1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.
  1. Tintin124

    Tintin124

    Messages:
    8,634
    Name:
    Bryn
    Edit My Images:
    Yes
    90% of us use handheld the tripods are probably most likely to shoot the setup.... but I do know 10% use tripods/monopods.

    Get creative. :D
     
    npinks likes this.
  2. npinks

    npinks

    Messages:
    510
    Name:
    Nick
    Edit My Images:
    Yes
    Thanks, just been researching flash deffuser's and came across a website which mentioned polymorph plastic, which I have lots of, so thinking of best design, to fit on the end of my flash, curved end to envelope the subject or flat etc
     
  3. Tintin124

    Tintin124

    Messages:
    8,634
    Name:
    Bryn
    Edit My Images:
    Yes
    Concave is a classic design and one I use it works very well with subjects that are curved which is pretty much everything. Lol
     
    npinks likes this.
  4. alfbranch

    alfbranch

    Messages:
    7,691
    Name:
    Alf
    Edit My Images:
    Yes
    Macro is not easy but you can improve a lot with practice.

    Manual focus handheld and rock back and forth is the best way IMO sometimes I work by having the camera focused and moved the camera into position especially at maximum magnification.

    Try some stuff between 1:2 and 1:5 before going to 1:1 to get used to the way of working.

    You ca use AF and rock but hitting critical focus can be hit and miss in my experience but it depends what kit you are using.
     
    npinks and Tintin124 like this.
  5. J Veitch

    J Veitch

    Messages:
    512
    Name:
    James
    Edit My Images:
    Yes
    Very inspiring looking at all the wonderful images you are all producing. Been looking at the rigs here and have had the realisation I was missing using flash. Maybe not quite the right place, but what sort of apertures do people find themselves using when shooting Macro? I know I could just experiment, but knowing a nice ballpark is always good.
     
  6. Tintin124

    Tintin124

    Messages:
    8,634
    Name:
    Bryn
    Edit My Images:
    Yes
    Starting out I would say between f11-16 :D
     
    J Veitch likes this.
  7. arthurbikemad

    arthurbikemad

    Messages:
    437
    Edit My Images:
    No
    Love this thread, great reading!
     
  8. Gaz J

    Gaz J

    Messages:
    2,675
    Name:
    Gary
    Edit My Images:
    No
    Not had a chance to try this diffuser for my Canon ring flash yet. Its got approx 2.75 times the surface area of the original tubes so hoping that it will give a better light. We will see.



    [​IMG]
    IMG_0125
    by Gaz J on Talk Photography
     
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2015
  9. Leroy4bz

    Leroy4bz

    Messages:
    448
    Name:
    Leroy
    Edit My Images:
    Yes
    Just gone through the entire thread. Really gave me inspiration to give macro a proper go.
     
  10. SLRUser

    SLRUser

    Messages:
    2,797
    Name:
    Stuart
    Edit My Images:
    Yes
    Agree fully with this...leave camera at MM and rock back/forth. If you can brace yourself against something that really helps but it isn't always possible of course. I also use manual everything these days, I am no expert but my images today are loads better than they were last year and I almost gave up on macro work because it certainly can be frustrating at times...

    Regarding tripods, they can be useful for holding the subject steady rather than the other way round ;)
     
    alfbranch likes this.
  11. mike_6480

    mike_6480

    Messages:
    2,292
    Name:
    Mike
    Edit My Images:
    Yes
    Does anyone have any experience of using the yongnuo mr14ex ring flash?

    I'm thinking of getting one, but can't find many reviews. If not are there any other alternatives for the approx £75 it costs?
     
  12. Ajophotog

    Ajophotog He's macroscopic !

