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Thread: Novice having difficulty with macro setting

  1. #1

    Novice having difficulty with macro setting

    Hi, hope I'm in an appropriate thread for my questions. I just started taking photos with a Canon PowerShot A590 IS, and have discovered an interest in fungi, which are usually quite small. I have been using the macro setting but have two problems. The first is that I can't get close enough without the photo being out of focus - it looks fine on the screen then when I get home and put the photos on the computer they are often really fuzzy, which is pretty frustrating. Why can't I get as close as I want? and would buying a macro lens solve this problem? The second problem is taking photos of white fungi, they either come out blurred, and/or they seem to have a sort of glow or fuzz on them. I tried to attach an example but obviously need to read the directions again. I would welcome any advice or suggestions.

  2. #2

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    Re: Novice having difficulty with macro setting

    I don't know any real details about that camera but two suggestions come to mind.

    Are you using auto or manual focus? It can be difficult to manually focus that sort of camera on macro subjects.

    And secondly, what shutter speed do you use? I wonder if it is too slow and you are getting camera shake problems if you aren't using a tripod.

    And after now seeing your photo, you are expecting quite a lot from that camera. Shots like that are difficult with over 1000 worth of equipment.

    So try using a tripod or other firm support and make sure you are focusing and metering from the correct areas. Some exposure compensation may be needed.

    Try metering from the brightest areas.

    This sort of shot can be done with that type of camera but it is difficult and there are likely to be many rejects.
    Last edited by Geoff F; 15th January 2012 at 09:05 PM.

  3. #3

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    Re: Novice having difficulty with macro setting

    What you need to take closeup shots with the camera is a set of accessories, but it might be difficult to find them now, as the camera has been discontinued for some time. It is possible to get very close in the wide end of the zoom without any extra paraphernalia, but for real closeup, it is always better to work with longer focal length and a closeup lens.

    The Canon accessories that were sold was:
    Close-up Lens 250D (52mm)
    Conversion Lens Adapter LA-DC52G

    The adapter is a tube that fits around the lens when the decoration ring has been removed. It has a filter thread, and any 52 mm closeup lens may be attached. I use a Canon PowerShot G7 with this kind of accessory, and it works very well. I have scavenged my closeup lenses from old binoculars; those I have are achromatic lenses of about 6" focal length.

    You may use closeup lenses that are not colour corrected, but with some loss of detail.

    When photographing those small things, it is important to check the focus confirmation on screen, which will tell you where the camera is focused. Do not expect extremely good image quality with a setup like this; the best would be a macro lens on a system camera, and a bridge camera with a long zoom range can also do a better job for extreme closeup, as it would not need such a strong closeup lens.

    The image below was shot with two of those binocular lenses in tandem and the longest focal length of the G7. To the right you can see the millimetre marks on a tape measure. Depth of field is very shallow at such a close distance.

    Novice having difficulty with macro setting

  4. #4

    Re: Novice having difficulty with macro setting

    Hi Geoff and Inkanyezi

    Thanks for your responses, although I only understood about half of what you said! I am using auto focus (no idea how to use manual) and auto everything else including shutter speed. I have ordered a tripod but it is little and wouldn't help with photo I posted as that was half way up a tree stump! I don't know what exposure compensation is or how to achieve it, and am guessing I need a metre reading thingy. Inkanyezi, are you saying that if I got the Canon lens and adapter I could get the kind of shots I am hoping for? If so it might be worth trying to track them down. If I used the zoom on my camera instead of the macro setting could I get better shots? Help!

  5. #5

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    Re: Novice having difficulty with macro setting

    For the tree stump you would not need any closeup lens. It is sufficient to zoom it in from a slightly larger distance.

    The camera is so light, that if there is no wind, you can use a fairly bad tripod, one of those that photographers frown at.

    AF is the surest way to achieve correct focus. I think the camera can be focused manually, but there's no virtue.

    The accessories are for extreme closeups from a somewhat larger distance, and you may shoot very small things with them. The image in the other thread is a very small flower, you can gauge the size by the tape rule at the side. The flowers are less than 2 mm wide.

    Compensation is a feature I think is built into your camera, a control with plus and minus to make the image lighter or darker. It is simpler to use than manual control, but of course you can do it also in manual. You need no other meter than the one in the camera. Acheiving correct exposure is easier if you use CHDK to check exposure with Zebra Mode,

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