The Poor Man's Macro Thread

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by hector, Apr 7, 2009.

?

What type of macro set-up do you use?

  1. Reversing ring

    5 vote(s)
    20.8%
  2. Extension tubes

    5 vote(s)
    20.8%
  3. Diopters

    2 vote(s)
    8.3%
  4. Other

    12 vote(s)
    50.0%
  1. hector macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2006
    Location:
    Cheltenham, UK
    #1
    Hi!

    Well I couldn't find anything like this after a bit of MRoogling so I thought I would start a thread for people to have a crack at macro photography without a macro lens.

    Please post advice, tips/tricks and photos taken with reversed lenses, extention tubes/rings, diopters, magnifying glasses, microscopes or any other nifty method!

    I'll start by posting a couple of shots I took just now with my reversing ring which came in the post today. I reversed an old 50mm f1.8 onto my D40, and these are the results of my first effort. Hopefully with a few pointers I will be able to improve.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    I thought I would be ok shooting at ISO 800 but actually alot of my shots were pretty noisy when I got them onto the computer.

    Also another problem I had was trying to get my subject in focus - I read somewhere to set focus to infinity and then move in and out to get it right, but it's difficult to judge through the viewfinder. My next purchase is a tri-pod which hopefully will help, these shots were taken hand held with no flash.
     
  2. Cliff3 macrumors 65816

    Cliff3

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2007
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    SF Bay Area
    #2
  3. NintendoChick macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2008
    #3
    I don't actually have a reversing ring. I just hold the two lenses together. I use a 50mm f/1.8 and a 100mm f/2.8 usually...
    Some examples:
    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

    All taken over the winter. Spring shots coming soon! :p
     
  4. hector thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2006
    Location:
    Cheltenham, UK
    #4
    Nintendochick those are great, especially the bootlaces! What lighting did you use?
    I can't believe you got those results just by holding the lenses together, I guess they must have had to be quite fast shutter speeds?

    (Also forgot to mention I would love some constructive criticism on my initial attempts - there are a couple more in my flickr photostream)
     
  5. NStocks macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2008
    Location:
    England
    #5
    A tripod really helps. At first I thought it would be a waste of money because I normally have a fast shutter speed, but I wouldn't be without it !

    It makes it easier to compose the shot because you have to think about how it's going to look - having to set the tripod up whereas if you just hand held it you might be inclined to point it anywhere ! It also allows your hand to be free to change the scene, hold a reflector etc.

    I personally use a Giottso MTL9351B - It's rock solid and goes really high ( I'm 6ft 1 ) with a Ball head. ( I tried a manforotto 190XproB but it's not half as strong as the Giottos and doesn't go as high, but it does go really low! )


    NStocks
     
  6. H2Ockey macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2008
    #6
    On the Macro front i've done only a bit, but really love them when they are done right. I had taken a bit when i first got my extension tubes, they are Promaster brand which were relatively cheap, i think around $100 for the set of three and they have CPU connection and Auto focus screws so you can full metering and focusing ability.
    I thought some of my results were pretty good and kind of poo-poo'd the idea of a tripod being an absolute necessity. I have done some with a tripod now and have come full circle in the belief. A good tripod is an absolute for a quality Macro shot. These are some of my examples. all *clickable*

    [​IMG]
    HandheldThis shot was not one of my favorites, but was one of the better spider shots out of many that I got. Biggest issue was overcast light, the pop-up flash caused a bad shadow from the lens being extended and in order to have a fast enough shutter speed to reduce my camera shake (i didn't like being that close to any spider let alone a black widow) I had to shoot nearly wide open, more depth of field would have helped this shot tremendously.


    [​IMG]
    handheld Oddly this and the next shot were very similar at f/11, and a flash with a homemade diffuser, but being handheld, the ability to maintain the focus point exactly where I wanted it, even a slight breeze moving the flowers exaggerated my slight movements.


    [​IMG]
    Tripod It could have something to do with the particular flower and lighting, but I think the tripod had a lot to do with it. In my opinion this shot has just more pop than the previous one, and the crispness of the in-focus areas is just better. The colors even seem better.


    [​IMG]
    Tripod This shot really exhibits that the fiddler sometimes gets lucky when the fiddle is pretty good. This is actually upside down, I had to mount it this way to get low enough with the tripod I have, reversed the center post. I also could not look through the viewfinder or at the live view screen so i just aimed the lens in the direction I hoped would work and using a remote cord shutter release let the camera autofocus and expose the shot, aperture priority at f/32. I could not have gotten this shot hand held or without the extension tubes' ability to meter and autofocus the lens. Others probably could have but not me.
     
  7. fenno macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2009
    #7
    i have gotten fairly good results just by holding the 50mm f/1.8 II backwards on my 30D, though you have to get pretty close to the subject.

    both handheld:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    with this setup, you lose focus and aperture control completely, because the lens is backwards, so i had to move back and forth to focus, and to change the aperture, i put the lens back on the camera, selected an aperture, and removed the lens while holding down the "aperture preview" button.
     
  8. Phrasikleia macrumors 601

    Phrasikleia

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2008
    Location:
    Over there------->
    #8
    Given the title of this thread, I take it that "macro lens" has been omitted from the poll deliberately. Or am I supposed to click "other?"
     
  9. apearlman macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2007
    Location:
    Red Hook, NY
    #9
    Tele lens has a macro focus switch.

    My Sigma 70-300mm f/4-5.6 APO has a macro mode switch that enables close focus between 200 and 300mm. Works well enough for me.

