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Old 22-10-2011, 01:51 PM
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Done - ordered
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Old 22-10-2011, 01:57 PM
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Done - ordered
Excellent choice.
The world of macro holds some challenges but it's also great fun. You'll enjoy that lens!
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Old 22-10-2011, 02:10 PM
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Thanks Andy, for youir help in the selection process too. I'm looking forward to it
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Old 28-10-2011, 01:03 AM
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Hi Guys,

woohoo - the new Canon 100mm f/2.8 USM lens turned up, and boy did it seem heavy when I first put it on.

I've been reading the blurb that came with it, and all seems ok so far.

But Troy, H, Dave, Andy, Chris and you other guys with expertise - I was wondering if you might care to suggest what settings you would choose for a macro shot like Troys first example under here - the fly on the cabbage leaf. You've all produced similar shots in style I'd imagine.

So starting with Troy, if you're around mate , would you care to just tell me what settings you might have had for piccie #1 below, and what sort of extra accessories you were using, if any, at the time.

I'm really keen to get started, but I haven't had a chance to play outside yet. That's tomorrow if it's not raining.

If anyone wants to mention any 'must have' accessories, - that would be good too. All I have is the 400D camera body, the two stock lenses that came with it, and now this new lens. I don't have any other odds and sods, but I've noticed the list of accessories goes on and on.... tripod adaptors/rings, extention tubes, lens hood, filters, close-up lenses and macro flash, just for starters.

As always, your time and thoughts are much appreciated guys





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Old 28-10-2011, 01:34 AM
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I think the best advice would be what was given to me by Troy when I first touched a macro lens a few weeks ago. Forget the accessories, and, get used to shooting 1:1 with the bare lens.

Once you get comfortable with shooting, you will then start adding flashes, remote triggers, diffusers, extension tubes, software, and the like.

You will be disappointed with your first shots. But, that's the thing, it's all part of the journey.

I'm not a macro shooter, so, can't really say much more. I am more into the other end of things -- landscapes and portraiture.

Enjoy the new toy.

H
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Old 28-10-2011, 01:49 AM
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Thanks H, - I agree, it sounds like a great starting point
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Old 28-10-2011, 07:44 AM
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Don't worry about starting out trying to duplicate what others have done. As Humayun says, you'll probably be disappointed and frustrated.
Just get used to the lens and macro shooting first. It's a whole new ball game.

If you think it's fiddly trying to get a telescope to focus with a high magnification eyepiece, wait until you're knee-deep in a swamp trying to hand-hold a macro setup in poor light while attempting to photograph a dragonfly on a leaf

Start out by choosing some really well lit subjects. They don't have to be insects ... try anything ... just some coins on a table under strong light for example.
That way you can use a smaller aperture and give yourself a little bit more depth of field to work with.

Once you get used to how it all works you can progress to putting the camera on a tripod and shooting in lower light ... and getting closer and closer while your subjects get smaller and smaller ... or perhaps investing in a macro flash and shooting tiny, spectacularly coloured fungi in semi-darkness.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/andy_keir/2269826713/
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Old 28-10-2011, 08:28 AM
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Good tips above

I started with small screws and coins on a table. Actually if they're well used, at macro 1:1 magnifications all the little nicks and marks are cool.

If I had no flash, I'd start with a slightly higher ISO around 400-800, and play with different apertures to get a feel for depth of field, and adjusting shutter speed to suit. Goes without saying this is in full Manual exposure mode, and manual focus on the lens too. Set the lens focus to whatever magnification you want, then move in and out until the subject comes into focus. Once you get a feel for what distance you need to be at mag 1:1, it will get easy. You only have to move millimetres forward or backward to get focus at around 100mm from subject. You'll see what I mean

My "go to" settings are f/11, around ISO 400, shutter speed around 1/100-1/200 depending on ambient. But I use a flash, and you may struggle with light on those settings and have to bump up the ISO and keep the shutter speed down.

First toy to get next, IMO, is a flash and some way of diffusing it. But I predict we'll talk about that later
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Old 28-10-2011, 09:15 AM
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It may sound sick, but you can practice on dead flies too ! They don't fly away, so you can spend time experimenting.

