Forgot Password
Pentax Camera Forums Home

Show Printable Version Search this Thread
12-31-2013, 08:38 AM   #1
Site Supporter
Site Supporter
Michael Piziak's Avatar

Join Date: Dec 2013
Location: West Virginia
Posts: 1,460
Shooting Snowflakes Question

I know snowflakes are small. I have that Pentax f4 100mm macro lens. Is it good enough to photograph snow flakes?

I talk to a person via email that uses extension tubes to shoot snowflakes.

12-31-2013, 08:46 AM   #2
Veteran Member
JinDesu's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: New York City
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 5,632
The average snowflake is about half an inch in diameter, or 1.27cm, or 12.7mm.
Your sensor is 15.7x23.7mm. Given that, a 1:1 macro lens will be able to see the snowflake pretty clearly, even if they are smaller than average. On the other hand, I believe the 100 F4 macro lens is a 1:2 macro, requiring an extension tube to reach 1:1 (I think it comes as a package? Or is that the dental lens.. I forget). At 1:2 macro, the snowflake will take up about 1/5th of your full picture if they are of average size.

This is all assuming you find a nice snowflake, and not a clump that's melted together where it's difficult to distinguish a single snowflake.
12-31-2013, 10:44 AM   #3
Veteran Member

Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Utah
Posts: 416
Most single snowflakes are much smaller than a half-inch. For decent snowflake shots, I use a fairly long series of extension tubes.

Michael, I've found that lighting is often the more difficult aspect than the lens, though.
12-31-2013, 10:49 AM   #4
Na Horuk's Avatar

Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Slovenia, probably
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 11,183
I think Ive seen some great snowflake shots with 2:1 magnification (or rather, enlargement). At 1:1 you might get some good shots, especially with cropping. But as stated, you will also need to find goodlooking snowflakes, light them up well, but be careful not to melt them. I think people like to use some wool (scarf, mittens, hat) to capture individual snowflakes then quickly take a couple shots, then look for a new one.

12-31-2013, 11:21 AM   #5
Site Supporter
Site Supporter

Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Montréal QC
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 2,333
I agree with Na Horuk: my modest experimentation leads me to believe you need about 2:1 for decent shots, so the 1:2 of the 100mm F/4 is not going to cut it, IMHO. Large flakes are around 4-5mm, so you might do OK-ish at 1:1, but not 1:2. Have a look at this typological guide to snowflakes to get an idea of what you might see...
12-31-2013, 01:47 PM   #6
Loyal Site Supporter
Loyal Site Supporter

Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Clyde River, Nunavut, Canada
Posts: 2,364
If you are just starting out and don't want invest in name brand extension tubes, get a hold of one (or two) cheap teleconverters and take the glass out.
01-01-2014, 03:20 PM   #7
Forum Member

Join Date: Dec 2010
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 92
I saw this on Facebook recently. Haven't had a chance to test it over here yet, but it looks good

Snowflakes, night city and other things: My technique for snowflakes shooting

  • Submit Thread to Facebook Facebook
  • Submit Thread to Twitter Twitter
  • Submit Thread to Digg Digg
Tags - Make this thread easier to find by adding keywords to it!
pentax help, snowflakes
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Macro Snowflakes Alise Photo Critique 7 01-03-2014 09:24 PM
Macro with Snowflakes bossa Photographic Technique 25 12-16-2013 10:38 AM
Macro Snowflakes and Seaweed jac Post Your Photos! 6 10-27-2013 04:17 PM
Question about shooting RAW Stevizzy Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 16 08-17-2013 01:22 PM
Interval Shooting question(s) Trig Pentax K-5 13 02-24-2012 09:23 AM

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 04:20 AM. | See also:, part of our network of photo forums!
  • Red (Default)
  • Green
  • Gray
  • Dark
  • Dark Yellow
  • Dark Blue
  • Old Red
  • Old Green
  • Old Gray
  • Dial-Up Style
Hello! It's great to see you back on the forum! Have you considered joining the community?
Creating a FREE ACCOUNT takes under a minute, removes ads, and lets you post! [Dismiss]