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  1. Derek897

    Derek897

    Messages:
    282
    Name:
    Derek
    Edit My Images:
    Yes
    That gives me light like this,

    [​IMG]IMGP2076edcrpsm by dr.shutter, on Flickr

    [​IMG]IMGP2083edcrpsm by dr.shutter, on Flickr

    [​IMG]IMGP2103edcrpsm by dr.shutter, on Flickr
     
  2. Ajophotog

    Ajophotog He's macroscopic !

    Messages:
    14,891
    Name:
    Alby
    Edit My Images:
    Yes
    Derek897 likes this.
  3. Derek897

    Derek897

    Messages:
    282
    Name:
    Derek
    Edit My Images:
    Yes
    Yep its a bit of a beast alright, and there are times i cant get a shot because of it, in and around bushes and such, and there is a limit as to how close i can get, but on balance i think its allowed me to get more shots than not, if that makes sense.
    Id love a kx twin, but out of my budget, this flash cost me £30, so i cant complain at all.
    :):):)
     
  4. nandbytes

    nandbytes

    Messages:
    549
    Edit My Images:
    Yes
    not as exquisite or advanced as some set-up here but here's my cheapo start.

    nex-5n+kit flash, small pringles, canon 35-80mm (macro mod), commlite adapter
    gives ~0.8x at 35mm and ~1.8x at 80mm
    [​IMG]

    @45mm, ~1.0x
    [​IMG]

    @80mm, ~1.8x
    [​IMG]

    my next step is to figure out how to clean sensor... a lot of dirt shows at f/22 and above (cleaned up in pp in second image). Also commlite adapter is no good, gives internal reflection.
     
    Last edited: May 29, 2017
  5. Lefrash

    Lefrash

    Messages:
    38
    Name:
    Fraser
    Edit My Images:
    Yes
    Well this is mine:

    [​IMG]2017-07-02_11-09-15 by Fraser Sneddon, on Flickr

    Its all pretty cheap stuff. Nikon D80 with a 28-80mm lens with some extender tubes on from amazon. A yongnuo flash and DIY diffuser.

    I've only had one session with it and I'm a total beginner but here's a couple of examples tat came out ok in my opinion. Annoyingly though, I now cant get the extender tube off the lens. I unscrewed the little screw in the hope that would loosen something but it hasnt. Luckily it was just a cheap lens and I was planning on getting a nicer one anyay, but annoying nonetheless. I'll just need to use this as my 'macro' lens going forward.

    [​IMG]giraffe2 by Fraser Sneddon, on Flickr

    [​IMG]2017-07-02_11-07-58 by Fraser Sneddon, on Flickr
     
    Graham likes this.
  6. GardenersHelper

    GardenersHelper

    Messages:
    4,437
    Name:
    Nick
    Edit My Images:
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    I've made some changes since my last post here in September last year.

    The cameras

    I am still using the Panasonic FZ330 and achromats for flash-based work with invertebrates. For natural light botanical work, and natural light images of larger insects such as dragonflies, butterflies and damselflies (on the rare occasions I see any of these) I have dropped the Canon 70D with 55-250 lens (with and without an achromat) and now use a Panasonic G80 with 45-175 lens (with and without an achromat). I would also use this setup for long exposure still air tripod shots, but I haven't done any of those yet this year - the only time I did them previously was around dawn when the air was completely still, and I haven't done any sessions at that time of day this year.

    [​IMG]
    1205 01 FZ330 and G80
    by gardenersassistant, on Flickr

    The G80 with 45-175 (90 to 350 full frame equivalent) covers roughly the same scenes as the 70D with 55-250 (around 90 to 400 equivalent). The G80 has a 4:3 aspect ratio as against the 3:2 for the 70D, but the difference favours one or the other depending on the shot so that pretty much evens out. On the other hand the G80 is significantly smaller than than the 70D, and much lighter (720 grams with 45-175 and battery compared to 1150 grams for the 70D, 55-250 and battery).

    [​IMG]
    1205 02 Comparing the size of 70D with 55-250 with G80 with 45-175
    by gardenersassistant, on Flickr

    I find I get a greater proportion of sharp images with the G80. This may be some combination of better (more reliable, faster) autofocusing using the LCD screen (which I almost always use) and better image stabilisation (the G80 has in-body image stabilisation, IBIS, which works together with the lens image stabilisation, IS, whereas the 70D only has IS).

    I used the G3 (and later the G5) for botanical work in preference to my bridge cameras because I preferred the rendition of light, colours and textures. When I got the 70D I felt it did a bit better again, although the improvement was less clear cut. With the G80 I have the impression that I'm getting at least as good as with the 70D in terms of image quality for my botanical subjects.

    Unlike the 70D, the G80 doesn't have an anti-aliasing filter, and this may help with capturing fine detail, but for botanical work I find that much less of an issue than with invertebrates, so I don't think that is a key factor.


    The close-up lenses uses for flash work


    In the previous post I showed my achromats, each with its own diffuser.

    [​IMG]
    0975 21 The close-up lenses and their concave diffusers
    by gardenersassistant, on Flickr

    As before with the 70D, I generally only use the low power Canon 500D achromat with the G80 (or no achromat at all).

