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Author Topic: How Am I Moving Along With Macro?  (Read 3357 times)

swiftrandomness94

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How Am I Moving Along With Macro?
« on: November 03, 2013, 07:34:04 PM »
Almost all of these have been taken with my hacked 35-80 mki. I strive to take the most pro quality images with what I've got. Few older ones are kinda meh (like lots of noise and over sharpening) but I'm leaving them up there anyways to track my progress. Please keep feedback on this thread and not in the picture comments.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/swiftrandomness94/sets/72157634336619720/

Things to be noted of: I don't have a good ring flash for this lens so i try alternate methods of directing the light into the subjects face with my YN568 EX. I either shoot handheld or with my monopod. I despise tripods when it comes to macro of moving subjects. All have been post processed and i try to sharpen as much as i can till I'm satisfied which is why i shoot with the lowest ISO possible. Thanks for reading :)
« Last Edit: November 03, 2013, 07:36:44 PM by swiftrandomness94 »

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How Am I Moving Along With Macro?
« on: November 03, 2013, 07:34:04 PM »

Lichtgestalt

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Re: How Am I Moving Along With Macro?
« Reply #1 on: November 03, 2013, 09:05:27 PM »
i don´t like a ringflash for macros and i think they are not needed.
a flash bracket with and EX580 + softbox is what i use.

i use a tripod when i shoot early in the morning and the insects don´t move.
that gives me enough time to set it up.

i never used my monopod for macros. i don´t think it would help much and it´s a "hindernis" like a tripod.

nice pics. i would love to have such spiders here. they look neat :)
« Last Edit: November 03, 2013, 09:13:29 PM by Lichtgestalt »

swiftrandomness94

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Re: How Am I Moving Along With Macro?
« Reply #2 on: November 03, 2013, 10:15:09 PM »
i don´t like a ringflash for macros and i think they are not needed.
a flash bracket with and EX580 + softbox is what i use.

i use a tripod when i shoot early in the morning and the insects don´t move.
that gives me enough time to set it up.

i never used my monopod for macros. i don´t think it would help much and it´s a "hindernis" like a tripod.

nice pics. i would love to have such spiders here. they look neat :)

Thanks! That is true about the mornings, that's how i got that shot of the mimic fly. Monopods help me LOADS. I don't use it though when i have the lens or camera propped up against something. What flash bracket and soft box do you use? The reason why the best fit ring flash for my setup would be absolutely stellar is because this lens hack makes the focus fixated, so everything is zone focused within about an inch or less in front of the lens. I've had to train my breathing and jittery-ness to slow (tourettes acts up because it's so stressful!).

Dick

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Re: How Am I Moving Along With Macro?
« Reply #3 on: November 04, 2013, 01:41:12 AM »
The spider shots look great. They might be a little soft because of cropping or something, but still very good. Add a little contrast to the jumping spiders and call it a day! What aperture did you use for those pictures? Jumping spider photos easily get ruined by diffraction, which might not be the case here.

The fly photos are not on the same level. I have to say that flies are my favorite macro subjects, because they are difficult to capture. Especially the eyes are hard to get right, since hard light creates weird light sports with sharp edges. But anyway, better angles are the key in my opinion. I have taken around 10 000 fly photos this summer and I think that only 1 or 2 are worth showing to someone else. Usually it comes down to having something interesting in the photos like a fly eating another fly or a very special angle. I don't think that it makes sense to spend time taking pictures of flies sitting on flowers or leaves, unless of course there is something special happening.

When it comes to using a flash, I'm not sure why one would use a ring flash. Those are not great and show up as weird circles in the eyes of jumping spiders for example. Then again, what ever you use, it shows up in the eyes. I would say that stationary insects and no flash is ideal, but .... The bugs I see keep on moving, sp a flash it is then... ruining the photos.
« Last Edit: November 04, 2013, 01:42:54 AM by Dick »
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Lichtgestalt

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Re: How Am I Moving Along With Macro?
« Reply #4 on: November 04, 2013, 04:54:34 AM »
What flash bracket and soft box do you use?

a cheap one from dynasun, i think it´s called dynasun 1618 .
i equiped it with a small ballhead to hold the 580 EX II.

the softbox is a lastolite 25x18cm.
 

Marsu42

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Re: How Am I Moving Along With Macro?
« Reply #5 on: November 04, 2013, 05:27:08 AM »
http://www.flickr.com/photos/swiftrandomness94/sets/72157634336619720/
Nice spiders in the web and applause for these w/o a dedicated macro lens. I did nearly the same thing a while ago, though with tripod since the spiders are very static in their nets and you get deeper dof - and if you'd like feedback: I think you missed focus a bit on them (or the dof is too thin) since the eyes appear to be just oof.

