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Thread started 14 Sep 2011 (Wednesday) 16:08
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Raynox DCR-250 focusing issues

 
arch.cm
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Sep 14, 2011 16:08 |  #1

Yesterday I purchased a Raynox DCR-250 super macro conversion lens for my Canon 60d. So far I've tried using it with my Canon 55-250mm IS and I haven't been getting good results. Anybody have experience with this?

I have 2 issues:
1. All my pictures come out with a very shallow DOF even though I'm using a small aperture (f16).
2. Most of the pictures come out blurry. I've tried shooting outside with good light and handheld... it seems like the smallest movement throws the subject out of the viewfinder (especially when I have the lens totally zoomed in which is supposidly how you're suppose to use it, right?). I've used a tripod and that seemed to help a lot, but I don't know how I'm gonna chase a fly around with it.

I bought this lens cause I've read great reviews about it and have seen some really good macro shots with it on Flickr and on this forum. I've read people saying that they took their macro shots handheld with the same lens... if anybody has any tips I would appreciate it! I've checked to see if there were any threads about this, but all I found were reviews about it...

Here are a couple of examples (the most decent ones that came out):


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Sep 14, 2011 16:16 |  #2

That is perfectly normal - welcome to macro photography :) As far as I can tell magnification is strongly linked to the depth of field when working with macro photography so even if you used a dedicated macro lens, the similar magnifications would still give you similarly small depths of field to work with


Remember you can't just close down the aperture all the way, once you hit around f16 or smaller you'll start to notice your photos getting softer and this is because of diffraction; no amount of shutter speed will save your shots from that, only using a wider aperture.

Your views on focus are spot on as well - macro is a challenge and it can take time to get used to it, you might find that setting your zoom to a lesser focal length for a while and then ease yourself into working at higher and higher magnifications/longer focal lengths.


As for shooting you might well find that the addition of flash might free you up considerably; letting you shoot with a low ISO, fast shutter speed and good aperture (my default, go to settings for macro are ISO 100, 1/200sec, f13 - all with flash of course).


In short what you need is two key things

1) More practice - lots more
2) Maybe additional light sources (ie flash) to boost your light that you have to work with.


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frule
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Sep 14, 2011 16:40 |  #3

What focal length? You can use 55mm to have less magnification. As you move towards 250mm, it really gets dicey!

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arch.cm
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Sep 14, 2011 17:16 |  #4

Thanks for your input! Yeah, I think I'm gonna incorporate flash and try that out. Also, maybe the issue is that I'm taking photos at 250mm, I should probably try at 55mm.


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arch.cm
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Sep 14, 2011 17:31 |  #5

Oh, one more thing, does the IS have to be on or off when taking photos with the Raynox?


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Sep 14, 2011 17:34 |  #6

I've no idea about the use of IS with the Raynox attached. I would hazard that the IS is possibly not strong enough to counter the motions at the increased magnifications, at least to its normal performance. You'd be best to experiment and find out for yourself if it makes a worthwhile advantage or if it actually causes and hindrance to your photos.

Also, based on the magnifiaction of the ant photo, the softness you are seeing is likely diffraction linked - set the camera and lens up on a tripod at 45degress to a subject and take a series of shots varying the aperture only to test this out and see where the limits are with regard to sharpness. It won't take too long to do, but its well worth it to know here the optical optimum limits are.


Tools of the trade: Canon 400D, Canon 7D, Canon 70-200mm f2.8 IS L M2, Sigma 120-300mm f2.8 OS, Canon MPE 65mm f2.8 macro, Sigma 150mm f2.8 macro, Tamron 24-70mm f2.4, Sigma 70mm f2.8 macro, Sigma 8-16mm f4.5-5.6, Raynox DCR 250, loads of teleconverters and a flashy thingy too
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phreeky
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Sep 14, 2011 19:29 |  #7

Especially at 250mm, if IS is helpful then you'll notice it helping steady the viewfinder image for you.

Make no mistake, macro can be difficult. The outstanding macro photos you see don't just come from a nice camera and macro lens, there can be an awful lot of work and learning involved.

Definitely use your flash. Shoot in manual mode, start with F/8 or so and go from there and your shutter speed just go with about 1/200s or so to be safe (under the flashes need for HSS), ISO to suit. Diffuse your flash, too. It will take some practice and you'll want to adjust your exposure a bit because if the flash is doing too much work you'll end up with a pitch black background.




  
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Sep 15, 2011 17:31 |  #8

http://flic.kr/p/8iige​V (external link)

I used a tripod and flash to get this lily stamen shot. It was with a Sigma 105mm macro lens. This was tricky even in controlled conditions. Using the lens/Raynox together in the field as you have, must have been very difficult. The small depth of field coupled with poor light make macro very hard.
You have been given the answers already on how to improve. Good luck :)


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Sep 15, 2011 19:34 |  #9

welcome to raynox lenses. especially useful for super macro


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arch.cm
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Sep 15, 2011 23:30 |  #10

Thanks everyone for the feedback!

h14nha wrote in post #13109652 (external link)
http://flic.kr/p/8iige​V (external link)

I used a tripod and flash to get this lily stamen shot. It was with a Sigma 105mm macro lens. This was tricky even in controlled conditions. Using the lens/Raynox together in the field as you have, must have been very difficult. The small depth of field coupled with poor light make macro very hard.
You have been given the answers already on how to improve. Good luck :)

Great macro! Love the details!

c2thew wrote in post #13110186 (external link)
welcome to raynox lenses. especially useful for super macro

Thanks :)


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arch.cm
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Sep 15, 2011 23:43 |  #11

Here's a new pic, I think it's a little better than the other 2 :)


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Raynox DCR-250 focusing issues
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