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  1. mjmountain

    mjmountain

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    Derek897 and alfbranch like this.
  2. Kodiak Qc

    Kodiak Qc

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    I don't know what you were using before nor have I
    seen the previous pictures but, here, critical focus
    may be achieved through AF Fine Tuning if your ca-
    meras can do it.
     
  3. mjmountain

    mjmountain

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    So you don't think these are sharp enough?

    Also these are MF
     
  4. Kodiak Qc

    Kodiak Qc

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    Well, pretty close but no, not enough.


    Nothing AF Fine Tuning can't solve.
     
  5. Nawty

    Nawty

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    Sharp enough yes, but critically sharp on the subject, no. It looks like they are all slightly front focussed which could either be the lens or the technique.
     
  6. mjmountain

    mjmountain

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    Can you elaborate? It's a very shallow DOF, and the photos are taken without a tripod. I always try and get the eyes in focus. (Please view the full size Flickr versions)

    Which image is the best in your opinion (focus wise) and which is the worst?
     
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2017
  7. mjmountain

    mjmountain

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    How can AF fine tuning help with MF? My camera allows for AF lens calibration. Is that what you mean?
     
  8. Nawty

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    If you look at the second shot, the sharpest focus seems to be on a part of the wing, which is closer to the camera than the eyes, this is front focus.

    The third shot looks pretty good but then the DoF is bigger as you are a bit further away and then if you look at the leaf, the focus seems to be mostly in front of the fly, this is front focus.

    If you look at the last one, none of it is super sharp so presumably the focus point is just in front of the subject, this is front focus.

    Most of the shots actually look a bit sharper just in front (i.e. camera side) of the subject.
     
  9. Nawty

    Nawty

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    If you are using manual focus then possibly the diopter needs adjusting or it is quite common to actually pull the camera back a little when pressing the shutter. When the DoF is so thin it can make a difference.
     
  10. mjmountain

    mjmountain

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    Using the screen not the viewfinder, taking tons of shots and choosing the best.

    I guess I need to take more shots.
     
  11. Nawty

    Nawty

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    Then it might be the technique, how are you pressing the shutter button?
     
  12. mjmountain

    mjmountain

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    Ooooookaaaaay at the risk of sounding like a moron. With my finger?
     
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  13. Nawty

    Nawty

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    Ha ha, yes, of course, but there are many ways to do that.

    I find for critical stuff, rather than jab it with the end of the finger (which creates a little upwards torque on the lens) it works better if I 'roll' the middle bit of my finger over the shutter button to lightly squeeze it.

    A quick google: https://digital-photography-school.com/shutter-release/
     
  14. Kodiak Qc

    Kodiak Qc

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    Possibly… I only know Nikon and speak in Nikon
    terms and I know of Sony only that it exists.
     
  15. mjmountain

    mjmountain

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    I guess I gently squeeze.. but given I'm handheld the camera is wavering in and out of focus tons. I use focus peek as a guide, the snap when the red dots look to be in the right place. Rinse and repeat. It concerns me because given that technique, you'd assume i'd get some "hits"...

    Need to practice on a coin in good light I guess.
     
  16. mjmountain

    mjmountain

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    But it won't make a difference to MF though?
     
  17. Nawty

    Nawty

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    Thing is that DoF is wafer thin, like a quarter the length of a fly so even the tiniest movement of the camera makes a difference and that most of your focus errors are in the same direction indicate a flaw in the technique.

    What lots of macro togs do is rock back and forward slightly with the shutter held down to take multiple shots. Also, you want the f-number as high as possible given the light (and hence a lot of macro togs use a diffused flash).
     
  18. mjmountain

    mjmountain

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    Or am i posting up the wrong images? Binning ones that you'd consider ok.....

    Yeah, my cheap flash takes ages to recharge so that isn't really doable. I have a new one on route. Hopefully that will be better. I did make a homemade diffuser and use that.

    meh, its a bit disheartening
     
  19. Nawty

    Nawty

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    Don't give up, macro is really bloody tricky.
     
