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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre Macro Talk
Thread started 12 Jun 2017 (Monday) 11:53
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Equipment curiosity

 
kcrunchone
Senior Member
Joined Feb 2013
Queens NYC
Jun 12, 2017 11:53 |  #1

I am curious to know of the macro methods and equipment that everyone is using? Modded or crafted what has gotten you some of your better or best result. From cam to lens to tubes. Even show us some examples of set up(gear) and results.


7D MII Gripped 6D Gripped 60D Gripped Canon 100-400 L IS Canon 50 1.8/Canon 100 2.8/Canon 28-135IS/Canon 70-200 F4L/Tamron 18-270 3.4/ Sigma 2.0 Ext. Kenko 1.4 Canon 16-35 F2.8 L Sigma 150-600 C
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JasonC007
Senior Member
Joined Oct 2012
Derbyshire
Jun 14, 2017 12:55 |  #2

My current hand-held setup using my MP-E65 lens is shown below.

Diffusers are all home designed and 3d printed. I am also working on a portable macro stacking rig which you can also see below. The items all magnetically attached to an 18mm fibreboard apart from the electronic rail which is bolted on. The board can be flipped when you've finished with it then just close the lid of the case to carry/store it all.

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Canon 80D | 24-105L | 100mm f/2.8L IS Macro | MP-E65 f/2.8 1-5x Macro | Tamron 150-600 | Sigma 10mm Fisheye | EF 24mm f/2.8 Pancake | MT-24EX | 600EX-RT |
Flickr (external link) | Google+ (external link)

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Dalantech
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Joined Jul 2006
Bacoli, Italy
Oct 05, 2017 02:15 |  #3

Here's a video of my rig (external link). Still using those diffusers, but I've made some changes to the diffusion materials inside it. Here are some examples of the light quality:

IMAGE: https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7440/27307717421_8706152c8e_z.jpg
[IMAGE'S LINK: https://flic.kr/p/HB6c​1a] (external link)European Wool Carder Bee IV (external link) by John Kimbler (external link), on Flickr

IMAGE: https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7374/27472225304_41ff16456a_z.jpg
[IMAGE'S LINK: https://flic.kr/p/HRCk​sY] (external link)Feeding Chafer Beetle (external link) by John Kimbler (external link), on Flickr

IMAGE: https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1716/25937312566_b430443d71_z.jpg
[IMAGE'S LINK: https://flic.kr/p/FvZv​of] (external link)Newborn Blue Mason Bee I (external link) by John Kimbler (external link), on Flickr

All single frames at high Fstops -I don't focus stack.

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Macro Tutorials (external link)

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JasonC007
Senior Member
Joined Oct 2012
Derbyshire
Oct 05, 2017 09:25 as a reply to Dalantech's post |  #4

Looking good! Imagine the detail you would get if they were stacked :)


Canon 80D | 24-105L | 100mm f/2.8L IS Macro | MP-E65 f/2.8 1-5x Macro | Tamron 150-600 | Sigma 10mm Fisheye | EF 24mm f/2.8 Pancake | MT-24EX | 600EX-RT |
Flickr (external link) | Google+ (external link)

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Dalantech
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Bacoli, Italy
Oct 06, 2017 02:27 |  #5

JasonC007 wrote in post #18466469 (external link)
Looking good! Imagine the detail you would get if they were stacked :)

Honestly the detail isn't all that important to me, and most of the time I'm shooting subjects that are semi-active to hyperactive. Kinda tough to take more than a single frame of a critter that's not only on the move, but also trying to avoid me and the camera. Still working on this species (I don't like the foreground in this shot). Very skittish and very fast:

IMAGE: https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7390/26348268063_acbb9979dd_z.jpg
[IMAGE'S LINK: https://flic.kr/p/G9iL​8R] (external link)Hairy Footed Bee V (external link) by John Kimbler (external link), on Flickr

IMHO high detail images of static subjects has already played out and most people, outside of the macro community, think that they're boring.

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JasonC007
Senior Member
Joined Oct 2012
Derbyshire
Oct 06, 2017 03:42 as a reply to Dalantech's post |  #6

Not everyone likes, has the time or skill to produce highly detailed stacks so it's not for everyone. I also take photos for myself and not for anyone else so I don't really care if anyone thinks they are boring, photography is very subjective! I frequent a community where all they photograph is stacks at much higher mags than me, and they do it better than me! and it is very interesting, especially when it comes to the equipment which uses setups and lighting like you've never seen.

I like all forms of macro photography and most of my shots are single shots, however after doing stacks I feel like I am being lazy taking single shots now, maybe I just like a challenge :)


Canon 80D | 24-105L | 100mm f/2.8L IS Macro | MP-E65 f/2.8 1-5x Macro | Tamron 150-600 | Sigma 10mm Fisheye | EF 24mm f/2.8 Pancake | MT-24EX | 600EX-RT |
Flickr (external link) | Google+ (external link)

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Dalantech
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Joined Jul 2006
Bacoli, Italy
Oct 06, 2017 04:05 |  #7

JasonC007 wrote in post #18467015 (external link)
Not everyone likes, has the time or skill to produce highly detailed stacks so it's not for everyone. I also take photos for myself and not for anyone else so I don't really care if anyone thinks they are boring, photography is very subjective! I frequent a community where all they photograph is stacks at much higher mags than me, and they do it better than me! and it is very interesting, especially when it comes to the equipment which uses setups and lighting like you've never seen.

I like all forms of macro photography and most of my shots are single shots, however after doing stacks I feel like I am being lazy taking single shots now, maybe I just like a challenge :)

Should probably take this into a different thread, although I think it's still on topic.

