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Old Sep 14, 2006, 9:01 PM   #1
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The Raynox 150 lens came in today as well as the KWIKAIM so if anybody has any suggestions, ideas, etc on the best way to start learning to use either of these new tools, please let me know!!! I am a complete beginner in the world of macro photography. thanks in advance...
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Old Sep 15, 2006, 7:19 AM   #2
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Hmm, I don't know if a macro lens and an RDS together are going to be of much use :-), but for any macro lens the biggest thing to get used to is the very small depth of field. So the first thing I'd do is go for a wander somewhere with lots of flowering plants/trees and shoot closeups of flowers, because you quickly learn about DOF with those. Once you're done, look at the photos on something larger than the built-in LCD and be surprised at how much of what you've shot is out of focus without you noticing it when you were shooting. Also try the same shot at different apertures so you can see what effect it has on both the subject and on background blurring (make sure there's something obvious like other plants at various distances in the background to see this).

Once you've got that mastered, it gets a bit more complicated and depends on what you shoot, reading some of the posts by macro photographers here should give you some good advice.

Oh yes, whatever you're shooting, plan to throw away a lot of shots because of focus issues and/or (for things like insects) because it moved halfway through.
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Old Sep 15, 2006, 8:22 AM   #3
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Hi Annie, can't be of much technical help, but am looking forward to seeing what you can do. Donna
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Old Sep 15, 2006, 9:36 AM   #4
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Yay! I love it when the new toys come in. All I can say is the focus is around 10 inches (um or was that 8 inches:? sure you'll figure it out) from the subject throughout the zoom. Find a nice small flower and get to know the DOF. Find a lazy bug and point it at its face. :-)

As for the Kwikaim..sounds like a nifty toy but I don't have that one.

Beth Ellen
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Old Sep 15, 2006, 10:17 AM   #5
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Hmmm, I love macros, and I can't wait to see some. I am by no means a professional or have vast experience, but this is what works for me.

For macros I would suggest a tripod, if you don't already have one, to keep the camera steady even for well lit shots. At such a high magnification, even the smallest shake will be amplified.

I started off with spiders because they were around and kept very still (for me anyway)! For still objects, I use the 2 second timer (on the FZ7; your camera may vary) for even less camera shake.

Obviously, this can't be done for all things. Faster moving bugs or difficult to reach subjects will require hand holding the camera.

And as Lens Flare said, aperture will affect DOF big time. I try to use the highest aperture number if possible (8.0) to get the most in focus, depending on how much light is available and how still the object is. However, you may only want certain parts in focus (ie the head) so you would want to try different aperture settings. Don't hesitate to use the flash to better light the subject.

Well, that's enough. My last advice is to try different settings and shoot, shoot, shoot! You will learn the most this way.

Sorry, I have no advice about the KWIKAIM :sad:

Good luck and post those shots!

--Mark
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Old Sep 15, 2006, 10:25 AM   #6
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Hi, Annie. I'm not into macro photography but I have a thought or two on using the Kwik Aim. You might want to start outon large moving objects, such as airplanes, automobiles, etc. This will help develop good panning skills. Then move to progressively smaller subjects if you're interested in such things as flying birds, etc. It takes quite a bit of practice to get a reasonable percentage of properly framed, properly exposed, and properly focused shots. Experiment with bracketed shots and burst modes, too. The main thing is to not get discouraged...with practice and experimentation you'll eventually succeed. Good luck.
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Old Sep 15, 2006, 10:41 AM   #7
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Mark27 wrote:
Quote:
And as Lens Flare said, aperture will affect DOF big time. I try to use the highest aperture number if possible (8.0) to get the most in focus, depending on how much light is available and how still the object is. However, you may only want certain parts in focus (ie the head) so you would want to try different aperture settings
Another reason for using a smaller-than-maximum aperture is to blur the background so it's not too distracting (see for example the flower porn I posted recently in a thread of the same name, although the last shot is getting pretty cluttered). This is where you need a lot of practice, since you need to get just enough DOF to keep the subject in focus while maximising blurring of the background to avoid distractions.

(Of course you can always cheat and PP it afterwards, but a typical macro shot has huge amounts of detail that makes messing with only the background portion of the shot tricky).
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Old Sep 15, 2006, 11:40 AM   #8
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Thanks everybody. I have printed this all of so I can take it with me when I have a chance to go into the field!!!!:|
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Old Sep 15, 2006, 4:40 PM   #9
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For the Raynox, well I have had mine a while now and am loving it and think I have mastered the little thing well once I learned about the high F stops I had.

The thing is try flash, with a fast shutter speed (1/100th second) and a high F stop (F8-11) and that way even of you are moving the camera it will still be ok most the time. I cannot use a tripod outside as hey its to big to lug about so I take most my pics handheld, its hard on the hands keeping the camera perfectly still mind you.

Turn the camera to manual focus and Move the camera at 1st, not the focus, dont try to get the focus perfect if its handheld as by the time you have focused on the thing perfectly when you press the button to take the pics your probibly gonna shake a little anyway.

So try moving the camera a little backwards and forwards till you think the focus is perfect, then quickly press the button down (the screen may go black sadly if its not a bright day making it hard to focus once the screen is dark ) the flash will come on and hey presto, your on the way. Just remember it can take many shots to get one in perfect focus.

Its hard at 1st I will admit, once you learn the distance thing it becomes far easier and i now judge the distance very well all the time. So practice makes perfect I guess.

You can also try no flash of course as long as the weather is bright its good, its just the darker the weather the slower your shutter speed will become and that starts to get hard to get great images as the cameras moving and bluring some pics.

In the end all I can say is take lots, I took hundreds my 1st try and not many looked very good. The more you take the better will will surley get :G I took hundreds today and again not many look great, but as long as I get some a handfull I dont mind at all.
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