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Old Oct 23, 2002, 8:51 AM   #11
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Tony, sorry if I have confused things. I didn't mean that close-up lenses would not be the ideal choice - they are necessary for macro work with the UZI, it's just that the 'ordinary' ones will not give you the performance of the achromatic types. If you can pick up a couple of these you would be better off. If you start off with the closeup lens set you will get pretty good results, and perhaps pick up some s/h achromatics when the chance arises.

As far as your B300 is concerned, that is a great lens for distant work (I had one until it collided with a rock!), but is not the lens for macro photography. Having said that, if you combine it with a good close-up lens (sandwiched between it and the camera) it is great for things like butterflies. I use the A200 in this way. While I think about it, the Olympus A-Macro does not have a filter thread at the front so it cannot be used for this job, I have to use the Sigma lenses.

When it comes to what size of close-up lenses I'm afraid it's back to decisions decisions, as well as an element of compromise again. If you go for the 55mm thread the extra diameter of the lenses will have a bearing on how close you can get without getting a shadow cast on the object when you use flash. The Olympus A-Macro lens that I've got comes with a diffuser that clips onto the lens to overcome this problem. This works well - it is quite feasible to make your own version out of a transluscent plastic milk container and use it with other lenses. The MCON-40 may also have the same diffuser, perhaps someone else can confirm this.

There is nothing that should be frightning about taking macro photographs. You will have to get used to coping with the very shallow depth of field that is a characteristic of all macrophotography - the closer you get the shallower it becomes. Focusing and a steady camera becomes critical. This is one of those times when digital helps with its almost instant feedback so that you can try again before the subject flies or crawls off.

Once you've got the lenses, go find a spider or a fly and experiment!
david@mybitoftheplanet is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Oct 23, 2002, 8:58 AM   #12
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I think I will walk before I run and go for the close up lenses. 55mm it is as theres more on Ebay and I want to keep my stepup ring on.

I envisage outdoor daytime so flash wouldnt be too much of a problem. (I dont think?) I have seen the defuser on screenshots with other products.. might try to get one then i am prepared.

The MCON-40 is on my shopping list but its a bit close to crimbo to be spending that much so may get the lenses from ebay to use as experiment until after crimbo then get the MCON

So its 55mm close up lenses and plenty of experimenting.. So long as I have a bit of knowledge and pointers before I get to weekend it all helps..

Many thanks
TonyG is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Oct 23, 2002, 2:18 PM   #13
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Don't be surprised if you find that flash is useful even on a sunny day, especially if the subject is in deep shadow.

For the diffuser, a square of transluscent plastic milk container with a semicircle cut out of one side to fit the lens, some Blutack to secure it, and you have a perfectly adequate device!

To give you an idea of how I set the camera when taking macros, I nearly always have the UZI set to aperture priority( f8 ), or manual when using external flash, and focusing set to manual (usually at the nearest setting).

Manual focusing means that I then move the camera until I am satisfied that I have found the best focusing situation. I often use a focusing rail for this if the subject is co-operative.
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