    Messages:
    14,891
    Name:
    Alby
    Edit My Images:
    Yes
    Yes Mike I have used it and found it to be very good. It seemed very well made to me and at the bargain cost of around £75, well worth the outlay.
     
    mike_6480 likes this.
  13. sureshot

    sureshot

    Messages:
    1,042
    Name:
    Nick
    Edit My Images:
    No
    This is my simple set up, made from foam board bought at hobbycraft ,A4 sheet of opal perspex sheet double sided velco. Flash unit on top with flash bender to bounce though the perspex . ImageUploadedByTalk Photography Forums1442315949.149436.jpg ImageUploadedByTalk Photography Forums1442315969.105401.jpg ImageUploadedByTalk Photography Forums1442315978.989414.jpg ImageUploadedByTalk Photography Forums1442315992.791643.jpg ImageUploadedByTalk Photography Forums1442316029.375425.jpg
     
    JohnN, Hadge, Dael_Pix and 8 others like this.
  14. TimmyG

    TimmyG

    Messages:
    4,793
    Name:
    Tim
    Edit My Images:
    Yes
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2015
  15. alfbranch

    alfbranch

    Messages:
    7,691
    Name:
    Alf
    Edit My Images:
    Yes
    #TimmyG
    That is even more bonkers than the last set up!
    How long is and what does it weigh?
     
  16. Ajophotog

    Ajophotog He's macroscopic !

    Messages:
    14,891
    Name:
    Alby
    Edit My Images:
    Yes
    That is a canon spelt Cannon :D
     
  17. TimmyG

    TimmyG

    Messages:
    4,793
    Name:
    Tim
    Edit My Images:
    Yes
    I'm still not happy with it, I think I can get more in :)
    It's not actually that heavy, and part of the reason why I have been going through the exercise of "downsizing" my gear. The camera body is very light compared to a traditional dSLR, and the flash is light enough (only 2 AA batteries). The flash bracket is made from aluminium, so next to nothing. The heavy bits are the MP-E and teleconverter and EF-EF M adapter, which are all solid chunks of metal. The tubes are all hollow and mainly plastic, so again, not much weight there. I wouldn't want to hang it round my neck all day, but as I mainly work close to the ground I don't tend to feel the weight. It's comparable to say someone using the MP-E on a 5D mark III I would imagine, and probably a bit lighter. I'll weigh it though if I can find some suitable scales. It will be good to know for sure.

    Ha! I refer to it as my hand cannon :)
     
    alfbranch likes this.
  18. Ajophotog

    Ajophotog He's macroscopic !

    Messages:
    14,891
    Name:
    Alby
    Edit My Images:
    Yes
    Here's a thought Tim, with the mp-e on an aps-c cropped sensor and the raynox msn202 on the front you will get 2mm across the image. It would be a lot less to manoeuvre and give you a similar field of view.
     
  19. TimmyG

    TimmyG

    Messages:
    4,793
    Name:
    Tim
    Edit My Images:
    Yes
    Now where's the fun in that? ;)

    Just kidding, an achromatic will be one of my acquisitions in the near future and I'm intrigued to see how it alters things. I need to decide which one will be most useful so I need to review a number of the posts here and make a decision. Will check out the msn202 and learn some more about it. Hoping I'll be able to fill the frame with these guys at some point, but I'll need to rethink my lighting solution as I won't be able to mount the flash in this way.

    Thanks for the tip!
     
  20. Testudo Man

    Testudo Man

    Messages:
    536
    Name:
    Paul
    Edit My Images:
    No
    Heres another thought Tim, there is also "the insane" Raynox MSN-505, if you wanna get even crazier ;) it is magnification: 32-Diopter though.

    Im just wondering if anyone out there has experience with the msn-505? how practical would it be, out in the field?
     
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2015
    TimmyG likes this.
  21. TimmyG

    TimmyG

    Messages:
    4,793
    Name:
    Tim
    Edit My Images:
    Yes
    Hi Alf, just got round to weighing and measuring it. Total weight is almost exactly 2kg, and total length is 37cm (including camera body or 34cm lenses and adapters only).