  20. mjmountain

    mjmountain

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    The disheartening bit is that I can't eyeball the issue. These images look good to me. Makes it hard to fix the problem.
     
  21. Kodiak Qc

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    What is MF?
     
  22. mjmountain

    mjmountain

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    Manual focus
     
  23. Kodiak Qc

    Kodiak Qc

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    I thought it was something specific to Sony! :banghead:

    Yes it will… as you will get finer focus in ANY case! :cool:
     
  24. mjmountain

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    Really? But how? In manual focus the lens is entirely mechanical with no camera control beyond (in A) controlling the shutter speed.
     
  25. Kodiak Qc

    Kodiak Qc

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    There are some finesses that are specific to mirrorless
    bodies and I am not willing to put my head on the block
    since I am not very familiar with this gear. Have a look in
    the book to see what is said!

    I just found this… maybe it could help…
    http://www.northlight-images.co.uk/camera-af-microadjustment/
     
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2017
  26. mjmountain

    mjmountain

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    To callibrate a lens I need a bunch of printouts, will read up on it but I'd be surprised if it alters MF at all. I'll go RTFM.

    I dunno, I look at some of the other images posted up on this board and some of the macros don't feel as sharp but get heaps of positive feedback. So I'm starting to question my own judgement. The thumbs in this thread don't do the originals justice (can't see the lenticular eyes) but the linked images do. Leaves me scratching my head.
     
  27. Kodiak Qc

    Kodiak Qc

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    Nah… stay cool! :cool:

    If total critical sharpness is a must —like in my operation—
    then the RFM strategy is the right place to start.

    One step at the time and you'll get there! :)
    So sorry I can't help you more!
     
  28. alfbranch

    alfbranch

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    Mike I would say you have shown some improvement and my geuss is you are finding things easier now with the new lens. Keep at it mate.
    You will probably need some practice with the lens to get the best from it but these are pretty good. They are nicely lit and sharp.

    This is very true.
     
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  29. mjmountain

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    Thanks Alf. The new lens is certainly easier to use. Hoping when my flash arrives that'll be the icing on the cake.
     
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  30. alfbranch

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    Easier is a relative term though isn't it as it is not easy.

    Has your hit rate improved?
     
  31. mjmountain

    mjmountain

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    It's interesting, I find the Sigma harder to "find" the subject with than the 75-300/raynox combo, as with that I could zoom right out and then focus in. However once "found" the Sigma is much faster and brighter. So I'd say the raynox combo is more forgiving but harder to get great results, whereas the sigma demands more skill and technique but delivers better results for it. So, yes, "easier" is a relative term.
     
  32. alfbranch

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    When you get used to using the 105 consider adding the Raynox to get more magnification as you already own it.
     
  33. mjmountain

    mjmountain

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    Will that give me a greater working distance, or mean I have to get tight in for a super Macro?
     
  34. alfbranch

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    You will need to get closer but you will get higher magnification nearly 2X magnification.
     
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  35. davholla

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    I agree are you focusing on the eyes (I often forget to) although IIRC lord V recommends that you do also I think your shutter speed is too slow - go to at least 125 -250 unless you are photographing something without flash.*
    Also if you are in the UK submit your hoverfly records.

    *BTW does anyone know any insects in the UK where flash messes up the colour? I have taken photos of tropical butterflies like this but nothing in the UK.
     
  36. ChrisA

    ChrisA

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    I think your focus is fine looking on flickr. The eyes are in focus.

    Can you increase the flash shutter speed above 1/60th, if you can mayhelp ?
     
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  37. Graham

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    Six spot Burnet, most of the time it seems to alter the colour on the wings.
     
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  38. davholla

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    Thanks for that - sadly never seen one but if I ever do I will know.
     
