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Old Mar 13, 2007, 6:42 PM   #1
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Went to Butterfly Conservatory in Cambridge, Ontario, on Sunday (near where Annie 57 is?).
Made a first attempt at butterfly macros. Discovered they are really difficult to do!!! Results are disappointing as the following pix show. Problem seems to be that you can't focus close enough to fill the frame - but when you enlarge & crop in PP, you lose a lot of detail.
First shot is of the waterfall - to provide context:
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Old Mar 13, 2007, 6:44 PM   #2
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Now - a few butterflies:
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Old Mar 13, 2007, 6:47 PM   #3
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Another:
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Old Mar 13, 2007, 6:48 PM   #4
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And another:
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Old Mar 13, 2007, 6:50 PM   #5
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Last one:
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Old Mar 13, 2007, 6:52 PM   #6
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except for this flower which needed no cropping:
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Old Mar 13, 2007, 6:58 PM   #7
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Went searching on the internet to see what I could learn.
The key seems to be a close-up lens, which are apparently not easy to use.
Raynox 150 or 250 seems to be the one most recommended (250 probalbly too much for a newbie). Anyone used the close-up accessory from Panasonic?
Needs to be used with diffuser or bounce flash.
Any tips, tricks or advice you all can give me?
Can it be done hand-held (tripod seems cumbersome in a crowded space)?
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Old Mar 13, 2007, 7:23 PM   #8
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Hi Windrowe, love the 3rd pic...
I recently bought a 150 lens myself for macro work. I`ve yet to get the best from it but have learnt a few little things which may be of use to you if you`re considering one of these attachments.
Firstly, I`ve found it far more effective to set the camera to manual focus, and focus on the subject by slightly moving the camera towards or away from it, once you get roughly in the focus range.....These lenses have a narrow focus distance and so far relying on the autofocus has proved too hit and miss. The 150 lens which i have focusses around 7 to 8 inches away from the subject, far enough back to use the onboard flash provided its diffused enough (i made a diffuser that slots over the flash from an opaque plastic milk carton).
So far my pics with this setup have been handheld which can be tricky at times, and i`m planning on experimenting with my lightweight tripod with only 2 of the legs folded out, so it can be tilted forward or backwards to focus while providing a bit more steadiness than handholding.If it proves successful i`ll report back and let you know.
You also really need to set the camera at F8 or above (depending on model) to get the best depth of field with these lenses.....at full zoom with the lens attached DoF can be a matter of millimetres so it pays to maximise this.
Hope that helps, i`ve attached about the best pic i`ve managed so far handholding( a woodlouse approx 8mm long,shot with heavily diffused onboard flash), hopefully my results will improve as I get used to the setup....

Mark H
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Old Mar 13, 2007, 7:43 PM   #9
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Thanks much for the information, Mark.
After a lot of experimenting & failed attempts, I finally figured out that it was best to set focus & mode to manual as you recommend. This helped make sure one was focussing on the subject and not the surroundings; manual mode helped control DOF by narrowing aperture and helped avoid motion blur from too long an exposure in the ambient light.
I found I could control illumination with the falsh output.
The tip on using the tripod makes a lot of sense - thanks for the advice. Maybe a monopod would work as well and be less cumbersome. Any toughts?
Judging from the sample photo you posted, I've got to try out your pointers. I am impressed with the results you have achieved.
I understand the Raynox clips onto the regular lens barrel & is thus easy to install.
I assume I should remove the UV filter I keep in place to protect the lens. (I would prefer to avoid doing so if possible as I am the sort of person who tends to lose or drop the filter at the slightest opportunity!!!
I look forward to further information as you experiment.
Cheers,
Robin.
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Old Mar 13, 2007, 7:53 PM   #10
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Hi again, I tried using the tripod i`ve got with one leg extended to get the same effect as a monopod as i was considering buying one for that purpose. I`m not the steadiest person behind a camera and found it only a slight improvement....the tripod with 2 legs folded out was a lot more solid and it wasnt too difficult to manoevre the camera to frame/focus. If youve got steadier hands than me then a monopod may be ample.I`d take the filter off before attaching the macro lens to retain optimum sharpness.
Thanks for the comment on the pic, i`m looking forward to learning a bit more once the weather warms up and there are a few more willing subjects to shoot.

Mark H
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