Nanoha Super Macro, GH2 and a Fig Wasp

Started Oct 8, 2012 | Discussions
Mike942 Regular Member • Posts: 385
Nanoha Super Macro, GH2 and a Fig Wasp

My current obsession is photographing bugs and I shoot quite a lot of hand held 1:1 macros using a Metz ring flash mounted on a Pan/Leice 45mm lens on a GH2. So the Nanoaha really sparked my interest and I took the plunge.

I was surprised how much more difficult 4:1 to 5:1 shooting is compared to 1:1 - and I'm talking mounted in a tripod, not hand held.

One of the attractions of the Nanoha is the built-in LED lighting as macro lighting is a problem as there is little gap between the lens and the subject - very little with the Nanoha. However I couldn't get good results with the LED lighting and I think it was due to vibration caused by the shutter (Oh for a GH3 with and electronic shutter!). I was using an interval timer plugged into the tripod mounted GH2 and the Fig Wasp was on a solid surface so I don't know where else the vibration could have come from.

I've done some focus stacking before at 1:1 or a little under, and found the Velbon macro rails just about fine enough for this work when using a an aperture of f/8 or f/11. But I know that the adjustment offered by the Velbon (the slide moves 4mm for one full turn of the adjustment knob) would be too coarse for the Nanoha. I was lucky enough to spot a second hand Sigma Koki vertical positioning stage on eBay for A$68 so bought that. This uses a fine screw thread with a pitch of 0.5mm so one full turn of the thumb wheel moves the stage 0.5 mm. I mounted this on a solid piece of timber and mounted the GH2 in the inverted position on the tripod. I mean mounted below the junction of the legs.

On-line reviews of the Nanoha state that the sharpest f setting is f/22 and the following focus stacked image was shot at f/22 using the Metz ring flash mounted on a small tripod a positioned as best I could to illuminate the wasp. I found that the stage gave fine enough adjustment if I moved the thumb wheel the smallest amount I could, about one or two knurls, which equates to approximately 0.0125 mm.

Finally the Fig Wasp. Some people are surprised to learn that wasps are extremely diverse in size and  shape, though some do look rather like bees. The Fig Wasp is tiny, with a body length of approx 3 mm. So, size wise, a good subject for the Nanoha.

Here the result:

Focus stacked using the marvellous CombineZP by Alan Hadley

Lighting is a problem. I have other composites that show the wings better, but other sections are affected by reflection.

I'm saving up for a GH3 - perhaps then I won't need to use a flash.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH2 Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH3
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nzmacro
nzmacro Forum Pro • Posts: 14,613
Re: Nanoha Super Macro, GH2 and a Fig Wasp

Good work on a small subject.

Not sure why with a ring flash you needed ISO 640. I'm happy with a 4:1 at shooting non stacked (maybe 3-5 shots stacked but not often) at ISO 100, F/32 using a ring flash set at a 1/4 power. Why ISO 640 ??. I do shoot hand held at that because the flash duration is short. On a fairly flat side on subject as this, even at a 4.7:1 you won't need that many images stacked. At this ratio side on and not much DOF to it, I would imagine a max of around 14-20 shots on a dead subject even at that ratio.

All the best and nice work, now how about some live subjects outside

Danny.

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Birds and macro. NEX and m4/3
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Worry about the image that comes out of the box, rather than the box itself.

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OP Mike942 Regular Member • Posts: 385
Re: Nanoha Super Macro, GH2 and a Fig Wasp

The 640 ISO was a left over from trying to use just the LED - I forgot to reset. However another problem setting up without the LEDs is to be able to see the subject well enough to position it. I find it difficult to position the subject and then move the flash into position without disturbing the set up so tend to need to finally position it (I'm talking in the horizontal plane) after the flash is in position and then I can't get enough light on the subject to see it clearly enough on the LCD screen. Temporarily opening the aperture to f/11, and a higher ISO helps just enough.

Number of images. With legs and ovipositor sticking up vertically or close to it in places closely spaced steps are necessary. I may well be overdoing it...

I've asked Shin Yasuhara if DOF data is available which would be most helpful. He wrote that he would make it available:

OK. I will show it.
We are now starting to Photokina exhibition in Germany.
So I will handle this matter after I come back to Japan.
As for DOF, as you know, it is not the absolute value.
It depends on the limit of tolerable error(diameter).
So we have not opend the data.
But it may be convenient for the users to know the DOF
for specified limit of tolerable error.

It'll be interesting to see how much I've have been overdoing it.

I did another shoot of the same bug using a Raynox 202 on front of the Pan/Leica 45mm giving a 2.4:1 macro. For this I found 46 images sufficient...

Mike.

nzmacro
nzmacro Forum Pro • Posts: 14,613
Re: Nanoha Super Macro, GH2 and a Fig Wasp

Mike942 wrote:

I did another shoot of the same bug using a Raynox 202 on front of the Pan/Leica 45mm giving a 2.4:1 macro. For this I found 46 images sufficient...

