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Chesslanka May 18, 2010 7:35 PM

Pentax Macro Shootout-All are Welcome!
 
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I started this thread, because there are a lot of new photographers out there looking for the best macro, some with high budget(400-600us),some with medium budget(150-250US) some with low budget (less than 100US), and want them to see and appreciate the performance of various lenses, as well as various cameras. I hope you all will join in display your best macro shots here, and please make sure you mention lens and camera in which you took the shot :)

I will start off by posting 2 dragonflies taken by k10D on 28-300mm Sigma APO DG MACRO.

Chesslanka May 18, 2010 7:48 PM

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Second batch from me will be from my new K-x and Sigma 70-300mm DL Macro

Tachikoma May 19, 2010 1:20 AM

Fantastic colour on that second dragonfly photo!

Love the second flower as well, I struggle to get photo's of white subjects exposed right.

rhermans May 19, 2010 3:01 AM

Great idea I'll join in with some lenses and different shots.

1st: to start of with something that most wont consider as a macro lens,
tamron 18-200 + raynox dcr150 (better type of close up filter)
http://www.ua.ac.be/images/ua/contai...5_IMG27920.jpg
f14-iso640-200mm
The only problem is the rather strong vignetting that occurs, on holidays I take the 18-200 with me as a walk around lens, the raynox 150dcr is so small and light it would be a sin to leave it behind.

2nd, my favorite kiron 105mm - 1:1 macro lens, bought this (second hand) for 100€.
http://rhermans.smugmug.com/Fauna/In...91_24Wht-L.jpg
f20 - iso160 - 1/25sec - 105mm(handheld - still don't know how I did it)

3rd - another completly not macro lens - sigma 100-300 ex f4 (my most expensive lens)
http://rhermans.smugmug.com/Location...80_wSPRD-L.jpg
f10 - - iso250 - 1/180sec - 300mm - (flash used)
if I combine this lens with a tamron 1.4 convertor I found out that I can get a lot closer (up to 1m) from what I want to shoot and still get a focus lock. Love this lens for getting dragonfly shots at a distance.

Although a dedicated macro lens is considered better its still you who has to take the shot, and most lenses will give great results.

Going above 1:1 macros i feel best using acromats (close up filters - raynox150 & 250) they are not expensive and give good enough results.
Also they are small, I don't see myself crawling around a bellow mounted in front of my camera. Extention tubes - maybe.

One extra remark, if you can get an off camera flash use it for macro shots it makes everything a lot easier.

Cheers

Ronny

Chesslanka May 19, 2010 3:33 AM

@rhonny love the 3 shots, and all are macro to me :). Do you use a flash ring in front of the kiron?

rhermans May 19, 2010 5:06 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Chesslanka (Post 1096220)
@rhonny love the 3 shots, and all are macro to me :). Do you use a flash ring in front of the kiron?

Thanks Chess,

don't have a ringflash :( , and I don't remember if I used some kind of extra lighting to get this shot.

Although a ring flash has it's advantages (especially being smaller that the setup I use now)
I like using 2 flashes for macro shots.
Most of the time that are 2 small flashes connected to the front of the lens, otherwise two normal flashes of camera with difussers on to put around the subject.

I've played around with a flash ringlight but the light intensity wasn't big enough for faster shutter speeds and I missed shadows. I still use that ringlight but for me to get the focus and then using normal flashes to get take the shot.

I'll use any lightsource as long as its movable.
http://rhermans.smugmug.com/Fauna/In..._PXfhs-M-1.jpg
the above shot was taken with the kiron with two closeup filters attached raynox dcr150&250 giving a 4.3:1 macro and a flash in pttl mode connected with a cable lying on one side of springtail and an inspection lamp on the other side to get rid of hard shadows.

Tachikoma May 19, 2010 10:01 AM

Holy cow, that grasshopper is awesome!

Our childminder has been on holiday, so I have been picking my son up from school, meaning I can't go for my lunchtime walk so I can finish early, hopefully I can get some photo's to share from tomorrow.

snostorm May 19, 2010 12:17 PM

Hi Ronny,

Just have to comment on the grasshopper and springtail shots!