    I also did a little experiment, swapping the order of the EF extension tube and the converter (the theory being the extender increases the magnification of everything in front of it by 1.4, so I should be able to get some additional magnification at no additional "cost"). What I found was quite surprising. First of all, I'm not convinced I got more magnification. In fact I think I got a bit less. I've taken some rule shots to compare, but there really isn't much in it and I think I need something more precise than 0.5mm increments to be sure (I don't have anything of this nature, I'm guessing there must be some scientific measuring tool I can try and source).

    What I did notice was the connectivity with the tube was much worse. I would frequently loose my aperture setting (showing as F00) which made the whole setup unreliable. I also couldn't seem to get a decent level of contrast and far more chromatic aberration than I experienced on my previous outing. Part of this could be due to the lighting, but I also recalled issues I've had with light bouncing around the extension tubes when I was experimenting with reversed lenses on tubes. I could work at this, and do further adjustments to my lighting rig, but for the time being I think I'll switch back to my original order. Connecting the extender directly to the lens obviously secures that connectivity and seems more reliable overall, and I imagine t also helps prevent light from bouncing around in the tubes and removing contrast.

    I'm not sure what path to take next, but all of them involve some level of investment. I think I could do with some higher end macro tubes to help overcome my connectivity issues, but at these levels of magnification I'm also keen to investigate the use of microscope objectives. The achromats suggested also intrigue me, so I think I just need to do some further research before deciding on which approach might be suit my current requirements while providing flexibility for any future ventures. The fact I've started playing with extreme macro videography only raises further questions... TBC I think!
     
    Tintin124 and alfbranch like this.
  22. Carl Doghouse

    Carl Doghouse

    Messages:
    17
    Edit My Images:
    No
    Wow Tim ... That's a great setup you have
     
  23. Wolf Man

    Wolf Man

    Messages:
    10
    Edit My Images:
    Yes
    Bloody hell Tim, your arms must be huge!
     
  24. GardenersHelper

    GardenersHelper

    Messages:
    4,435
    Name:
    Nick
    Edit My Images:
    Yes
    I wonder how much of an improvement it would be over the MSN-202. 32 diopters doesn't seem that much greater than the MSN-202's 25 diopters. It would be a (32-25)/25 = 28% increase in diopters, versus a (8 -4.8)/4.8 = 67% increase between the Raynox 150 and 250, and a (25-8)/8 = 212% increase between the Raynox 250 and MSN-202. See here for what this means for the magnification in practical terms, the example being a 45-200 at 200 on a G1 (micro four thirds) camera - scene width 2.7mm (17.3/2.7 = 6.4X magnification) with the MSN-505 vs 3.5mm (17.3/3.5 = 5X magnification) with the MSN-202.

    The focusing distance for the MSN-505 with the lens focusing at infinity is shown here by Raynox as 18.5mm, versus 32mm for the MSN-202.

    Cost-wise, Amazon has the MSN-505 at £123, the MSN-202 at £79.

    I thought about getting an MSN-505 but decided to stick with the MSN-202.
     
  25. GardenersHelper

    GardenersHelper

    Messages:
    4,435
    Name:
    Nick
    Edit My Images:
    Yes
    My setup seems to have stabilised, for now.

    [​IMG]
    GardenersAssistant setup January 2016
    by gardenersassistant, on Flickr

    Individual images here at Flickr.

    The flash unit is a manual (i.e. no TTL flash exposure metering) Venus Optics KX800.

    The bottom diffusion layer and the top diffusion layer in each bowl is 160 gram (I think) "plastic paper", as are the curved concave diffusers shown on the bottom row. The two smaller part-layers which sit on the bottom layer are cut from expanded polystyrene plates. The expanded polystyrene layers are held a little way off the bottom layer by male/female pairs of self-adhesive hook and loop (Velcro-like) squares. The outer diffusion layer is attached to the bowl, and the bowls are held on to the flash heads, with slightly larger hook and loop patches.

    I'll probably be using this setup sometimes without the concave diffusers and sometimes with one or with two concave diffusers. I haven't decided which setup I prefer yet. I may chop and change depending on subjects, scene configurations, mood etc.

