MPE-65mm macro lens

Started Jul 25, 2013 | Discussions thread
OP John K Veteran Member • Posts: 7,534
Re: MPE-65mm macro lens

DannH wrote:

It always surprises me how much you manage to get in focus with the MPE-65 and always makes me considering adding it to my collection when I see shots like these!

It's not the lens -I'm pretty sure that all lenses, at the same magnification and fstop, will give you the same depth of field. The trick is to look for "magic angles" that will make the most of what little depth you have. I know from my own experience that, due to the way I was focusing a scene, I was wasting a lot of depth when I first started shooting. Odds are I'm not alone, and that's why a lot of people resort to focus stacking (it's a technique issue).

DannH wrote: I'm curious why you don't ever focus stack your shots though?

Moving subjects aside: I've taken several stacks, and at the same time taken a single frame of the same scene. After post processing both I always prefer the single frame over the stack. For me shooting single frames produces an image that looks more three dimensional -I think that we use visual clues to gauge depth and one of them is the separation between what's in focus and what's not. Focus stacking produces an image where almost everything is in focus, so the focus based sense of distance is gone. To add insult to injury most stacks also create unusually sharp transitions between what's in focus and what's not, and my attention gets drawn to them when I should be looking at the subject or the scene as a whole.

Last, but not least, most macro photographers focus stack because they're really trying to get a razor sharp image at 100% pixels. But no one prints 100% crops, or saves them to their desktop as wallpaper, so it's really kinda pointless (unless your goal is to impress other people who pixel peep). The scene as a whole is what's important, and pixel peeping is a prime example of not being able to see the forest because the trees are in the way...

I'd rather spend my time working on composition, and getting as many different compositions before the critter gets active, than to spend time focus stacking to get sharper images. Keep in mind that I frequently print poster size, and the pixel sharpness at 100% just doesn't translate to print, not at the distance that you'd normally view something that's a meter wide.

Here's another take on one of the bees in the first post -for me it's all about trying to bring out some personality in the subject. Does the macro discipline need another razor sharp, poorly composed image? There are thousands out there, and anyone can take them...

"Crawling Out of Bed". Tech specs: Canon 1D MKIII (F13, 1/250, ISO 100) + a Canon MPE-65mm macro lens (@ ~2x) + a Canon MT-24EX macro twin flash. Hand held single frame.

-- hide signature --

Also known as Dalantech
My Book:
My Blog:
My gallery:
Macro Tutorials:
Always minimal post processing and no cropping -unless you count the viewfinder...

Post (hide subjects) Posted by
Keyboard shortcuts:
FForum PPrevious NNext WNext unread UUpvote SSubscribe RReply QQuote BBookmark MMy threads
Color scheme? Blue / Yellow