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Creepy Crawly

By Overread  
Shooting data: f6.3, ISO 100, 1/200sec; Canon 400D, Canon MPE65mm macro, speedlite 580EX2+lumiquest softbox

Flash lighting was from the left.
I have been told that its a springtail, a species of Collembola. And whilst species is very varied and hard to tell the informer suggested that it might be a Protaphorura armata

Well I finally got a chance to fieldtest the MPE for a short while today and after battling with my tripod for around an hour I gave up with it and went for handheld. I didn't really want to do this (I wanted to get some stackable shots) since it forced me to have theflash resting on the ground (which is why its know rather muddy) and the coiled offcamera cord conspired to pull it out of position at every chance it could.
However I was able to find a few little beasties under some rocks, and this kind were nice enough to, if not stay still, at least be slow enough to remain on the rock and thus capturable.

I've come back with an addiction for highpower macro; a sadness that the MPE won't go do 1:2 macro (1:1 feels limiting for some subjects); a hatred for my tripod and a greater desire for the macro twinflash

Any comments/crits/advice welcome - thank you

Tags: Close-up and macro Wildlife and nature

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This photo is here for critique. Please only comment constructively and with suggestions on how to improve it.


banehawi Plus
13 1.8k 3881 Canada
10 Feb 2010 9:52PM
Looks good for a first effort with a difficult lens to master. Is this at 5X?


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Overread 9 4.1k 19 England
10 Feb 2010 11:06PM
Thanks Banehawi - I think this is around 4-5 times (sadly EXIF does not record magnification unless its hidden in there somewhere). Probably 5 times as I had the aperture quite wide
paulbroad 10 123 1245 United Kingdom
11 Feb 2010 5:22PM
Very well done, but what I can't understand is f6.3. Why such a wide aperture - the image would have benifitted dramatically from f16 or even f22. Depth of field this close is minimal, and I know there seems to be an aim to use wide apertures for macro and finish with paper thi depth.

(Not sure what MPE stands for - new one on me after 50 years as a photographer?)

Don't get it myself - would prefer greater depth - just move the flash closer and stop down. Not sure about a softbox for macro this close either.

Overread 9 4.1k 19 England
11 Feb 2010 5:51PM
Ahh this thread here might give you abit more insight into why I chose f6.3 link though I accept that I forgot to mention in the shots description the magnification I was using (around 4-5 times life size).

As a summary of the above article the effect of diffraction gets are more noticable as the magnification factor increases. Thus by the time you reach 5:1 f8 is already quite soft and f13 or f16 are incredibly soft apertures. They still give the greater depth to the shot but hte softness counters what you gain. Have a look at the photos linked to in the thread I linked to and you can easily see the effect even at 1000pixels let alone viewing them at fullsize.

There was a good little article (vivid light) on the MPE but it seems that their website is down and has lost most of the older issues and PDF downloads. Essentially though its a 1:1 through to 5:1 macro lens from canon that only shoots macro shots (its maximum focusing distance is 1:1 magnification).
Here is the product page from canon link

edit - at this magnification the softbox might be overkill - though its not that large on my flash (its only a lumiquest softbox rather than a full studio softbox setup).

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