Mike.

Now that is starting to make a lot more sense and I better say IMO. Thats a good setup. Reason is the lens to subject distance for the ratio. If I use a Canon 100-300 F/5.6L at the 300mm end and an added Raynox DCR-250 + a 50mm tube, I get a 3.9:1 at a lens to subject distance of around 210mm. That gives plenty of room for lighting Mike and that at F/32 using the ring flash. Its also a very sharp setup.

Charles Krebs may often stack well over a 100 images, but his ratios would be over a 30:1, thats not a mistake ;), 30:1 and often more. So I don't think you need that many shots. Mind you its hard without a very fine regulated stage as well. So what you have here has worked out pretty well. I would tend to cut down on the images though. CombineZ and Helicon focus can take awhile as you know :).

All the best Mike and I would be interested in seeing more when you can.

Danny.

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Birds and macro. NEX and m4/3
http://www.birdsinaction.com

Worry about the image that comes out of the box, rather than the box itself.

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gardenersassistant Veteran Member • Posts: 3,809
Re: Nanoha Super Macro, GH2 and a Fig Wasp

nzmacro wrote:

Mike942 wrote:

I did another shoot of the same bug using a Raynox 202 on front of the Pan/Leica 45mm giving a 2.4:1 macro. For this I found 46 images sufficient...

Mike.

Now that is starting to make a lot more sense and I better say IMO. Thats a good setup. Reason is the lens to subject distance for the ratio. If I use a Canon 100-300 F/5.6L at the 300mm end and an added Raynox DCR-250 + a 50mm tube, I get a 3.9:1 at a lens to subject distance of around 210mm. That gives plenty of room for lighting Mike and that at F/32 using the ring flash. Its also a very sharp setup.

Charles Krebs may often stack well over a 100 images, but his ratios would be over a 30:1, thats not a mistake ;), 30:1 and often more. So I don't think you need that many shots. Mind you its hard without a very fine regulated stage as well. So what you have here has worked out pretty well. I would tend to cut down on the images though. CombineZ and Helicon focus can take awhile as you know :).

All the best Mike and I would be interested in seeing more when you can.

Me too. Interesting info both, and nice result Mike.

I've been using a 202 on a Panasonic 45-175 on a G3, single shots in the wild. It gives a similar degree of magnification (down to scenes just over 4mm across), and it handles nicely because the 45-175 doesn't extend. I haven't done much photography since I got it because of the horrible weather here this "summer", but when I have had a chance it has proved fine for fruit flies and springtails (the longer, thinner ones, 2mm or so body + head).

Working distance is very short, 29-32mm. I recently did a session with Raynox 250 and 150 stacked on the 45-175 (got the idea from Mark Berkery ). Not as much magnification (scenes down to about 8.5mm, about half way between the Raynox 250 and 202) but an easier working distance of 60-68mm. Very usable.

OP Mike942 Regular Member • Posts: 385
Re: Nanoha Super Macro, GH2 and a Fig Wasp

Thank you both, Danny and 'Gardenerassistant' for your helpful remarks and tips. You've inspired me to revisit the telephoto plus Raynox combination, both in the 'studio' (with my new stage) and in the great outdoors.

Also, I'll look more critically at the number of images I've been taking when focus stacking. Not so much for the processing time - but more for the tedium of micro adjusting the stage!

Mike.

OP Mike942 Regular Member • Posts: 385
Re: Nanoha Super Macro, GH2 and a Fig Wasp

nzmacro wrote:

Charles Krebs may often stack well over a 100 images, but his ratios would be over a 30:1, thats not a mistake ;), 30:1 and often more. So I don't think you need that many shots.

Well, Danny, I've proved your point. Using the images I already had I removed intermediated images and got down to 36! (The exclamation mark is for me...)

Somewhat to my surprise this arguably has resulted in more detail (hairs on legs, for example).

Mike.

nzmacro
nzmacro Forum Pro • Posts: 14,613
Well done Mike

Mike942 wrote:

nzmacro wrote:

Charles Krebs may often stack well over a 100 images, but his ratios would be over a 30:1, thats not a mistake ;), 30:1 and often more. So I don't think you need that many shots.

Well, Danny, I've proved your point. Using the images I already had I removed intermediated images and got down to 36! (The exclamation mark is for me...)

Somewhat to my surprise this arguably has resulted in more detail (hairs on legs, for example).


Mike.

Well how about that and yep, I don't think you need all the other images stacked. Great to see the result and it will save you a lot of time in the long run. if you were looking more of a head on perspective and also along the side in depth, then maybe stack more images at it. Just this profile doesn't need it.

All the best Mike and pleased for you mate. Well done and good work.

Danny.

Birds and macro. NEX and m4/3
http://www.birdsinaction.com

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