Cheers,
Jason.
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Old 28-10-2011, 10:57 AM
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Hi Guys,

thanks once again for your replies. Invaluable as usual in the wisdom and experience shared.

@Jason - hey that is a good idea. Dead is good from that point of view, - well thought of.

@AndyK - some great pointers Andy, with lots of useful and usable pointers on how to get started in macro. This is exactly what I was hoping for.

@Troy - I've been playing around with 'things' on the table top, and was having trouble trying to get the sort of magnification that I know this thing is capable of. That's why I thought I'd ask about a picture that one of you more experienced had taken, since it demonstrates that the mag is definitely possible. So thanks for the step by step pointers Troy. I can do that to build up a feel for how it works as you say. Thanks also for the PM with the extra info, - it's very much appreciated.

Thanks so much guys, these pointers and tips are enought to get me going down this path. I'll let you know how I get on, though I can't in all honesty see myself knee deep in a swamp doing the balancing trick that you describe Andy - not yet anyway

Oh, - just one last quick qestion for one of you. Troy started his comment by saying "If I didn't have a flash ..." Doesn't the built in flash count as a flash for these situations? What's up? Not bright enough, not fast enough? Hmmmm ...

All the best guys, thanks once again for sharing
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Old 28-10-2011, 11:15 AM
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That fly shot may be deceptive. I can't recall, but it may have been taken with extension tubes, so higher magnification than 1:1. Maybe 2:1 or 3:1? So don't expect a fly that big in the screen at 1:1.

I think you'll find that the built-in flash will have trouble getting down to your subject over the front of your lens. I have seen guys using all sorts of DIY solutions to use the built-in flash for macro. Will try to find a link for you for some ideas.
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Old 28-10-2011, 11:24 AM
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Some more macro tips: http://photography-on-the.net/forum/...ad.php?t=85004

Macro setup ideas for future: http://photography-on-the.net/forum/...d.php?t=142566

LOL you might do this: http://photography-on-the.net/forum/...&postcount=108

Something like this is what I had in mind for you: http://photography-on-the.net/forum/...&postcount=209
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Old 28-10-2011, 11:30 AM
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Troy,

thanks for that. When you say (of the fly) it may have been taken at maybe 2:1 or 3:1, am I thinking right when I say the lens can be adjusted from 1:1 up to 1:5, and that a shot taken at 1:5 will be magnified 5x, or am I reading it wrong?

I think I'm expecting too much too soon. I remember all the astro terms were meaningless at the start, then it all begins to make sense slowly but surely. This will be the same, so I'll study what's already been provided and doubtless all will be revealed in due course.

Cheers

PS - Thanks for the links too - that's great !
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Old 28-10-2011, 11:40 AM
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Hi Guys,
woohoo - the new Canon 100mm f/2.8 USM lens turned up, and boy did it seem heavy when I first put it on.
I thought the same when I first received that same model lens, but it quickly becomes a plus for stability

Quote:
But Troy, H, Dave, Andy, Chris and you other guys with expertise - I was wondering if you might care to suggest what settings you would choose for a macro shot like Troys first example under here - the fly on the cabbage leaf. You've all produced similar shots in style I'd imagine.
I agree with the very good advice given by the others. Be prepared to accept the fact that your initial shots will really suck... unlike other types of photography, such as moderately wide angle sunsets, when a macro shot "fails" it can fail quite spectacularly. Just stick with it for a few months and keep shooting, and then it should improve dramatically!

My tip would be to learn the technical aspects first (so you can worry about subject and composition later): as previously suggested, keep it simple with just the camera, lens and tripod to begin with.

Pretend that you're learning photography all over again - do test shots from f/2.8 to f/32 and see the trade off between fast shutter speeds at f/2.8, peak sharpness at f/5.6 - f/8 on crop cameras before diffraction sets in, and increased depth of field at f/16 and smaller. With the tiny DoF, the direction that you face the subject is extremely important - from the side, you might be able to get the whole bug in focus, whereas head-on you may only have eyes in focus.

