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10-08-2018, 06:50 PM - 3 Likes   #61
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12-02-2018, 09:01 AM   #62
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QuoteOriginally posted by aaacb Quote
(mountainous landscape picture)
Was that one really taken with the DFA 100mm f2.8 macro lens? It hadn't occurred to me to try to take pictures of mountains using a macro lens!
12-02-2018, 09:07 AM - 2 Likes   #63
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QuoteOriginally posted by dlh Quote
Was that one really taken with the DFA 100mm f2.8 macro lens? It hadn't occurred to me to try to take pictures of mountains using a macro lens!
Yes, that's the lens. For that hike I had the DA 16-85 and the macro. Usually I have the 55-300 as the telephoto lens for mountain landscapes, and if I want to save weight I'll take a da limited prime for wide angle. This time I had the macro in case I found some interesting fall leaves.
edit: I use my 100 macro as a medium tele lens at least as much as I use it for macro: stars, landscapes, concert photos, I may have linked a sports photo in this thread too

Last edited by aaacb; 12-02-2018 at 09:14 AM.
12-02-2018, 09:18 AM - 1 Like   #64
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Having very recently obtained one of those, myself (and having no prior experience with genuine macro lenses), here's a bit of results of my initial playing with it. These are all right-out-of-the-camera, no post-processing. The first is a picture sort of randomly taken that happened to include the top part of an oil-filled electric radiator - I thought it looked like something out of a science-fiction movie, and kept it - maybe like a spacecraft from "Dune" like the spice-eating navigators fly around in - taken with a 1x diopter magnifying filter on the front of the lens (experimental use that showed no interesting results). The second is the back of a chair in my dining room - it's like using a microscope, if you zoom in on the wood, you can see scratches that are generally invisible to the casual observer. The third is the bottom of a tiled ashtray my wife made for her father when she was a little kid - the tiles are 3/8" square - notice the cracks in the grout and the dog- and cat hairs. The fourth is a branch of a young arborvitae tree taken at dusk in the rain. And the fifth is a (two-inch tall) wax figure effigy of a familiar pagan demigod taken at maximum aperture (minimum f-stop) - interesting how razor-thin the depth of field is. (Never mind about how often I dust my furniture - but zoom in on the dust particles in the first and second pictures, why don'cha - it's an amazing lens.)

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12-02-2018, 02:42 PM - 3 Likes   #65
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Of course it's great for macro.


And conventional flower/plant images














But it's also great for wildlife/animals when you are close enough (and they don't move too fast)














It took me a while to get my eye in for 100mm landscapes, but now I love it.










Others have shown how good the lens is for forest walks. I love it for beach walks too.




12-03-2018, 05:58 AM - 1 Like   #66
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I have a theory about actors - the really great actors don't get awards, because they're so good at being the character everyone forgets that there's an actor in there. Des' pictures above kind of reminded me of that - the pictures are so good, you forget you're looking at pictures (much less those taken with a particular lens and camera combination); I found myself thinking about flowers, wallabies, etc. Great pictures. I hope when I grow up I'll be able to do that.
12-03-2018, 08:12 AM - 1 Like   #67
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k-1 with dfa 100 macro wr
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12-04-2018, 02:39 AM   #68
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QuoteOriginally posted by dlh Quote
I have a theory about actors - the really great actors don't get awards, because they're so good at being the character everyone forgets that there's an actor in there. Des' pictures above kind of reminded me of that - the pictures are so good, you forget you're looking at pictures (much less those taken with a particular lens and camera combination); I found myself thinking about flowers, wallabies, etc. Great pictures. I hope when I grow up I'll be able to do that.
Thank you very much Dan, that's very kind of you and very encouraging. I don't think I'm a paragon of technical perfection because as I recall every one of those shots was handheld. Hooray for SR! (And for Heie for his great article: Making the Most of Long Exposure Handhelds - Introduction - In-Depth Articles) And hooray for a great lens that's within reach of an ordinary enthusiast.

