<< Previous Next >>

Techtalk on Macro (Part1)

Techtalk on Macro (Part1)
Photo Information
Copyright: Gerhard Theron (gerhardt) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1936 W: 244 N: 4106] (11620)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2005-07-14
Categories: Insects
Camera: Canon EOS 300D, Canon EF 50mm F/1.8 II, Digital ISO 200, Ext. Tube 36mm & Diopters (+6)
Exposure: f/22, 1/100 seconds
Details: (Fill) Flash: Yes
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2005-07-15 1:53
Viewed: 6550
Points: 56
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Vinegar fly
Family Drosophiliidae

I am sorry but other than the family I have no ID on the ID. Any help will be appreciated.

I continued this tech talk on macros because of Stephen Emerson and Greg. Both giving and wanting more advice. Maybe some others can benefit from this research as well. I will discuss all the option you have to shoot macro in this two part series.

1) Buy a true macro lens capable of reaching 1:1 magnification.
This is the most expensive option, since true macro lenses arenít cheap. However, itís usually the most high-quality option. True macro lenses come in a variety of focal lengths, from 50mm to 90 or 100mm to 180mm. The advantage of the longer lenses is that they give you more working distance from your subject. A 50mm macro lens isnít very useful for shooting, say, dragonflies in the wild since you have to be really close to them. A 180mm macro lens, on the other hand, lets you maintain more distance so youíre less likely to frighten them off. A 100mm lens is usually the better compromise in terms of working distance and cost. I am considering Sigmaís new 150mm lens as well.

2) Buy a diopter (macro filter).
See my previous post for more on these. These are round screw-on lenses which fit on the end of a lens in exactly the same way as a filter and which act essentially like magnifying glasses. Bob Atkinsís Web site (http://bobatkins.photo.net/info/faq30/closeup.htm)has a comprehensive table of magnifications available using different diopters on different lenses.

3) Buy an extension tube.
These are hollow plastic tubes which fit between the lens and the camera body, thereby reducing the close focus distance of your lens. (ie: they let you move the lens closer to the subject while retaining focus) Attaching an extension tube means you lose infinity focus but thatís obviously not an issue if youíre using the tube to take closeup pictures. Tubes also reduce the amount of light reaching the film (because moving the lens further from the film plane causes the light to spread out across a larger area).

Unlike diopters, however, they do not affect image quality at all as no optics are involved. The magnification you get depends on both the length of the tube or tubes used and the focal length of your lens - Bob Atkinsí table (http://bobatkins.photo.net/info/faq30/closeup.htm) lists some common combinations. Note also that some lenses, particularly wide-angle and specialized lenses, donít work properly with tubes.

Canon sell a couple of extension tubes, but theyíre pretty expensive. The three-tube set from Kenko is a better deal. Itís fairly well made and contains a 12mm, a 20mm and a 36mm tube. Adjustable bellows are also used for closeup photography - theyíre basically adjustable tubes when you get down to it. Novoflex sell an EOS-compatible bellows. Bellows are typically used with movable rails for precise focussing.

PDP, carper, phlr, JeanMichel, christophe, TAZ, dew77, Janice, sAner, sandpiper2, puffy, chiliu, red45, Comandante, liquidsunshine, coasties, Signal-Womb, sway, Luc, deud, marhowie, bedford67, danbachmann, Athila, Mousehill, tiobibi, sily, shaharbv, Ichigo, flagman has marked this note useful
Only registered TrekNature members may rate photo notes.
Add Critique [Critiquing Guidelines] 
Only registered TrekNature members may write critiques.
ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
To Athila: Thank you for the kind words...gerhardt 1 10-05 16:50
To Signal-Womb: F22... NPgerhardt 1 07-15 18:39
To red45: Mieszek...gerhardt 1 07-15 10:50
To PDP: New lens....gerhardt 1 07-15 03:36
You must be logged in to start a discussion.

Critiques [Translate]

Great macro, Gerhard.
Very good details, nice colours and well composed.
A great note too, which I agree with to 110%.
Excellent work, my friend.

  • Great 
  • carper Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1973 W: 119 N: 2582] (8439)
  • [2005-07-15 2:38]
  • [2]

very good photo Gerhard,
Good details in the shot, with a high pov and a fantastic dof. Zeer goede foto.
Over the note i think you miss something in it. You can also buy a camera with a good supermacro in it. Such as the fuji 7000 and the canon powershot pro 1, and ofcoarse there are a lot cheaper camera's on the market.
gr. Jaap

Hi Gerhard,
A real quality close-up and a comprehensive note about how to get there. I've got already some answers here :-). Very good move to post this combo here. No nits about the fly, it's a superb shot. Thanks for sharing.

  • Great 
  • PDP Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor [C: 2821 W: 344 N: 3779] (11769)
  • [2005-07-15 3:33]
  • [+]

Hi Gerhard, Very good quality macro. Is that a new lens you have? The details you have captured are incredible and the DOF has worked very well here. Excellent in image and note, thanks for posting.

Hi Gerhard
Sharpness: 5/5
Color: 5/5
DOF: 5/5
POV: 5/5
Excellent shot
In a friendly way Christophe

  • Great 
  • Kris Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 174 W: 0 N: 129] (1818)
  • [2005-07-15 4:16]

Fantastic macro shot Gerhard. Interesting object. Excellent capture with very good details.
Yes, I like it! Very well done.

  • Great 
  • phlr Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1237 W: 130 N: 882] (2821)
  • [2005-07-15 4:34]

Awesome picture!
It fits 100% on National Geographic Magazine!
5* photo and favourite!
Better it's impossible!
Perfect details, sharpness and colors!