Similarly, try various shutter speeds to see what's needed to avoid blur from your motion (e.g. handholding) and subject movement (wind blowing on the plant, ant running around like crazy).

Move on to changing the background by varying the scene and the subject-background distance. Then fiddle around with the lighting - take shots under direct sunlight, completely in the shade, next to/near a reflective surface opposite to the main source of light, etc.

Once you get the technical aspects sorted, you'll find that you can fluke a lot of fantastic shots and then start worrying about the creative challenges

Quote:
If anyone wants to mention any 'must have' accessories, - that would be good too. All I have is the 400D camera body, the two stock lenses that came with it, and now this new lens. I don't have any other odds and sods, but I've noticed the list of accessories goes on and on.... tripod adaptors/rings, extention tubes, lens hood, filters, close-up lenses and macro flash, just for starters.
Macro accessories are a bit like astro - heaps of very useful (and expensive) toys that you can buy, but you probably don't need them to begin with.

Your 400D's built in flash will be more than enough to begin with - all you need is to use a bit of aluminium foil, paper, and sticky tape to "shape" the light. Check out this thread (lots of other examples online - just Google words like "diy macro flash diffuser"):

http://photography-on-the.net/forum/...d.php?t=218157

Anyhow, my three personal must-haves are:

* External (not pop-up) hotshoe flash with an off-camera cable so you can move the light source.

* Tripod mount ring and macro focusing rail - much easier to tweak composition when your field of view is a few centimetres wide.

Quote:
As always, your time and thoughts are much appreciated guys
Good luck and have fun!
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Old 28-10-2011, 11:45 AM
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Not quite. 2:1 is 2x magnification, ie double lifesize on the sensor. 1:2 is 1/2x, ie half lifesize.

Your lens and most true macro lenses (except the MP-E 65 which is a special lens) can only go to 1:1 max magnification as a bare lens. This is at their minimum focus distance.

You can add extension tubes between the lens and camera body, and what this does is allow the lens to focus closer than it's min focus distance as a bare lens. This will give you greater than 1:1 magnification. I know, because I did testing/measurements, that your 100mm lens with 68mm of extension tubes (the full Kenko set) will give a magnification of 2:1 at its new min focus distance.

Note that with extension tubes you lose infinity focus. So although you can focus closer, you probably couldn't focus on something say 3m or more away.

This shot shows my first macro setup from years ago. The 100mm lens you have, extension tubes, and a very embarrassing milk container diffuser: http://photography-on-the.net/forum/...13#post4426813
But the milk jug worked great - nice big light source for diffuse light and got it down over the lens with and without tubes.
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Old 28-10-2011, 01:20 PM
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Thanks Guys,

@Dave Naskies - Yep, that all makes sense Dave. I've also joined POTN to take advantage of all the expert help there too.

@Troy - now I get it re the magnification. I'm glad I've got it sorted out in my mind now, that the basic lens only goes 1:1 max, and then it's reduction rather than magnification from there on. I'll get the hang of it - I've only had it a day. Saw your milk container - wow, talk about innovative. I now see, you have to get the light directly over your subject, - NOT just an all-over flash such as a flash normally gives off. That's clear now too. Se, - I'm getting there

Thanks so much guys. You've been most helpful (again )
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Old 28-10-2011, 01:48 PM
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Paul,

Also: the bigger your light source, the more diffused/softer the light will be.

This is why people build macro stages with lots of diffuse material around their subjects.

H
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Old 28-10-2011, 04:14 PM
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Interesting point - thanks H
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Old 28-10-2011, 04:15 PM
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Yep, that's what I was doing with the milk container
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Old 28-10-2011, 04:58 PM
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Guys,

does anyone know whether, for tripod mounting, the type of connector/attachment shown in the pic is ok to use. I think these are called the RC2 Rapid Connect System.

The thing is, I already have one of these for my binocs, mounted on a fairly solid tripod. Is it ok to mount my camera using this method? I see others using the special mounting collars, which I distribute the weight more centrally and therefore may balance more easily, and shake less.

But other than that, will the 400D stand having a fairly heavy lens mounted unsupported? It won;t damage it or anything?

Cheers,
Paul
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