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  1. oldandintheway

    oldandintheway

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    Rob
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    Great article and thread.
    I used to use Marumi and Leica Elpro achromats with stunning results.
    The Elpros can often be bought for a very low price on fleabay.
     
  2. Tintin124

    Tintin124

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    Thought I'd better give an update (I've not forgotten just trying to get a reasonable easy way to learn way to do this), I'm in a process of writing a simplified initial post for people who have never done macro which will then lead onto links to other threads with more specific details on the following subjects; NOT IN ORDER

    Exposure
    Technique
    Settings
    Lighting & Setups
    DOF
    Equipment

    LINKS to the other stickies

    anything else anyone thinks would be handy
     
  3. alfbranch

    alfbranch

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    Alf
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    Bryn
    How about some examples like this for different set upsshowing what you can use but also how close you need to get and what can be achieved

    Here are some shots of a previous set up.

    This is an Olympus OMD E-M1 (which I still use) and a 4/3 40-150mm zoom (I have a newer smaller version in m4/3)

    Please note that the minimum focus distance of this lens is 1.4 meters

    This set at 150mm with a Raynox DCR 250 fitted and the card shows the minumum focus distance

    [​IMG]at 150 mm with raynox by alf.branch, on Flickr


    This is the same lens at 40mm again the focus distance marked.

    [​IMG]at 40 mm with raynox by alf.branch, on Flickr

    This shot was taken at 150mm with this set up

    [​IMG]Hover-fly by alf.branch, on Flickr

    This was at 134 mm (it is a big ant)

    [​IMG]Ant-Queen by alf.branch, on Flickr


    This was at 40mm

    [​IMG]Ant-Queen-3 by alf.branch, on Flickr
     
    Last edited: May 14, 2017
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  4. Tintin124

    Tintin124

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    There will be a setup section though it may be best just to link to show us your macro setup page. But great idea.
     
  5. GardenersHelper

    GardenersHelper

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    Nick
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  6. Tintin124

    Tintin124

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    Bryn
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  7. alfbranch

    alfbranch

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    Alf
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    Bryn I rather like this guys video on the subject



     
  8. Tintin124

    Tintin124

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    Neil Burnell likes this.
  9. alfbranch

    alfbranch

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    Alf
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    An example of different light on a subject.

    Here is a fly taken strong sunlight no diffusers or reflectors (sorry the focus is slightly off) processed from RAW best I could

    [​IMG]Fly with sunlight by Alf Branch, on Flickr

    Here is a shot taken 10 seconds earlier of the same subject with a diffused flash again processed from RAW.

    [​IMG]Fly with flash by Alf Branch, on Flickr
     
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  10. GardenersHelper

    GardenersHelper

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  11. Paul Iddon

    Paul Iddon

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    I was surprised at how many cameras you have Nick :)

    Paul.
     
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  12. alfbranch

    alfbranch

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    Alf
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    I have watched the first one aly at the moment and I found it really helpful especially the explenation about the position of the Raynox reletive to the camera.

    Thanks a lot for doing that.
     
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  13. GardenersHelper

    GardenersHelper

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    :D

    Handy for demonstrating things though. Well, that's my excuse. Actually, I get to throw out a camera now as the LCD on my SX10 seems to have died. I still have the S3 though.:)
     
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  14. GardenersHelper

    GardenersHelper

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    Thanks Alf. Turns out they are really fun to do. Did another one tonight. :)
    Macro autofocus with a macro lens on a dSLR.
    Bit of a different story with this one.
     
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2016
  15. GardenersHelper

    GardenersHelper

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    And more than a bit misleading I think. I messed up there. I'm working on understanding it better so I can do a follow-up/correction/clarification/admission of ignorance, stupidity, slow on the uptake or whatever.
     
  16. Phiggys

    Phiggys

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    I found this post and thought I might as well share with you as someone higher up in the thread stated Macro definition > greater than 1:1 which I thought was entering into micro photography ?
    Some useful info though never the less :)
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Macro_photography
     
  17. IVN

    IVN

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    I see a lot of people here use make shift macro gear just like I do. I shoot a lot of macro and yet I don't own a single macro lens. What I do instead is use my Oly 45/1.8 together with two achromatic lenses (Marumi DHG200 and Raynox DCR-250) and FOTGA extension tubes. And if I go out shooting with my Nikon 1 gear, I use my 30-110mm f/3.8-5.6 lens and the two achromatic lenses. You hardly ever need more magnification than either of those combos can deliver.

    Just to show what can be done with either of the two combos. Here are a couple of shots taken with the Oly:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    And here are a couple taken with the Nikon:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  18. Pete B

    Pete B

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    Couple of pics of my simple flash setups

    Cut drainpipe that clips into hotshoe with the onboard flash raised with the macro lense


    IMG_0752.jpg



    And a £3.50 diffuser from the bay with the Raynox

    IMG_0753.jpg
     
  19. Bollygum

    Bollygum

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    Steve
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    I thought it may be useful to write a bit on focus stacking, since I do more of it that most.. I think there are 3 types.

    1. Studio focus stacking
    2. Field focus staking with tripod
    3 Field focus stacking hand held

    I know very little about 1, a bit about 3 and a lot about 2. So I'll concentrate on 2.