    This setup shows a Raynox 150 or 250 on an adaptor tube on my FZ200. I sometimes use the same arrangement with my G5, especially with the MSN-202 for smaller subjects. I could use the same arrangement with my 70D, but I don't, because I've stopped using the 70D with flash, and only use it for natural light work, mainly flowers, and mainly lower magnification, either with the 55-250 STM lens by itself, or with the low power Canon 500D close-up lens.

    The KX800, with batteries and the bowl diffusers shown here, weighs 658 grams. The individual bowl diffusers weigh about 40 grams each.

    The FZ200 with one of my close-up lenses (Raynox 150, 250 and MSN-202, and Canon 500D) is about 20cm front to back and together with the KX800 and diffusers weighs about 1450 grams. The minimum scene width (with the MSN-202) is about 3.5mm (about 6:1 in APS-C terms, but I rarely if ever go to that degree of magnification).

    The G5 with 45-175 lens and one of my close-up lenses is about 17cm front to back, and together with the KX800 and diffusers weighs about 1350 grams. The minimum scene width is about 4.5mm (about 5:1 in APS-C terms)

    Autofocus works at all magnifications with both the FZ200 and G5, although at higher magnifications it is usually more practical to use fixed manual focus and move the camera. Except where something like a jumbled up spider's nest gets in the way, I routinely use autofocus at all magnifications available with the Raynox 250 and the less powerful Raynox 150 and Canon 500D. This means that with the Raynox 250 on the FZ200 I routinely autofocus down to a minimum scene width of about 8mm (about 2.8 :1 in APS-C terms).

    Within the range offered by each close-up lens, I can change magnification without moving the camera. I do this a lot, flipping back and forth between magnifications, as I like to have series of images with the subject a different size in the frame.

    I sometimes use a tripod and sometimes work hand-held, depending mainly on which approach I feel like using that day (or hour, or minute).

    I have a strange tripod.

    [​IMG]
    GardenersAssistant tripod January 2016
    by gardenersassistant, on Flickr

    Individual images here at Flickr.

    When I use the tripod I generally use it in "tripod-assisted" mode. I keep my hands on the camera and use the tripod to steady the camera. This helps in framing the image, the more so as magnification increases, and it gives me more precise, repeatable control over where the centre of focus falls, which is important for making best use of limited depth of field. It also helps me keep the camera pointing at a subject, and at the right distance from it, for extended periods, including in awkward to get at positions. This matters because I sometimes spend quite a long time photographing a particular subject, for example where there is some ongoing action such as a spider wrapping its prey. This "tripod-assisted" technique is similar to how some people use poles, sticks or monopods to steady the camera.

    I occasionally (generally in very still air) use the tripod in classic "hands-off" mode, using a remote shutter release. This is generally for flowers, although I do also use it for early morning natural light shots of invertebrates when they haven't started moving yet.

    I can get to shots faster hand-held, and some shots are only possible hand-held (e.g. one-handed leaning over the top of a bush and pointing the camera at a weird angle). But once I have the setup lined up (assuming I have time to do that), I can make better use of opportunities using the tripod. I can be more creative working hand-held, which is how I usually work for botanical subjects (which are generally quite low magnification). With invertebrates, I like working hand-held, but I think I probably get better results using the tripod.
     
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2016
  26. salsa-king

    salsa-king

    Messages:
    355
    Name:
    Phil
    Edit My Images:
    Yes
    maybe a silly question:
    What does a lens that says MACRO on it do that a non macro lens can't.. if they both do 100mm?
     
  27. GardenersHelper

    GardenersHelper

    Messages:
    4,435
    Name:
    Nick
    Edit My Images:
    Yes
    Not a silly question.

