First time out with the Canon Macro 100mm f2.8 IS. on 5D11 Any crit. welcome.
My first impression was that these are rather soft, but on poring over them and playing a bit I'm not so sure. I would be surprised if they were soft, given the kit you are using.
Two things come to mind. For the first image, it may be that some of the flowers are outside of the plane of focus. I find that sort of shot can be quite tricky, where it seems to me that the visual "logic" is that all the flowers are on an equal footing and so all should be in focus (for my visual preferences, which may not be the same as yours, and it is your image not mine!) But of course bushes are are not flat. So the aperture you used would be relevant here; a slightly smaller aperture might have drawn more into focus. Unfortunately I can't see any Exif data though so this will seem a silly suggestion if you had used a small aperture.
The other thing that comes to mind is the luminance of the yellows. Especially with #2 I think pulling down the luminance of the yellows a bit, or reducing highlights a bit, might give the centre of the flower greater clarity, and it might help with #1 as well. I don't think that is an issue with #3 though, and this makes me wonder about shutter speed, image stabilisation and the extent of any cropping. And I wonder too whether you shot raw or JPEG and in either case what post processing you did. Looking at the images full size and relatively unprocessed (or raw if available) would be interesting.
Thanks,Nick. I've just come on ..rather timely. I now check my photos as sometimes responses come in days after and in the past and I've not seen them for even longer if the quote/alert wasn't used.
The photos were taken at f8 1/250 sec.. f9..1/200 sec and f10 1/100sec. (considering the lens is 100mm I should have had more than this but on a tripod it didn't matter) All were taken on a tripod. Very little cropping. Someone mentioned exif data the other day and I said I'd look at the Export window in my Lightroom ..I'll do that now. I'm sure it's a box I have to either tick or untick. Better Google it.
I shoot everything in RAW. I would't be able to post a full size here..you probably didn't meant that anyway..just saying you'd have like to see the original.
I reduced Highlights and it looks better on 1&3. I tried yellow luminance and a horrible grey was introduced so I cancelled that.Likewise with the first line..a noticeable improvement. Thanks. They were at the bottom of the steps to the holiday cottage we stay in when we go there. I shut off the IS but I think it shuts itself off when it senses a tripod or even bean bag,I suppose.
I've looked at the editing in history.
1. Contrast +46.. Looks like I added some yellow..taken that back now. Black clipping -10. 'Clarity' +45. having had it pointed out to me a day or so ago that Clarity is not sharpening,I won't be using that thinking it's sharpening. I was told that it was a sharpening but that was wrong.. I added a touch off exposure..only +.50 That's point 50. I cropped in on the last photo to highlight the stanems.. I think that's the right term..stamen.
2. Even less. Still added yellow saturation a tad. Contrasty +46 and clarity +42 .No cropping at all.
3. Pretty much the same as number 2. No cropping. I moved the tripod in.
Nick..I've changed a setting in Metadata. Can you see the exif now ?
Thanks for the detailed information John. That is very helpful.
I can see the Exif data now in your extra post.
If you are inclined to let me see and play with the raw files please feel free to upload them to my Dropbox by using this link. If you would rather not, that's fine too of course.
I don't use a tripod now, but when I did I never found a clear case of it being problematic having IS on when using the tripod. Sometimes I did turn it off when using a tripod, but I would often forget to turn it back on again and the effect of that was much worse than the effect (if there was any) of having it on for tripod work. So I ended up leaving IS on the whole time.
Interesting. Excellent to have the specific editing information. Thanks again.
Cropping not an issue then.
As to the apertures, opinions will vary. What effect you get from a particular aperture for any particular scene will depend on the geometry of the scene. What aperture works best for a particular scene also depends on your preferences as to depth of field and the look of backgrounds. FWIW I use various apertures with flowers, depending on the circumstances, but they are typically smaller than the apertures you used here. (I'm not saying that is what you should do too - I just want to give you another angle on this to mull over.) For example, the images in this recent post were captured with a micro four thirds camera. Taking the difference in sensor size into account, if I had used a full frame camera like the 5D these are the apertures I would have needed to use to get the same depth of field: f/28, f/28, f/20, f/28, f/20, f/32, f/16, f/22. This is far away from the "sweet spot" apertures at which lenses are at their sharpest, but there is a trade-off between depth of field and sharpness (more of one means less of the other - unless you get into stacking multiple images). You may of course prefer an entirely different look for your images.
I'm not familiar with handling 5D class images, but my immediate reaction based on my own experience (70D and various micro four thirds and bridge cameras) was that those Contrast and Clarity settings are higher than I almost ever use and I see little mention of Blacks, Whites, Highlights and Shadows, which along with Exposure are my most used settings. Mind you, I do other things to the images in DXO Optics Pro and Silkypix before Lightroom ever gets to see them so it's difficult to make a direct comparison. Still, there may be something to think about there.
Thanks,Nick. A lot there to mull over. Overall it looks like I need much smaller apertures for starters. Noted your view of IS on a tripod too. I'll have another go too using the Highlights,Shadows,Blacks,and Whites.
Lovely shots in the TP link, too.
I'll see if I can get the RAW files to you via Dropbox.