    2. Field focus staking with tripod

    This can only be done with stationary subjects. For example fungi, lichen, moss, some insects, or any other generally inanimate subjects.
    The key to good focus stacking like this is speed. If you plan on taking several minutes for your sequence, you will have a very high failure rate. You need to balance the various opportunities to improve resolution and light quality against the time taken the get those improvements.

    Lighting. While the strongest light is either sunlight or flash, it does not make the best pictures. Flash can be good if you are a lighting expert and you are willing to carry studio equipment around with you (multiple light sources, multiple reflectors and shades, etc), but even then good natural lighting is usually preferable. The first problem with good natural light is that it is almost always less intense that sunlight or flash, and therefore requires a longer exposure, but it gives beautiful results. I spend as much time searching for the right light as I do searching for the right subject. Bright sunny days with harsh lighting are not very good for macro photography, nor are lightly overcast days with very flat lighting. I find that the very best days for macro photography (and other sorts too) is when it is heavily overcast or even raining, though rain isn't an easy environment to work in. Lighting is generally one of the major components to any good photography as it can change the contrast and colour. It can make the hairs on a subject stand out without making them overwhelm. It can make the difference between a wow subject and yet another ordinary one. It may be technically good to show every detail on a macro, but it is something special to show every little detail AND have a beautiful picture as well.

    Aperture. While to get the very best from studio focus stacking, you may want to use f8 or less, this is generally not true in the field. The reason for this is that things change in the field. The light can change, or the wind, or your tripod can move, or an insect can decide to move, etc. While you need to select a "field studio" to take your shot, it is still in the field and therefore open to the vagaries of nature. I use f16 on my current camera (a Sony A7R3) and f18 on my older cameras (about 20MP full frame cameras) or F16 on an APSC 20MP camera. Most people will tell you that this is far to high as you get significant diffraction effects, but I have experimented and found the net effect to be quite small. The "net" effect includes improvement in resolution due to lens effects which tend to balance the loss of resolution due to diffraction effects. If I use a lower fstop then I have to take more photos to complete the stack and I run the risk of something changing or missing the focus at some point. Focus stacks look terrible if there are patches that are oof.
    Also, if you use a low fstop you will probably need to use a focus rail, and a good one. With high fstops, a small move of the focus ring will change the focal plain by enough for that fstop, but will probably be too much for f8 or less. If you opt for a focus rail it will need to be a good one, like RRS, as cheap rails wobble a bit and are usually useless for fine work like this. A focus rail is "better" than using the focus ring as using the focus ring changes the focus and the magnification, which means that you will lose a bit of resolution in the final stack. But, the compromise is usually worth it because it saves a lot of setup time and an extra piece of equipment. If you use the Canon MP-E lens, you will have to use a macro rail as it has no focus ring.

    Shutter speed and ISO. Most of my field macros are taken at 1sec or more (often 5-10 secs). Once you have decided on an aperture there are only two ways that you can vary the shutter speed.
    1) Changing the light. It is always good to get enough light on the subject and in the right places. If the light is dim or shaded in critical places you can use reflectors to modify the light. With macro, this can be a piece of white paper or aluminium foil. Both are very easy to carry.
    2) Changing the ISO. This is camera dependant. I will go up to ISO800 on my Sony camera which gives a slight increase in noise but allows 1/8 of the shutter speed compared to ISO100. If the shutter speed would be 30 secs at ISO100, then it will be 4 secs at ISO800.

    Keeping the camera steady. This is important with all long exposure photography and particularly important with multiple shot photography. Between each shot you will usually need to touch the equipment, usually to change the focus. This introduces the possibility of moving the camera between shots, so a good tripod on a firm foundation is essential. Activating the shutter is also a danger point for movement. I use a remote shutter release, which eliminates this. If you don't have that then use a timer release, so as to let the camera settle before activating the shutter. Where possible use electronic first curtain to eliminate mirror slap, if it is a problem with your camera. It is worth noting that most focus stacking software can tolerate small movements of the camera (a few pixels) with little problem, though large movements are hard to compensate.

    Equipment.
    A camera with a macro capable lens. I use a Sony A7R2 and A7R3 with a Sony 90mm G OSS macro as my preferred camera, but I have also used a Canon 7D2, 5D3 and 1Ds3 and the Canon MP-E with all cameras.
    A good tripod that can hold the camera steady across multiple shots. Many cheap tripods will not do this. I use a Gitzo tripod, but I'm think that there are cheaper tripods that will work.
    Some stacking software for post processing. I use Helicon Focus but there are others that are cheaper. You can do it manually using Photoshop layers (I did this before the software became available), but it is a lot of work and I wouldn't recommend it.

    I've attached some examples of Field focus stacking with a tripod. I will sometimes do upward of 100 of these in a day, so time taken is very important.

    Cookeina tricholoma. You will note that the white object on the back branch (bottom right of fungus) loses definition on the hairs. This is one of the challenges of focus stacking. It is impossible to get both an overlapping background and foreground perfect.
    [​IMG]

    Plectania campylospora
    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]
     
  20. joetheslug

    joetheslug

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    Joe
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    Great post...really interesting. Thanks.
     

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