Helpful Posts Helpful Posts:  0
Results 1 to 13 of 13

Thread: Learning to use a new lens.

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Ocala, Fl
    Posts
    165
    Real Name
    Gillie Bengough

    Learning to use a new lens.

    I have treated myself to a Tokina 100mm macro lens; now all I have to do is learn how to use it! The fly was my first effort; maybe too much sharpening leading to graininess in the background. I tried some focus stacking with little cucumber flower, seven focus points. I think I like the spider best of the three - what do you think? All advice warmly appreciated. Gillie

    Learning to use a new lens.

    Learning to use a new lens.

    Learning to use a new lens.

    Mod comment: click to see in Lytebox before assessing sharpness
    Last edited by Dave Humphries; 10th June 2012 at 02:25 PM. Reason: Converted links to inline images

  2. #2
    JPS's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Essex, UK
    Posts
    1,475
    Real Name
    John

    Re: Learning to use a new lens.

    Hi Gillie,
    I know very little about Macro Photography, so cannot give much advice, but IMO these pictures look very good. If you are just learnng to use this lens, then I can't wait to see more.
    Well done

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    A Pacific Island
    Posts
    922
    Real Name
    Andrew

    Re: Learning to use a new lens.

    A hard choice but I too prefer the spider shot. A good start to your learning efforts.

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Ontario (mostly)
    Posts
    6,616
    Real Name
    Bobo

    Re: Learning to use a new lens.

    Like 3 and 1.

    I have had a macro lens for just under one month and have yet to get shots as good as these.

  5. #5
    Shadowman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    WNY
    Posts
    28,809
    Real Name
    John

    Re: Learning to use a new lens.

    Very nice images, what was your setup? Did you just plant yourself in the garden or did you have to entice the subjects to your lair?

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Ocala, Fl
    Posts
    165
    Real Name
    Gillie Bengough

    Re: Learning to use a new lens.

    Thank you all for your encouraging comments. Not a lot of enticing went on John; I was looking for a butterfly when I saw the fly buzzing about on the hedge, and my grand-daughter told me where to find the spider

  7. #7
    jstp's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Canberra, Australia
    Posts
    394
    Real Name
    Jason

    Re: Learning to use a new lens.

    They are nice shots Gillie, I am in envy, the Tokina is one sweet macro lens.

    Cheers

    J

  8. #8
    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Windsor, Berks, UK
    Posts
    15,991
    Real Name
    Dave Humphries :)

    Re: Learning to use a new lens.

    Hi Gillie,

    Quote Originally Posted by gilliebg
    I have treated myself to a Tokina 100mm macro lens
    Well you have earned it with the effort you have put into these.

    Quote Originally Posted by gilliebg
    now all I have to do is learn how to use it!
    Off to a good start

    Quote Originally Posted by gilliebg
    The fly was my first effort; maybe too much sharpening leading to graininess in the background
    Yes, just some new PP techniques to pick up;
    a) don't sharpen everything and
    b) set a sensible threshold, or
    c) if shooting at a high iso and cropping, to use third party noise reducer like Neat Image.

    Here's one I did with my 105mm lens when I got it - I'd say you have done much better - I didn't manage to register the facets on the eye surface.

    Well done,

  9. #9
    DanK's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    New England
    Posts
    3,663
    Real Name
    Dan

    Re: Learning to use a new lens.

    I think these are very good, and truly superb for a beginner at macro. The stacking came out well. It is hard to tell at this small size and low resolution, but I did not notice any halo artifacts, which often arise when stacking flowers (if there is a big distance front-to-back for adjacent surfaces).

    I do think they might be a tad oversharpened, but not by much. Also, it is hard to know how much of the noise in the background of the first is from high ISO or low exposure rather than from sharpening.

    I don't know what software you use, but my workflow is mostly Lightroom and Zerene (for stacking), with Photoshop only when I need it. With that workflow:

    --Although much of what I have read suggests otherwise, I find that in Lightroom, a sharpening radius near 2 is usually best for macros. The smaller radius that many people recommend does not bring out fine details, like the hairs on the flower.

    --In lightroom, you can mask areas you don't want sharpened. I suspect that is what Dave meant by his first technique. If you hold down the Alt key while you move the masking slider, you will get a black and white image that shows what is masked and therefore not sharpened. I routinely blow up the image to 1:1, move the selection to an area that has both something to be sharpened and a background that should not be, and then play with masking. I often end up with values in the range of 40-60.

    --Since Lightroom 3 came out, I have very rarely needed my third-party noise reduction program (Noise Ninja) for macro shots. LR's noise reduction is quite good.

    Keep posting. Given how good your first tries were, I am eager to see what you come up with after a few months of practice!

  10. #10

    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Ocala, Fl
    Posts
    165
    Real Name
    Gillie Bengough

    Re: Learning to use a new lens.

    Thank you again; yes, Jason, the Tokina seems to be a winner for me. The autofocus is a bit slow and a bit noisy for shooting butterflies and such, but it is easy to go into manual which appears to be better for close up subjects. I had thought to myself, Dave, that it is easy to oversharpen pictures taken with this lens and will watch that in future. I don't get a lot of noise as a rule with the D7000, so I think it is something to do with my settings with this lens, and I will have to work it out. Dan, I am using CS6, and ACR 7 has sharpening and noise control now to match Lightroom, I am told; it is greatly improved over the last version. I just need to use it :/ I also have Capture NX2, that has a very good noise filter that can be applied just where one wants it, but I will have a look at Neat Image - thanks you for pointing it out to me.

  11. #11

    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    UK, South West
    Posts
    191
    Real Name
    Ian

    Re: Learning to use a new lens.

    These are amazing shots, Gillie. I'm really impressed... and amazed you managed to get that close and so much detail, particularly on the fly...
    I've tried a few shots with the 105mm Nikkor macro on a D7000, but got nothing like this... and didn't think it was possible at this focal length...?!
    Are these cropped much / at all..? And would you mind posting aperture, shutter speed, ISO, etc..?
    Well done..!
    Ian

  12. #12

    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Ocala, Fl
    Posts
    165
    Real Name
    Gillie Bengough

    Re: Learning to use a new lens.

    Hi Ian. Thanks for the kind words; I deliberated over which length of lens to buy and thought this one would suit me best as it will double as a portrait lens - hopefully! I may have cropped the fly and the plant a little, but not the spider; I had to back up a lot to get all her gangly legs in the frame!

    Fly f9, 1/1000, ISO 400; Spider f13, 1/100, ISO 1600; Plant f16, 1/80, ISO 250
    Last edited by gilliebg; 10th June 2012 at 09:43 PM. Reason: my neat list came out as a riddle

  13. #13

    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Ocala, Fl
    Posts
    165
    Real Name
    Gillie Bengough

    Giant Swallowtail

    I know it would be a lot easier to use a tripod, but how do you get the butterfly to stay in the frame? Maybe I need to be a lot handier with the tripod, but so far I can only capture these flighty creatures if I can move about freely. For those not familiar with this creature, it is big, up to 6 inches, and beautiful, and at no point stops fluttering his wings!

    Learning to use a new lens.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •