sparks

Fresh ideas for 2018..macro

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Good morning all, am taking advantage of the January sales to enjoy a new perspective on my submissions.

Trading in a Canon  100 macro and purchasing a 180 canon l series. (The 100 lenses terrific lense but mainly used as a fast portaiture..)

Just for enjoyment and hopefully sales, a fresh buzz when out and about, to look at old subjects from a new perspective. 

Have been enjoying youtube videos on this lenses...but here trying to draw on the deep well of alamy photographers for their views on MACRO....

From forum names and their work, there are dedicated macro buffs....terrific work...and captioning...but what of  us lesser mortals...any comments...

 

Best regards to all

 

Sparks

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20 minutes ago, sparks said:

Good morning all, am taking advantage of the January sales to enjoy a new perspective on my submissions.

Trading in a Canon  100 macro and purchasing a 180 canon l series. (The 100 lenses terrific lense but mainly used as a fast portaiture..)

Just for enjoyment and hopefully sales, a fresh buzz when out and about, to look at old subjects from a new perspective. 

Have been enjoying youtube videos on this lenses...but here trying to draw on the deep well of alamy photographers for their views on MACRO....

From forum names and their work, there are dedicated macro buffs....terrific work...and captioning...but what of  us lesser mortals...any comments...

 

Best regards to all

 

Sparks

 

I don't know the actual lenses (Nikon user) so just talking general principles. I'd keep the 100 lens if I were you unless you really need to trade it in. Typically the trade in value of used lenses is not very good. The 180 will allow you to shoot from a bit further away than the 100 so useful for insects but not necessary for flowers. The 180 will be more difficult to use in general as well, as it is undoubtedly much heavier, so you will need to use higher shutter speeds if handholding, limiting what you can do in some circumstances. Also you might still want the 100 for portraiture.

 

 

 

Edited by MDM

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Thanks for replies....but I raised this topic not specifically regarding lense hardware..but mainly regarding photographing and submitting macro work...and fresh perspectives on old subjects. Here looking forward to spring and hopefully a fresh buzz along with it. !!

 

Thanks

 

Sparks

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Although I've a macro lens, I very rarely use it.  If I'm honest, apart from close ups of bugs and flowers, I don't see how macro shots would be relevant on Alamy.  Anyone?

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Hi Sparks,

I have a number of macro images in my port and submitting them is the same as any other submission for QC. In my opinion,  macro gives the buyers a different perspective on  some subjects and a different niche for others (insects, plants etc).

I sold this one to a book publisher a couple of months ago....close-up-image-of-solomons-seal-sawfly-l

 

  Solomons-Seal Sawfly larvae,(Phymatocera aterrima) 

Hope this helps

 

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If you're going to be doing more macro work, especially of natural world subjects, then my contribution would be to say that your captioning and tagging would need to be as  detailed, precise and  accurate as your focusing....

 

km

 

(not a big user of macro lenses for stock, but use them extensively for commercial food photography)

 

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I use a Sigma 180mm macro (old model, non OS) for a lot of my plant and macro wildlife work.  A few tips:

 

A good tripod is essential.  If my Sigma is anything to go by, there is no way you can hold the Canon L steady at close focus and macro distances without stable support.  This applies even if you are using flash

Live view, especially magnified live view, is your friend

It's a lot easier to get a good diffused, blurred background with the 180mm macro rather than 100mm but you still need to choose your angles carefully

As with the 100mm macro Depth of field is limited.  It also drops off faster before and after the plane of focus so getting the right angle to maximise DOF is even more important

You've got a greater working distance but with active wildlife at macro distances it's still not a lot.  Your hunting techniques - especially as you need to use a tripod - might need work.  Mine certainly did.

Flash gets quite complex.  I use either a single flash + softbox on a bracket that allows me to position it close to the front of the lens or a recently purchased Yongnuo YN24EX macro twin flash.  I still need to sort out the diffusion on this but that's a project for 2018.

 

But once you get it right the results can be great.

 

Green form female of Common blue damselfly, Enallagma cyathigerum

green-form-female-of-common-blue-damselfly-enallagma-cyathigerum-captured-DPDPP9.jpg

 

Large flowered Hebe macrocarpa var latisepala in a Plymouth Garden

large-flowered-hebe-macrocarpa-var-latisepala-in-a-plymouth-garden-DY4A14.jpg

 

White June flower of the hardy deciduous tree, Stewartia sinensis

white-june-flower-ofthe-hardy-deciduous-tree-stewartia-sinensis-JC3WB2.jpg

 

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Consider a set of extension tubes so you can use a wide angle lens in macro mode and place the subject in its environment or get an unusual angle.

