Need help with taking photos using SX1 + Raynox DCR 250

Started Jul 28, 2010 | Discussions thread
gardenersassistant
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Re: Need help with taking photos using SX1 + Raynox DCR 250
In reply to Sivashankar, Jul 28, 2010

I use three add-on close-up lenses with the SX10is: DCR-250, DCR-150, Canon 500D. The DCR-250 is most powerful, and most difficult to use.

I only do macro work outdoors and the air is almost never completely still. I use a tripod with an arm attached to the central column. I use the tripod to help frame shots, but I usually keep my hands on the camera all the time and so there is still some camera movement, and I only use hands-off with the self-timer when the air is absolutely still (i.e. almost never).

When I am using available light I tend to use a number of short bursts of continuous shooting to try to get a good shot, refocussing at the start of each burst. When using flash I use single shots (several, or more, single shots for each subject/composition, if the subject stays still long enough). I found that using flash increased my success rate. It is important to diffuse the flash. I use a Canon 430exii with a DIY diffuser.

You will only get sharp images if the add-on lens is the correct distance to the subject, and this is particularly important with the 250. The correct distance, for the 250, is around 4 inches (around 100mm). I frame a shot by adjusting the tripod, its arm and the ball and socket head on the end of the arm so as to get the camera pointing in the right direction and roughly the right distance from the subject. I use a Manfrotto focus rail on the ball and socket head and I adjust the focus rail fine tune the distance to the subject. I use a half-press of the shutter button to get auto-focus to tell me whether the distance is ok - if autofocus snaps on immediately (the box goes green) the distance is ok. If there is any hesitation in the autofocus I adjust the distance, if there is no hesitation I complete the shutter button press to take a picture (or burst of pictures).

The DOF is very narrow so quite often I use the minimum aperture, F8 (on the SX10) to maximise the DOF. This softens the image because of diffraction - you have to find your own preferred balance between diffraction-induced softness and lack of DOF.

I often use manual mode so I can control the shutter speed and the aperture. Unfortunately, with the SX10 (don't know if this is true for the SX1) this means that you can't use TTL metering with the 430exii, so I have to set the flash output manually. This is rather hit and miss, and it often needs several attempts to get the exposure right. Sometimes I use Av mode, in which case TTL metering does work.

My flickr photostream
http://www.flickr.com/photos/gardenersassistant/
is mainly macros, but mostly with the DCR-150 and 500D close-up lenses.

These
http://www.flickr.com/photos/gardenersassistant/sets/72157624070009881/
are with the 250.

You can see macros taken with S-Series cameras here

http://www.netvantagecommunity.com/index.php/forum/viewforum.php?f=51&sid=39c42bf8fcfdefc4ab472a9679a811dc

and as you will see from the posts some of these use the 250, although the 150 has become quite popular with these particular S-Series users.

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