December 17, 2014, 09:57:29 PM

Author Topic: Extreme Macro shots with stacked lenses  (Read 7009 times)

yorgasor

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Extreme Macro shots with stacked lenses
« on: January 22, 2014, 01:57:21 PM »
Last fall I came across some super amazing macro shots of snowflakes up close.  I instantly fell in love with the concept and started working on learning how to do it myself.  With a reverse stacked lens, your magnification is a divisor of the front lens and the reverse stacked lens.  So, for higher magnification you want a larger lens connected to the camera and a smaller lens reverse stacked on the front.

I'm using a Canon 70-200mm f/2.8 lens, a 1.4x III extender, a reverse lens adapter ring and a Nikon 24mm f/2 AIS lens.  This gives me a magnification of 280 / 24 = 11.66x!  For light, I'm using a 580EX Speedlight connected via an ETTL cable so I can position it however I need to.  This combination is really dark to see to focus, so sometimes I'll turn up my cell phone brightness.  I'm really just getting started, my first few photos were done hand-held, trying to position my cell phone light and the flash while hand holding the camera and moving in or out to focus.  This is the method I used last night when we got a little bit of snow and ice in NC.  I got these shots from the top of our garbage can:


Frozen Crystals by yorgasor, on Flickr


_MG_1129 by yorgasor, on Flickr

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Extreme Macro shots with stacked lenses
« on: January 22, 2014, 01:57:21 PM »

yorgasor

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Re: Extreme Macro shots with stacked lenses
« Reply #1 on: January 22, 2014, 02:10:11 PM »
This morning I wanted to get something a little more repeatable and stable, so I built my first round of a macro table stand.  I ran an 8" bolt through a 2x6" board, which then attaches to a small table on 3 legs with a nut embedded into the table.  This allows me to raise and lower the table by spinning it.  I also now just need one hand to hold the flash, and the other to press the shutter button.

The drawback to this approach is that the item I want to focus on spins around when I'm trying to raise or lower it.  The threads on the bolt are also rather thick, so the top table wobbles back and forth in the nut.  I can try adding another nut for stability, but I think I need to device a method of raising and lowering the top table without having to spin it.

Here's a photo of my new stand:


neuroanatomist

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Re: Extreme Macro shots with stacked lenses
« Reply #2 on: January 22, 2014, 02:56:33 PM »
Nice setup!  Lots of LoCA in your snowflake images, though.   :(

Here's a snowflake shot I took few weeks ago, with the MP-E 65mm at 5x magnification and the MT-24EX flash, handheld.
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yorgasor

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Re: Extreme Macro shots with stacked lenses
« Reply #3 on: January 22, 2014, 03:33:12 PM »
Ah, now that's the kind of photo I'd like to be able to take.  Unfortunately, the amount of snow that falls here is pretty minimal, and it almost never sticks :(.  I don't have a lot of opportunities to practice my technique.  I'm not sure if I'll get another opportunity this year.

I'm assuming the CA is an artifact of the harsh, direct flash.  I see something similar on the dime I've been using as my test subject so far.  I'll be playing around with lots of different lens combinations to find what gets me the best results.  I'd like to try some photo stacking to get a larger amount in focus on objects, but I'm afraid that might be tricky with the rotating table (it might work if I also rotate the image and line things up in PS).  I'm also building my own light stands, so hopefully I can work with better lighting.

I've got a long journey ahead of me as I work on perfecting my technique.

ajfotofilmagem

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Re: Extreme Macro shots with stacked lenses
« Reply #4 on: January 22, 2014, 04:18:23 PM »
It seems to me that vintage glass is causing the pink/green LOCAS. If you stop to think, there is a lot of glass surfaces (some uncoated) causing aberrations. Here in my country (Brazil) do not have snow, so I do not know the size of snow crystals. However, as compared know of a photographer who made ​​a Gadgety to photograph the grains of sand on the beach, and he discovered colors, and shapes that never imagined seeing a seemingly monochromatic sand. Even invisible to the naked eye molluscs. The equipment of him consists in: 5D​​mark ii + 180mm L + extension tube crafted with PVC piping (30 cm) + support for camera and flash with adjustable crank gears. As it is necessary to bayonet adapters, can avail to use the bayonets of cheap extension tubes and macro lenses like Nikon 200mm F4.
« Last Edit: January 22, 2014, 04:26:59 PM by ajfotofilmagem »

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Re: Extreme Macro shots with stacked lenses
« Reply #5 on: January 22, 2014, 05:26:16 PM »
If you like snowflakes take a look at the flickr page of this guy from Moscow
http://www.flickr.com/photos/chaoticmind75/sets/72157626146319517/

It’s even more impressive if you see how he gets these results with an old  Canon PowerShot A650 and an even older  reversed Helios 44M-5 lens.
http://chaoticmind75.blogspot.nl/2013/08/my-technique-for-snowflakes-shooting.html

mrzero

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Re: Extreme Macro shots with stacked lenses
« Reply #6 on: January 22, 2014, 05:31:54 PM »
You might consider using the tripod collar on that big 70-200.  if your rotation of the table is small enough, you could even use the tripod collar to rotate the camera to match.  And you might be able to use a wired or wireless remote to trigger the camera with the same hand you are using to hold the flash.
« Last Edit: January 22, 2014, 05:34:18 PM by mrzero »
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Re: Extreme Macro shots with stacked lenses
« Reply #6 on: January 22, 2014, 05:31:54 PM »

drjlo

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Re: Extreme Macro shots with stacked lenses
« Reply #7 on: January 22, 2014, 06:26:54 PM »
Nice setup!  Lots of LoCA in your snowflake images, though.   :(

Here's a snowflake shot I took few weeks ago, with the MP-E 65mm at 5x magnification and the MT-24EX flash, handheld.

