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hartley353
21-07-13, 10:34 AM
My journey into macro Photograhpy has plateaued, I seem to have reached the point where my lenses have run out of sharpness. Range of focus of my 105mm2.8 is probably only 4mm at best, and my 60mm is only about 3mm. this limits the angles at which I may capture insects to directly above, if I wish to see its entirety in focus. Up to now I have resisted the Photoshop way of going, where focus stacking could work. Normally I have only 1 or 2 seconds to compose focus and frame my subject, so stacking is not a choice. Experiments with zoom lenses has shown it is possible to get good results if the lighting is up to scratch, so I am considering a 2.8-200mm zoom as an option. Any one tried this before I commit 1500 to the subject.

wave
21-07-13, 03:13 PM
hi if you google macro lenses then it should come up with an article that WDC has on macro lenses so it may be worth a look

hartley353
21-07-13, 04:54 PM
Thanks Wave I took a look, maybe i'm looking for the impossible. This started when I photographed vernier scales to ascertain how much dof I had with my macro lenses and was dismayed with the results, so began wondering could I do better with a zoom lens and then crop down for size and got some impressive images that were better than the Macro lens.

wave
21-07-13, 05:32 PM
it may help you if you rent a lens then you can have first hand knowledge with it

hartley353
21-07-13, 06:02 PM
Calumet only 7mls away 45.60 per day, Great idea Wave will phone them and see if I can do a deal, they may allow me to use it on their premises for a reduced fee. If not a day out will be planned. Kind Regards Mike.

graham_c
21-07-13, 07:47 PM
It sound to me like an aperture problem not a lens issue

graham_c
21-07-13, 07:53 PM
Just looked at your macros, they seem to have an aperture of F6.3, to get crisp macros you need to be using at least F11 F16 is even better. Hope this helps... Graham

hartley353
21-07-13, 08:26 PM
Hope this doesn't muddy the water, when I did the tests on the vernier scale I was shooting at f16 and 1/30sec. I did try at f32 and used flash, but because the vernier gauge was shiny metal the point where i lost clarity was not clear. the f6.3 shots where probably the 200 zoom on auto. This may not be scientific but my second test object was a sharpie marker using the small writing as my focus.

hartley353
21-07-13, 08:41 PM
Apologies Graham I forgot to thank you , or to mention I tried with both my Nikon cameras to eliminate camera fault. This showed my d300s to underexpose a tad compared to the D90, I'm going old school at the moment shooting manual and using my light meter. many thanks Mike.

graham_c
21-07-13, 09:04 PM
No need to apologise Mike, I downloaded a focus chart a while ago if I can find the link I'll put it on the site... Graham

Tillerykid
22-07-13, 01:54 AM
My journey into macro Photograhpy has plateaued, I seem to have reached the point where my lenses have run out of sharpness. Range of focus of my 105mm2.8 is probably only 4mm at best, and my 60mm is only about 3mm. this limits the angles at which I may capture insects to directly above, if I wish to see its entirety in focus. Up to now I have resisted the Photoshop way of going, where focus stacking could work. Normally I have only 1 or 2 seconds to compose focus and frame my subject, so stacking is not a choice. Experiments with zoom lenses has shown it is possible to get good results if the lighting is up to scratch, so I am considering a 2.8-200mm zoom as an option. Any one tried this before I commit 1500 to the subject.
Hi Mike
Sorry to hear your problems, this hobby can be a pain and expensive. 1500 seems a lot, 123 Photographs (123 Photographs.co.uk) have a second hand Nikon 105mm 2.8 D series for 349, they also do a 7 day return if not satisfied. I bought mind from them (same model as just mentioned) and was over the moon with it. I also bought another item from them, was not happy with it and had no problems with returning it and getting a refund. Sorry can't offer any technical advice.
ATB
TK

wave
22-07-13, 07:04 AM
can i ask what your technique is for taking your shots.

hartley353
22-07-13, 03:10 PM
Thanks TK There is nothing wrong with my lenses, they work perfectly, but are not as good as I would like, giving me a 10 to 1 ratio of macros I bin.
The 1500 was for a nikon 2.8 70-200 vr II which i've been after for a while. I dont use photoshop so I rely on getting it right first time.ATB Mike.

hartley353
22-07-13, 03:24 PM
Not a problem Wave. For macro I mostly use a tripod, camera in manual mode Aperture f16 and then use a light meter for my exposure time. At all times I am looking for a one shot result, as I have only basic editing system, and have no plans to enrich the suppliers. I am pretty certain that I am expecting to much of Macro lenses. What I was looking to do was use a tele lens to bring the object up close then crop down from a high M/pix file to end up with good images with good depth of field. Presently I have Sigma 105mm Macro and a Nikon 60mm Macro.

