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01-05-2011, 12:35 PM   #1
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Macro+flash and shake reduction question

Hello,

I'm still fairly new to photography, so I was wondering...

When using a macro lens with an macro flash (Sigma EX 105mm + Sigma EM 140 flash on a Kx, in my case), is the shake reduction feature gonna be of any benefit or is it completely unnesseary seeing as shutterspeeds are around 1/60 to 1/180 sec anyway?

Mikael

01-05-2011, 12:38 PM   #2
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If you're using a tripod, turn SR off.

If not, the rule of 1/focal length shutter speed being hand-holdable is somewhat less accurate at macro focal lengths. Best bet is to take a shot or two with and without and see what you can personally keep stable.
01-05-2011, 01:05 PM   #3
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As the previous poster stated, if on a tripod turn off SR but I find when shooting macro at 100mm SR helps me. I have done shots with SR on and off and for the most part the SR off is a bit blurry and SR produces better results but like most things photography, the best way is trial and error. You might find that your hands are very steady and you don't need SR.
01-05-2011, 01:16 PM   #4
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I did forget to mention my question was related to handheld shooting, but you answered that too
I was just a bit unsure wether or not a fast shutter speed would be enough to cancel out SR.

My experience is, my hands are not very strong for holding a camera steady, so I think SR will indeed be beneficial to me then. So that's great news.

Thanks for your replies!

01-05-2011, 02:16 PM   #5
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I use an FA 100 macro and the 360 flash on my K-10D. It lets me shoot with higher f-stop settings for better depth. I use SR all the time when shooting macro hand-held. The FOV is so shallow already, SR seems to help a lot. In full sunlight, of course, the flash isn't necessary.
01-05-2011, 02:51 PM   #6
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The "focal length" used in shake reduction algorithms is almost certainly used as an approximation for sensor to lens distance for normal photography; for a macro of magnification m, this distance is Focal_length(1+m).

So if asked for the lens focal length, you should input f(1+m) for the best shake reduction results.

Dave
01-05-2011, 03:22 PM   #7
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Hi Michael,

On the K-7 and K-5 at least, using the popup flash or mounting an external flash automatically disables SR, so the point is moot. . .

Scott
01-05-2011, 05:18 PM   #8
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With off-camera light sources and a macro I use a tabletop tripod (doing products) and a remote trigger (IR for the K-x) to get SHARP images. SR seems to fight me with those components in place so I turn it off and am typically happier with the result.

01-09-2011, 05:35 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by snostorm Quote
Hi Michael,

On the K-7 and K-5 at least, using the popup flash or mounting an external flash automatically disables SR, so the point is moot. . .

Scott
Hi Scott

When you say external flash, is that the same as a wireless flash? Course I know when using wireless flash mode, SR is turned off. That's why I decided to go with the used Sigma, over a brand new Metz, since that macro operates wireless and thus that would mean no SR for me.

Mikael
01-09-2011, 05:44 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by TER-OR Quote
I use an FA 100 macro and the 360 flash on my K-10D. It lets me shoot with higher f-stop settings for better depth. I use SR all the time when shooting macro hand-held. The FOV is so shallow already, SR seems to help a lot. In full sunlight, of course, the flash isn't necessary.
Glad to hear it. Using a 105 macro myself, it can be hard at times to stabilize for the shot, but I just like the freedom of handheld That being said I do also have a tripod, so I have that option aswell.

Mikael
01-09-2011, 05:51 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by newarts Quote
The "focal length" used in shake reduction algorithms is almost certainly used as an approximation for sensor to lens distance for normal photography; for a macro of magnification m, this distance is Focal_length(1+m).

So if asked for the lens focal length, you should input f(1+m) for the best shake reduction results.

Dave
I'm not sure I know what mean... is this concerning the dialogue you get when using an older manual lens and it asks for the lens' focal lenght?

