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Old Sep 2, 2008, 8:21 PM   #11
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penolta wrote:
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Nice ones, GW. The lens looks OK for these shots, considering the size of the display. Because of the feathery nature of butterfly scales, some of the lines (like the brown ones along the back margins of the wings) are blended and could not be sharpened no matter what you might do. The only improvement that might be needed would be more DOF, which is not likely the fault of the lens. Also the edges of some of the leaves look sharper than the wings, indicating that the focus was sightly off (greater DOF would have eliminated this) - sometimes AF is preferable to MF, particularly with hand-held shots. Some unsharpness at the wing tips could also be motion blur from moving wings, again not the fault of the lens.
Thank you for the kind words Penolta,
You're right, it wasn't entirely the lens fault but, it's easier to blame the lens.:G Actually, I had several issues I was dealing with: the lens is an old manual Ricoh 35-70mm (macro) I had to stop it down to f22 to keep from blowing the highlights. Plus, it was so hot and humid the sweat was running down into my eyes so bad I was lucky to focus at all!:lol: I totally agree on DOF but not sure what I could have done to change it.:-?
Thanks for your input.
GW

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Old Sep 2, 2008, 11:41 PM   #12
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I like the pictures as-is. The coloring lends itself to a bit of softness.

As far as the dof - if you were already using f22, there won't be much more you can do to increase it, at least with this subject (you can try to use a shorter lens, but then you have to get closer - hard to do with live butterflies). It looks like quite a few of your pictures are focused just behind your primary subject - not very much, but just enough to introduce extra softness. You might want to go to the point you think the picture is in focus, then bring the focus closer to you just a hair (or after focusing, slightly lean back). I'm assuming you don't do what I often do when shooting macro - I have a really bad habit of slightly leaning forward just as I push the shutter. It's as though I'm trying to press the picture, I think I sometimes get too tense trying to stay still when I'm shooting macro. I only noticed that I tend to do this recently, and I have far less problems with this when I use a pole/stick/trekking pole etc. to brace myself against.
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Old Sep 3, 2008, 11:28 AM   #13
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You can effectively increase DOF by increasing lens-to-subject distance (ie, backing off). If you shoot at a higher .jpg resolution or RAW, you can enlarge a portion of the image to the same size and still retain adequate sharpness.
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Old Sep 3, 2008, 3:00 PM   #14
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penolta wrote:
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You can effectively increase DOF by increasing lens-to-subject distance (ie, backing off). If you shoot at a higher .jpg resolution or RAW, you can enlarge a portion of the image to the same size and still retain adequate sharpness.
Hey Penolta,
I hadn't thought of backing off, I guess I had the mindset of getting as close as I could to fill the frame.:lol:
Thanks for the suggestion.:bye:
GW
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Old Sep 3, 2008, 3:06 PM   #15
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mtngal wrote:
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I like the pictures as-is. The coloring lends itself to a bit of softness.

As far as the dof - if you were already using f22, there won't be much more you can do to increase it, at least with this subject (you can try to use a shorter lens, but then you have to get closer - hard to do with live butterflies). It looks like quite a few of your pictures are focused just behind your primary subject - not very much, but just enough to introduce extra softness. You might want to go to the point you think the picture is in focus, then bring the focus closer to you just a hair (or after focusing, slightly lean back). I'm assuming you don't do what I often do when shooting macro - I have a really bad habit of slightly leaning forward just as I push the shutter. It's as though I'm trying to press the picture, I think I sometimes get too tense trying to stay still when I'm shooting macro. I only noticed that I tend to do this recently, and I have far less problems with this when I use a pole/stick/trekking pole etc. to brace myself against.
Hmmm… you know Harriet, that could very well be my problem! I have a tendency to concentrate on one thing at a time and like you say, tense up. I'll have to watch that!:?
Thanks!
GW


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Old Sep 4, 2008, 6:54 PM   #16
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Quote:
Thank you for the kind words Penolta,
You're right, it wasn't entirely the lens fault but, it's easier to blame the lens.:G Actually, I had several issues I was dealing with: the lens is an old manual Ricoh 35-70mm (macro) I had to stop it down to f22 to keep from blowing the highlights. Plus, it was so hot and humid the sweat was running down into my eyes so bad I was lucky to focus at all!:lol: I totally agree on DOF but not sure what I could have done to change it.:-?
Thanks for your input.
GW
GW, looking at the Exif it looks like you were in manual mode. f/22 is pretty small and almost certainly introduced diffraction softening. The lens might do better for you at f/8 or f/11 and you can always control the blown highlights by adjusting shutter speed.

Your butterfly is very interesting and I don't think I have seen one before. The yellow and white flower is beggars tick (bidens alba); I think fully 1/3rd of my macro shots are insects on beggars tick.

Tim

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Old Sep 5, 2008, 5:22 AM   #17
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Actually on my laptop at work the first two look pretty sharp. The third one looks a bit soft, but the leaf at the bottom of the picture looks pretty sharp so perhaps the focus was off a touch. Hard to imagine at f22, but it could be. The fourth looks like it may have a bit of movement in it. They still look pretty good. See how things go with your new lens. In any case keep on posting!

Glenn
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Old Sep 5, 2008, 1:52 PM   #18
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Hey Glen,
Thanks for looking and commenting.
I agree with your assessment.:bye:
GW
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