I either shoot handheld or with my monopod.
I also shoot eiher tripod or handheld, I doubt it if monopod makes an improvement as it adds bulk - if handheld better take more frames and trash the shaky ones.

i don´t like a ringflash for macros and i think they are not needed.
a flash bracket with and EX580 + softbox is what i use.
Same over here, better increase the working distance than use a ring flash with the flat look.

I'm using a Demb bracket, a small ballhead and a cheap, small octagon softbox from ebay/China to make specular highlights nicer than bare flash. Any bracket will do nicely that reaches to the front, there are also "telescope"-like brackets that neuroanatomist keeps recomending (you can search for this posts on this if he doesn't reply here anyway :-p).

swiftrandomness94

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Re: How Am I Moving Along With Macro?
« Reply #6 on: November 04, 2013, 08:05:26 PM »
The spider shots look great. They might be a little soft because of cropping or something, but still very good. Add a little contrast to the jumping spiders and call it a day! What aperture did you use for those pictures? Jumping spider photos easily get ruined by diffraction, which might not be the case here.

The fly photos are not on the same level. I have to say that flies are my favorite macro subjects, because they are difficult to capture. Especially the eyes are hard to get right, since hard light creates weird light sports with sharp edges. But anyway, better angles are the key in my opinion. I have taken around 10 000 fly photos this summer and I think that only 1 or 2 are worth showing to someone else. Usually it comes down to having something interesting in the photos like a fly eating another fly or a very special angle. I don't think that it makes sense to spend time taking pictures of flies sitting on flowers or leaves, unless of course there is something special happening.

When it comes to using a flash, I'm not sure why one would use a ring flash. Those are not great and show up as weird circles in the eyes of jumping spiders for example. Then again, what ever you use, it shows up in the eyes. I would say that stationary insects and no flash is ideal, but .... The bugs I see keep on moving, sp a flash it is then... ruining the photos.

I don't feel like flash really ruins the look of the subject even though it isn't usually something you naturally see. I like the way it compliments the circular shape, kind of like a beautiful solar eclipse. It just gives it much more appeal to me and is not something you see often face to face.

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Re: How Am I Moving Along With Macro?
« Reply #6 on: November 04, 2013, 08:05:26 PM »

swiftrandomness94

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Re: How Am I Moving Along With Macro?
« Reply #7 on: November 04, 2013, 08:07:39 PM »
What flash bracket and soft box do you use?

a cheap one from dynasun, i think it´s called dynasun 1618 .
i equiped it with a small ballhead to hold the 580 EX II.

the softbox is a lastolite 25x18cm.
 

Ok thank you so much!

swiftrandomness94

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Re: How Am I Moving Along With Macro?
« Reply #8 on: November 04, 2013, 08:15:54 PM »
http://www.flickr.com/photos/swiftrandomness94/sets/72157634336619720/
Nice spiders in the web and applause for these w/o a dedicated macro lens. I did nearly the same thing a while ago, though with tripod since the spiders are very static in their nets and you get deeper dof - and if you'd like feedback: I think you missed focus a bit on them (or the dof is too thin) since the eyes appear to be just oof.

I either shoot handheld or with my monopod.
I also shoot eiher tripod or handheld, I doubt it if monopod makes an improvement as it adds bulk - if handheld better take more frames and trash the shaky ones.

i don´t like a ringflash for macros and i think they are not needed.
a flash bracket with and EX580 + softbox is what i use.
Same over here, better increase the working distance than use a ring flash with the flat look.

I'm using a Demb bracket, a small ballhead and a cheap, small octagon softbox from ebay/China to make specular highlights nicer than bare flash. Any bracket will do nicely that reaches to the front, there are also "telescope"-like brackets that neuroanatomist keeps recomending (you can search for this posts on this if he doesn't reply here anyway :-p).

Thanks for the feedback! I agree, some focus has been missed, especially in my older ones. My practice in technique has vastly improved since then and it's usual for me to sometimes take up to 50-70 photos just for one shot sometimes now. It throws my back and neck out but it's definitely worth the trade off. Have you ever tried the Sigma 180mm macro? It's making my mouth water! The FL, price, and IQ looks unmatched! Wish there was an all manual lens like that in length and sharpness for a much lower price.

swiftrandomness94

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Re: How Am I Moving Along With Macro?
« Reply #9 on: November 04, 2013, 09:50:18 PM »
The spider shots look great. They might be a little soft because of cropping or something, but still very good. Add a little contrast to the jumping spiders and call it a day! What aperture did you use for those pictures?

Oh, the aperture for the jumping spider was at f/22, and 1/200 ISO 100.

This is Karla, my pet jumping spider:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/swiftrandomness94/10682496784/#

I just took these. Is that enough contrast?

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Re: How Am I Moving Along With Macro?
« Reply #9 on: November 04, 2013, 09:50:18 PM »