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Old Jun 30, 2010, 5:18 PM   #1
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Default Close, closer, closest (or to close)

When I first started with macro photography I didn’t understand how some pictures could be made.
Those insects didn't wait. They always moved and …. fast.

One of those untouchable insects was a dragonfly.

My first idea was that I needed a long (super long) macro lens, with super fast macro focusing.
The short 105mm kiron macro lens I had would have to come to close and they would fly away, and manual focus you’ve got to be kidding.

That was then, this is how I think about that now.

–#1—C L O S E—————————————————————————————-

Spotted a dragonfly so slowly closed in to get a full frame shot of the insect.


1/125sec – f8 – iso200 – flash

or a 100% crop


link to the full size. http://rhermans.smugmug.com/Fauna/In...69_coXox-O.jpg

–#2—C L O S E R————————————————————————————–

after getting a few shots of the complete insect I set the lens to 1:1 and went a bit closer,
and took some more shots, this was the best I could get out of the series of 6.

(oh yes its a focus blend of two shots, to get the second eye in focus)


1/125sec – f8 – iso200 – flash

or a 100% crop


link to the full size. http://rhermans.smugmug.com/Fauna/In...90_Mjibf-O.jpg

–#3–T O—C L O S E————————————————————————————

ok that was close but I had a raynox dcr250 in my pocket so added it to the lens, (with the distance from the lens is about a 2.1:1) and went closer.

I did change the iso and f-stop because I knew I was going to lose a lot of light getting this close


1/125sec – f5.6 – iso280 – flash

or a 100% crop


link to the full size. http://rhermans.smugmug.com/Fauna/In...23_ZdsJG-O.jpg

But then again this is really to close, after 3 shots the lady had enough and flew away.

Although this shot is at 2:1, it doesn’t make a good shot.
It’s to large, the dof is to shallow, don’t really like the composition so … sometimes you can get to close with insects.

Hope not to have bored you to much, any c&c always welcome.

Ronny

(ps: all where handheld)
(pps: I still don’t know how some macro shots are made)
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Old Jun 30, 2010, 5:38 PM   #2
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Really awesome shots, Ronny!
Although, as you say. The last shot isn't one you'd call a "good shot"
its still a great shot!
I still don't know how you and some of the others can get this kind of detail in a hand held shot.
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Old Jun 30, 2010, 10:39 PM   #3
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I know what you mean about getting too close to some subjects. I found when using the reversed 50 in front of another lens that flowers become more abstracts than recognizable objects. On the other hand, it's amazing how you can actually get that "close".
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Old Jul 1, 2010, 2:01 AM   #4
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Hi Ronny,

An incredible series!!

The last shot and crop are great. The eye detail is stunning. I have a lot of trouble getting anywhere close to this level, and usually feel lucky to get a fraction of this detail -- must have been very satisfying when you were able to look at it on the computer.

The long macro w/1.7x AFA is a very handy combo for my purposes. There's nothing quite like being able to shoot 1:1 at about 25cm (@ 10") from the end of the lens, then have the ability to shoot birds at 300mm by just turning the focusing ring. The 180 Sigma is a very impressive lens, and it's become one of my most used lenses at this point, but it is a heavy sucker. . .

BTW, I bought one of the O-Ring brackets that you posted about from the Ebay seller, but am trying it with a couple of very small Sunpak Auto Thyristor digital slave flashes for a reasonably inexpensive, lightweight, wireless, automatic exposure macro flash system that will work with any body in Auto mode. I'm really spoiled, and want brainless flash -- .I'm in the process of tweaking it now, but it works pretty well. I'll write it up once I've used it for some serious critter work in the near future. The only things I've shot with it so far are pencil points and coins. . .

Some very nice work!

Scott
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Old Jul 1, 2010, 4:24 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Goldwinger View Post
Really awesome shots, Ronny!
Although, as you say. The last shot isn't one you'd call a "good shot"
its still a great shot!
I still don't know how you and some of the others can get this kind of detail in a hand held shot.
Thanks GW,

one of the things that really help with macro is the flash. It takes just 1/1000sec for the flash to lighten the scene, so the motion blur is no problem anymore. Also you can get a much better dof (f8 - f11) without getting a black frame in return.
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Old Jul 1, 2010, 4:28 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mtngal View Post
I know what you mean about getting too close to some subjects. I found when using the reversed 50 in front of another lens that flowers become more abstracts than recognizable objects. On the other hand, it's amazing how you can actually get that "close".
Thanks Harriet,

For normal shooting the 1:1 is more than enough , the added raynox got the lens a good 5cm from the insect Iwas amazed that it didn't move.
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Old Jul 1, 2010, 4:44 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by snostorm View Post
Hi Ronny,

An incredible series!!

The last shot and crop are great. The eye detail is stunning. I have a lot of trouble getting anywhere close to this level, and usually feel lucky to get a fraction of this detail -- must have been very satisfying when you were able to look at it on the computer.

The long macro w/1.7x AFA is a very handy combo for my purposes. There's nothing quite like being able to shoot 1:1 at about 25cm (@ 10") from the end of the lens, then have the ability to shoot birds at 300mm by just turning the focusing ring. The 180 Sigma is a very impressive lens, and it's become one of my most used lenses at this point, but it is a heavy sucker. . .

BTW, I bought one of the O-Ring brackets that you posted about from the Ebay seller, but am trying it with a couple of very small Sunpak Auto Thyristor digital slave flashes for a reasonably inexpensive, lightweight, wireless, automatic exposure macro flash system that will work with any body in Auto mode. I'm really spoiled, and want brainless flash -- .I'm in the process of tweaking it now, but it works pretty well. I'll write it up once I've used it for some serious critter work in the near future. The only things I've shot with it so far are pencil points and coins. . .

Some very nice work!

Scott
Thanks Scott,

you make a real good case for the sigma, it is still very high on my wish list, only I want to see first what surprises Pentax is going to turn out the second half of this year.

concerning the macro flash. I really like the p-ttl when taking 'normal' pictures, but with macro I like full manual mode better.

The biggest problem I found is having the flashes diffused in such a way that I can take pictures in rather dark places at f8 - iso280-iso400. Then when getting into a bit lighter places you can change the iso and f-stop not to overexpose.

The shuttertime doesn't matter (1/90sec or 1/180sec) it's the flash that is the shutter so it's always 1/1000sec. (or less)

Hope to see some results of your new setup.
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Old Jul 1, 2010, 5:31 AM   #8
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Excellent results Ronny, I know I've also echoed your thoughts on macro shooting, and appreciate all your comments, and thoughts. I'm a firm convert to use of off-camera flash, it certainly helps any shake problems, and like you I find I get best results by manually controlling flash output. ... Jack.
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Old Jul 1, 2010, 7:44 AM   #9
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Ronny - The eye details are an amazing story, even without the full-bug photo. So great that you could capture both, and so well.
By the way, your friend looks like some species of Meadowhawk - a rather large group of dragonflies (probably different from any we have here, but same basic body plan). They are perchers, and some are rather bold & unafraid of us.
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Old Jul 1, 2010, 8:04 AM   #10
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Excellent results Ronny, I know I've also echoed your thoughts on macro shooting, and appreciate all your comments, and thoughts. I'm a firm convert to use of off-camera flash, it certainly helps any shake problems, and like you I find I get best results by manually controlling flash output. ... Jack.
Thanks Jack
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