The grasshopper is amazing -- looks like a glass sculpture, and the capture is just about perfect.

The springtail shot is awesome! I can see that I've got a long learning curve ahead of me in shooting critters. . . I'm just hoping that my body cooperates long enough to allow me the time to learn enough to just become competent. . .

Great stuff! -- these two especially, but all the shots are very impressive!

Scott

JC de Jonge May 19, 2010 1:05 PM

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Wow great shots here,
just wanna add my not so great shots to the collection... just for comparison purposes :)
On the first picture I use an extension tube + auto teleconverter + smc M 50mm 1.7 fyi it's the inside of a flower... unfortunately it's nearly impossible to get it all in focus :(
The second picture an auto teleconverter 1:1 + smc M 50mm 1.7
The third picture is with an auto teleconverter don't remember the value + smc M 50mm 1.7

As you can see from the pictures (despite my skills ;) the DOF is really tiny with this kind of setup... however it's a cheap way to start with macroing.
I'm hoping to find a used vivitar 100mm macro or another reasonable used macro lens for a nice price. But till then I'll be using the 50mm 1.7 icm with the auto teleconverter or the extension tubes.. or both.

Hope to see more examples of different set ups.

penolta May 19, 2010 1:27 PM

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I've posted some of my favorite earlier macros in the "Favorite Fives" threads, but here are a couple of more recent ones of a miniature mushroom taken with the K20D and Tamron 90mm AF macro, hand held (braced) with flash:

1
Attachment 155265

2
Attachment 155266

Goldwinger May 19, 2010 2:55 PM

Well. here is one I took last evening. I actually went into the house to get my camera when I spotted a dragonfly posing on my boat trailer. after getting a few shot of him, he took off and this wasp came in to take his place.
Taken with the K20d, Tamron sp 90mm and Vivitar 2X focusing macro TC. And 540
flash

http://goldwinger.zenfolio.com/img/v6/p604980217-4.jpg

Frogfish May 19, 2010 2:59 PM

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Here are a few from today. I loved the bokeh from the spider shot hence it's inclusion.
I don't know what the green bug is, but it can really jump ! It is about 2 to 3 cms long with those antennae about 4 inches long !!!

Frogfish May 19, 2010 3:03 PM

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My dog waiting patiently (whilst I take the shots above) for another game of 'ball' after having running her legs off the first time !

Frogfish May 19, 2010 3:08 PM

There are some wonderful shots in this thread !

I tried adding a Raynox 250 to a M42 CZJ 135 MC Sonnar to day and that gives a very nice 6 - 8 inches working distance but very small DoF !

penolta May 19, 2010 3:20 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Frogfish (Post 1096453)
I don't know what the green bug is, but it can really jump ! It is about 2 to 3 cms long with those antennae about 4 inches long !!!

It is an early instar of what will probably grow up to be a Katydid. Good capture!

Frogfish May 19, 2010 3:43 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by penolta (Post 1096463)
It is an early instar of what will probably grow up to be a Katydid. Good capture!

Thank you Penolta - you sent me off to Google to see what I could find, maybe it's a long horned katydid (called bush crickets in the UK) as not all Katydids have such long antennae. Not sure - can't find much on Chinese Katydids !

Goldwinger May 19, 2010 6:24 PM

Just wanted to make a couple comments...
Ronny, when I grow up, I want to be just like you.
Those shots are fabulous, especially the grasshopper!

Kevin, Nice work. I like the last one best.
Good looking dog you have there too!

snostorm May 19, 2010 11:17 PM

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Hi All,

I'll play. . . I got these today in a little flower garden that one of the older ladies in my complex keeps. I'm not sure of the IDs -- any corrections would be welcome -- I don't know that much about insects and spiders. All with the K-7, Sigma EX 180/3.5 Macro, F 1.7x AFA. The flash used in #2 is the Metz 15 MS1.

#1 is a Crane Fly. It was hanging from some leaves very tightly, and was there the whole time I was shooting. I messed up the angle, and one of the front legs obscures the head. This was natural light.

