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Thread: Macro Help Please!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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    Macro Help Please!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Application was sent yesterday for Dip of arts applied photography, the next two stages are intake test & folio presentation
    after looking at my folio i really need to delve into the world of macro's,
    lots of portraits landscapes ect but no macro stuff. and seeing the awsome stuff you all put on here i thought that you's would be the best ones to get info from about it

    first off i have NFI on macro's, never ever done it.

    need help on macro lenses/macro filters what the???/dof/ things to remember/tips hints ect generanlly everything to do with macros

    any info or even links to good site's would be greatly appreciated (luv u long time )


    thanks

    Alison

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    not sure if this should be in here or general help, if in wrong spot, feel free to move it

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    I'm a noob, but can I suggest going to your local camera store and purchasing a set of Hoya Macro Filters... They usually come in +1, +2 and +4 and you can also get +10.

    Once you have these, head out into the garden and test them out. You will find the DOF quite shallow and you have to choose the focus carefully.

    Try taking some of flower stamen, bugs etc..... Even maybe electronic equipment (motherboards, resistors etc)....

    It can be tricky, but given you have much more experience than me, you'll more than likely pick up the skills required quite quickly


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    I got a tip, if your looking to do this on a budget here are some things you can consider:

    P&S - probably have one already and you can go as close as 1cm! depending on your camera
    Diopters - relatively cheap compared with buying a new lens
    Reverse mount - if you want larger than 1:1, though it is quite fiddly since you lose all automatic controls
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    Thumbs up

    A set of macro filter's if your on a budget.
    I'm looking into buying a macro lens atm but they're around $1200ish.
    I use a +10 macro filter on 18-55mm kit lens and x2 t/c at present.
    DOF is a major issue for me.(even w/o the t/c.
    "If your pictures aren't good enough, you're not close enough." - legendary war photographer Robert Capa.

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    I just got my extension tubes today and have been playing around a bit... I'm quite impressed.

    Not as extreme as a reverse mount but better than macro filters and pretty cheap on ebay too... unless you want the type that retains all the electronic functions.

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    Thank you all so much for your replys, i wont sound like such a moron in the camera shop tomorrow
    since posting i have been reserching macro lenses i'll add them to my wish list

    currently my camera is Canon EOS 300 yes i still run film
    lens is EF 28 - 200mm 1:3.5 - 5.6 72mm (bloody expensive to get filters this size) my uv filter was $70 and i havn't had the joy of buying other lenses yet, i love this one sooooo much, does everything i need.

    will the macro filters work on this lens ????

    do i need to buy the set +1 +2 +4 +10 ???

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    Allison, firstly you need to define for us what you need help with. Do you want help with technique? equipment purchases? other specialised questions?


    You can:
    1. get a set of Kenko extension tubes and use on them your current lens
    2. get diopter lenses (high quality close up filters). Both Nikon and Canon offers these. The multi-element ones are much much better, but with corresponding prices. Nikons are called the 3T, 6T etc and Canon's the 500D and 250D. Testing gives a slight edge to the Canon 500D, but the Nikon's are cheaper. Not brand specific. If you do go this route, buy the 77mm one and get a 77->Xmm step-down adapter, this way it can be used all future lenses too and thus protecting your investment.
    3. get a reverse mounting adapter and reverse a lens onto your camera body OR onto another lens
    4. buy a dedicated macro lens. The Nikon/Sigma/Tamron 100/105/90 are all highly recommanded. In fact, the Tamron 90 macro is considered the sharpest macro lens in that focal length range. The only disadvantage of the Tamron is that it is build out of plastic.

    So so many choices, all give "macro" capability, which to pick? It depends on your purpose. Here's some pro and cons for each of the above:
    1. Extension tubes are cheap, but you lose quite a bit of light. A 25mm ext tube will cut the light by about 2 stops (need 4x longer exposure to achieve the same exposure). Extension tubes can be used on longer lenses to reduce working distance. i.e. the 300mm + ext tubes is a favourite for shooting butterflies. You lose infinity focus with ext tubes.
    2. Diopters are cheap, and high quality diopters give good optical result. They work on all lenses so long as the filter ring fits (hence getting the biggest one protects your investment). You also lose infinity focus with this.
    3. Reverse mounting a lens gives very high magnification but the working distance is apooring. Personally I would recommand this only to more seasoned macro shooters. It's not all *that* useful for everyday macro shooting since it gives very high magnification. No infinity focus, cheap method. The adapter rings can be had on Ebay for next to nothing.
    4. Best ooption but most expensive too. Provides 1:1 magnification without accessories dangling everywhere. Provides infinity focus, and can be used for shooting everyday objects too. Pretty good working distance.