12-04-2018, 09:19 AM - 1 Like   #69
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QuoteOriginally posted by Des Quote
Thank you very much Dan, that's very kind of you and very encouraging. I don't think I'm a paragon of technical perfection because as I recall every one of those shots was handheld. Hooray for SR! (And for Heie for his great article: Making the Most of Long Exposure Handhelds - Introduction - In-Depth Articles) And hooray for a great lens that's within reach of an ordinary enthusiast.
Thanks for the link. As an NRA certified instructor, I related well to the author's firearms analogies. Makes me think as well, that photography is like shooting a firearm in another respect - the mental aspect. If you can remember back to a time when someone was teaching you to ride a bicycle, ice-skating, or some such thing as that, you couldn't do it at first, and perhaps somewhat suddenly discovered that you could do it just fine. That sudden point is that in which you stopped thinking about working your feet, and just worked your feet. If you're thinking about hitting a target, you won't be able to do it. Thinking takes up too much time and space in the CPU. Conversely, the "be here now" and Zen thing is to allow your awareness to work everything, not your reason. Stop talking to yourself and become the complete observer. Then you can take the shot (whether with camera or a rifle) successfully. And here I am saying that after having spent the morning moving a big, heavy tripod around (though it was very cold and windy this morning up in the Blue Ridge Mts. of Va.).

And I thank the God that there is no end to what you can learn about photography ... I wouldn't want to get bored.
12-05-2018, 04:14 AM - 1 Like   #70
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QuoteOriginally posted by Des Quote
Thank you very much Dan, that's very kind of you and very encouraging. I don't think I'm a paragon of technical perfection because as I recall every one of those shots was handheld. Hooray for SR! (And for Heie for his great article: Making the Most of Long Exposure Handhelds - Introduction - In-Depth Articles) And hooray for a great lens that's within reach of an ordinary enthusiast.
To me, the hardest thing with hand held macro shots isn't the up and down shake but the forward/back movement that I tend to have. It's just awfully easy when dealing with really narrow depth of field to have something perfectly in focus and then you take the photo and you are front or back focused because you moved just a little bit.

Some of the extreme macros that people post are just amazing to me (I know they are doing things with focus stacking and stuff like that, but still)...
12-05-2018, 02:11 PM - 1 Like   #71
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QuoteOriginally posted by Rondec Quote
To me, the hardest thing with hand held macro shots isn't the up and down shake but the forward/back movement that I tend to have. It's just awfully easy when dealing with really narrow depth of field to have something perfectly in focus and then you take the photo and you are front or back focused because you moved just a little bit.
So true. With flowers macros, ideally we would use tripods and focus rails, but even that often isn't practical (e.g. on a walk, especially with an impatient companion!). Macros of insects, arachnids, etc in the field are a bit like bird photography - you have to seize the opportunity of the moment and that usually means handheld. With the extra challenge of focusing by slight fore-and-aft movements.

QuoteOriginally posted by Rondec Quote
Some of the extreme macros that people post are just amazing to me (I know they are doing things with focus stacking and stuff like that, but still)...
+1. Some breathtaking macros on this site.
12-06-2018, 05:40 AM   #72
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QuoteOriginally posted by Des Quote
So true. With flowers macros, ideally we would use tripods and focus rails, but even that often isn't practical (e.g. on a walk, especially with an impatient companion!). Macros of insects, arachnids, etc in the field are a bit like bird photography - you have to seize the opportunity of the moment and that usually means handheld. With the extra challenge of focusing by slight fore-and-aft movements...
I've noticed, Des, that you tend to use aperture settings in what I'd think of as the "low-middle" range of that lens. You seem to control the depth of field really well and don't go nuts over excessively shallow focus. You're also not afraid to use higher ISO numbers - I've got this prejudice, I suppose, from the days of celluloid, of never, ever, going about 800 for anything, generally using 400 for indoor shots and sticking to 100 - 200 wherever possible, to avoid the graininess from the larger silver nitrate crystals in the higher numbered film. What aspects, would you say, you optimize in your settings? In other words, what's the highest priority among things like exposure, sensitivity, and aperture? I have a theory that people tend to optimize for some specific characteristic and then build the remaining settings around whatever that preferred area of control may be.
12-06-2018, 04:48 PM - 1 Like   #73
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QuoteOriginally posted by dlh Quote
I've noticed, Des, that you tend to use aperture settings in what I'd think of as the "low-middle" range of that lens. You seem to control the depth of field really well and don't go nuts over excessively shallow focus. You're also not afraid to use higher ISO numbers - I've got this prejudice, I suppose, from the days of celluloid, of never, ever, going about 800 for anything, generally using 400 for indoor shots and sticking to 100 - 200 wherever possible, to avoid the graininess from the larger silver nitrate crystals in the higher numbered film. What aspects, would you say, you optimize in your settings? In other words, what's the highest priority among things like exposure, sensitivity, and aperture? I have a theory that people tend to optimize for some specific characteristic and then build the remaining settings around whatever that preferred area of control may be.
It's an interesting question Dan. Thanks for asking. I think your theory is right, although for me (and I'm sure for most people) the priority will depend on the subject - e.g. for wildlife/sport, usually shutter speed; for landscape, aperture and ISO.

