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Old Jun 8, 2010, 11:43 PM   #11
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Actually, I never use flash for anything. I've always been a big fan of available light, and I cheerfully acept my role here as a vocal minority. With flash, you don't know what you'll get until after you take the shot; with available light, you can see what you'll get in the viewfinder before you press the shutter button.

And I almost always shoot macro handheld (though I haven't shot much macro lately.)
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Old Jun 9, 2010, 5:54 AM   #12
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Welcome to macro.

The truth is, as magnifications get larger, depth of field gets smaller, and stopping down can only get so much of that back. When you get to 1 to 1 and beyond, not everything will be in focus.

I started a thread on a different forum awhile back. You may find it interesting.

http://forums.steves-digicams.com/ol...ad-anyone.html

Another site that takes macro to an extreme is:

http://www.photomacrography.net/

As you stop down, you loose shutter speed. As you loose shutter speed, you need more light (flash) or you need a more stable platform (tripod) and as you stop down you work well into diffraction softening limits of the camera.

There are methods of assembling a number of frames together, called "focus stacking" that are taken from micrometer adjustable focus rails and some use microscope objectives. No mater how extreme you want to get, there are those that play at a higher level. I draw the limits at what I can hand hold and not have to "stack". I do have a dedicated macro flash to help.

This is around 2.25:1 on a 2x crop body and is as much as I can do. Its taken at f18, so I'm about maxed out for stopping down. I'd eyeball and say DOF might be a millimeter. This is a dandilion.

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Old Jun 9, 2010, 11:03 AM   #13
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Thanks for the links pal. Will look at them soon.

The more I look into macro photography the more I can see scenarios where a tripod would be a necessity if not beneficial. Actually not even just for macro work.

So I whipped out my old Velbon and am using it now for general portrait shots. Only trouble is with this one I can't go low to the ground. I don't think this one can drop below 20 odd inches. So I'll be investing in a new carbon tripod, short column, and panhead (5-way adjustable from Induro...http://www.indurogear.com/products_c...ads.html#video). "Soon"...

And I'd have to say I prefer using ambient light. That's all I've been using 98% of the time. Having said that I do see the value of using flash in certain situations. Funny thing is I have a SB-800 I've never used. Brand new too. HAH! Something I have to change.

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Old Jun 9, 2010, 11:43 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BDD View Post
So I whipped out my old Velbon and am using it now for general portrait shots. Only trouble is with this one I can't go low to the ground. ...
On my Velbon, I can mount the camera upside down on the bottom of the central post. That lets me get very low. You might want to try it on yours.
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Old Jun 10, 2010, 10:22 AM   #15
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TCav,

Are you removing the center column then reinserting it in upside down? Then you'd be taking upside down shots which you'd have to turn "right side up" with software. Is this what you're doing? Or do you have a hook at the bottom of your column?

Right now my old Velbon (maybe over 15 years old if not more) only drops down to a low of 12" from the ground. With the head (that was included) I think the lowest height is 15".

I like what Velbon did with their latest tripods. Which have 2-piece columns. Giving you the best of both worlds. Allowing you to extend the column high to add height OR when you want to get low to the ground remove 3/4 of the column. Might consider another Velbon.

http://www.velbon.co.uk/newvelbon/pages/ultraluxil.html

Or buy one of the Joby Gorilla Pods...seems like a good idea...

http://www.henrys.ca/10249-GORILLAPO...OM-TRIPOD.aspx

Or buy a "table top tripod". Some don't even have columns. Or are totally detachable with only a mount for your camera.

I don't suppose you could take a photo of your setup?

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Old Jun 10, 2010, 11:30 AM   #16
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On mine, the central post that allows you to raise the head, has a 1/4-20 screw on the bottom. I can mount a camera upside down on that post to take low angle shots. Does yours have that?
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Old Jun 10, 2010, 11:49 AM   #17
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TCav,

Thanks for the photo.

No mine is just a basic column. Flat on the bottom.

Just noticed another kind of "low to the ground tripod" made by a company called Jobu (not the maker of the Gorilla Pods)...they call it a "scorpion pod"..not cheap (especially if you add a Gimball arm) but if you REALLY want to shoot low to the ground...

http://www.vistek.ca/search/jobu%20design.aspx
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Old Jun 12, 2010, 10:43 AM   #18
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Just wondering. Is it technically possible to accomplish what you can with a true macro lens capable of 1:1 magnification with a zoom or telephoto lens? Assuming you had enough space and the right setup. Obviously you wouldn't be shooting from a foot away in this case.

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Old Jun 12, 2010, 1:34 PM   #19
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You can put extension tubes on a "Macro" lens to get 1:1 or better. I had a Sigma 90/2.8 Macro lens (1:2, 1:1 with adapter) that I put on extension tubes and got about 2:1. I also put a 70-210/4.0 1:4 "Macro" lens on extension tubes and got just shortt of 1:1.

Extension tubes don't add any extra optics, so they don't degrade image quality all by themselves, but they will magnify the flaws in the lens you use them with, so that lens better be good.
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Old Jun 12, 2010, 5:07 PM   #20
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What I meant was...using a "standard" telephoto or zoom. A zoom or telephtoo lens that wasn't designed to do macro in addition. Would you have to use a 500mm telephoto lens to accomplish what you could using a 105mm 1:1 macro lens standing a foot away? Not that I'd ever buy a 500mm or 600mm lens (or not that I can ever imagine..unless I one day get into shooting wildlife...like birds in flight..highly unlikely).

But it is interesting what you can do with extension tubes. Might try it one day. In the VERY distant future. Getting a Nikkor 105mm f/2.8 VR Micro was already a stretch for me. But a lens I've always been meaning to pick-up for the heck of it. A lens to have in my collection. To try macro photography when my mood suits me. Sort of getting hooked...though for the photography I'm doing now (portraits...indoor) I mainly use primes and my 70-300.
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