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08-24-2015, 11:58 PM   #1
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Fluffy Thing
Lens: Tamron 70-300 Di Macro Camera: k-5 IIs ISO: 100 Shutter Speed: 1/200s Aperture: F13.5 

Shot in the lens macro mode at maximum length. What do you guys think? The good and the bad.

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08-25-2015, 09:25 PM   #2
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I am not familiar with the lens but to make some comment, I would suggest that it's "macro" function is more in name than performance. Without getting bogged down in semantics, a true Macro lens will be a fixed focal length, 50, 100 or 200mm and give a magnification of at least 1:1 at its minimum focusing distance. That said I use, a Sigma lens of similar specification to yours and also a Sigma 70-200 with "Macro" and also a Sigma 105mm Macro. The 105 beats all the others hands down in minimum focusing distance and magnification and sharpness. Both the zooms at maximum focal length are quite soft. . At the very least the zooms are useful in sparking an interest in closeup photography. The downside is they just can't get close enough. After some frustrations, I eventually bit the bullet and bought the 105.

Back to the photo, after all that is what it is all about. The subject is about as tough as they come. They have very fine details and are very deep in structure. Everyone has a go at them, myself included and they are a great subject for practice. I feel your image is a bit soft, possibly due to the lens but more so there is no definite point of focus. It seems to be somewhere in the middle of the seed head. A lot of folks when doing shots of these look for something definite to focus on. A bug or the centre of the head, or the outer rim, something for the eye to focus on. The exposure is good and your background is lovely and soft which is generally a good thing. On composition I am not sure of the second seed head but that is a personal thing. it does not add anything to the photo for me. There is also a brown spot in the lower section of the main subject. I would cut that out.

A good start and I really hope you develop your interest in close up work. I would investigate a good macro lens. Pentax, Sigma and Tamron each make one in the 90 to 105 mm range, they are not cheap but used ones are available.

Any enough from me. We both need to get out there and take more photos. I hope to see some more from you shortly.
08-26-2015, 02:41 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by Bruce Clark Quote
Without getting bogged down in semantics, a true Macro lens will be a fixed focal length, 50, 100 or 200mm and give a magnification of at least 1:1 at its minimum focusing distance.
I'm not sure I would completely agree with this. Yes, zoom lenses labelled as "macro" are usually not on the same level as fixed focal length. Some barely allow any more magnification than a regular lens. But remember that not long ago many macro lenses only went down to 1:2 magnification. Even modern Zeiss macro lenses only go to 1:2. And OP's lens also goes to 1:2, at least according to the specifications. I also think it is generally accepted that 1:2 is where the "macro" range begins, and 1:1 is true macro. If the lens goes further beyond that, its enlargement. But you are right, a dedicated fixed focal length macro lens will give even better clarity, magnification. I'm just saying that the lens OP used does allow quite a bit of magnification and from the photo above seems reasonably sharp in the area, where focus is achieved.

Now back to the photo. Good aperture for DoF. Was this taken with a tripod? Because handholding at that magnification and focal length can be quite difficult and 1/200 shutter speed might not be fast enough. But the photo doesn't seem to be smudged, so thats not a problem. In my hands, I would need a little faster shutter speed (and thus higher ISO) to guarantee sharpness at that magnification, even with SR enabled.
The fuzzy, fluffy flower looks nice, it is well-exposed. I like taking photos of flowers without the typical petals and blooms, so I appreciate it. But some viewers will want either a subject (like a bug climbing on the flowers) or even more magnification (which you can get from this photo by cropping, if you haven't already)
Anyway, nice one, I like it, you are on the right path
Of course, with macro, there is always more to do - buying lights, tripod, extension tubes or bellows, reversing lenses, buying more lenses, more lights..
08-26-2015, 06:28 AM   #4
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Thanks for the suggestions. Sure, this lens is not a true macro but rather a close-focusing telephoto. Biggest problem of this lens is PF. It is mostly evident shooting bright objects on dark background or vice versa. Tamron 90mm or Pentax 100mm is on the buying list as soon as my budget will allow it.
I thought that this plant flower looks interesting on it's own. And unfortunately all bugs were busy somewhere else at that particular moment It was shot using a tripod, but there was wind at that day (as in most days this summer) so it was tricky do get the focus right. Maybe I should have used higher shutter speed to achieve better sharpness.

08-27-2015, 10:10 AM - 1 Like   #5
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Ok, Here is the second attempt shooting that fluffy flower. Luckily no wind this time. It seems that bugs are avoiding this thing, so I tried different composition. What do you think? Did I get the focus right this time?
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08-27-2015, 03:43 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Buruny Quote
Maybe I should have used higher shutter speed to achieve better sharpness.
Yeah, wind can be a real problem. One trick I have heard about is to bring along a little bit of wire and simply tie it around the stem of the flower, just outside of the frame and stick the other end into the ground. This can stabilize the flower, apparently. I never tried it myself, but I love the idea

Great shot! Think it already looks better than the previous one, more interesting composition, sharpness is still there.
08-28-2015, 12:58 AM   #7
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Very good. Very good indeed,
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