The only skill involved in stacking is when it's done without a focusing rail. With a focusing rail it's just repetition. Get one that's micro processor controlled and anyone can "master" it in an afternoon. There is absolutely no talent involved in any photographic technique, and that includes the techniques that I use. Could also add that knowing how an image was produced adds nothing to the casual observer's enjoyment of it...

...I frequent a community where all they photograph is stacks at much higher mags than me, and they do it better than me! and it is very interesting, especially when it comes to the equipment which uses setups and lighting like you've never seen.

I think that, for some people, that's really where the interest lies -in just experimenting with the gear. I understand the enjoyment of it since I have a huge plastic box filled with the skeletal remains of numerous flash diffuser projects. But when I experiment with gear and technique it's to produce a better image edge to edge. The obsession with absolute image sharpness in the macro community is what's making macro a niche discipline that few people outside of the community is interested in. Very few people (outside of macro) take macro seriously because a razor sharp, poorly composed, and poorly lit image, is still poorly lit and poorly composed. The few people who can really pull it off (external link) sometimes get their 15 minutes of fame but it doesn't last. There is a lot more to a good photo than the sharpness of the pixels, and even a razor sharp well composed and lit photo won't hold the general puplic's attention for long. In order to stand out your work has to be unique, and the vast majority of the macro community is just taking the same images over and over again.


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My Blog (external link)
Macro Tutorials (external link)

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JasonC007
Senior Member
Joined Oct 2012
Derbyshire
Oct 06, 2017 04:23 |  #8

Dalantech wrote in post #18467031 (external link)
Should probably take this into a different thread, although I think it's still on topic.

The only skill involved in stacking is when it's done without a focusing rail. With a focusing rail it's just repetition. Get one that's micro processor controlled and anyone can "master" it in an afternoon.

I'm sorry but if you think this is all there is to stacking you are sorely mistaken! If you do believe this then you have this afternoon to create one and I look forward to seeing it tonight :)

I think that, for some people, that's really where the interest lies -in just experimenting with the gear. I understand the enjoyment of it since I have a huge plastic box filled with the skeletal remains of numerous flash diffuser projects. But when I experiment with gear and technique it's to produce a better image edge to edge. The obsession with absolute image sharpness in the macro community is what's making macro a niche discipline that few people outside of the community is interested in. Very few people (outside of macro) take macro seriously because a razor sharp, poorly composed, and poorly lit image, is still poorly lit and poorly composed. The few people who can really pull it off (external link) sometimes get their 15 minutes of fame but it doesn't last. There is a lot more to a good photo than the sharpness of the pixels, and even a razor sharp well composed and lit photo won't hold the general puplic's attention for long. In order to stand out your work has to be unique, and the vast majority of the macro community is just taking the same images over and over again.

Like I say, macro or even any type of photography is subjective and you should take photos for yourself and not to try and please others. Not everyone is looking for fame and if they do it will just be luck. To me, the photos on that link are not that great to be honest, I have seen far better in the communities I am in and none of them seek fame, just an image they like and have spent many hours producing, yes it takes hour to produce one image when done properly.


Canon 80D | 24-105L | 100mm f/2.8L IS Macro | MP-E65 f/2.8 1-5x Macro | Tamron 150-600 | Sigma 10mm Fisheye | EF 24mm f/2.8 Pancake | MT-24EX | 600EX-RT |
Flickr (external link) | Google+ (external link)

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Dalantech
Goldmember
Dalantech's Avatar
Joined Jul 2006
Bacoli, Italy
Oct 06, 2017 04:39 as a reply to JasonC007's post |  #9

We will have to agree to disagree :)


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nardes
Senior Member
Joined Jun 2009
Australia
Oct 06, 2017 05:20 |  #10

Here is my set up, with OCF providing the main illumination.

The ring is an old telescope mounting ring fitted with a home made aluminium bracket to hold the flash, mounted on an old monopod head.

Usually shoot at 1/250 sec, F11 and ISO100.

Cheers

Dennis

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Dalantech
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Joined Jul 2006
Bacoli, Italy
Oct 06, 2017 05:36 |  #11

Forgot to mention that I carry a lot of different clamps in my camera bag. This one is a wood clamp, and I cut the metal slide down because I don't need to clamp large objects and it fits in my bag easier:

IMAGE: https://farm4.staticflickr.com/3606/3511815185_274e19bd62_z.jpg
[IMAGE'S LINK: https://flic.kr/p/6mjY​iF] (external link)Field Studio (external link) by John Kimbler (external link), on Flickr

I also carry some artificial flowers that I bought at Ikea and I use them to reflect the light from the flash back into the camera. I use to like the isolation that I could get with flash falloff and a black background, but the general public doesn't like it nor do publishers (uses too much ink in print). I don't have a photo of the flowers, but here's a good example of the effect that I'm getting with them:

IMAGE: https://farm1.staticflickr.com/595/21052309250_f58a758fd3_z.jpg
[IMAGE'S LINK: https://flic.kr/p/y5jA​69] (external link)Dragonfly Portrait I (external link) by John Kimbler (external link), on Flickr

Notice how the background isn't a single color -helps to keep it from looking flat.

Early on when I was baiting honeybees I'd set up a makeshift "studio":

IMAGE: https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4097/4938677742_67bcc92f3c_z.jpg
[IMAGE'S LINK: https://flic.kr/p/8wq1​Qf] (external link)Honeybee Studio (external link) by John Kimbler (external link), on Flickr

These days I'd rather just inject flowers with sugar syrup (or honey) and shoot them as they feed on it. Lots of things you can do to make getting the shot you're looking for easier.

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Macro Tutorials (external link)

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