I have the MP-E 65mm but could not possibly hand-hold it at 5x, even with my ring flash.  What kind of shutter speed were you getting with this shot?

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Re: Extreme Macro shots with stacked lenses
« Reply #8 on: January 22, 2014, 07:18:51 PM »
Nice setup!  Lots of LoCA in your snowflake images, though.   :(

Here's a snowflake shot I took few weeks ago, with the MP-E 65mm at 5x magnification and the MT-24EX flash, handheld.

I have the MP-E 65mm but could not possibly hand-hold it at 5x, even with my ring flash.  What kind of shutter speed were you getting with this shot?

My guess would be 1/250s, which is the syncspeed of the 1dx. Kill ambient and the flash freezes the motion, and probably melts the snow flake, lol.

Incredible shot Neuro!
« Last Edit: January 22, 2014, 07:20:26 PM by Viggo »
1dx, 24-70 L II, 50 Art, 200 f2.0 L

surapon

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Re: Extreme Macro shots with stacked lenses
« Reply #9 on: January 22, 2014, 07:54:11 PM »
This morning I wanted to get something a little more repeatable and stable, so I built my first round of a macro table stand.  I ran an 8" bolt through a 2x6" board, which then attaches to a small table on 3 legs with a nut embedded into the table.  This allows me to raise and lower the table by spinning it.  I also now just need one hand to hold the flash, and the other to press the shutter button.

The drawback to this approach is that the item I want to focus on spins around when I'm trying to raise or lower it.  The threads on the bolt are also rather thick, so the top table wobbles back and forth in the nut.  I can try adding another nut for stability, but I think I need to device a method of raising and lowering the top table without having to spin it.

Here's a photo of my new stand:



Thanks you, Sir, Dear yorgasor
Great setting and Great Extream Macro Photography.
Good night.
Surapon

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Re: Extreme Macro shots with stacked lenses
« Reply #10 on: January 22, 2014, 07:56:35 PM »
Nice setup!  Lots of LoCA in your snowflake images, though.   :(

Here's a snowflake shot I took few weeks ago, with the MP-E 65mm at 5x magnification and the MT-24EX flash, handheld.

Thanks you, Sir, Dear Teacher Mr. neuroanatomist.
Great Extream Macro Photo  from MP-E 65 mm.  Your Photo make me want to try my MP-E 65 mm. too.
Thank you, Sir.
Surapon

yorgasor

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Re: Extreme Macro shots with stacked lenses
« Reply #11 on: January 22, 2014, 09:31:13 PM »
You might consider using the tripod collar on that big 70-200.  if your rotation of the table is small enough, you could even use the tripod collar to rotate the camera to match.  And you might be able to use a wired or wireless remote to trigger the camera with the same hand you are using to hold the flash.

I do have the wired remote and the tripod collar.  I could try spinning them both to match, but that's a lot of precision to get just right.  I'll have to see what other designs I can come up with to get things just right.  What would be really nice would be to have an external display so I can fiddle with the table and see what the camera sees at the same time.  With such a long macro solution, it's hard to do both at the same time. 

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Re: Extreme Macro shots with stacked lenses
« Reply #12 on: January 22, 2014, 10:22:52 PM »
You might consider using the tripod collar on that big 70-200.  if your rotation of the table is small enough, you could even use the tripod collar to rotate the camera to match.  And you might be able to use a wired or wireless remote to trigger the camera with the same hand you are using to hold the flash.

I do have the wired remote and the tripod collar.  I could try spinning them both to match, but that's a lot of precision to get just right.  I'll have to see what other designs I can come up with to get things just right.  What would be really nice would be to have an external display so I can fiddle with the table and see what the camera sees at the same time.  With such a long macro solution, it's hard to do both at the same time.

Consider getting a cheap macro slider to use to focus.
 
You can tether the camera to a laptop via USB and Canon utilities and see the live image as well as release the shutter when it looks right.  The image can be brightened as well, so you can see it better.

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Re: Extreme Macro shots with stacked lenses
« Reply #12 on: January 22, 2014, 10:22:52 PM »

neuroanatomist

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Re: Extreme Macro shots with stacked lenses
« Reply #13 on: January 22, 2014, 11:47:37 PM »
Nice setup!  Lots of LoCA in your snowflake images, though.   :(

Here's a snowflake shot I took few weeks ago, with the MP-E 65mm at 5x magnification and the MT-24EX flash, handheld.

I have the MP-E 65mm but could not possibly hand-hold it at 5x, even with my ring flash.  What kind of shutter speed were you getting with this shot?

My guess would be 1/250s, which is the syncspeed of the 1dx. Kill ambient and the flash freezes the motion, and probably melts the snow flake, lol.

Incredible shot Neuro!

Thanks, Viggo!

You're correct - 1/250 s, f/14. 
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TheJock

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Re: Extreme Macro shots with stacked lenses
« Reply #14 on: January 23, 2014, 12:13:56 AM »
A technique I tried (which worked well for me) was to use my best sturdy tripod to hold all the camera gear, and one of those little cheap aluminium tripod’s that have the wind up centre column as the platform, this way you have full control over winding up and down (I found I could even do it while focusing through the viewfinder), it worked well with macro as the items are light weight and don’t send the cheap tripod spinning back down!!
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Re: Extreme Macro shots with stacked lenses
« Reply #14 on: January 23, 2014, 12:13:56 AM »