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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre Macro Talk
Thread started 12 Jul 2005 (Tuesday) 13:21
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STICKY: How about all you "Macro Pros" giving some Tips?

 
Ballen ­ Photo
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Southern Nevada and Idaho
Jul 12, 2005 13:21 |  #1

How about it? I know you Macro Guys n Gals are out there, I've seen some of your work. :D
How about some basic "Do's" and "Dont's" for the macro illiterate among us? (Me):oops:
Things like;
How to take a decent macro photo.
DOF and macro.
Do I need a tripod?
Macro lighting Tips?
Macro "Budget" lighting Tips? ;)
Why would I want a bellows set?
How do I USE my bellows properly? :rolleyes:
Other macro accessories that might help?
-Bruce


**EDIT Tip #1 From EF Lens FAQ**
-=Choosing the Right Macro Lens for Your Needs=-


The Captain and crew finally got their stuff together, now if we can only remember where we left it. :cool:

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Alan ­ B
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Jul 12, 2005 13:55 |  #2

I have one tip(well what i do anyway).

With my Canon 100mm f2.8 and my 20D.

I set the lens on MF(manual focus) and have the fucusing point in the middle square(when looking through the view finder).Then while looking down the view finder i see how far i want to be from the subject,then half press the shutter release button.Then move my body slow'ly in or out(or turn the focusing ring) until the centre square flashes red and bleeps.Which is telling me that the point on the subject is in "prime" focus.

I've allways done my macro photography in that way.It may be right or it may be the wrong thing to do,but it works very well for me.

Oh and IMO this is a good informative thread :cool: (i'd like to learn loads more about macro photography,so others tips would be great)




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Bald ­ Eagle
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Rapid City S.D.
Jul 13, 2005 06:50 |  #3

I am by no means an expert at Macro, but, if what I do can help others, great. When shooting Macro, first I try to always use a Tripod, any little movement at such close range, means one thing, BLURRY. I prefer to shoot using my Tv mode with usually a short exposure, maybe 3 to 5 seconds depending on the light available. Natural light works better for me. i use a remote cable release to minimize any jarring from my end. When possible i use ISO of 100, This is the hardest part, I try make the shot interesting, such as surrounding leaves or color, and I take several shots of each subject, usually from different angles when possible. On insect Macros, I try to make sure the eyes are in perfect focus. Hope this helps.


Canon 5D:cool: :cool: :cool: .
multiple lenses and equipment (MP-E65 is the current favorite)
View my Galleries here.
http://www.pbase.com/1​bald_eagle/macroexternal link
http://www.flickr.com/​photos/7535699@N03/external link

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Roach711
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Farmington Hills, MI USA
Jul 13, 2005 09:55 as a reply to Bald Eagle's post |  #4

This is the setup I've been using lately with my 20D & Canon 100 macro:

In addition to Alan's tips:

Camera on manual. Aperture at f22 for great depth of field. Shutter at 160 to minimize camera shake. ISO at 200 or 400 (400 looks pretty good on the 20D). Flash on the hotshoe (but even better on a bracket that puts the flash out over the subject) in E-TTL mode with a diffuser such as the Omnibounce or Lightsphere II.

The flash adjusts output (macro fill flash?) to correctly expose the pic. The diffuser makes the flash into a larger, diffuse light source to minimize and soften shadows. If you shoot a lot bring spare batteries for the flash since this approach tends to drain them faster than normal.

Another member suggested this setup and it works very well!


---------------
50D, 100-400 L IS, 100 Macro 2.8, 24-105 L IS, 420EX, No talent

Shoot 'em all and let Photoshop sort them out.

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foxbat
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Jul 13, 2005 15:09 |  #5

Here's how I do it, others may disagree:

For up to 1:1 macro shots I'll use my Sigma 105mm lens, manual focus. The Sigma has magnification ratios written on the lens barrel so you can preset before you set up the shot. I do that. 1:1 or thereabouts demands a minimum of f/11 and normally I'm somewhere around f/16. You'll learn from experience what is right for what size subject at what magnification. Digital is free, so don't hold back!

I hate noise as it destroys fine detail so I always use ISO 100. Unless the sun is blazing down I am looking at shutter speeds waaay too slow to hand hold so I use a tripod ALWAYS if I can, backing off to a monopod if the terrain isn't good. Dust on your sensor will be visible at macro apertures so keep it clean.

Now that I have an ETTL macro ring flash (Sigma EM-140) I always use it and it has been a revelation for me. No matter what f-stop/ISO I select the flash means that I can get the x-sync shutter speed (1/200s on the 300D). If I had to give a drawback to the ring-flash it is that it's in the way if you try to peer over the camera to find where the subject has just crawled off to!

