Handheld Macro for XT-2

Started Nov 1, 2020 | Discussions
baobob
baobob Forum Pro • Posts: 16,845
Re: Handheld Macro for XT-2

I use  Meike extension tubes 30€ light and excellent

Handheld will imply a quite high ISO for a fast SS

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Tim van der Leeuw Contributing Member • Posts: 894
Re: Handheld Macro for XT-2

MrSee wrote:

No 3 is gorgeous!

Thank you! It is also one of my favourites.

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Tim van der Leeuw Contributing Member • Posts: 894
Re: Handheld Macro for XT-2

baobob wrote:

I use Meike extension tubes 30€ light and excellent

Handheld will imply a quite high ISO for a fast SS

Or the use of a flash, which is what I started doing since last week, when I also got my Laowa lens.

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Tim van der Leeuw Contributing Member • Posts: 894
Re: Handheld Macro for XT-2

erikjanneman wrote:

Nice pictures, thanks! You do have IBIS in your XH1 though. I don't know how much that helps with such a high magnification?

Thank you!

Yes, I realised this morning while biking that actually the IBIS in the X-H1 helps with framing the shot.

At a SS of 1/160 it doesn't make much difference anymore with the actual shot itself though.

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Tim van der Leeuw Contributing Member • Posts: 894
Re: Handheld Macro for XT-2
1

Kyodo wrote:

Stunning pictures!

You used focus stacking obviously.. It was so difficult to me to have in focus more than 1mm.. 😬

Thank you!

I may have used exposure stacking of 2 frames on the 1st of those pictures, not even sure anymore if that one was focus-stacked or not! But I think it was...

The others are single frames, no stacking. Shooting at f/8 or f/11 with a flash, and hey some of those things in the shot are perhaps just 1 or 2 mm in size...

The focus stacking I did was from hand-held shots btw; shots had to be rotated a bit for that of course but Helicon Focus managed that quite well for me.

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OP erikjanneman Junior Member • Posts: 44
Re: Handheld Macro for XT-2

Tim van der Leeuw wrote:

baobob wrote:

I use Meike extension tubes 30€ light and excellent

Handheld will imply a quite high ISO for a fast SS

Or the use of a flash, which is what I started doing since last week, when I also got my Laowa lens.

What type of Flash are you using? The standard small unit that Fujifilm gives you? Or do you have a bigger one?

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Tim van der Leeuw Contributing Member • Posts: 894
Re: Handheld Macro for XT-2

erikjanneman wrote:

Tim van der Leeuw wrote:

baobob wrote:

I use Meike extension tubes 30€ light and excellent

Handheld will imply a quite high ISO for a fast SS

Or the use of a flash, which is what I started doing since last week, when I also got my Laowa lens.

What type of Flash are you using? The standard small unit that Fujifilm gives you? Or do you have a bigger one?

I bought a bigger one, from Godox. with a diffuser to spread the light a bit.

I went with the Godox with rechargeable batteries but there are less expensive options available as well. If you do not mind using AA batteries, Nissin has some flashes that look interesting, easy to operate, and a good bit smaller than my Godox but still powerful.

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Tim van der Leeuw Contributing Member • Posts: 894
Re: Handheld Macro for XT-2

Tim van der Leeuw wrote:

Kyodo wrote:

Stunning pictures!

You used focus stacking obviously.. It was so difficult to me to have in focus more than 1mm.. 😬

Thank you!

I may have used exposure stacking of 2 frames on the 1st of those pictures, not even sure anymore if that one was focus-stacked or not! But I think it was...

The others are single frames, no stacking. Shooting at f/8 or f/11 with a flash, and hey some of those things in the shot are perhaps just 1 or 2 mm in size...

The focus stacking I did was from hand-held shots btw; shots had to be rotated a bit for that of course but Helicon Focus managed that quite well for me.

Actually, to reply to myself, I think that all images I posted were single frames. This is a focus stacked image:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/95999386@N04/51225468527

But to be 100% sure I'll need to check my other laptop tonight.

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Kyodo
Kyodo Forum Member • Posts: 58
Re: Handheld Macro for XT-2

Tim van der Leeuw wrote:

Tim van der Leeuw wrote:

Kyodo wrote:

Stunning pictures!

You used focus stacking obviously.. It was so difficult to me to have in focus more than 1mm.. 😬

Thank you!

I may have used exposure stacking of 2 frames on the 1st of those pictures, not even sure anymore if that one was focus-stacked or not! But I think it was...

The others are single frames, no stacking. Shooting at f/8 or f/11 with a flash, and hey some of those things in the shot are perhaps just 1 or 2 mm in size...

The focus stacking I did was from hand-held shots btw; shots had to be rotated a bit for that of course but Helicon Focus managed that quite well for me.

Actually, to reply to myself, I think that all images I posted were single frames. This is a focus stacked image:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/95999386@N04/51225468527

But to be 100% sure I'll need to check my other laptop tonight.

If that's true, I have to drastically improve my technique.. 🀣🀣🀣

Thanks anyway for your answer!

