Macro Photography....

Started Nov 26, 2007 | Discussions thread
Tom Rowland
Veteran MemberPosts: 5,891
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Re: Yeah but
In reply to chester0711, Nov 29, 2007

Chester0711 wrote:

I suppose some details would help.

Let me tell you where i am currently.......

I have some decent photography experience in the way of landscape
photography and other areas.....about 2-3 years plus of experience.

I attempted to get into Macro photogrphy ...went out and bought a
Sigma 50mm Macro lens only to find that this lens won't do 1 of 1.
Also, and I know this is a major issue with Macro, I am having
trouble getting a depth of focus with this lens that gets me a
reasonable amount of detail across the object.

Well I have a Sigma 50 and while I have never really tested it does seem to do 1:1 for me. And the Sigma specs list it as doing 1:1. So I am not sure why yours wont do 1:1.

Most folks understand that more DOF is the result of stopping down. But stopping down reduces the light, and this is often a problem with macro; and usually means some type of flash.

I attempt macro shots of Flowers, or anything with small details that
I can enlarge (most recently trying to photograph flies for fly
fishing)....Nothing like live bugs or anything...... yet!

Size of prints that I want are anywhere from 5x7 to a 13x19.

I guess what I am wondering is....can I get true 1 of 1 with this
lens or will it be an absolute trial? Is it my technique? Any
suggestions?

Well you can get 1:1, but the front element of the lens needs to be very close to the subject. The only way I can get that with my 50 is using a ring light. But this works well for photographing small computer parts I fabricate.

I also have a Sigma 150 which I use for bugs. It has a working distance of say 12 inches or so with real good magnification. I also have a Canon 400/5.6 and a Canon 500/f4 which I use stacked extension tubes on for a really big working distance.

I also have a Canon 500d close up filter (very similar to the Nikon 6T which I also have; but the Nikon has a smaller filter size) that gives good results with my 70-200 and 400/5.6.

I also have a Pany FZ20 which gives great results with the Nikon 6T.

I also have some step up/step down rings so I can reverse lens, but that is a real PITA and I seldom do that.

Any or all of these camera or lens choices would work, some better than others depending on just what you want to photograph.

As for technique I cant really comment on yours, but I can tell you that for most bug macros I like the 150 macro or the 500/f4 with tubes. For flowers I like the 50mm or the 70-200 with the CU filter. For ease of use the Panny P&S is a real gem. The 400/5.6 with extension tubes is much easier to use than the 500, but the IQ is not as good.

When I use the 150 I almost always use a simple Sigma EF500 flash. For the Sigma 50mm macro I use a Samigon ring light. For the 400 and 500 I shoot with a good tripod and a gimbal head. All the rest I shoot hand held. For the 400 and 500 I use AF mostly, but MF sometimes; same for the Panny; all the rest are hand held. I often use a 1.4 TC on the Sigma 150.

Let me know if i can provide anymore info.

I sorta set two cutoffs for macro technique.

Using a 50 (and probably 60 and 70) mm a ring light is almost a must. MF and ME often produce better results for me (I ME with a grey card; but sometimes adjust it a little).

At around 100-150mm I switch from a ringlight to a good TTL flash, but still shoot MF and ME.

At around 300mm (I have tried this with my Sigma 120-300 and tubes) I switch to natural light, but put the bigger lens on a gimbal head and a good tripod. Using these longer focal lengths (300,400, and 500) can really give big working distances.

If you can narrow your macro goals to one of these three focal length areas it will help folks better answer your questions.

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