I focus in the same way that others have described here. Having preset the magnification I want I move my kit until the subject is in focus.

I have recently added 68mm of extension to the Sigma 105mm to get roughly 2:1 magnification out of the 105mm lens. It works well but is MUCH harder to manage. DOF is even narrower, working distance is down by about 50% (unscientific guess) and you simply cannot locate subjects with the viewfinder alone as it shows an area 20mm or so wide at f/2.8!. The results are worth it though.


Andy Brown; South-east England. Canon, Sigma, Leica, Zeiss all on Canon DSLRs. My hacking blogexternal link.

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Roach711
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Jul 13, 2005 18:18 as a reply to foxbat's post |  #6

DOF Preview Button

Another thing that I *usually* remember to do is to press my camera's DOF preview button not only to see how deep the DOF (Depth Of Field) is but also to see what the background will look like in the final shot. When you're shooting dragon fly sized stuff stopped down the background may look nice and out-of-focus through the viewfinder but when you take the shot it's actually a lot sharper. Sometimes I'll press-and-hold the DOF preview button then adjust the aperture (in AV Mode) with the main dial to dial in the background blur I want.

Tripods

I seldom use a tripod just because the critters I usually photograph aren't interested in becoming world-famous and won't hold still. For flowers and such a tripod is definitely the way to go. I don't use mine much, but when I need it I *really* need it.


---------------
50D, 100-400 L IS, 100 Macro 2.8, 24-105 L IS, 420EX, No talent

Shoot 'em all and let Photoshop sort them out.

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jfrancho
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Jul 14, 2005 09:19 |  #7

DOFMaster Depth of field Online Calculatorexternal link. I know I've posting this link a lot, but it is that useful. Can also be a shocker when working at extreme distances, such as with macros.



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Ballen ­ Photo
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Jul 15, 2005 10:39 as a reply to post 657173 |  #8

mbrown wrote:
Now here is something that is important to learn, and not many will mention it.
Everyone will preach "details" in the world of macro, and yes, that is good!
But you have to learn both ends in macro.

Without good composition and good lighting, your macros usually will lack that "punch" that everyone seeks out.
Many will think this to be the odd way and especially in macro, but try shooting wide open for a change and use selective focusing methods.
Selective focus will help you determine which or what part is the most important area within your composition.
When that is determined, shoot it wide open to see what is achieved and then start adjusting your settings for more depth ........... if you wish too. You may not want to! You may like what you see initially and leave it at that.
Everything in the world of macro does not have to hold maximum DOF unless you are after the documentry/scientific type shots.

Shooting wide open, using selective focusing methods, has lead me to much better compositions. Sounds a bit odd, but oh so true!

Lighting?
I will often use the styrofoam paper plates for diffusors or reflectors.
They are cheap, and very useful when being held by a Wimberly Plamp.
Another piece of equipment I use is a mirror, for getting the light in those "hard to light, hard to reach" areas.
Available light is much more appealing, (in my opinion), and I will use flash only when I have to.

Thanks for taking the time to post this alternate view on macro Mike. :D
The things you say here make a lot of sense. ;)
Just looked at your portfolio, VERY impressive. Thanks again.
-Bruce


The Captain and crew finally got their stuff together, now if we can only remember where we left it. :cool:

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rockyc2
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Jul 24, 2005 08:30 |  #9

Here's how I do it.

I sure ain't no *Pro*, but I get great results. I have the 550EX Flash mounted on a straight Flash Bracket which puts the Flash to the side of my 10D. I also use an off Camera Shoe Cord II. I also have the Flash diffuser down on the Flash head. I use an ISO of 400@f/16@1/200s. I have the flash FEC set at +2/3. I shoot in AV mode and AF. I don't even mess with manual focus.:D OH! I'm using my *Great* Sigma 150 f/2.8 Macro Lens.:D No Tripod. All handheld.:D
Rocky


My pictures web site. (Take a look)
http://rockyc.smugmug.​com/external link
Canon 10D, 2-20Ds, & 400D:lol:
Canon Pro90 IS (P&S)
Canon 50 f/1.4
Canon 85 f/1.8
Canon 200 f/2.8L II
Canon 400 f/5.6L
Tamron 17-35 f/2.8-4
Tamron 28-75 f/2.8
Sigma 28-80 f/3.5-5.6 II
Sigma 70-300 f/4-5.6DL
Sigma 150 f/2.8 Macro
Sigma 50-500 (Bigma)

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Ballen ­ Photo
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Jul 24, 2005 10:24 as a reply to rockyc2's post |  #10

rockyc2 wrote:
I sure ain't no *Pro*, but I get great results.

