Tricky macro photography: what went possibly wrong?

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aryalg Forum Member • Posts: 54
Tricky macro photography: what went possibly wrong?

I am relatively new to macro photography, that too with a full frame camera. I recently bought a7rii with 50 mm f2.8 macro for a quite good deal. Since then I have been giving it a spin in my free time. I enjoy shooting nature and landscapes and macro has always been in my wishlist.

The photographs I am making makes me wonder what wrong I am possibly doing. I am struggling to take photos as sharp as I wish. It is a challenge to focus, holding the camera still and getting sharp photos seems a lot difficult. I am starting to wonder if IBIS is overrated for macro and in general as even 1/40 second shots on 50 mm lens comes out blurry. I have a bit shaky hands but the blur I used to get with non-stablised lens and camera combo of a6000 and Samyang 21mm f1.4 and the new full frame combo does not show much of a difference. Of course, they are totally different lenses/camera combinations and it's highly likely I am doing something I should not be doing.

I have attached photos below for your scrutiny. These are RAW converted to JPEG with default LR settings and no additional PP. They are not great in composition but what could have gone wrong and how I can make them better? Please be gentle in your response as I want to learn.

This was shot indoors on a tripod. The light was pretty low. Focused on the stem. But there is some blur. IBIS was off. My best guess is some micro winds as shorter exposure times gave sharper pictures. What else could it be?

I like the composition but the shot is quite blurry. The light was low as the time was overcast evening. There was some wind. Even though I tried my best I couldn't get it sharp. Camera movement or subject movement? Minimum focus working distance was challenging too as I was triggering some movements myself as this guy was in a tricky position.

This was daytime and bright. the shot is pretty sharp for me. I will be happy with this level of details.  DoF is a challenge and composition could have been better. I wish other small subjects were at least as sharp as this insect.

Less sharp than I wish for. DOF issue or focusing perfection required? It was challenging to focus on where I wanted to.

I wish I had a longer lens and wish that handsome guy tolerated me coming closer.  Quite pleased with details on focus area which is on lizard's head. I wish more shots were at least this detailed.

I am a hobbyist and photography is purely for pleasure and joy. I don't make any money with these photographs. Still, I wish I could get better photos both technically and aesthetically. Your insights could be helpful to learn.

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My photos at:

 aryalg's gear list:aryalg's gear list
Sony a7R II Sony FE 50mm F2.8 Macro
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Sony a7R II
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