    Personally I started out with option 1 (EF25 ext tube) on my 28-80 f3.5-5.6 aka "Dog Toy". This gave me time to decide if I am passionate about macro, and tell me what kind of macro I like to shoot since this directly dictates equipment needs. After a year, I upgraded to a 180 f3.5 macro since i mostly shoot insects.

    I have left out some of the more technical details regarding macro gear choices, we can discuss those once you have a concept of what does what. Macro gear shopping is probably one of the most confusing for someone just getting into it since there are many way of achieving the same result, but with very different costs and different suitability for the task.

    So that's all talks, here's some examples:

    EOS 500N, Provia 400F, 28-80 f3.5-5.6 II, EF25 tube


    EOS 500N, Provia 400F, 28-80 f3.5-5.6 II, full set of Kenko extension tubes + on cam flash diffused with white paper


    10D + 180 f3.5 macro


    10D + 180 f3.5 macro + EF25 extension tube


    10D= + 70-200 f2.8 IS L + EF25 extension tube


    10D + MP-E65 f2.8 (specialised macro lens 1-5x)


    10D + MP-E65 f2.8 (specialised macro lens 1-5x)


    So what the photos trying to show? Regardless of the setup, with some practice, nice photos are possible. i.e. I don't have any worthy insect photos to show that were shot with the 28-80+EF25 because it just wasn't a suitable insect-shooting setup, well not for the kind of skills I had back then.
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    Thumbs up

    Loving that beetle shot every time i see it.

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    Thanks Dejavu you hit the nail spot on !!!
    after reading all the posts i am looking to get a filter set or ext. tubes.

    any idea if the canon DSLR's have the same mount as Canon EOS300???

    i'm getting a canon DSLR soon and i dont wanna get the extension tubes unless they fit the DSLR too

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    Quote Originally Posted by PicturePerfect
    Thanks Dejavu you hit the nail spot on !!!
    after reading all the posts i am looking to get a filter set or ext. tubes.

    any idea if the canon DSLR's have the same mount as Canon EOS300???

    i'm getting a canon DSLR soon and i dont wanna get the extension tubes unless they fit the DSLR too
    Is renting one for a weekend an option for you?

    You could always try: macro-photography-on-a-budget/

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    Well I think dejavu has covered it

    I'll sit back and admire the macro shots dejavu took with that MP-E65 f2.8, gives me chills to even know of somebody who owns that lens

    Don’t know if anybody else has suggested this,

    50mm prime f1.8 with extension tubes. Should be cheap and you will get a great little 50mm prime for use without the tubes. Many photographers say this lens is essential to their kit

    Some sound advice, get really, really close to your subject.

    And a really good tripod is essential also

    Good luck deciphering all the info in these posts.

    Michael.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sans2012
    Well I think dejavu has covered it

    Don’t know if anybody else has suggested this,

    50mm prime f1.8 with extension tubes. Should be cheap and you will get a great little 50mm prime for use without the tubes. Many photographers say this lens is essential to their kit

    Michael.
    I've been experimenting with my lens collection and the tubes.

    50mm works very well except that you need to be close... almost glass on the subject... if you can get to within a few centimeters it's fine.

    my sigma 18-125mm probably gives the most useful combination of range and magnification.

    the canon 75-300 is great if you need to put a little distance between you and the subject... you can get a good result shooting something the size of a bee from about 2 meters.

    also I've been getting good results with the tubes and a macro filter... excellent magnification... a little soft around the edges but thats the macro filter for you.

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    Alison,
    I am glad you find my info useful, and since no one complained about it being boring or hard to understand, here's a few more details that you need to be aware of.

