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Macro - I want to play too

WoodButcher

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Okay, seeing Scott and Scott doing all that playing with their macro lenses made me want to break mine out and get some shots. Today I was not using a flash nor a tripod. All ambient light, hand held. No stacking on this set, all were single shots. Manual mode, 1/320 sec, f7.1, ISO 200. Sigma 105mm macro on a Canon 7D Mark 2 (crop sensor). My "tricks" are continuous focus, high speed shutter (10 frames a second) and shot a 2-3 shot burst. I breath like I'm shooting a rifle, breath in, a little out, hold it. Arms in tight. Wait for the breeze to stop or lessen.

As usual, with my shots, click on them and it will take you to smugmug where you can view them full sized.

Okay, no cropping on these images. Size is as shot. First image is straight off camera, no editing at all. Second shot is the edited version of the first, just so you can see what changes happened. Basically, I added some sharpening and masking. Lowered highlights and whites. Blacks and shadows had minor tweaks.

This shot is almost directly into the sun and it was clear out when I took it.

IMD_0393-X2.jpg


IMD_0393-2-X2.jpg


This shot is the same flower as the first, but shot from almost 180 degrees on the opposite side. Same editing as #2.

IMD_0399-X2.jpg


Last shot has similar edits, but I also tweaked the white balance so the petals were correct.

IMD_0418-X2.jpg
 

twtex85

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Those are awesome ��. Love the black background.
 

M38A1

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1/320 sec, f7.1, ISO 200. Sigma 105mm

I'm wrestling with how you get a black background with those parameters. Shooting into the sun is a ton of light and I can't figure out how the above knocks down the ambient to black. Another trick up your sleeve?
 

WoodButcher

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Tricks? No. Camera differences? Maybe. Canon always reports actual f-stop on a macro lens whereas Nikon reports relative. Meaning when I'm shooting at distance and the opening is to the size of f 7.1 and then I switch to close focus and the diaphragm is at the same opening it still tells me f 7.1. On a Nikon, it will change and report a much higher f-stop which is the effective f-stop. As we know, playing with light, the higher the f-stop, the more the background disappears. So my effective f-stop at that range was probably closer to f 32. Your Nikon would have displayed it that way.

The reason for that is when you close focus, the lens element gets further away from the sensor. A lot further, actually. So the inverse square law comes into play and less light hits the sensor, making it appear that the aperture is smaller. Now how that affects depth of field, I don't know.
 

WoodButcher

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I guess i should finish my thoughts on it. When shooting normal shots and testing a lens' sharpness, they are quite often a bit soft wide open, but get better as you stop down to f8 of f11. You will start to see a drop off of sharpness again around f16 of f22 because of diffraction. That is a basic physics issue and light the speed of light, is a given. So on a Canon, I know that I don't want to go past f16, no matter what. On a Nikon, I would need to know what f16 is being reported at when I'm at 1:1 focusing so I don't exceed that. Is it f32? f45? So for your shots, if you are reading f16 on a Nikon for 1:1, you really should be able to stop down more because the opening is actually bigger than you think.

I suggest experimenting. In a controlled light situation, aperture priority, fixed shutter speed and ISO. Manually focus to infinity, check the f-stop reading. Manually focus in to closest range and check f-stop. What is it reading? I saw a thread where a guy was complaining that he couldn't get f2.8 on his Nikon 105 at 1:1, only f4.8.
 

WoodButcher

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Okay, since this is the learning and doing section, here is how I use a flash when I use on and I'm still working handheld. Learned this from Bill (DFW_warrior)

The setup. Yongnuo flash with remote trigger on the camera. Big softbox diffuser on the flash.

i-WS9dBrm-X2.jpg


And how I hod it:

i-npbB8wM-X2.jpg


I use my forearm to support the lens and camera and that leaves my left hand free to hold and position the flash. If I want to go crazy, I have another flash and softbox I can stand next to a flower. That method doesn't work well with bugs.

And if I use a tripod, this is what it looks like. I have a tilting center column that lets me get right over the top of something.

i-kJx97B4-X2.jpg
 
Last edited:

Tourmeister

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Tricks? No. Camera differences? Maybe. Canon always reports actual f-stop on a macro lens whereas Nikon reports relative. Meaning when I'm shooting at distance and the opening is to the size of f 7.1 and then I switch to close focus and the diaphragm is at the same opening it still tells me f 7.1. On a Nikon, it will change and report a much higher f-stop which is the effective f-stop. As we know, playing with light, the higher the f-stop, the more the background disappears. So my effective f-stop at that range was probably closer to f 32. Your Nikon would have displayed it that way.

The reason for that is when you close focus, the lens element gets further away from the sensor. A lot further, actually. So the inverse square law comes into play and less light hits the sensor, making it appear that the aperture is smaller. Now how that affects depth of field, I don't know.
I guess i should finish my thoughts on it. When shooting normal shots and testing a lens' sharpness, they are quite often a bit soft wide open, but get better as you stop down to f8 of f11. You will start to see a drop off of sharpness again around f16 of f22 because of diffraction. That is a basic physics issue and light the speed of light, is a given. So on a Canon, I know that I don't want to go past f16, no matter what. On a Nikon, I would need to know what f16 is being reported at when I'm at 1:1 focusing so I don't exceed that. Is it f32? f45? So for your shots, if you are reading f16 on a Nikon for 1:1, you really should be able to stop down more because the opening is actually bigger than you think.

I suggest experimenting. In a controlled light situation, aperture priority, fixed shutter speed and ISO. Manually focus to infinity, check the f-stop reading. Manually focus in to closest range and check f-stop. What is it reading? I saw a thread where a guy was complaining that he couldn't get f2.8 on his Nikon 105 at 1:1, only f4.8.
:tab I had read something about that somewhere but never really figured out what they were getting at with it. I will have to play around with mine to see what happens. I have been shooting around f16-f18 (as indicated by the camera).

:tab With the D7200, I can only get the shutter speed down to 1/250. The D750 is 1/200. Either seem to work for me to get a mostly black background in the middle of the day. However, I have not tried shooting directly into the sun... :cool2:
 

WoodButcher

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Thanks for the reminder. I went out the next day and tried to get a shot of there I took that direct into the sun picture, but it was cloudy. About 20 minutes later it came out. So this picture sets the stage some. Basically the flower was in the sun and shade around. Forget to mention that. In this pic though the sun was in a different position, but you get the idea.

i-vFb7XnJ-X3.jpg


I was sitting on that little stone wall when I shot the picture and was facing directly at the sun, which was right over the house.
 
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