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06-14-2013, 01:39 PM   #16
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QuoteOriginally posted by MSL Quote
Lots of DIY tricks - I've used a handkerchief at times.

As to aperture, it depends on the lens. For a 50/55/58mm (the last being a Helios), I'll either shoot at f16 or f11 (the Helios gets very dark when fully stopped down). For a 135mm lens on lots of extension tubes I'm limited to f8 or f11 depending on how close I am to the object. When I use my dedicated 1:1 macro lens (Vivitar 90/2.8), I may try a sequence of apertures for each shot and check the histogram as I go along. In all cases this refers to the onboard flash without a diffuser. A lot of it is trial and error. I've also used more powerful flashes which then require more stopping down. In most cases you are limited to 1/180 shutter speed.
Got it. Thanks
I will go try out some with flash and smaller apertures.

06-14-2013, 01:48 PM   #17
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I have a friend specialized in macro, really super macro. Eyes of insects and things like that. He told me that the best, is a dedicate macro flash. Those round strange thing. He told me that's a big progres over diffused flash or any other metode.
06-14-2013, 01:50 PM   #18
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QuoteOriginally posted by JimmyDranox Quote
I have a friend specialized in macro, really super macro. Eyes of insects and things like that. He told me that the best, is a dedicate macro flash. Those round strange thing. He told me that's a big progres over diffused flash or any other metode.
thanks for the tip hmm the only thing that i know that's round is the ring flash...
06-14-2013, 01:55 PM   #19
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QuoteOriginally posted by czhao1009 Quote
thanks for the tip hmm the only thing that i know that's round is the ring flash...
That would be it and the advantage is that you get more uniform lighting rather than a directional source. But I've seen some super macro done with a normal flash with a massive diffuser mounted on top. There are number of youtube videos on how to do this as well as on other camera sites.

06-14-2013, 03:45 PM   #20
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Don't beat yourself up too much, a lot of macro looks a bit iffy if you start examining 100% crops. If you really want detail in that bee in a single shot you'd probably want to be closer, using a 100mm fixed length macro (and probably a raynox), with a ringflash encircling your subject or flash with large diffuser overhead. Or you could try stacking with reverse enlarger lenses if you want pixel level detail. 1/60 for the top shot at 200mm is quite a slow shutter speed and you did quite well considering. The bee you're at 240mm f/5.6, perhaps not the sharpest combination of settings, 8 would probably be better but still I don't know the performance of that lens at 240mm. Flash is usually a good option because whilst your shutter speed might be fixed at 1/180 it's the duration of the flash output that actually matters, which is shorter than 1/180, so freezes motion. But for shadowless flash you need to really wrap round the subject which is why I suggest a shorter focal length. Fyi, this is what a raynox & ringflash can do for you, took this a couple of hrs ago out in the garden:


Last edited by Nass; 06-14-2013 at 03:58 PM.
06-14-2013, 04:33 PM   #21
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QuoteOriginally posted by czhao1009 Quote
Good to hear! I did see some where on the forum about a DIY flash diffuser.
Question: when you use the flash, what shutter speed and aperture do you use?

I use a ringflash, and shoot with a manual lens in manual mode. I use the flash on auto and it determines my aperture, usually f8-f16. Shutter speed is flash snych, 1/180. This is with a dedicated macro lens, an old Pentax 100mm f4. Even with your lens you could get as close as the 1:2 setting will allow, use the snych speed at 1/180, and experiment with aperture in the 5.6 to 22 range using the onboard flash. Use a folded sheet of copy paper over the flash for a diffuser.
06-14-2013, 07:15 PM   #22
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Agree - the old Pentax SMC-M 100mm f4 is an inexpensive and excellent macro lens. The -A macro is rarer and more expensive, but will allow the K-5 to set aperture for easier operation. Results can be as good with either.
06-14-2013, 09:10 PM   #23
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Chasing with Catch in Focus


Pentax 100mm Macro


06-15-2013, 07:23 AM   #24
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Lots of good advice here, I can't add much. Flash definitely works well, I'm not sure just why but it tends to help freeze things in place. I don't have a dedicated macro lens, I use a 135mm and extension tubes, or a 50mm and extension tubes. Both manual, flash if necessary. My flash has adjustable power levels, I usually try to shoot f11 or f16 and at times have to pull the flash power down to 1/4. With the 50mm the working distance is very close, 4 inches or so, and I use a folded envelope to reflect the flash downwards. I'd love a ring flash, can't afford it just yet. I don't have a link handy, but I found instructions for a home built LED based ring light for cameras on instructables dot com a while back. Sounds pretty good, it uses a ring of LED lights and a 9 volt battery and simply stays on all the time. Looks like it's not too hard to make, first time I have a few bucks to spare I want to try and build one. Onboard flash will work, but it's not great.

I also often use a mini tripod attached to the camera and use that rested on the ground or on my knee to help stabilize the camera for macro shooting. Focusing is always tricky, since you're so close, any tiny movement will affect focus. Insects rarely sit still, so subject motion blur is always a good possibility. I tried extension tubes with my 200mm, didn't like it. I usually set the lens at infinity focus and lean in and out to get focus, rather than trying to twist the focus ring. That helps when using the left hand for stability too. Hand held can be done, but it takes patience and practice.Infinity focus also seems to get the greatest depth of field, which is always minimal when shooting macro.

Practice is the best thing, as you work with it more and more you develop your ability. My early macro shots were...not exactly anything to write home about...When possible I like full sunlight, macro is the only time I do. When I can't get good shutter speed I go for flash. I stick to ISO 400 and under to minimize noise, and never under f8.

Did I mention practice?
06-15-2013, 07:42 AM   #25
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QuoteOriginally posted by czhao1009 Quote
Thanks for the reply!
How fast is enough?

I'm afraid if I use smaller aperture then i won't have enough shutter speed.. the bee picture is shot with f/5.6 already. bump up the ISO?
In that case, you really just need more light

I use a ring flash, the old Pentax AF140, which allows me to hit about 1/180 shutter speed on the K-01 in M, and, close-up with the 50/2.8 Macro and a 4x ND filter, somewhere between f/22 and f/32.
06-15-2013, 08:12 AM   #26
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Thanks again for everyone's great feedback! Very very appreciated
i don't want to spend more money on a ring flash just yet, so I made a flash diffuser using a pringles can (found the instructions on the web, pretty easy), will try some shots next week!
06-15-2013, 09:41 AM   #27
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QuoteOriginally posted by czhao1009 Quote
Thanks again for everyone's great feedback! Very very appreciated
i don't want to spend more money on a ring flash just yet, so I made a flash diffuser using a pringles can (found the instructions on the web, pretty easy), will try some shots next week!
That might be quite enough - the importance is to get enough light (from the right direction(s)), not by which tools you get it....

My primary use for Pringles cans is for WiFi antennas.....
06-15-2013, 10:26 AM   #28
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Flash mainly works so well, because the flash duration is extremely short and thus freezes the movement. a continous light would have to be extraordnarily bright to give you the 1/10,000s exposure time a flash will easily provide...

Ben
06-17-2013, 06:56 PM   #29
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Thread updated flash has worked pretty well!
06-18-2013, 01:36 PM   #30
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Not bad. I had to take a moment to figure out where the photos were, but it turns out that you'd updated the first post in this thread.....
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