 

28mm in macro mode on a full frame.

common-chicory-or-cichorium-intybus-grow


17mm in macro mode on a full frame. The bottom petals are touching the rim of the lens front. I am now trying to get a telephoto shot from below of a bee landing, taken against a blue sky. When I get the bee shot, I will photoshop the bee hovering over the flower. Tried for the bee this summer. No luck yet.

cup-plant-silphium-perfoliatum-in-high-p

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Fuji recently released their macro lens, the 80. I have it. My favorite all-time macro was the Nikon 105 before I sold my Nikon gear. I shot butterflies, bees and flowers mostly. Also damselflies and other insects secondarily.

I would have rather had the reach between 100-120, but I’ll find out how well this one works when spring comes.

There is a trick to choosing aperture depending on the depth of field you desire, while paying attention to backgrounds.

John knows his stuff. I think we need to apprentice under him. ;)

Betty

Edited by Betty LaRue
Typo

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Thanks thoroughly enjoying replies   john...bill.  much appreciated instructions...looked through some of your pages...experts in your field..as betty said do you need an old codger apprentice....thanks for important pointers!!

Regards

Sparks!!

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There's plenty of commercially-relevant, in-demand images that can be done with a macro lens (technology, science, business, medical). Its use is certainly not limited to bugs and flowers... And the clients always want more. It forces you to start thinking and seeing differently. Very differently compared to visiting more locations that you have not covered yet. :))

 

Look at what has been used, see if you can spot a macro-lens shot.

 

YMMV.

 

Happy New Year.

 

GI

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5 hours ago, sparks said:

as betty said do you need an old codger apprentice

Aargh no.  I spent too much of my working life training apprentices (in IT, not photography - I'm self taught there).

 

Mind you, I could probably manage one akin to some I've trained.  Not too bright but can carry heavy weights without complaining.  It's getting harder and harder to lug the macro gear around. :)

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On 12/29/2017 at 10:18, Betty LaRue said:

Fuji recently released their macro lens, the 80. I have it. My favorite all-time macro was the Nikon 105 before I sold my Nikon gear. I shot butterflies, bees and flowers mostly. Also damselflies and other insects secondarily.

I would have rather had the reach between 100-120, but I’ll find out how well this one works when spring comes.

There is a trick to choosing aperture depending on the depth of field you desire, while paying attention to backgrounds.

John knows his stuff. I think we need to apprentice under him. ;)

Betty

 

Betty,  I think I mentioned before the Nikon 105mm f2.8 was my favorite lens too, but I didn't use it much for macro.  Don't forget that Fuji 80mm macro is the equivalent of 120mm on FF so you might be surprised.  I'm very anxious to hear / see how your results turn out.

 

Agree, @John Richmond should hold an Alamy seminar on the subject!  Macro is not as easy at it may seem.  

 

Rick

Edited by Rick Lewis
math error

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1 hour ago, Rick Lewis said:

 

Betty,  I think I mentioned before the Nikon 105mm f2.8 was my favorite lens too, but I didn't use it much for macro.  Don't forget that Fuji 80mm macro is the equivalent of 160mm on FF so you might be surprised.  I'm very anxious to hear / see how your results turn out.

 

Agree, @John Richmond should hold an Alamy seminar on the subject!  Macro is not as easy at it may seem.  

 

Rick

Rick, I shot the 105 on crop Nikons. The D200, D300, D7000. Then I got the D800 and lost that extra reach. Hated it. Even though I could crop the heck out of a photo, it somehow wasn’t the same.  During that time I had 2 105s. I hear there’s been a new one released since, so my 2 would be the one previous to the latest, and the one previous to that. It was the last one I owned that I loved the most. The color, contrast, just everything.

Fuji first announced we’d get a 120 macro, then changed to 80 and gave the GFX or whatever letters, the 120.  Made a lot of people mad. 

Including me. 

I guess I’m not a full frame person. I do like the 80. I took it out and shot a lot of things with it, including plants, a squirrel and a landscape, and it’s very sharp. Did portraits well. I’ll have to wait on the butterflies and flowers.

Betty

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cork-from-a-bottle-of-two-buck-chuck-a-c

 

 

This is about as close as I get these days. Not 1:1 and handheld with a mirrorless Sony. 