#2 is a Hover Fly, shot with the flash. These guys don't stay still long. I got a couple of HFIF shots, but they didn't come out as well as I'd hoped.:mad:

#3 is an unidentified spider. I'm finding how hard it is to ID these guys on the web, though there's a lot of information. . . I'll have to get some books. . .I tried to time a shot when it was shooting silk strands in different directions, and got lucky with this one -- it's barely visible at this size. This is also natural light.

Scott

Chesslanka May 20, 2010 4:49 AM

Wonderful shots everyone :),
@froggy..love the bokeh spider shot very much
@goldfish.. What a wasp :)
@sno..Love the bee, maybe you could touchup the spider?

I wonder if a admin/mod can make this a sticky? I've seen many shots upto now from some legendary lenses :)

penolta May 20, 2010 12:03 PM

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Quote:

Originally Posted by snostorm (Post 1096627)

#3 is an unidentified spider. I'm finding how hard it is to ID these guys on the web, though there's a lot of information. . . I'll have to get some books. . .I tried to time a shot when it was shooting silk strands in different directions, and got lucky with this one -- it's barely visible at this size. This is also natural light.

Scott

Great shots, Scott. Spiders with the first two pairs of legs held together and conspicuously longer than the rear ones are usually some kind of crab spider, althoug I have never seen this particular one before. Here are a couple of shots of one that I got last year with the K20D and the Tamron 70-300 LD Macro (unfortunately its legs are folded up so you can't see how long they are):

1
Attachment 155325

2
Attachment 155326

Goldwinger May 20, 2010 2:09 PM

Keep up the good work guys, these are great!

rhermans May 20, 2010 2:10 PM

Everybody thanks for the great remarks.

I have to go with "JC de Jonge", great shots here

@JC de Jonge
When getting in macro the dof is always getting real small, normally (mostly with flowers) I take multiple pictures with a moving focal point and blend them together.

@Penolta
Great mushrooms but that crab spider series is stunning. Me Jealous;)

@GW
Great shot of that wasp, don't know what it's carrying but great work

@Frogfish
Really love the first and last one, the first because of the angle and the web, the second because is as good as it can get.

@scott
Great collection, those crane flies are great subjects and with their legs they build their own frame, but i really like that crab spider how did you get it to pose like it did. :p

mtngal May 20, 2010 2:36 PM

There are some phenomenal pictures posted in this thread. I'm going to post stuff about equipment. Nothing I have can probably match the Raynox filters - I keep thinking about getting one or both, but there's so many other things I want first.

In any case, here's my subject. It's not quite taken at 1:1, more like 1:1.2 or so. Taken with the Viv 105 macro:

http://mtngal.zenfolio.com/img/v18/p798349901-4.jpg

It doesn't match the glory and beauty of all the small creatures others have posted, but since I'm not feeling well today, I wasn't going to venture out.

I don't have a proper set of extension tubes. I only have my father's old K-mount 2X TC that was horrible - never managed a sharp picture with it no matter what. So I took the glass out of it and turned it into an extension tube. Same lens with the home-made extension tube, so it's greater than 1:1:

http://mtngal.zenfolio.com/img/v7/p689144748-4.jpg

I thought I'd try to get a little closer by adding a reversed 50 mm f1.4 lens in front of the macro/extension tube combination:

http://mtngal.zenfolio.com/img/v13/p778804874-4.jpg

I wasn't quite square to the coin, you can see just how TINY the dof is. I think the reversed 50 was set to aperture f8 or so - much smaller than that and you can't see the target very well (if I were to do this a lot, I'd want to get some type of bright modeling light).

Now for an even cheaper option:

When I got my first film SLR camera in 1980, it came with K-mount Takumar 135 mm lens as well as a 50mm 1.7. The K-mount Tak isn't coated, has a very poor reputation and can be bought very cheaply. It's no macro but it's really sharp.

I added the extension tube but it didn't do much to deal with the minimum focus distance. This is at it's minimum focus distance with the extension tube. Not very useful for macro, is it?

http://mtngal.zenfolio.com/img/v15/p686142351-4.jpg

One thing I found with reversing a 50 in front of a lens, the focus distance seems to be controlled by the reversed lens. And the magnification is significantly influenced by the focal length of the lens on the camera. So doing both the extension tube and the reversed 50 in front of the 135 gave me this:

http://mtngal.zenfolio.com/img/v18/p829644856-4.jpg

By the way, except for the first one, which has been cropped a bit, these are all full frame pictures, resized to fit here. Some sharpening was added to all of them (I always do).

