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Old Mar 8, 2006, 9:25 AM   #1
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I just got my Nikon 4t about a week ago and haven't had a ton of time to play with it but I just had a few general questions for all those people out there posting the awesome bug pictures:

1) When you are taking the picture of these critters what is the approximate distance between the lens and the subject? I've been trying varying distances and zooms but can't seem to capture the close up detail as well as you pros are.

2) When I'm using the 4t should the camera be on normal mode or macro? I assume it doesn't matter but I thought I'd ask just in case.

3) Do you usually leave the camera zoomed out when you take a picture? Zoomed to the max?

4) Are there any other settings on the camera that should be set for taking awesome macros as far as metering modes, aperture settings, etc? I haven't had a lot of time to play with my camera since it's been snowing like crazy here the last few weeks, so I usually just put it on Auto settings or set the dial to P. But I'm sure there must be settings that can improve over that.


I'm not an experienced photographer but it's something I'd like to get into and the macro shots you guys post here just blow me away, I hope I can achieve results even close to that when the bugs finally start coming out again.

Thanks for any advice anyone can offer!
Kurt
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Old Mar 8, 2006, 10:22 AM   #2
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All a macro lens does on a camera like this is allow you to focus closer than normal. So at the 420mm setting, the minimum focus distance is 7ft, with the 4T, it'll be more like 1ft. And the macro setting just tells the AF to try to focus closer. Macros are usually best focused manually to control DOF. Macro DOF is unbelievably shallow, but you can take a series of shots at different focus levels and combine them in PP.
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Old Mar 8, 2006, 10:33 AM   #3
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while I am not good at macros...I usually move the camera closer ( set on MF and move the camera back and forth)to achieve the focus....and I use a smaller aperture ( larger #) to try and help with the DOF.
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Old Mar 8, 2006, 10:59 AM   #4
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Twitch1977 wrote:
Quote:
I just got my Nikon 4t about a week ago and haven't had a ton of time to play with it but I just had a few general questions for all those people out there posting the awesome bug pictures:

1) When you are taking the picture of these critters what is the approximate distance between the lens and the subject? I've been trying varying distances and zooms but can't seem to capture the close up detail as well as you pros are.

2) When I'm using the 4t should the camera be on normal mode or macro? I assume it doesn't matter but I thought I'd ask just in case.

3) Do you usually leave the camera zoomed out when you take a picture? Zoomed to the max?

4) Are there any other settings on the camera that should be set for taking awesome macros as far as metering modes, aperture settings, etc? I haven't had a lot of time to play with my camera since it's been snowing like crazy here the last few weeks, so I usually just put it on Auto settings or set the dial to P. But I'm sure there must be settings that can improve over that.


I'm not an experienced photographer but it's something I'd like to get into and the macro shots you guys post here just blow me away, I hope I can achieve results even close to that when the bugs finally start coming out again.

Thanks for any advice anyone can offer!
Kurt


1) 11.5" -14" depending on zoom.

2) It does not matter

3) It depends on the subject and how close I can get to it. The maximum magnification is achieved with maximum zoom. However I have discovered that by backing off to 7X - 8X I can increase DOF and crop 40% in PP without loss of detail.

4) Final focusing is achieved by moving the camera closer or farther from subject. I would shoot aperture priority and use spot focus with center metering.


The first shot full zoom the second shot 9X then 40% cropped.






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Old Mar 8, 2006, 11:09 AM   #5
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Thank you all for taking the time to reply. I can't wait to try this stuff out. There is talk in another thread about the various lighting you can do with macro shots, diffusers, bouncing etc.

On ebay, I have seen ring lights being sold for relatively cheap. Is it better to go with a diffuser setup using the cameras flash or just investing in a ring light and using that for lighting?

When you're shooting macros do you usually go with a tripod or end up just using handheld? I've been using a tripod for the few shots I've done but it seems like it would be cumbersome trying to chase down a bug and get everything set up in time to shoot it.

Again, thanks for your help.
Kurt
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Old Mar 8, 2006, 3:05 PM   #6
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I am new to macro too but basicly you must folow this rules

1. Always (or almost always) use flash. This will give you extra speed.
2. Set F8 (for FZ10,5,20) or F11 for FZ30. This will reduse the shot speed but because you use flash this will compensate it.
3. Use Manual focus or prefocus and then move to the subject until you focus to a specific part of it (because the DOF is very small you must chose where to focus).
4. Use zoom from 6x to 12x - some times smaller zoom is better - it gives you bigger DOF.
5. Try to use external flash (I do not have one because its to expensive where I live) and try to bounce it.
6. Shot, Shot, Shot. If you have 1 good shot from a 10 you are lucky one
7. Some times is good to focus at some "not importand" detail to create "strange" shot (see the attached image - FZ20, F8, x8 zoom DCR-250 macro lens - +8 diopters)
8. Starts by shoting not movig subjects (flowers are very good). Do not try to shoot "not-live" things. In macro mode you will see how bad "human-made" things are (of cource there are exceptions)
9. Hand held shots are good.





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