    With the FZ330 I have simplified the way I use achromats. The issue I found was that changing achromats was quite fiddly, because I had to detach the diffuser from the close-up lens, put away the diffuser, unscrew the lens, put away the lens, get out and screw on the different achromat and get out and fit the different diffuser to the close-up lens.

    I now leave a Raynox 150 attached to the FZ330 the whole time, and leave the Raynox 150 diffuser attached to it (and also attached to the focusing lamp so as to keep the diffuser from flopping down). When I want more magnification I get out a second Raynox 150 or a Raynox 250 and screw it on to the Raynox 150 which is already on the camera. I don't have to fiddle with the diffuser. It turns out that this gives me enough magnification for what I currently want to do (and this includes globular springtails and mites), and rather surprisingly the large Raynox 150 diffuser doesn't, for the most part, get in the way despite the shorter working distances that come with the extra magnification. This approach has made changing achromats much easier and faster.


    Flash head diffusers


    I'm still using the Venus Optics KX800 twin flash and there has been no change in the diffusion arrangements since the previous post.

    [​IMG]
    0975 22 Flash head diffuser
    by gardenersassistant, on Flickr

    Each diffuser has three layers, two of "plastic paper" and one of expanded polystyrene. They attach to the flash heads with velcro.


    FZ330 setup

    Here is the FZ330 with the baseline setup with the Raynox 150 and the largest of the concave diffusers.

    [​IMG]
    1205 03 FZ330 with Raynox 150
    by gardenersassistant, on Flickr

    The diffuser is attached to the Raynox 150 using velcro. To stop the diffuser waving around in the breeze and/or flopping down in front of the lens the diffuser is supported by the KX800 focusing lamp using a strip of velcro. The slack in the support lets the concave diffuser move as the camera lens moves in and out.

    The focusing light lets me use these setups at night, and can also help the autofocusing work in poor daytime light/in shade.


    KX800 flexible arm arrangement


    [​IMG]
    0975 24 Concave diffuser and flexible arm arrangements
    by gardenersassistant, on Flickr

    On the left one of the flash heads has been moved out of the way for this shot, and it is in the sort of position that can be used to illuminate dark backgrounds while the other head is used to illuminate the subject. I am doing this a lot more now.

    As shown on the right, the arms are crossed over as it turns out this is the best configuration to get the heads into a suitable position and adjust them without stressing the wiring that runs through the flexible arms.


    LCD hoods

    I have made LCD hoods of the same design as before for my other cameras, these made out of black paper, which is very light. I now keep an LCD hood permanently attached to the G80 and FZ330 so I don't have to fiddle around taking LCD hoods on and off. It turns out that I can carry around the G80 in my backpack with the LCD hood still attached. (The FZ330 never goes in the bag because of the KX800 flash being permanently attached to it.)

    [​IMG]
    1205 04 LCD hoods
    by gardenersassistant, on Flickr


    Batteries

    I previously used two boxes for batteries, one for camera batteries and one for flash batteries. The G80 and the FZ330 use the same batteries so I can now use just one box for both camera and flash batteries.


    The rest of the kit

    [​IMG]
    1205 05 The rest of the kit
    by gardenersassistant, on Flickr

    Differences here include the lack of steadying sticks. I did use them a few times around the time of my previous post, but I haven't used them since then. I really think I should try again, especially with the smaller subjects that I'm shooting more of now.

    The wellington boots have been replaced by safety boots. They have very deep treads which give great grip on the (sometimes muddy) slopes that I've been working on recently. The other major change is the trousers. They have (replaceable) knee pads. This is a huge improvement over the separate knee pads that I wore previously and would continuously fall down/off. The trousers also have a remarkable number of pockets. I use these to carry around a spare camera battery and a set of flash batteries so I can change them without having to put the camera down, delve around in the bag, open boxes etc. This makes battery changes much faster which has proved very useful. The "pouch" pockets hanging just under the belt are big enough for the boxes I keep my achromats in, so I typically carry around a second Raynox 150 in one of them so I can quickly add and remove a second 150 to get more magnification for small subjects.
     
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2017
    Graham, Derek897 and davholla like this.
  7. mjmountain

    mjmountain

    Messages:
    158
    Edit My Images:
    Yes
    Here's mine, in the pics:
    Sony A77
    Sigma 105
    Optional Raynox 250
    Metc mecablitz 44 af-1 flash
    Ice cream tub diffuser. Foil covered. Lid replaced with two layers of kitchen towel in a document envelope.

    Also have (not in pics)
    Minolta 75-300 for use with Raynox
    Various lens tubes
    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]
     
    davholla and GardenersHelper like this.
  8. Orangecroc

    Orangecroc

    Messages:
    833
    Name:
    Ben
    Edit My Images:
    Yes
    Just ordered myself some meike extension tubes, now all I have to do is make myself a homemade diffuser for my on camera flash. Going to try and fit it so it's held by the hotshoe.
     
  9. mjmountain

    mjmountain

    Messages:
    158
    Edit My Images:
    Yes
    I just improved my homemade diffuser by giving it a layer of bubblewrap - made a big difference!
     
    Orangecroc likes this.

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