This is actually an inexpensive combination - the K-mount Tak can be had for around $30 usually, a poor quality 2X TC can be bought for much less. The 50mm f1.4 is the most expensive item, often going for $100. You could also use a 50 mm 1.7 as well, I think, and they are cheaper (mine is sharper wide open than the 1.4 by the way. Stopped down they are the same).

Here's a picture of the combination (K7, TC/tube, Tak 135, reversed 50):

http://mtngal.zenfolio.com/img/v18/p594448744-4.jpg

Some notes - this combination needs a tripod. I haven't had much luck with anything like that outside - DOF is just too small and you lose too much light to make it practical. I think if you want to shoot insects the Raynox or other good quality add-on lens would be better. Or a TC - I'd like to get a TC to go with the macro lenses I have, to add magnification but maintain focus distance. Adding extension tubes and reversed lenses lowers your focus distance to just about nothing.

I didn't try to add anything to the 35 macro for a couple of reasons. The lens is a DA lens and so doesn't have an aperture ring. My home-made extension tube doesn't have contacts so you can't control the aperture. My ring for mounting a lens front to front is 52 on one side and 49 on the other. Both the 50 and the 35 have 49 threads, so I can't do that. I tried to mount the 24mm f2.8 I have in front of the 35, but it has too much vignetting - there's only a small hole in the center (and I couldn't tell the focus distance to see if it would be worth trying, even with most of the frame being black).

So this topic was a good exercise for me. It's always fun to pull out my old equipment and play with it. The macros were all shot with the K7, the picture of the combination was taken with the K20 and 35 macro (couldn't leave the 35 out).

Chesslanka May 21, 2010 3:48 AM

@mtngal,

The macro capabilty of ur lens is stunning :)..cant wait to see some insects or flowers from it :)

Tachikoma May 21, 2010 10:29 AM

Nice write up, thanks for the info mtngal, that is some impressive magnification!

Got some (hopefully) nice damselfly macro's to upload when I finish work and get home (couple of hours...) on the camera screen they look good... but I have fallen into that trap before and they look rubbish on a monitor.

Awesome shots so far everyone!

Hards80 May 21, 2010 10:37 AM

Some marvelous photographs from everyone here. Too numerous to mention each, and I think I have commented on most of them when presented in their own threads anyways.

@mtngal- wow, that is a crazy setup. thank you for the writeup + examples and the photograph of the setup.


well, since you all said "all welcome" here are few with my EPL1 and the ViviSrs1 105mm 2.5 macro. (i know this forum loves legacy glass too, so you all may find interesting)

http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4005/...f4731be8_o.jpg

http://i942.photobucket.com/albums/a...llowFlower.jpg

http://i942.photobucket.com/albums/a...flowerviv3.jpg

Chesslanka May 21, 2010 11:01 AM

@hards....Love the DOF of all 3 photos, 3rd one maybe the F couldve been higher, to get both flowers into focus? And the 1st one is just pure beauty :)....Legendary lens--->legendary shots :D

thedoctor May 21, 2010 11:41 AM

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just thought I would post a picture, I think this is the first picture I've taken since November :eek: . K20 with the pentax dfa 100mm lens. Found this little fellow lying upside down in a pot of water, obviously been there all day as was hardly moving so grabbed camera and fished him out (in that order as didn't want it to fly away first). Took about 20 pictures this is the best, I think this is a cockchafer about 1.5" long and has strange fan like antennae which you can just about see in the picture.

Frogfish May 21, 2010 11:56 AM

I love that 1st shot Hards - really gorgeous and unusual.

Doctor - really nice shot and those really are weird & wonderful antennae !

Tachikoma May 21, 2010 1:34 PM

Hards, that first shot is stunning!

thedoc, I think the fan like antennae mean it's a male, they use them for dececting pheremones from the females. Nice shot as well, good choice on getting the camera first!