    A 100mm Macro lens will focus on a subject from much closer than a non-macro 100mm lens can, so the view will be "closer up", more magnified. Often, a macro lens will let you get a "1:1" view of the subject, which means that the image of the subject on the sensor is the same size as the subject. You won't be able to get close to this magnification with a non-macro lens. Some lenses with "Macro" written on them only go to 1:2, which means that the image of the subject on the sensor is half the size of the subject. This is I think more often true of "Macro" zoom lenses than prime (non-zoom) "Macro" lenses - but I might be wrong about that. I have a zoom lens for my Canon 70D that has "Macro" written on it, and it only goes to about 1:3.5.

    Put another way, if you are using a Macro lens that goes to 1:1, and it is on a Canon APS-C camera, then you will be able to photograph scenes down to 22.5mm wide, which is the width of a Canon APS-C sensor. With a Macro lens that only goes to 1:2 you will only be able to photograph scenes down to 45mm wide. The smallest scene width I can get down to with my "Macro" zoom lens on my 70D is about 80mm across.

    (Good) Macro lenses also focus across a pretty flat area, while non-macro lenses tend to have a slightly curved area of focus. So for example if you are photographing a postage stamp from close up, if you do it with a macro lens you should be able to get all of it in focus, from the centre of the image out to the edges. With a non macro lens if the centre is in focus the edges may well be out of focus because of the curved area of focus.
     
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2016
    salsa-king likes this.
  28. salsa-king

    salsa-king

    Messages:
    355
    Name:
    Phil
    Edit My Images:
    Yes
    ^^
    what you've explained is really helpful and put really well.

    What you're saying (I'm telling my wife) is that my Tamron 17-50 f2.8 vc and 70-200 f2.8 vc nor my canon 50 f1.8 will cut it when I want to focus on flowers for macro close up at next camera club meeting.. and I need a macro lens... but which one?

    Or can I just move in closer with the 70-200, focus the best I can, then crop to fill my picture with the flower head?
     
  29. GardenersHelper

    GardenersHelper

    Messages:
    4,435
    Name:
    Nick
    Edit My Images:
    Yes
    Thanks.

    Nooooo! For flowers I use my 70D and 55-250 STM (the "Macro" lens). It depends on the size of the flower of course. Occasionally, when I want to photograph small flowers, buds etc, I put a close-up lens on the 55-250. So you don't have to have a macro lens.

    There are several ways you can tackle close-ups and macro. I suggest you first take a look at this thread. which will introduce you to several options - macro lenses, close-up lenses, reversed lenses, extension tubes, teleconverters. Everyone has their favourite approach, and some people sometimes mix two or more of these options depending on the type of subject , the kit they have got and the amount of magnification they need.

    Yes, cropping is another option to add into the mix (and for flowers, probably quite a good place to start).
     
    alfbranch likes this.
  30. wormishere

    wormishere

    Messages:
    33
    Name:
    Mark
    Edit My Images:
    Yes
    Couldn't agree more!
     
  31. Paul Iddon

    Paul Iddon

    Messages:
    4,763
    Name:
    Paul
    Edit My Images:
    No
    This is the bits over my ringflash atm..
     

    Attached Files:

    • 1.jpg
      1.jpg
      File size:
      105.2 KB
      Views:
      41
    • 2.jpg
      2.jpg
      File size:
      51.7 KB
      Views:
      40
    • 3.jpg
      3.jpg
      File size:
      58.9 KB
      Views:
      39
    • 4.jpg
      4.jpg
      File size:
      58.7 KB
      Views:
      38
    GardenersHelper likes this.
  32. Paul Iddon

    Paul Iddon

    Messages:
    4,763
    Name:
    Paul
    Edit My Images:
    No
    Just nipped into the garden and tried to find anything alive to take with this diffusion. Luckily, there is one harvestman under a stone, so here is what I did:

    Straight out of the camera, f/11, ISO 160, 1.160sec. No editing - no alterations:

    [​IMG]


    Edit with a large crop, temperature correction (WB), and levels etc, the usual fare:

    [​IMG]

    Last one is just edited with no crop, different angle, the first one that I took:

    [​IMG]

    Paul.
     
