Dslrs are no good for high mag macrophotorpgraphy .....

Started Feb 28, 2009 | Discussions thread
Joseph S Wisniewski Forum Pro • Posts: 34,290
Norman, I'm going to make you a difficult offer...

plusiotis wrote:

... not my opinion ... this guy's:


It's quite obviously your opinion. You're just posting that link because it supports your preconceived ideas. That's OK, it's a very human thing to do.


"The advantage of small sensors is that incredible depth of field can be achieved compared to the 35mm format."

He makes the same error that you make frequently, mistaking DOF on small, low resolution pictures for actual information content.


I've shot macro with everything from P&S digital to 1.5x crop DSLR to full frame DSLR to LF scanning back. I've shot half frame 35mm film (Oly Pen F), full frame, medium format, and 4x5. Resolution and DOF are exactly the same for all these systems, as long as the final magnification (object size vs. final print size) and the actual aperture (in mm) is the same in each case.

Resolution (limited by diffraction) and DOF follow a constant set of curves based on magnification and aperture size.

The larger formats simply offer you the option of physically larger apertures, so you can choose to stop down for large DOF and low (diffraction limited) resolution like a P&S, or open up for higher resolution and shallower DOF.


You really need to join up at that site photomacrography.net that I pointed out to you several times already. It's the largest source of macrophotography information on the net. The depth of knowledge surprises even me. No matter how obscure your lens is, someone there has shot one. No matter how off-the-wall your lighting technique, someone can help. No matter what you shoot (there are people there with everything from closeup lenses on a P&S, to a single reversed lens, to bench macro bellows and microscope setups like mine, to at least two folk with electron microscopes).

And the insect galleries... Judging by the examples you linked to, you've never seen anything like the kind of work the real pros do. There are people on that site who have done actual museum collection catalogs.

I made a fairly innocent comment about x-ray macros, and the next thing I knew, people skilled in the art were explaining things to me that I never imagined. I know that the typical x-ray is not 1:1, but rather about 1.15x, the techniques for adding measurement references to an x-ray, and a whole slew of other fascinating info.

You won't be the only Oly shooter there. You'll run into people you know from the dpReview Oly forum, like Laurie Knight. And you'll meet new people, like Charlie Krebs, who shoots a mix of Oly, Nikon, and Canon gear, and has several wins and high places finishes in things like the famed Nikon and Oly corporate macrophotography contests.

It will be a totally different experience for you:

1) no trolling is allowed. Nor is your style of "enthusiastic brand advocacy"

2) I'd estimate that the average user has between 10 and 1000 times your level of experience and knowledge.

3) the environment is sufficiently friendly that focus stacking program authors, equipment designers, and major award winning macrophotographers frequent the site.

4) nearly everyone posts under their own name. On that site, users that post under their actual names command much more respect than those using aliases.

There are exceptions. One user who signed up simply as "elf" is a strong Olympus advocate. But he's nothing like you. He doesn't just post about it being the "best", he shows actual advantages. He impressed me with his bellows design. (His bellows can collapse so thin that it can focus to infinity when used with a four thirds body and a Nikon lens, can do macro panoramas, focus stacks, and orthographic stitching of focus stacks).

and looking at his superb pics, he might be right:


Not "right", and not "superb" when viewed at anything other than web size.

That's what you'll often see on photomacrography.net, not only the web sized whole image, but 1:1 crops of the more interesting details. You can get an idea of what one of those macros might look like, printed at 13x19.

I'll point you at the site of a real master.


He spends most of his time with microscopes (and you did mention you were shopping for one, in another thread) but also does superb bellows work. His article on the use of microscope objectives on bellows is a "must read". He's been a Nikon "Small World" winner twice, placed in the top 10 over a dozen times (my best was 12th) and has one win and 5 honorable mentions in Olympus "Bioscapes".

So, here's where it gets difficult. Sign up there, act like a real person, and I'll be the first (but not the only) one there to offer you the hand of friendship.

So, which will it be?

"trollin' Norman" waiting his next banning on dpReview, or...

"Norman Day", respected photographer.

Bob Frank is like how you are now. He throws around his term "Extreme Macro" to describe a P&S with an achromat closeup lens and a bounce card on the flash, the same way you use "Super Macro" to describe your DSLR on a low cost copy stand. There's nothing wrong with "catch phrases", per say: my weekend workshop and new six week course are promoted as "power macro". But neither you nor Mr. Frank have the chops to be coining such grandiose phrases to describe the very simplest beginner's techniques.

Norman, don't be that guy. You can be more...

-- hide signature --

Rahon Klavanian 1912-2008.

Armenian genocide survivor, amazing cook, scrabble master, and loving grandmother. You will be missed.

Ciao! Joseph


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