I probably came to digital photography without the same degree of aversion to higher ISO as you had. Some time in the 1980s I went from using 100 ASA slides and negs to 400 ASA and was prepared to trade some grain for greater versatility. When I got the K100D Super in 2007, I tended to let the ISO float (to a whopping 800!). With the K-30 (2013-16) I sometimes (too often in retrospect) went to 3200 or even 6400. With the K-3 (2015-) and K-S2 (late 2016-), I've reined it in - especially with the K-3, where I've generally capped it at 1600 or less (2000 with the K-S2). The DxO software does such an excellent job that mid-level ISO (800-2000) generally cleans up very well; if the light is good, even higher ISO (to allow faster shutter speeds or narrower aperture) can come out quite well. I think TAv is my favourite mode, which reflects my common use of floating-ISO, although I use Av, M, P, Tv or X as the occasion requires.

But to put the ISO in perspective, of the 170 images from DFA 100 that I've uploaded to Flickr, only 10 are higher than 1600; in fact only 36 of the 170 are over 800. Of those 10 that are over 1600, I think I should have kept the ISO lower in most of them.

For landscapes, of course, I keep the ISO as low as possible - I tend to use Av with fixed ISO. The landscape samples above are all 100 ISO, except the 4th one, where the dim early light required 1/20th, f4.5 and 1600 ISO.

As for aperture, you are right that I don't go wide open very often. At 100mm, the DOF at f2.8 can be too shallow to get, say, the whole of a flower or insect even at 1 metre. With the pademelon (wallaby) above I used f4 because I wanted the whole face in focus but nothing else - f2.8 would not have achieved this because I was quite close. With the brown cow I went for f4 to be sure to get the whole cow in reasonable focus, while getting some separation. With the bull it was f5.6 - perhaps I could have gone for f4, but I wanted to be sure to get all the hay in focus. Most of the flower samples and (one of the seaweed images) are at quite narrow apertures (e.g. f9) to achieve adequate DOF. So long as it leaves me a reasonable shutter speed (generally 1/100th or so at 100mm), I don't mind pushing the ISO to 400 or 800 or sometimes more to get the DOF I want. Most of the landscapes above are f9-f11. With macro and close focus I often use a narrow aperture to squeeze out every bit of DOF (e.g. f9 for the frog, f11 for the dew-drops, often f16 for 1:1 macro). I'm using flash more often now for these sorts of shots.

One of the beauties of the DFA 100 is that you don't need to stop down just to get the best resolution. It's centre-sharp from f2.8-f16 and edge-sharp from f5.6 (arguably even f4) to f16.

(Chart from Ephotozine)
So you can pretty much choose the aperture to get the effect you want and not worry about resolution.

For birds/wildlife in mediocre light I switch between the @Normhead strategy of low ISO/slow shutter (lots of throw-aways, but the good ones are really good), the avoid-blur-whenever-possible strategy of bumping shutter speed and ISO (when you might not get another chance) and the add-flash-and-try-to-balance-ambient strategy. But that's a discussion for another thread.

Last edited by Des; 12-07-2018 at 04:02 PM.
4 Days Ago - 1 Like   #74
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QuoteOriginally posted by Des Quote
...So you can pretty much choose the aperture to get the effect you want and not worry about resolution.
...
So, Des, what about the white-noise factor at higher ISO values? Do you use the noise limiting software built into the camera?

This one's taken with the 100mm f2.8 macro lens, though I slavishly limited the ISO to 100 - stink-bug on my hat:
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3 Days Ago   #75
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QuoteOriginally posted by dlh Quote
So, Des, what about the white-noise factor at higher ISO values? Do you use the noise limiting software built into the camera?
I don't use in-camera NR Dan. DxO does it fine.
QuoteOriginally posted by dlh Quote
This one's taken with the 100mm f2.8 macro lens, though I slavishly limited the ISO to 100 - stink-bug on my hat
Nice image, but maybe a little under-exposed. Try 400 ISO - you might be surprised. :-)
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