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My port on here is all insects and invertebrates mainly. Mostly shot with the Olympus 60mm macro and Em5mkii handheld with diffused flash. The lightest and best system I've ever used for my macro work. Tripods only get in the way imo unless you're focus stacking an insect that stays still. Most insects don't wait around for you to set up your tripod.

There's lots of scope for macro images of insects etc from extreme close ups of compound eyes and other details to wider shots showing habitat etc. I find the Olympus 60mm slightly short but fieldcraft and stealth gets me as close as I need. For tiny 1-2mm Globular Springtails I attach a Raynox MSN202 macro attachment. 

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This lot can be a bit unwieldy - but it does produce good results for less mobile subjects

 

Sigma 180mm macro, 25mm extension tube, 1.4x teleconverter, Canon 430EX flash with softbox on Kirk bracket.  12 - 18in working distance for up to 1.6x magnification and the light spread illuminates a bit more of the background.  Not for carting around for long distances but fine for smaller spaces such as my own and other gardens. 

 

Macro+flash+setup-2401.jpg

 

I currently use the Sigma 105mm + twin flash for more easily portable use but I do like the results from the long macro.

 

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10 hours ago, Larbug said:

My port on here is all insects and invertebrates mainly. Mostly shot with the Olympus 60mm macro and Em5mkii handheld with diffused flash. The lightest and best system I've ever used for my macro work. Tripods only get in the way imo unless you're focus stacking an insect that stays still. Most insects don't wait around for you to set up your tripod.

There's lots of scope for macro images of insects etc from extreme close ups of compound eyes and other details to wider shots showing habitat etc. I find the Olympus 60mm slightly short but fieldcraft and stealth gets me as close as I need. For tiny 1-2mm Globular Springtails I attach a Raynox MSN202 macro attachment. 

Same here. I don’t use a tripod for insects, either. They fly, flit, crawl and absolutely refuse to pose for me! Half the time even while hand-holding, a butterfly or bee leaves just as I am autofocusing.

Betty

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14 hours ago, John Richmond said:

This lot can be a bit unwieldy - but it does produce good results for less mobile subjects

 

Sigma 180mm macro, 25mm extension tube, 1.4x teleconverter, Canon 430EX flash with softbox on Kirk bracket.  12 - 18in working distance for up to 1.6x magnification and the light spread illuminates a bit more of the background.  Not for carting around for long distances but fine for smaller spaces such as my own and other gardens. 

 

Macro+flash+setup-2401.jpg

 

I currently use the Sigma 105mm + twin flash for more easily portable use but I do like the results from the long macro.

 

 

All I can say is WoW!

 

Rick

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This is my set up for macro. Nikon crop sensor body, Nikkor 105mm, wireless commander kit with diffusers.

For a long time, I also used stacked extension rings but over time I guess something got bent with the combined weight of the lens and flash heads and the contact became faulty, so I gave up on those.

I work a lot more handheld these days. I also have a third freestanding flash head to light up the background or backlighting. Very useful for those dark spiders on a web.

 

This set up works well for (non-flying) insects and arachnids. I am actually amazed how tolerant they are. A dream compared to birds.

 

?ui=2&ik=fed2013f60&view=fimg&th=160a770

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Have you thought of setting up wee scenes to take photos of? You have to be careful of IP but every now and then I see photos of such scenes with (for example) lego figures.

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I have a Nikon 105mm micro which is almost permanently mounted on my studio camera. 

I also use it outdoors sometimes for insects, but that is more of a hobby for me (judging by sales).

I've been using it for years and it has more than earned its keep.

 

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1 hour ago, Phil Robinson said:

I have a Nikon 105mm micro which is almost permanently mounted on my studio camera. 

I also use it outdoors sometimes for insects, but that is more of a hobby for me (judging by sales).

I've been using it for years and it has more than earned its keep.

 

Best macro ever. The only piece of equipment I hated to part with when I went Fuji. Where portraits were concerned, I used it mostly outdoors because of needing more space indoors.

Betty

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On 30/12/2017 at 19:18, Betty LaRue said:

Same here. I don’t use a tripod for insects, either. They fly, flit, crawl and absolutely refuse to pose for me! Half the time even while hand-holding, a butterfly or bee leaves just as I am autofocusing.

Betty

That's the joys of it Betty. Early morning is the best time for butterflies and dragonflies etc. as they're too cold to fly away. I'm not an early bird however but hope to get up very early a few mornings at least this summer. :)

Larry..

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