DanCart
22-07-13, 06:43 PM
Another solution to your problem would be to use a compact camera for your macro shots. Because compact cameras have smaller sensors the resulting images will have more depth of field than from an SLR at the same apeture when focusing close to your subject ....

Another adavantage of macro shots from compacts is that the images appear to be more magnified than macro images from cameras with larger sensors .......

hartley353
22-07-13, 07:13 PM
Thanks DanCart. Would you believe I have been experimenting with my panasonic, on the same basis, I daren't buy another Camera my dearly beloved is already grumbling about how much equipment I have and according to her not using, she doesn't understand my theory that you are better off looking at it, than looking for it, she just see's clutter. Kind Regards Mike.

wave
23-07-13, 07:58 AM
hi can i make a quick suggestion as i think that the sigma is a good lens. I am sure nikon has the same feature as canon i would use live view mirror is locked up cable release and then put put the camera in continuous mode to shoot. try using the focus system in servo mode too or combinations of the my suggestions. if you already do these the sorry that i have suggested them.

as for editing you could always load the gimp it is free and very powerful

hartley353
23-07-13, 09:23 AM
Your comments are most welcome Wave.Using liveview out doors in recent sunshine was a failure, unles I go back to blackcloth over head. The continuose mode is one I've missed, but definitely worth a try. servo mode is another I haven't tried. Today is wet so indoors practice on the cards. Regards ..Mike.

wave
23-07-13, 09:55 AM
the other feature you could try is mirror lock up

hartley353
23-07-13, 12:27 PM
Now i've had a good old experiment with all the information gleaned, I can say that there is an improvement, its not massive, but its a start. The second point is that Dragonflies are not a suitable subject for macro lenses. Many thanks to all...Mike

hartley353
23-07-13, 02:50 PM
There is a picture posted, showing the progress using the tips from all who helped. Thank you...Mike

wave
23-07-13, 04:04 PM
thats looking good

Tillerykid
23-07-13, 11:00 PM
hi can i make a quick suggestion as i think that the sigma is a good lens. I am sure nikon has the same feature as canon i would use live view mirror is locked up cable release and then put put the camera in continuous mode to shoot. try using the focus system in servo mode too or combinations of the my suggestions. if you already do these the sorry that i have suggested them.

as for editing you could always load the gimp it is free and very powerful

Hi Wave, I keep a tutorial folder. so could you please explain the above in more detail (no quite sure what you mean) I'd then cut and paste it into the folder for future reference. Started doing the folder when Graham started to help me and its proved worthwhile.
Many Thanks
TK

wave
24-07-13, 07:27 AM
hi tk i will try and expand but i am a canon shooter so you may have to lookup what the nikon equivalent is.

first if you are trying to eliminate camera shake then use a tripod and cable release.
using live view does lock the mirror up so there is no vibration when taking the shot. i have a function that also locks the mirror up. i also have a 2nd delay i can use too if no cable release.
continuous shooting nikon will have this feature it just keeps taking shoots while you hold the shutter or until the buffer is full.
focusing system i have can do one shot speaks for its self. a1 focus never really use it it for a subject they may move. and then i have a1 servo which is for moving subjects. nikon has the same just need to look at the manual for how to set it up.
i tend to use a1 servo and continuous shooting for wild life hand held i also use a function af-on and use that to focus from the rear of the camera.

last thing was the gimp free and powerful editing program

Tillerykid
24-07-13, 03:41 PM
Thanks Wave,
ATB
TK

wave
24-07-13, 04:28 PM
no problem