  39. Graham

    Graham

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    No idea how long you have had a camera but with macro it does take time to get it right or lots better unless you are lucky like some people are with macro.
    Dont be disheartened, looks like this new lens is doing you wonders and the detail on your subjects are much better, agree on your shutter speed, I would if I was you take it up to 1/250 or there abouts, it depends on whether if you go over this speed you will get the curtain effect (black banding at the bottom of your shot)
    I dont know this camera so I cant comment on its capabilities with speed/iso/noise etc.
    Keep posting and enjoy the rewards.
     
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  40. GardenersHelper

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    Mike, some thoughts.

    Try not to let yourself get disheartened. Macro can be difficult to start with, but it is doable. You do have to be patient though. Things tend to fall into place slowly over a period, possibly punctuated by sudden realisations about some aspect of it, as in "Oh, I did it. So that how it works. Right, I can do that." Cue big grin.

    When I started out with macro a decade or so ago I very nearly gave up because I couldn't get anything into focus. Each step forward since then has been the source of great pleasure for me. And like I think all of us here, whatever stage we are at, I'm still learning, and still getting enjoyment from new discoveries and personal progress.

    Incidentally, in terms of learning, it may not be just a case of learning how to use the equipment or software. In my case I have learnt new ways of seeing, learnt to notice things that previously I was blind to, helped especially by my wife and also by folk here providing helpful feedback on my images.

    As to seeing positive comments about images you don't think are very good, please bear in mind that people notice and prefer different things - some will respond to interest value without much regard to image quality. Some are more concerned about colour than sharpness. Some are interested in maximum detail - "a fly's eye" etc - some prefer instead to see the whole of the subject, or the subject in its context, or its behaviour, or particularly small subjects, or particularly unusual subjects, or ...... all manner of different angles on the world of the small.

    Then there is the social aspect to it. Many people find it difficult to be critical, or simply feel that being critical will discourage others, or bring retribution (some people respond poorly even to what is well-intentioned but not 100% positive comments). And so there tends to be an excess of positive responses. Getting good and useful criticism can be difficult. And then people have online "friends", people perhaps who have been exchanging comments for some time, and who may prefer not to rock one another's boat. And I suspect there can be an "avalanche effect" where one positive comment leads to another, and another. And if the leading comment is positive, however misplaced that positivity may be, I suspect what follows will tend in that direction too.

    Getting back to the technicalities and practicalities of doing macro photography, be aware that there are many ways of tackling it. People choose, or have access to, very different subject matter, for which varied techniques may be appropriate. And even for the same subject matter there are many combinations of kit and technique that may do the job, and what works for one person may be absolutely useless for someone else. And what works may vary over time for an individual too. Many of us experiment and change how we do things from time to time; experimentation is a key feature in the macro experience for some people.

    Natural light or flash. Hand-held or tripod. Macro lens or close-up lens. Autofocus or manual focus. Big apertures or little apertures. Single images or stacked images. Narrow DoF or deep DoF. Detail or context. etc etc. It may take a while to experiment with different approaches to find the one(s) that you feel most comfortable with. That is not unusual, so don't let it get you down. It takes time.

    As to the specifics of your latest photos, I prefer DSC02151 at Flickr to the rather similar first image in your top post here. I like the composition better - the subject is rather low down with a lot of dead space above it in the posted version. In 2151 the subject sits nicely in the frame to my eye. I prefer the illumination in 2151 - it looks bright and more pleasing to me compared to the flatter, darker look of the posted image. And in the places shown by green arrows below I can see more, very nice detail than in the posted version, and have the impression of being able to see the whole subject, from end to end. And I like that. And away from technical comparison, I simply like 2151; I find it pleasing to my eye. BUT, bear in mind that this is all personal preference, and such things really do vary a lot from person to person.

    [​IMG]
    NOT MY IMAGE mike mountain hoverly - annotated 2
    by gardenersassistant, on Flickr

    Be patient. Experiment. Enjoy the company here. And most of all enjoy the big world of little things that will progressively open up before your eyes and your camera.
     

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