    Let's get a few definitions straight so that we are speaking in common terms:
    • Macro is actually defined as photography at 1x magnifcation and above. So anything less than 1x magnification is more accurately defined as "close-ups" rather than "macro", however, these days it seems the two words are used interchangeably.
    • Magnification is usually written as 1:1, which is also called "life-size". It is called life size because the size of the item you are photographing translates exactly onto film. Hence, if a bee is 1cm long, the image of the bee on your film will also be exactly 1cm long. Imagine holding a slide mount and using that to frame your subject matter. 2x life-size is written as 2:1 and so on.
    • There are many equations to calculate total magnification when you add accessories to your lens, however, the most used one is this:
      Code:
      Magnification = (total length of extension in mm) / (focal length of your lens)


    There are two main points of consideration when acquiring macro gear:
    1. Required magnification: this is usually 1x magnificaiton
    2. Working distance


    Take the extension tube approach as an example. On a 50mm lens, you will need 50mm worth of extension in order to obtain 1:1 magnification (as per equation above). This sounds OK, but the working distance would be poor. What if you have a 100mm lens? You will need 100mm worth of tubes to get 1:1! Now that's just impractical.

    If you primarily shoot product photography and just need some macro capabilities to start off with, I would take the extension tubes and put that on a zoom lens, that way you will get a range of magnfications. This works pretty well since products are shot in controlled environments. However, if your primary interest is nature macro photos, then the 100mm dedicated macro lens (or longer) will be the way to go.

    Anyhow, regardless of what you get at the end, a good tripod is always a must when it comes to macro. It is the cheapes way to get consistent results in macro.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dejavu
    Take the extension tube approach as an example. On a 50mm lens, you will need 50mm worth of extension in order to obtain 1:1 magnification (as per equation above). This sounds OK, but the working distance would be poor. What if you have a 100mm lens? You will need 100mm worth of tubes to get 1:1! Now that's just impractical.
    Cheers for the info, I didnt know that

    Michael.

    Should make a sticky out of dejavus info on macro

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    Quote Originally Posted by sans2012
    Should make a sticky out of dejavus info on macro
    I'll second that!!!! Thanks for all your info Dejavu, it has made all of it a lot less confusing!!!
    Going out on Monday to the cam shop. Wonder what goodies i bring home

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    No problems guys, I do tend to be a little wordy when talking about subjects I know a little better

    Alison, I believe I forgot to answer your question regarding camera mounts. The Canon extension tube line up consists of the 12 and 25mm extension tubes. They are called the EF12 and EF25 respectively. There are 2 generations of this line up, I and II.

    Generation I: EF12 & EF25. EOS EF mount, compatible with *all* EOS cameras and all EF lenses
    Generation II: EF12II & EF25 II, EOS EF mount plus EF-S mount. Compatible with all EOS camers, EF and EF-S lenses.

    You can browse Ebay and pick up tubes from the first generation for cheap. I got my EF25 for around $120 with shipping from the states. It was 2nd hand, but it was in absolutely prestine shape. Generation II supports the newer EF-S mount and is backwards compatible with EF mount and thus have the greatest flexibility. All the nice lenses are EF mounts, thus I don't see the point of paying extra for the EF-S capability unless you intend on using EF-S lenses with it.

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    Dejavu's covered this topic very nicely. If I can just add the fact that a dedicated macro lens is also great for general photography, and in particular portrait work. They're razor sharp, fast (f2.8) and give good bokeh. Also, they'll focus to infinity, which you lose with extension tubes and lens reversal.

    Frank

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    dejavu is Da Man!!! :headbang:

    I would like to get into this too and my first port of call will be this thread and dejavu.
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    I'm gonna have to agree with Thing on this. This posting got me curious about Nikon extension tubes and such.

    Two things though if you will Dejavu....

    1. the EF-S tubes will allow one to use the features of an EF-S lens whereas an EF tube will not Correct?

    2. Nikon has the AF-S, AF, AI type lenses and tubes. I have mainly AF G lenses, what tube would you suggest? (G lenses have no aperature ring, so I will need to be able to control that with the camera.)

    Thanks for the very knowledgeable post on this Dejavu..it has helped clear up a small amount of befuddlement on my part.
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