverses 50mm lens using natural light and tripod)

I usally find manual focusing far more reliable than auto when a tripod is used.
040510g9-002.jpg


(Above taken using Canon G9 using tripod with adapter ring and reversed 50mm lens (5.00 secondhand)) and attached Dorr Blitz slave flash- (19.00 brand new)

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cambirder 15 7.2k England
6 Aug 2010 9:32AM

Quote:With the digital zoom set to 2x


Why? Digital zoom is the most pointless feature a camera can have. For macro work you would be far better off using the full sensor as this will give you more leeway when you come to crop in post production.
stevept 11 6 United Kingdom
6 Aug 2010 9:47AM
I'm not very technically minded. However both the Canon and Fuji produce an image containing the full number of sensor pixels when the 2x digital zoom is used. This would not be the case if the image was taken without what I prefer to call the digital teleconverter (the camera applies the 2x regardless of what focal length is used) then cropped to fill the frame to the same extent. This could be crucial if for example you wanted to enter a picture in a competition, the rules of which stipulated a minimum number of pixels, or if you wanted to produce a large print. To crop the dung fly picture from an image without digital zoom, to the same "size" in relation to what it actually seen, would result in a very large drop n pixel count.

Steve
stevept 11 6 United Kingdom
6 Aug 2010 9:53AM
PS. As mentioned in my original post, digital zoom can allow for a shorter focal length which means greater depth of field. Crucial when focusing at an object only 2 inches from the end of the camera.
cambirder 15 7.2k England
6 Aug 2010 9:55AM
Image size can be increased in PP as well as in camera.
stevept 11 6 United Kingdom
6 Aug 2010 10:06AM
Sadly I can't afford decent PP-however, would you not still in effect be doing what you say is pointless?

However, the thread was just asking about what equipment and techniques we all use. I was just sharing mine.

My macro photography is done on an extremelt small budget- but I think the results are pretty good just the same.

Bye the way, I like your portfolio. it has some great shots.
brian1208 16 11.6k 12 United Kingdom
19 Aug 2010 3:53PM
Can I update my earlier input. I have now moved on from the canon 60mm macro to the 100 f2.8 LIS, what a piece of kit.
The main improvement for me is not the image quality (the 60mm was pretty good already) but the way that canon have got the AI focus working with the 7D body, its nothing short of magical in my experience.

Today I've posted a shot of a fly's eyes using this method with f4.5 and the result is better than I could have got using the traditional manual focus methods.

The IS works well too if, like me, you are getting a bit shaky when hand holding.

If you are in the market for a new (or upgraded) macro lens - have a play with one. Its expensive but worth every penny, to me.
jackitec 11 16 Spain
19 Aug 2010 5:11PM
Hi Brian, further to my comment on your fly, (terrific photo) as I am an avid Macro fan I tried a 31mm auto extension tube on my Tamron 18-270vc lens as it has IS and this is one of the results which I'm happy with, but I still want the Canon 100mm Macro, not long till Xmas,

regards
Jack.

https://www.ephotozine.com/u82716/gallery/1599596
Robin_TB 10 204 9 United Kingdom
27 Sep 2010 5:04PM
Hello,
I have been fascinated by macro for ages but have only recently purchased a 35mm macro lens for my Olympus E-1 (very much on a budget compared to all you Canon and Nikon users Wink).

I was reading the above and it seems that to get great pictures extension tubes are a must have. However, there are so many other pieces of kit out there (tripod heads, ring flash, reflectors etc) that as a newbie to macro it would be great to know what is essential and what is nice to have?

Any suggestions would be much appreciated.

Rob
cambirder 15 7.2k England
27 Sep 2010 6:08PM

Quote:I was reading the above and it seems that to get great pictures extension tubes are a must have.


That would be an incorrect assumption. I do have a set but they hardly get used.


Quote:as a newbie to macro it would be great to know what is essential and what is nice to have?


You already have the essential pieces of kit, the next step is to get out there and shoot lots.
Overread 11 4.1k 19 England
27 Sep 2010 6:17PM
Your macro lens (if its the 35mm macro I'm aware of for Olympus) already gets you to 1:1 which is the same true macro all macro shooters who work with a macro prime lens get to. Reading about it it seems you have a working distance of around 5cm - small, but certainly not impossible to work with provided that you practice. You might find more luck (at least as far as insects are concerned) working early in the morning and just after short cold snaps (like a quick rainstorm) when the insects will be more docile and less inclined to fly/jump/crawl off.
Robin_TB 10 204 9 United Kingdom
28 Sep 2010 7:14AM
Thanks for the advice, I certainly intend to practice as much as work allows. Are there any advantages to a dedicated macro lens over a macro prime lens?

I also read somewhere that ring flashes were good for 'product' photography, but not so good for insects. Are there rules for macro that should be followed or is it more a case of just get out there and practice?

Apologies for the basic questions! Smile
cambirder 15 7.2k England
28 Sep 2010 9:18AM

Quote:Are there any advantages to a dedicated macro lens over a macro prime lens?


All macro lenses are primes (the word used on zooms is a marketing lie), and with one exception all of them can be used things other than macro. The one exception is the Canon MP-E65mm f/2.5 which cannot focus to infinity but goes beyond other macros to 5:1 magnification.

Quote:
I also read somewhere that ring flashes were good for 'product' photography, but not so good for insects. Are there rules for macro that should be followed or is it more a case of just get out there and practice?



There are no specific rules, personally I like to shoot with natural light only using flash for fill in where necessary.


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