« on: September 12, 2013, 11:45:40 AM »
I bought the 100mm this year adding to a 40D and a good wooden tripod.
On a trip to a national park this year I packed the macro to try it out.
Here are some thoughts.
The thing you need the most is light. A lot of it.
When you dial the aperture down to get more focus, things get really dark.
Now on how to get more light:
One option is to use a tripod as mentioned.
The important property is to be able to get very low.
I achieved that by flipping the centre column and take pictures upside down.
This has the advantage that you do not need to spread the legs of the tripod out far, which isn't necessarily possible in the woods and you can go as low as the ground (depending on the tripod).
A swivel screen would be handy for this.
The attached image of flowers was taken this way. The other pictures were taken without a tripod.
However, as most things you will take pictures of are near the ground, I'd try something like a gorillapod.
Additionally to letting you mount the camera to the ground, it's lightweight.
Although I don't think you're afraid of heavy gear owning several tele zooms.
The other option is to use flash.
Some things move (due to wind or being alive) and to get those sharp you need shorter exposure times.
As you probably know, the 40D is not able to be the master flash for slaves with TTL.
I did not have the time to get my flash out and set it up in manual mode in one situation.
As your wife has a camera, she's interested in photography. Give her a ttl slave flash and be the val (voice activated lightstand). One of those collapsible softboxes could improve the light even further.
Use your 7D to allow master control of the flash if necessary.
Take a look at the spider image eating that insect.
This happened really fast and I was afraid to loose the best shots while getting the flash out.
So I took those without artificial light and by that being forced to use settings that were not very good. (slow shutter speed with fast moving subject)
There are situations in which light is not the most desired thing, but luck.
Take a lot of images. Use burst if necessary.
Look at the spider web image. It was very hard to focus on this and these are a few images of many that I took.
Also notice that the spider is building its web, but I could not manage to get all of it in focus.
My goal was to get anything in focus.
Sometimes you just can't get everything in focus, I guess. (blossom image)
tl;dr, to sum it all up:
- Get a gorilla pod compact tripod, to reduce overall weight.
- Let your wife operate the flash for those moving objects and splitting responsibilities.
- Use a 7D to allow wireless enslavement of the flash and the possibility to get started shooting quickly by relying on ttl
- Take a lot of shots.
Sorry for the crappy jpg files, no color management whatsoever.
I couldn't find the raw files which explains my lack of details of settings.
But still, I guess they explain my thoughts.
Most importantly, have fun =)