    [​IMG]
     
  10. wheelhot macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2007
    #10
    huh? hold two lenses together? as in your 100mm is placed on your dslr and you place 50mm on top of it?
     
  11. srf4real macrumors 68030

    srf4real

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2006
    Location:
    paradise beach FL
    #11
    I use an Olympus 70-300mm or 50-200mm with a 1.4x tc. The 70-300 is 1:1 at 300mm, with a minimum focus distance of one metre. It works pretty well, the combination is an investment of around $800 or less. The 50-200mm with t/c is a faster combination at minimum aperture f/4 and minimum focus of .5 metre... the investmtment is a little more expensive with that one.

    (click for larger sizes)
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    This one is 100 percent sized crop of the latter set-up.
    [​IMG]
     
  12. iBookG4user macrumors 604

    iBookG4user

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2006
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    #12
    As in one lens is on the camera and you hold the other lens in reversed position (Front pointing towards the camera) and shoot that way. It allows you to focus a great deal closer than otherwise. I've gone the route of just holding the lens in the reversed position before and it allowed me to focus to 6 times life size when I had my 17-40L.

    Personally I find myself using "extension tubes", but the cheapest kind! I dismount the lens from the camera and just hold it in front of the camera until it allows the focusing distance that I want. I typically use it with my 100mm ƒ/2 and actually was forced to use this technique during the last wedding I shot to get a shot that I wanted.
     
  13. wheelhot macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2007
    #13
    Oo, may I know what shot was it?
     
  14. iBookG4user macrumors 604

    iBookG4user

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2006
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    #14
    Sure, it was for this shot.
     

    Attached Files:

  15. todd2000 macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2005
    Location:
    Danville, VA
    #15
    Does using a Sony DSC-W50 Point and Shoot count? I'd say thats a poor mans macro :)

    (Click for Larger Pics)
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  16. NintendoChick macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2008
    #16
    Thank you very much! For the laces, I just happened to be in a room with office type lighting (harsh overhead, bright white lights?). I just adjusted the white balance. As for shudder speeds, I don't think I ever dipped below 1/20 of a second...

    wheelhot:
    for the eye shot, I had the 100mm on the camera, and the 50mm reversed. The other two had the 50mm on the camera, and the 100mm reversed. This caused quite a bit of vignetting, but I kind of like the effect in this situation. :)
     
  17. hector thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2006
    Location:
    Cheltenham, UK
    #18
    Yep that was my idea, hence why in my first post I mentioned that the thread was particularly for people without a macro lens (mainly because I can't afford one but want to have a go anyway).

    Some great responses everyone, interesting that good results can be had by simply holding the lens in a reverse position. I wonder if I held my 50mm f1.8 over my D40 kit 18-55 I would be able to get closer focussing distances?

    Also has anyone got any more tripod/flash recommendations? I haven't got an external flash but had a go at setting off an old minolta flash we have at home at the same time as taking a picture but can't get them to fire at the same time :D
     
  18. hector thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2006
    Location:
    Cheltenham, UK
    #19
    Right so I had a go at your idea of holding the 50mm over the kit zoom lens today when I got home from work - tell me what you think!

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    I also snapped this one just with the reversed 50mm... inspired by nintendochick :D:D

    [​IMG]
     
  19. rogersmj macrumors 68020

    rogersmj

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2006
    Location:
    Indianapolis, IN
    #20
    ^ OK, how the heck did a fly let you get close enough to do that? Nice shots!

    I tried a shot today reversing my 50mm 1.8 onto my 55-200mm. The DoF is so freaking shallow it's unbelievable. I had trouble getting what I wanted, and the penny was only about 1" (if that) from the back end of the 50mm.

    [​IMG]
     
  20. hector thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2006
    Location:
    Cheltenham, UK
    #21
    That's awesome!

    The fly shot took me a few goes, I felt like such an idiot walking round my garden looking for flies! I must have taken 50 or so shots before I got one where the fly stayed still long enough for me to take its picture, and where the eyes were in focus...

    Keep posting folks!
     
  21. steeveage macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2004
    Location:
    Redwood City, CA
    #22
    This is really creative. I like.
     
  22. rogersmj macrumors 68020

    rogersmj

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2006
    Location:
    Indianapolis, IN
    #23
    ^ Thanks!

    Can anyone tell me why I can't get my Nikon D90 to fire without a lens attached? I'm trying to just reverse my 50mm directly onto it, without having another lens attached properly, and even in manual mode it won't release the shutter. Any ideas?

    EDIT: Never mind, it turns out it just won't fire with on lens when the flash is popped up...which I need in order to act as commander to my off-camera SB-600. This definitely cramps my style...
     
  23. Cliff3 macrumors 65816

    Cliff3

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2007
    Location:
    SF Bay Area
    #24
    Are you trying to use your flash in TTL mode? If so, the camera is probably looking for distance information from the lens. Maybe try manual mode?
     
  24. rogersmj macrumors 68020

    rogersmj

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2006
    Location:
    Indianapolis, IN
    #25
    No, it's in manual. Internal flash is disabled (except for commander mode), and the SB-600 is set to manual power at 1/64. But when I press the shutter release, it just blinks the flash box on the LCD at me (the whole box has nothing in it except the TTL indicator, which doesn't make any sense since TTL isn't being used).

    Any other ideas? I'm really having trouble finding any info about using CLS with no lens attached, but I think it's at least possible with the BR-2A reversing ring (I've seen shots done with off-camera Nikon flash and the BR-2A, so I would think handholding it is possible as well.
     

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