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Tim van der Leeuw Contributing Member • Posts: 894
Re: Handheld Macro for XT-2

Kyodo wrote:

Tim van der Leeuw wrote:

Tim van der Leeuw wrote:

Kyodo wrote:

Stunning pictures!

You used focus stacking obviously.. It was so difficult to me to have in focus more than 1mm.. 😬

Thank you!

I may have used exposure stacking of 2 frames on the 1st of those pictures, not even sure anymore if that one was focus-stacked or not! But I think it was...

The others are single frames, no stacking. Shooting at f/8 or f/11 with a flash, and hey some of those things in the shot are perhaps just 1 or 2 mm in size...

The focus stacking I did was from hand-held shots btw; shots had to be rotated a bit for that of course but Helicon Focus managed that quite well for me.

Actually, to reply to myself, I think that all images I posted were single frames. This is a focus stacked image:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/95999386@N04/51225468527

But to be 100% sure I'll need to check my other laptop tonight.

If that's true, I have to drastically improve my technique.. 🀣🀣🀣

Thanks anyway for your answer!

I usually take a lot of photos in quick succession (checking focus in between for each shot) because I'm shaking a bit, flowers are moving in the breeze all the time, insects tend to fly or walk away... That helps improve my chances of getting one that is sharp. The red verbena for instance, I shot at least 20 photos of that to get perhaps 2 or 3 that were "good enough". From that I pick the best.

I use focus-peaking and zoom in to check sharpness, then press the shutter quickly when focus seems best in the EVF (or LCD). Perhaps the shutter of the X-H1 helps to make it easier to get the right shot when compared to the shutter of the X-Tn series of cameras? It has a very light press when compared to my X-T3.

For such close-up shots I shoot at F/8 or F/11. Then in CaptureOne I increase sharpness a bit, enable CA and diffraction correction (even without a lens profile for the lens, I think it still helps a bit) and increase texture and clarity.

To help getting the focus right, when I have my framing right and focus mostly right I move the camera back and forth little bits to get it sharp as possible in the EVF or LCD.

If you're not familiar with Micael Widell, he has a lot of useful tips for freehand macro photography on his YouTube channel, such as this video:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cvLDxkef71s

(I wouldn't have started using a flash and diffuser for instance if it wasn't for his tips, and yes, it really helps me!)

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Tim van der Leeuw Contributing Member • Posts: 894
Re: Handheld Macro for XT-2
1

Tim van der Leeuw wrote:

Tim van der Leeuw wrote:

Kyodo wrote:

Stunning pictures!

You used focus stacking obviously.. It was so difficult to me to have in focus more than 1mm.. 😬

Thank you!

I may have used exposure stacking of 2 frames on the 1st of those pictures, not even sure anymore if that one was focus-stacked or not! But I think it was...

The others are single frames, no stacking. Shooting at f/8 or f/11 with a flash, and hey some of those things in the shot are perhaps just 1 or 2 mm in size...

The focus stacking I did was from hand-held shots btw; shots had to be rotated a bit for that of course but Helicon Focus managed that quite well for me.

Actually, to reply to myself, I think that all images I posted were single frames. This is a focus stacked image:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/95999386@N04/51225468527

But to be 100% sure I'll need to check my other laptop tonight.

I've checked; this is indeed a single image, and not a focus stack. Here's the full image as exported from CaptureOne.

It is however a crop from a larger shot. Here's is the full JPEG out of  camera (I'm shooting RAW+JPEG):

And here's another example, again a single frame (this is one that I tried focus  stacking but the results weren't satisfactory and anyway this crop shows best the most amazing details).

This time the full image first as it was straight out of camera:

And here's my crop:

As you can see, cropping into the sharpest parts of the image is another important part!

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baobob
baobob Forum Pro • Posts: 16,845
Re: Handheld Macro for XT-2
1

Have you read

https://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/65202125

where I describe the use of teh Godox flash ?

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Tim van der Leeuw Contributing Member • Posts: 894
Re: Handheld Macro for XT-2

baobob wrote:

Have you read

https://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/65202125

where I describe the use of teh Godox flash ?

Nope I have not yet!

I'm currently using the same flash, with a simple diffuser on the lens (and a bulb diffuser on the flash head for extra diffusion of the light).

I'll head over there to see how you do it!

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Kyodo
Kyodo Forum Member • Posts: 58
Re: Handheld Macro for XT-2

Tim van der Leeuw wrote:

Tim van der Leeuw wrote:

Tim van der Leeuw wrote:

Kyodo wrote:

Stunning pictures!

You used focus stacking obviously.. It was so difficult to me to have in focus more than 1mm.. 😬

Thank you!

I may have used exposure stacking of 2 frames on the 1st of those pictures, not even sure anymore if that one was focus-stacked or not! But I think it was...

The others are single frames, no stacking. Shooting at f/8 or f/11 with a flash, and hey some of those things in the shot are perhaps just 1 or 2 mm in size...

The focus stacking I did was from hand-held shots btw; shots had to be rotated a bit for that of course but Helicon Focus managed that quite well for me.