Yes you DO get good results Rocky, and NO, I just put that in the title to get folks attention so they will post their tips in here. You dont need to be a PRO to post here. This is for ANYBODY that's interested in macro from newbies up. ;)
Your idea of using a bracket to mount the flash off to the side via an off shoe cable is an EXCELLENT idea! Thanks. :D
-Bruce


The Captain and crew finally got their stuff together, now if we can only remember where we left it. :cool:

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rockyc2
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Joined May 2003
Antlers, Oklahoma USA
Jul 24, 2005 10:39 as a reply to Ballen Photo's post |  #11

Ballen Photo wrote:
Yes you DO get good results Rocky, and NO, I just put that in the title to get folks attention so they will post their tips in here. You dont need to be a PRO to post here. This is for ANYBODY that's interested in macro from newbies up. ;)
Your idea of using a bracket to mount the flash off to the side via an off shoe cable is an EXCELLENT idea! Thanks. :D
-Bruce

Thanks, Bruce. Yep, that flash bracket and the cable really works great. I only paid about $8.00 for the bracket from B&H.
Rocky


My pictures web site. (Take a look)
http://rockyc.smugmug.​com/external link
Canon 10D, 2-20Ds, & 400D:lol:
Canon Pro90 IS (P&S)
Canon 50 f/1.4
Canon 85 f/1.8
Canon 200 f/2.8L II
Canon 400 f/5.6L
Tamron 17-35 f/2.8-4
Tamron 28-75 f/2.8
Sigma 28-80 f/3.5-5.6 II
Sigma 70-300 f/4-5.6DL
Sigma 150 f/2.8 Macro
Sigma 50-500 (Bigma)

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Ballen ­ Photo
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Southern Nevada and Idaho
Jul 24, 2005 10:46 as a reply to rockyc2's post |  #12

rockyc2 wrote:
Thanks, Bruce. Yep, that flash bracket and the cable really works great. I only paid about $8.00 for the bracket from B&H.

I've got an old Stroboframe bracket that I paid quite a bit more for from a local camera store, with an off camera cord, and I had thought about trying it for macro, and now I hear from you that it works great, so that settles it. I'll have to give it a try. Thanks again. :D
-Bruce


The Captain and crew finally got their stuff together, now if we can only remember where we left it. :cool:

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rockyc2
Goldmember
1,969 posts
Joined May 2003
Antlers, Oklahoma USA
Jul 24, 2005 11:12 as a reply to Ballen Photo's post |  #13

Ballen Photo wrote:
I've got an old Stroboframe bracket that I paid quite a bit more for from a local camera store, with an off camera cord, and I had thought about trying it for macro, and now I hear from you that it works great, so that settles it. I'll have to give it a try. Thanks again. :D
-Bruce

Giver Hell, Bruce.:D :D I would sure like to see your shots.
Rocky


My pictures web site. (Take a look)
http://rockyc.smugmug.​com/external link
Canon 10D, 2-20Ds, & 400D:lol:
Canon Pro90 IS (P&S)
Canon 50 f/1.4
Canon 85 f/1.8
Canon 200 f/2.8L II
Canon 400 f/5.6L
Tamron 17-35 f/2.8-4
Tamron 28-75 f/2.8
Sigma 28-80 f/3.5-5.6 II
Sigma 70-300 f/4-5.6DL
Sigma 150 f/2.8 Macro
Sigma 50-500 (Bigma)

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Bald ­ Eagle
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Joined Mar 2005
Rapid City S.D.
Jul 28, 2005 20:27 |  #14

Here's another small tip, Learn how to find these bugs, I have trained my eyes to look for things that dont look just right, and focus on them. You'd be amazed what you find under your very nose.


Canon 5D:cool: :cool: :cool: .
multiple lenses and equipment (MP-E65 is the current favorite)
View my Galleries here.
http://www.pbase.com/1​bald_eagle/macroexternal link
http://www.flickr.com/​photos/7535699@N03/external link

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adauria
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113 posts
Joined Jul 2005
Staten Island, NY
Jul 29, 2005 19:39 |  #15

Can one of the macro experts please explain (for a total newb) what is meant by "reverting" the lens (or is it "reversing")??

Also, do you really need a special lense to dabble in macro, or could I get started with the Rebel XT kit lens or a nifty 50?

Thanks!

-Andrew


-Andrew

---------------
Canon Rebel XT 350D
Canon EF 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6
Canon EF 50mm f/1.8
Tamron 70-300mm f/4-5.6 LD
Speedlite 420EX

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How about all you "Macro Pros" giving some Tips?
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