Helpful Posts Helpful Posts:  0
Results 1 to 10 of 10

Thread: "help with macro please"

  1. #1
    New Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    PLYMOUTH ENGLAND UK
    Posts
    2
    Real Name
    TERRY

    "help with macro please"

    Good morning all, Names Terry [Tickover} [77yrs] from Plymouth UK. Have a Pentax K-r with a Sigma 50m f2.8 Macro lens and would like to try a few macro shots with this combination [ macro knowledge nil ] So far i put the lens to 1-1 and move the camera forward or back to focus, is this correct please?.Have found Focusing very sharp and can see the need for a tripod .The lens i put on "A" and switched the camera to manual which seems to work but what do i set the camera to I.E P**SV**TV**AV** or M ?.on the top control dial. Also i think focusing will be a lot easier when i can get some good light on the subject that is permently on when focusing. Well gents thats about it as far as i have got, so any help opinions very much appreciated. Kindest Regards Terry [Tickover]


    Just a Thought, " ARE EXIT SIGNS ON THE WAY OUT "???

  2. #2
    John Morton's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    New York NY USA
    Posts
    459

    Re: "help with macro please"

    Hi, Terry;

    Welcome to CiC!

    I'm just going to jump right into this topic, and try to do so more or less following the general 'order of importance' for issues to be addressed when starting into macro photography.

    1) Yes a tripod is a good idea, and for several reasons. First, a tripod makes it a lot easier to actually hold your focus when you find it - long enough to take the photo! Second, with a tripod, you don't have to worry about holding the camera steady AS the photo is being taken; and this leads us to the third consideration for using a tripod, that you no longer have to worry about the shutter speed. This means you can instead set your camera to aperture priority mode ("A" on many cameras although that could mean 'automatic' on some, so, others use the designation "AV" - apparently), which brings us to the next major consideration...

    2) With macro photography, the depth of field (area actually in focus, from the front of the image to the back) is very, very narrow. The only way to increase the depth of the image that is in focus is to use a smaller aperture (larger f/ number); but that requires a slower shutter speed, or, more light. So now we begin to find ourselves dealing with "macro accessories."

    3) A tripod always helps; and with it, add in a cable release of some kind. More light helps; and particularly helpful is a 'ring flash,' which fits around the end of the lens (rather than on top of the camera). Most helpful of all (after all the other things are considered) is a focusing rail, which allows you to move the camera back and forth, and, from side to side by turning a little knob(s). Those are not cheap but of you do a lot of macro photography they are invaluable - something to keep in mind for a little farther down the road when you decide of macro work is something you would like to do a lot.

    If you have the subject free in front of your tripod it can sometimes be easier to just move that rather than the camera and tripod. If the subject isn't something that can be freely moved, sometimes it is easiest to set it so that the two front tripod legs are on either side of it; and then the distance can be slowly shifted by gently sliding the back tripod leg up or down (one hand above, the other below the spot where the sections of tripod leg join then gently push the top hand away with the bottom thumb - for up) but of course you'll have to re-frame the photo and maybe adjust the focus a bit as well.

    Some people use extension tubes on macro lenses for greater magnification; or, teleconverters for more distance from the subject being photographed. A lot depends on what it is that you want to take macro shots of: with flowers, for instance, a tripod is well matched to a 'plant clamp' ("plamp") which will hold the flower steady by clamping onto the plant's stalk.

    "help with macro please"

  3. #3
    Stagecoach's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Suva, Fiji
    Posts
    5,592
    Real Name
    Grahame

    Re: "help with macro please"

    Hi Terry, and welcome to CiC.

    I will not repeat the excellent advice/tips that John has given already but will mention that as you are new here you may not be aware of the tutorials section. Within them there's one on 'Macro' and also many available online as well and once you have read just a few you will see there's no real magic required only patience on your part and repeated practice.

    There's also been a few threads here on macro recently with some good subject content and advice.

    I'm not familar with your camera but if it has a 'Mirror Up' function this is also a bonus when tripod mounted to reduce movement. There are some very good 'cheap' remotes and focus rails on ebay which I have found to very good value for money in the past, but your priority must be a tripod first.

    Anyway, good luck with your new venture and don't hesitate to ask any questions here, you will always get excellent fast help.

    Regards, Grahame

  4. #4
    Moderator Donald's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Glenfarg, Scotland
    Posts
    19,723
    Real Name
    Just add 'MacKenzie'

    Re: "help with macro please"

    Just as an add-on to Grahame's comment re the previous threads that have discussed macro - If you click on 'Discussion Categories' on the menu bar above and then choose 'Macro Photography', you'll see a whole lot of threads on the subject. Some will, I'm sure, be more useful than others, but there is a lot of valuable information in there.

    By the way - Welcome to CiC. Thank you for joining.

    So that you don't continue to get people asking you what your proper name is, because most us use that on here, you can go to Edit Profile and enter your proper name under 'Real Name'. Then it will appear underneath your Username in all your posts. You can also enter your location so that it does the same, just as in my details alongside this message. Then we all know where everyone is in the world.

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    South Devon, UK
    Posts
    11,360

    Re: "help with macro please"

    There are a few of us here from the Plymouth area, Terry. I'm 20 miles away but Mark is closer; when he isn't sailing the seas.