Chesslanka May 21, 2010 8:33 PM

@hards... Nice shot, and new creature to me :)

mtngal May 21, 2010 9:48 PM

Dustin - those are wonderful shots, the first one really outstanding. You seem to be making good use of the Viv, isn't it a treat for a lens? Looks like it doesn't matter which mount it's made with - it's still a nice lens.

thedoctor - your insect is definitely odd looking. Well done!

Hards80 May 21, 2010 11:31 PM

thank you all for the kind words. yes the viv is really a treat of a macro lens. i am really enjoying it, the focus on it well dampened and has a very nice feel to it. works nicely with the magnified focal point on the epl1.

it was a treat to have an excuse to share some photos with your great Pentax community here. I often visit to comment on all your photos, but not shooting Pentax myself never really have a chance to give back.

penolta May 22, 2010 12:32 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Hards80 (Post 1097602)
it was a treat to have an excuse to share some photos with your great Pentax community here. I often visit to comment on all your photos, but not shooting Pentax myself never really have a chance to give back.

Since you have been a regular visitor and participant, I think we can grudgingly make an exception for you, especially since you have such nice images to contribute. We may make a Pentaxian of you yet, but until then, you can consider yourself an honorary one!! :wink:

Chesslanka May 22, 2010 10:29 PM

http://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/p...-mount-us.html

Hmm...a good buy?

shoturtle May 22, 2010 10:44 PM

That is one heck of a lens, well compare that Hards great buy which is hard to beat. That is the going price for that lens. Here are some samples of that lens.

http://forums.steves-digicams.com/ol...5mm-2-5-a.html

jachol May 23, 2010 5:01 AM

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Hi Folks,
I've been wanting to contribute to this thread ever since it first appeared, unfortunately my mobility has been and still is severely limited by an attack of scatica, improvement is very slow, but yesterday I made the effort, and managed a couple of shots (out of several) I thought I could post. I don't consider that they come close to other excellent submissions posted ... they're the best I can manage at present time.
My understanding of macro has always been, an image of life size 1:1 or greater, say 10:1, I know my shots are outside that range ... no better than 1:3 (1/3 life size) at best. Surprisingly the lens used I don't believe I ever tried in macro mode before, I'm pleased with the results, and will try out it's possibilities further.
OK shot with the K100D with a Tamron SP 28 - 80 f3.5 - 4.2 handheld using focus trap technique, I was surprised and pleased to note that it was triggering the shutter readily at f11 ( most lenses I find get iffy around f8)
The subjects BTW are all I could find in the limited range of my garden. ... Jack

penolta May 23, 2010 7:26 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jachol (Post 1098149)
Hi Folks,
My understanding of macro has always been, an image of life size 1:1 or greater, say 10:1, I know my shots are outside that range ... no better than 1:3 (1/3 life size) at best. Jack

Technically, you are (or were) correct, but English is a steadily evolving language (not always for the best, either). Perhaps due to the mislabeling by manufacturers of lenses with only close-up ability as "macro", the concept has been expanded in common usage to 1:3, 1:5, or even beyond. Most books on macrophotography have followed suit. On the other end, where macrophotography becomes photomicrography (microscopy) has never been clearly defined.

Glad you are starting to feel better. As a long time back sufferer, I feel your pain. Take it easy and don't push it - allow the spasms to relax and you will get over it, albeit slowly.

Chesslanka May 23, 2010 9:12 AM

@jack

you nailed the second one to perfection :)... Hope you heal fast, so you can have more outings for photography :)

jachol May 23, 2010 9:18 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by penolta (Post 1098184)

Glad you are starting to feel better. As a long time back sufferer, I feel your pain. Take it easy and don't push it - allow the spasms to relax and you will get over it, albeit slowly.

Amen to that Penolta, I'm truly sorry to hear of another sufferer, it's not something I'd wish on anyone else. I seem to spend a lot of my life on my back these days doing some exercise or other, either to relieve pain, or to strengthen the core muscles to give better spinal support.
Thanks for the comments on macro ... I had noted the trend to relax the definitions of such, and as you say manufacturers have a lot to do with this trend, and even the cheapest P&S model have a macro mode, good or bad it's a selling point they'll push. ... Jack


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