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kdjoergensen Mar 6, 2006 3:37 PM

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My first real test of Canon S2 IS was this Sunday during the NY Botanical Gardens Orchid exhibition this Sunday.

My overall conclusion is that this camera is very good and I was especially pleased with color accuracy and saturation and light handling. I learned how to use the image stabilization function optimally. You still have to have a "steady hand" but then you can take long zoom pictures without tripod/monopods (they were not allowed in the exhibition!!!). One key factor was shutter speed control which comes down to light and/or iso control. In the darker areas, I used iso200 and leaned against a wall. In the main greenhouse portions I could use iso100 and take pictures at full zoom with arms tucked in.

A few other lessons learned:

- Macro function with Canon S2 IS is really only another way of getting "somewhat close" but without getting really close. This was helpful if you wanted to push the camera up against a flower so it filled the frame, without going any closer than that. This is in my book not "marco macro" photography, but more .. getting close.

- Supermacro function is what you would use to take really macro pictures (in my defintion) but the lack of adequate light in these conditions makes the use of this function "doubtfull". I prefer to use a macro lens (e.g. macro filter with magnification) instead. This allows you to shoot the really close-ups from 4-6 inches away and still have enough light to play. Using a macro (magnification) lens with the 12xzoom.. now THAT is interesting. Incredibly close !!

Here is two pictures to share:

1) A lilypad from a pond showing the handling of light and color

2) A hippeastrum (amaryllis) macro close-up using a 6x marco filter.

kdjoergensen Mar 6, 2006 3:37 PM

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Jackco Mar 10, 2006 9:30 PM

damn, thats a nice pic!

danielg Mar 13, 2006 8:51 PM

How did you attach a macro lens to the S2? Thanks

kdjoergensen Mar 13, 2006 9:20 PM

I used the lenshood / adapter sold seperately

The adapter attaches to the front of the camera if you remove the chrome dress ring. The ring can be removed by depressing the small button at the outer edge of the lens (when the camera is turned off) and by twisting the ringa 1/2 turn.

The lens used is the Rayonx DCR-250 Macro fliter

Tullio Mar 16, 2006 12:30 AM

Great images!!! Did you use the 52mm or 58mm adapter with the macro lense? I looked at the Lensmate site but could not figure out which size adapter is needed for this lense. I already have a 58mm adapter.

kdjoergensen Mar 16, 2006 9:59 AM

I had the 58mm adapter, too and this is what the picture is taken with.

The hoya lens is actually a 49mm which crews into an adjustable attachment (you simply squeeze the sides and snap it onto your adapter) . Because of the small diameter of the lens so you will actually see the attachment/macro lens at full wide angle (like looking through a tube). However, zoomed about 20% the converter will not be seen.

The macro lens allows you to get really really close while still allowing light in, but it does not allow you to zoom out to full wide angle (because the lens/attachment can be seen). Therefore you may find that you wanted to be close, but not THAT close (the subject does not fit in the frame for example) but you can not zoom out more than a certain amount. This will then require you to remove the macro lens and use regular macro or super macro instead.

E.g. use macro (or simply step back and use full zoom but no macro)
This will allow you to get the subject to fill at certain percentage of the frame

If you want to get closer to that, then use supermacro. E.g. you want a flower to fill the entire frame (say you are shooting 2-3" away from the flower)

If you find that you need to get even closer (inside the flower, as shown above) your light would have been blocked due to distance or you do not want to get this close in the first place, then you need to switch to theRayonxMacro lens.

I.e. I found that the Rayonx macro lens is really only a substitute for really close up macro photos. The regular macro function (which is only getting you so close) and even super macro from a few inces away can/should still be used.

Tullio Mar 16, 2006 12:06 PM

Thanks for the detailed information. I will certainly consider buying one of those macro lenses.

mchnz Mar 16, 2006 5:41 PM

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When used with the S2 IS, the DCR-250 has quite a small depth of field when used at high maginification (high magnification is the main point in having one). Unless the subject is flat on, it can be difficult to get the focus right. It took about 20 goes to get a couple of half way decent images of a moving ant. In bright sunlight there wasn't enough light to close down the aperture and keep the shutter speed up (I should have used some reflectors to increase the light further). The flip-out LCD is very useful for these kinds of shots.

As I understand it, the Canon macro accessory filter/lens has a greater depth of field - something to consider when shopping for a macro lens.

Last thought - as well as stills, macro-lens or super-macro insect video can be good fun to try.

Had to use some USM on this image to sharpen it up - could be blur/shake/focus issues (it's really had to hand hold a microscope :-))
ExposureTime: 1/640
ApertureValue: f/4.7
ExposureBiasValue: -1/3
ISO: 100
ExposureMode: Av-priority

Tullio Mar 16, 2006 7:04 PM

Great picture, mchnz. Your efforts certainly paid off. However, it sounds like a lot of work is involvedjust toobtain a fewgood shots with amacro lens.

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