  • Great 
  • dew77 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4432 W: 248 N: 4028] (13270)
  • [2005-07-15 4:54]

Hello Gerhard!
Wonderful close up.Lighting,POV,DOF,framing and composition are perfect.TFS...:-)

  • Great 
  • Janice Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3277 W: 148 N: 6163] (18832)
  • [2005-07-15 5:01]

Thanks Gerhard - you are a real help! I've ordered a Canon 100mm, and shall look at the extension tubes, once I manage to work out how to use the new lens!
Excellent macro of the fly. I would love to manage one like this, and maybe one day... The details are so sharp. Well done.

  • Great 
  • sAner Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1455 W: 74 N: 1426] (4750)
  • [2005-07-15 6:43]

Hello Gerhard,

Great picture and informative note. The details are very sharp and the exposure is spot on. This is a macroshot I would have liked to add to my portfolio. Ah, well ... I keep on trying. :) Well done & TFS!


Fantastic shot Gerhard. Perfect sharpness and DOF and great POV

  • Great 
  • puffy Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 289 W: 0 N: 339] (1351)
  • [2005-07-15 8:12]

Hi Gerhard, great shot again.. :) and the note is so helpful! I have place order for my Macro lens (Raynox MSN200) I think, it will come in around 3 weeks time, so it will be interesting to see how my photos will comes up with. :)

Excellent shot, great colours, detials and very well composed, I like the DOF too. :) I have to re-read your previous note... I was about to drawn.. hehehe (Since English is my fourth language)

Have a great weekend. :)

Hi Gerhard,
Excellent macro!
Crisp sharp, extremely clear, great colour.

  • Great 
  • red45 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2636 W: 74 N: 9091] (31094)
  • [2005-07-15 9:32]
  • [+]

Wow, this is really close, close-up Gerhard :-) Very nice details, perfect photo for this scale. About macro - there is another way to make superb macro pictures - device is called in Polish 'mieszek' [I don't know English equivalent], it is something between lens and cam body - look here - http://www.fotodura.pl/komis/pentacon_akcesoria.jpg - first from left side. With this hardware and proper lens one could reach 5:1 scale.

  • Great 
  • Fisher Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1540 W: 309 N: 2234] (8915)
  • [2005-07-15 10:03]

Uhmm, someone or you guys left out the Macro King of Trek N. :) :) :)
More in a momment.
Gerhard, what a shot, and well done on the composition and details. The tones are perfect. I can smell the vinegar, which makes me, throw up. LOL

O.k. those of you who have compacts can and will blow a DSLR out of the water with the one true lens discovered by me. LOL
It's called the MMLS as named by Gert. If you can find one or two, you'll be glad you did.
Just my two cents, Gerhard, LOL :) :) :)


Hello Gerhard!
Wonderful macro.Colors,lightin,clear details and composition are perfect.Thanks for sharing.

Excellent shot Gerhard,
Well composed, good detail, colours and sharpness.
Nicely captured, Great POV, DOF and exposure. This is a perfect macro shot. The notes are fantastic.
Thanks for posting, have a great weekend

  • Great 
  • optic Gold Star Critiquer [C: 322 W: 0 N: 0] (0)
  • [2005-07-15 15:59]

Hi Gerhard,
Amazing macro i love it! great colours & razorsharp details, dof & pov are great.

Congrats !


Hi Gerhard

Many thanks for your intersting, informative and educational note. It is a great help. I have a Sigma 105mm but struggle with using it so it is usually left in the camera bag.

The macro of the fly is sensational. Awesome detail. Congrats!

  • Great 
  • allans (163)
  • [2005-07-15 16:49]

Good zoom.I Waiting the next part.Good lock!

Hi Gerhardt, thanks for this info on macro setups, it really has been most informative and helpful. Iv been working long hours lately to upgrade and expand my kit as I get a tremendous amount of enjoyment from my photography. I may go for the Sigma 150mm myself, its only limiting factor may be the max F22. IL have a look at some more reviews. Wide angle zoom will be first though. As for your macro capture, well what can I say. Its truly Awesome. Fantastic post, well done.

  • Great 
  • sway Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 305 W: 85 N: 319] (1276)
  • [2005-07-15 20:45]

Great shot of this hairy fly.
Perfect focus and great macro work.
DOF perfect.
One day I'll get a macro untill then I'll just have to look at your posts.

  • Great 
  • deud Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 438 W: 11 N: 534] (2540)
  • [2005-07-16 3:44]

great. very good example for your note! great work.

  • Great 
  • TAZ Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2241 W: 47 N: 3167] (10926)
  • [2005-07-16 3:56]

Wonderful and interesting shot for this superb fly ! Composition, POV, colors, DOF, details and sharpness are great !!! Congratulations Gerhard and thanks for sharing.

Hello Gerhard, Superb details and sharpness. Great use of flash to fill and an excellent POV. Again I say, you are doing an excellent work here with this informative series in macro work..Very well done!

  • Great 
  • Luc Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1835 W: 301 N: 4287] (14767)
  • [2005-07-17 23:25]

Hello Gerhard!
Personal assessment of the photo: outstanding.
Very strong visual impact.
Aptness of the photo for the site: excellent.
Personal assessment of the note: complete.
Thank you very much for sharing.
Have a great week MF!

Hello Gerhard,
Impressive photograph! The details are absolutely fantastic. Thank you for the technical note.
TFS, cordially,

Great macro shot, showing your control of the technic.
Exposure: perfect
Lighting: excellent (I love the orientation and the softness)
Forcus: Dead on
DOF: More than sufficient (side view is a good choice, it can be evaluated on the surrounding floor)
Technical note: Very informative and accurate
Overall score: 6/5
TFS image and knowledge ;o)

Hi Gerhard! Beautiful photo and very helpful note. I love macro photography, and I appreciate the advice given for equipment, even though I use nikon. TFS


Calibration Check