    During the Summer I do a lot of live insect macro work, but with a Canon camera and bigger lenses.

    For normal macro shooting I set the camera manually, typically 1/200 F14, then use flash to suit the scene; and vary the flash output compensation as required.

    However, when flash isn't suitable I shoot on Av because getting sufficient focus depth is usually the most important item. This often needs an increased Iso setting although static subjects can be photographed with a longer shutter speed providing you have a stable tripod.

    Another option which I sometimes use for static subjects is to add some extra ambient lighting. Such as various studio type lights; but watch for any white balance problems if you aren't using daylight quality lamps.

  6. #6
    WJT's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Darwin, Australia
    Posts
    917
    Real Name
    Wayne Turner

    Re: "help with macro please"

    Hi Terry and welcome, I am also new to macro and have learnt so much from asking questions on CiC. The best way to get advice is to post a few pictures and that will show the macro specialists where you can improve. One thing I have come to grips with is that you often have to compromise by using a higher ISO in order to achieve the aperture and shutter speed you need when shooting macro. Particularly when the subject isn't completely still such as a flower in the breeze or an insect that is moving. In this case the tripod isnt always helpful and can be a hindrance. Good luck and enjoy.

  7. #7
    rpcrowe's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Southern California, USA
    Posts
    12,480
    Real Name
    Richard

    Re: "help with macro please"

    I am not sure if this has been covered in the macro tutorials but, a focusing rail is a very handy accessory when shooting macros while mounted on a tripod.

    http://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_odkw...0097&_from=R40

    The focusing rail will allow minute movements of the camera/lens without needing to move the entire tripod. It allows more precise framing and focusing.

    I use an old Minolta focusing rail which is well built and all that I need. However my rail allows only fore and aft movement. There are some focusing rails which allow left to right movement in addition to foe and aft.

    I light my macros with a standard Canon hotshoe flash mounted on a Seigelite flash bracket and modified with a Lumiquest Softbox II.

    "help with macro please"

    The Siegelite bracket can be found used on eBay for ten to twenty U.S. Dollars and there are Chinese knockoffs of the Lumiquest Softbox available for a few dollars also on eBay. I like the lighting I get from the flash + Lumiquest...

    "help with macro please"

  8. #8
    DanK's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    New England
    Posts
    3,717
    Real Name
    Dan

    Re: "help with macro please"

    Terry,

    You have some excellent suggestions already, so I will only add a few.

    i think focusing will be a lot easier when i can get some good light on the subject that is permently on when focusing.
    Lighting is one of the most important aspects of macro photography. Bright light is needed not just to help focus, but to get a reasonable depth of field. Unless you are in bright sunlight or have a static subject that will allow a long shutter speed, that means either cranking up ISO a great deal, which would degrade the image, or using artificial light.

    The most common approach to lighting for field work is to use a highly diffused flash. Richard showed one way to do it. Mine is more similar to this one. If you google, you will find quite a few posts on this. Most are do-it-yourself rigs.

    I do most of my flower macros indoors, to get more control, and for that, I use halogen lighting and long exposures. The advantage over flash is that I can play with different lighting before starting to take pictures. I bought two inexpensive boom lights, put 50 or 75 W halogen floods in them, and tape diffusers over the front. Sometimes, I use a cheap umbrella reflector on one of them to get some indirect lighting. You can buy a pack of Manfrotto diffuser sheets inexpensively, but lately, I have been using the parchment paper sold for baking. You will need to adjust white balance if you do this.

    I've posted a photo of my indoor rig on another recent post here, but I can't find it, so I will post it below. The flower is held by a "plamp", an inexpensive plastic gooseneck clamp. Often I just pile stuff up and put a vase on top, which is what you will see in the photo.

    Hope this helps. Glad to see another macro photographer on the site.

    Dan

    "help with macro please"

  9. #9
    rpcrowe's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Southern California, USA
    Posts
    12,480
    Real Name
    Richard

    Re: "help with macro please"

    Dan, great setup. I have approximately the same setup using a pair of old studio strobes. The modeling light from the studio strobes allows me relatively easy focusing. I like using a boom also because I can place my light exactly where I want it. I love soft diffused light from above (like you have it) with some fill light from the camera position. The White Lightning "Coffee Can" WL5000 strobes pump out a lot of light allowing me to shoot around f/16 or so @ ISO 100 for extended DOF. I shoot with a 90mm Tamron f/2.8 AF SP macro lens on a 1.6x camera...

    "help with macro please"

    The above is one of my setups I use for my Maltese portraits. However, I can use the very same lighting setup for close-up type, "studio" images such as this one...

    "help with macro please"

    BTW: the Plamp is a great piece of gear for close-up work. I am relatively surprised that China has not come out with a knockoff to sell via eBay...
    Last edited by rpcrowe; 23rd November 2012 at 05:24 PM.

  10. #10
    New Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    PLYMOUTH ENGLAND UK
    Posts
    2
    Real Name
    TERRY

    Re: "help with macro please"

    Thank You Richard @ Dan and other contributers for your helpful information as regards my taking on the Macro challenge hi. Like the look of Dans set up as i already have a few bits and pieces similar that can be modified. I think a flash is the next item on my list and a slide rail Thanking you all for your kindness and patience, Take Care Terry [tickover] Plymouth U.K.

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

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