Actually, to reply to myself, I think that all images I posted were single frames. This is a focus stacked image:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/95999386@N04/51225468527

But to be 100% sure I'll need to check my other laptop tonight.

I've checked; this is indeed a single image, and not a focus stack. Here's the full image as exported from CaptureOne.

It is however a crop from a larger shot. Here's is the full JPEG out of camera (I'm shooting RAW+JPEG):

And here's another example, again a single frame (this is one that I tried focus stacking but the results weren't satisfactory and anyway this crop shows best the most amazing details).

This time the full image first as it was straight out of camera:

And here's my crop:

As you can see, cropping into the sharpest parts of the image is another important part!

Thank you so much for these tips Tim!

Much appreciated! ☺️

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Tim van der Leeuw Contributing Member • Posts: 894
Re: Handheld Macro for XT-2
1

Kyodo wrote:

Thank you so much for these tips Tim!

Much appreciated! ☺️

You're welcome!

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Tim van der Leeuw Contributing Member • Posts: 894
Re: Handheld Macro for XT-2

baobob wrote:

I use a soft box on the flash, this kind

https://www.amazon.fr/Neewer-centim%C3%A8tres-Diffuseur-Speedlite-600EX-RT/dp/B071D1C7FG/ref=sr_1_10?adgrpid=59078488074&dchild=1&gclid=Cj0KCQjwh_eFBhDZARIsALHjIKcboWBxmTRqtf2H_a7Akw6M-yJbN7XI9UOURJFa_-f4kQJ47l5C8_0aAlRSEALw_wcB&hvadid=275581473522&hvdev=c&hvlocphy=9055383&hvnetw=g&hvqmt=e&hvrand=1763336877527940124&hvtargid=kwd-320564471034&hydadcr=29139_1660799&keywords=softbox+for+flash&qid=1623099890&sr=8-10

Interesting and a good price.

I'm using this:

https://www.cameranu.nl/nl/p99034/falcon-eyes-cameraflitser-diffusor-mr0912t

Which is very cheap, but can be a bit impractical. (Similar, or same, items are available from various brands including Dörr).

I also use the bulb-diffusor from this kit:

https://www.cameranu.nl/nl/p2696515/godox-accessoires-kit-ak-r1-voor-h200r-head

Not sure if it helps much, but I can see a difference adding the diffusor-screen. It can be a bit impractical however!

The Godox accessory kit has other items in it to play around with lights too.

I also want to try this:

https://www.cameranu.nl/nl/p3203536/rogue-flashbender-v3-softbox-kit-large

I had not yet seen this Neewer softbox you got, or a similar item! It looks good, simple and practical!

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OP erikjanneman Junior Member • Posts: 44
Re: Handheld Macro for XT-2
3

It has been a while, and thanks everyone for your replies.

So I did not buy a Macro lens yet. I came across a pretty good deal for a new X-T4 and found someone who gave me a fair price for my X-T2 body. So I upgraded. I knew it would not give me much of a boost for the type of macro shooting I want to do, but it was a good deal ;).

So I will still in the near future buy a macro lens. Just not sure yet which one. I would like the mark II 7artisans 60mm to get some more reviews to see if that would suit my needs.

I went out today for the first time with the X-T4 and the 18-55 + extension tubes. Got these shots (I used the classic neg profile on some because I wanted to try that):

They are not tack sharp across the frame yet. Will practice some more.

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a_c_skinner Forum Pro • Posts: 11,695
Re: Handheld Macro for XT-2
1

Not bad at all.  I'd use a deal higher ISO (800) and stop down considerably.  More DoF and better control of lens aberrations which often become less well handled with extra extension (the lens is computed for a specific range of focus distance and this is an effect that becomes more marked with more complex lenses.

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thxbb12 Senior Member • Posts: 2,202
Re: Handheld Macro for XT-2

erikjanneman wrote:

It has been a while, and thanks everyone for your replies.

So I did not buy a Macro lens yet. I came across a pretty good deal for a new X-T4 and found someone who gave me a fair price for my X-T2 body. So I upgraded. I knew it would not give me much of a boost for the type of macro shooting I want to do, but it was a good deal ;).

So I will still in the near future buy a macro lens. Just not sure yet which one. I would like the mark II 7artisans 60mm to get some more reviews to see if that would suit my needs.

I went out today for the first time with the X-T4 and the 18-55 + extension tubes. Got these shots (I used the classic neg profile on some because I wanted to try that):

They are not tack sharp across the frame yet. Will practice some more.

These are very nice given it was taken with the 18-55 kit lens.

Unfortunately, I find the bokeh of the 18-55 to be harsh and unpleasant. Luckily it's not to visible in your shots except the last one.

I actually own this lens and it was great in term of sharpness but very bad for portraits given the harsh bokeh. For landscapes it's a great lens though.

If you happen to have the 35mm f1.4, extension tubes work very well with it.

Here are a few examples of the XF 35mm f1.4 and the Fuji MCEX-16 extension tube:

https://www.flickr.com/search/?user_id=92066060%40N00&view_all=1&text=macro%2035mm

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