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Thread: Having fun with macro....

  1. #1
    The Blue Boy's Avatar
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    Mark Fleming

    Having fun with macro....

    This is the first ever "third party" lens I've ever tried and I'm finding it a bit awkward. I'm very pleased with the results I'm getting though. Tell me what you think.

    Nikon D300s Sigma 150mm 2.8 @ f/4.5 1/4000 iso 200

    Having fun with macro....

  2. #2

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    Re: Having fun with macro....

    Macro photography, Mark, particularly insects, is something of a specialised subject which does take a bit of trial, and often a lot of error, before you start to get consistent good results.

    My recommendations are: use a small aperture, often around F14 or F16 works well. This means a slower shutter speed but you can usually get away with ISO 400 without any problems. Even 800 will usually work reasonably well. Using flash will help to cope with reduced light.

    Always use a tripod.

    Whenever possible, use manual focus and focus on the insects eyes or other important bits. Auto focus can sometimes work better for subjects which move faster than I can focus but I usually get a lot of rejects.

    Just using the centre focusing point when auto focusing can reduce false focus problems.

    Spot metering often works best but if you do use evaluative metering (name may vary with different equipment) be prepared to use a bit of Exposure Compensation.

    When editing, I usually add a little bit of selective sharpening to the main subject to make it 'stand out from the background'.

    The good news is that the Sigma 150 lens is popular amongst entomologists. Although I went for the 180 and often add a 1.4x converter to get close to nervous subjects.

    Have you seen the Insect thread? Many of these photos were taken with similar equipment to yours.

    Post your insects
    Last edited by Geoff F; 25th October 2011 at 06:52 PM. Reason: link added

  3. #3
    The Blue Boy's Avatar
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    Re: Having fun with macro....

    Cheers Geoff,

    Yeah, I get the technical stuff but as you know I'm all for a bit of trial and error. I took a load of these shots with different settings and this is the one the mrs wants on the wall!

    Interesting to hear you use a teleconverter. Wouldn't extension tubes be more effective?

  4. #4

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    Re: Having fun with macro....

    Basically, Mark, tubes get you closer to the subject, hence a larger view of your intended subject. But they don't magnify the scene; well only a very little.

    The problem occurs as you approach that critical fly/run away distance which can be over 12 ins away with many nervous insects. This is where extra magnification is the answer.

    But there isn't really a 'one size fits all' answer for this situation of needing a bigger subject in the frame.

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