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2016
  33. Leroy4bz

    Leroy4bz

    Messages:
    448
    Name:
    Leroy
    Edit My Images:
    Yes
    Another great macro Paul. Is that a spider minus a few legs? Also, how do you find the yongnuo ?, was going to pull the trigger on one at the weekend, but held back as there isn't many beasties about at the moment.
     
    Paul Iddon likes this.
  34. Paul Iddon

    Paul Iddon

    Messages:
    4,763
    Name:
    Paul
    Edit My Images:
    No

    Cheers Leroy.

    It's not a spider - spiders have 2 body segments which are distinct and separated - the head, thorax and abdomen of the Harvestmen are a compact oval body and appear fused (as with mites and ticks). Next, spiders have venomous fangs. Harvestmen have no venom glands or silk glands (they do not spin webs or build nests).

    I like the YN because it is just about the only way I can light anything at such close quarters.

    I do have the KX800 twin head flash, but it rarely sees the light of day...

    Paul.
     
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2016
    Leroy4bz likes this.
  35. alfbranch

    alfbranch

    Messages:
    7,691
    Name:
    Alf
    Edit My Images:
    Yes
    Thisis a set up I have trying out it gives up to 3X magnification about 6mm across the frame.

    This is my Olympus OMD E-M5 MKII with 60mm f2.8 macro lens 3 Kooka extensions tubes 48mm in total and a Raynox DCR250 and a Nissin Di466 with homemade diffuser.

    [​IMG]Macro rigg E M5II by Alf Branch, on Flickr

    This was taken with this set up I

    [​IMG]Orchesella cincta juvenile by Alf Branch, on Flickr

    This is an uncropped shot with this set up

    [​IMG]Dicyrtomina saundersi by Alf Branch, on Flickr
     
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2016
    GardenersHelper likes this.
  36. THIRTYFIVEMILL

    THIRTYFIVEMILL

    Messages:
    2,610
    Name:
    Dunc
    Edit My Images:
    Yes
    Guess I can now finally post my X-T1 rig in here! The ring flash is actually just used for continuous light whilst focusing the Venus Laowa 60mm.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Tripod has now been modded to remove the centre column:

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2016
  37. green

    green

    Messages:
    180
    Name:
    Ben Green
    Edit My Images:
    Yes
    How is that diffuser, Wing? Been looking at them online and they look easy enough to mod.
     
  38. THIRTYFIVEMILL

    THIRTYFIVEMILL

    Messages:
    2,610
    Name:
    Dunc
    Edit My Images:
    Yes
    It actually works very well, Ben. No need to mod they, they have a velcro strap that adjusts to your flash. Cheap as chips and does what it's supposed.
     
  39. green

    green

    Messages:
    180
    Name:
    Ben Green
    Edit My Images:
    Yes
    Thanks for that. Will pop one in my next order.
     
    WingTsun likes this.
  40. Cap'n Bill

    Cap'n Bill

    Messages:
    343
    Edit My Images:
    No
    This is my current indoor setup

    200mm Medical Nikkor f5.6 fixed focus lens with auxiliary focus lenses up to x3. The subject was in focus with the x1/2 to give you an idea of working distances. The lights are 12V LED arrays, 48 LEDs per panel. Originally intended for motorhome lighting and similar applications. The panels are on Gorillapod type mini tripods which I find a very flexible form of support.

    The other wiring is for the pilot lighting built into the lens. Originally this was 3V instrument panel bulbs but I have fitted 6V LED lamps which give many times more light. I would like to have used more powerful lamps but didn't want to modify the lens in any permanent way. The lens also has a built in ring flash but I don't use this as the trigger voltage is too high for the Sony and it's a very basic all or nothing flash.

    The lens is mounted on a tripod foot ex Canon 100mm f2.8, a basic focus rail, very useful since the lens has no focusing adjustment and a Hague powerhead which acts as a poor man's geared head and doesn't suffer from creep as a ball head tends to.

    Med Nikkor-09687.jpg Med Nikkor-09688.jpg
     
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2016
    green likes this.

Share This Page