Mikael
01-09-2011, 06:44 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by mikknu Quote
I'm not sure I know what mean... is this concerning the dialogue you get when using an older manual lens and it asks for the lens' focal lenght?

Mikael
Yes, but I elaborated on it to indicate one reason why shake reduction without this correction is not very effective in macro photograph (flash or not) although if flash duration is very short it can't matter much.

The K-x manual says that SR isn't very effective for close-up photography (p 131 for example).

My K-x manual says that SR is turned off when flash is in wireless mode, but I'm not sure what happens in regular flash modes with your flash. Perhaps you can tell us if the SR indicator disappears when you attach your Sigma flash?

I used an external Rokinon 980AFZ-P flash on my K-x while using an A type lens and SR remained functional.

Thanks for following up on my obtuse comment,

Dave

Last edited by newarts; 01-09-2011 at 07:32 AM.
01-09-2011, 07:24 AM   #13
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If you use a fast shutter speed, the 'X' speed of 1/180th of a second and a small aperture to get DOF, then you have virtually 'killed' the ambient, if you take a picture at those settings without flash it would be just a black frame.

Then your effective shutter speed is the duration of the flash which will be at least 1/1000th of a second, much faster than that if the flash power is turned down, around the 1/5000th of a second mark at half power.

This means that obviously hand holding becomes possible. As the flash to subject distance doesn't alter much as it's set by the focus manual everything becomes possible. My 'bug hunting kit' consists of my K10D a set of bellows, an old Takumar 135mm and an off camera manual flash set on 1/16th power. Focusing is by moving the whole camera/bellows/lens/flash contraption backwards and forwards.

As the only things to think about is the framing and focus it's very quick to use, the 135mm lens puts me further away from the subject, out of the insects 'radar' range.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/chris-judge/4050045816/

Any shake reduction is obviously not necessary.

Chris

Last edited by ChrisJ; 01-09-2011 at 07:38 AM. Reason: Adding picture
01-09-2011, 07:49 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by mikknu Quote
Hello,

I'm still fairly new to photography, so I was wondering...

When using a macro lens with an macro flash (Sigma EX 105mm + Sigma EM 140 flash on a Kx, in my case), is the shake reduction feature gonna be of any benefit or is it completely unnesseary seeing as shutterspeeds are around 1/60 to 1/180 sec anyway?

Mikael
I find SR a big help with my 100mm macro and a flash when outdoors. I'll often use an external flash on a stand (fired by rf602 radio triggers) and handhold the camera with settings that make the ambient light a fill of 1 or 2 stops below the flash. At higher magnifications, the still SR keeps the ambient contribution sharp enough that blur isn't noticeable. The contribution from the flash is sharp SR or no, the flash duration is very short, especially when you can put it close to your macro subject and use very low power settings.
01-09-2011, 09:57 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by newarts Quote
Yes, but I elaborated on it to indicate one reason why shake reduction without this correction is not very effective in macro photograph (flash or not) although if flash duration is very short it can't matter much.

The K-x manual says that SR isn't very effective for close-up photography (p 131 for example).

My K-x manual says that SR is turned off when flash is in wireless mode, but I'm not sure what happens in regular flash modes with your flash. Perhaps you can tell us if the SR indicator disappears when you attach your Sigma flash?

I used an external Rokinon 980AFZ-P flash on my K-x while using an A type lens and SR remained functional.

Thanks for following up on my obtuse comment,

Dave
So in your opinion the SR effect is negligible for macro photography? I don't have access to my K-x manual just now so I can't check, but I have not noticed the bit about reduced effectiveness for close up shots, yet. But I fail to see why that is, right now. I can understand this to be true for wide angle close ups, as there should be less shaking with such a lens versus a macro lens. I say this because I imagine macro lenses to act like telephoto lenses when it comes to shaking.
But as stated, I'm quite new to photography

When I have the Sigma EM 140 DG attached along with my Sigma EX 105 macro lens on my K-x, the SR symbol stays on.

Mikael
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