Another try at the botanical gardens
Thanks for everybody's comments and suggestions on my photos last week! I returned to the botanical gardens again today for another go with the MT-24EX. This time I also tried shooting with the SMC Takumar 85mm f/1.9 on a bellows. The working distance gets a nice boost with this combo over the 50mm f/1.4. I think if the working distance got much higher, lighting the subject properly would become difficult.
Today, I used a cable release in conjunction with an M42 extension tube which has a cable-release port, to allow me to close down the aperture with the press of a button. This totally transforms the handling of the lens, allowing me to focus wide open and then accurately close down the aperture for the photo, without upsetting the position of the camera in the process. I'm currently waiting for a double cable release to arrive, so that I can fire the shutter with the same button and so improve accuracy further. Here's a picture of that rig:
One of the first photos I took today showed a problem with my diffusers:
The reflection shows that the light coverage on the diffuser is not nearly as even as I thought, most of the area is wasted. I need to come up with some better diffusion material.
Also, who's that handsome devil reflected in the next photo? (100% crop)
Today I managed to mess up a lot of photos by shooting at 1/80th or 1/100th of a second, and allowing ambient light to blur by not holding the camera steady enough (leaving a trail behind flash-lit subjects). Gotta work on my technique.
This was the first time that I saw the diffusers encroaching on the edges of the frame, so I must be making an effort to position those closer to the subject :). Anyway, onto the photos.
This one is natural light, as the magnification was too low to get the lights close enough:
These two actually have the lights positioned somewhat behind the subject: