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09-07-2014, 06:35 PM   #1
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Focusing Old 50mm Macro Lens

I am trying to take pictures of app library on my old cellphone with an old 55mm Pentax 1:4 macro lens on a K5 in M. My viewfinder is filled and in good focus, but he photos are all blurry. I have tried focal lengths of 15 to 135, makes no difference. How can I get in focus pictures?

09-07-2014, 06:50 PM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by Reddaddy Quote
I am trying to take pictures of app library on my old cellphone with an old 55mm Pentax 1:4 macro lens on a K5 in M. My viewfinder is filled and in good focus, but he photos are all blurry. I have tried focal lengths of 15 to 135, makes no difference. How can I get in focus pictures?
With macro lenses there is a problem of shallow depth of field. The slightest shake on your part will cause a gigantic blur. I find it very hard to use macro lenses with liveview, because it is difficult to hold the camera steady. For real macro work I am dependent on a flash in order to freeze motion. If you use a flash, there will be reflections on the screen on the phone. So, there is no straightforward solution to your problem. Unless you have an advanced tripod, which you probably don't, you will have to rely on the method of trial and error until you manage to capture a sharp image. Just make sure that the shutter speed is fast enough to freeze motion and compensate for camera shake.
09-07-2014, 06:55 PM   #3
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For copying situations a tripod or copi-pod is almost a must. The depth of focus is small and often you are inside with little light. What shutter speed and aperture are you using?
09-07-2014, 07:24 PM   #4
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Are you using tripod? or are your shutter speed fast enough? Did you try focusing in live view with focus peaking enabled?
Can you post some samples?

09-07-2014, 07:24 PM   #5
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If you are already using a tripod, put camera into 2 sec mirror up, or at a minimum turn SR off. SR on and camera on a tripod/monopod can cause feedback loop that results in loss of detail.
09-07-2014, 09:24 PM   #6
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check you shutter speed
09-07-2014, 11:37 PM   #7
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Hmmm , Free hand try and keep the shutter above 1/100
Free hand , try for F16
ISO 100-200 ( K5 - 400 )
How do you do all this = With a flash off course , you may want a diffuser in front of the flash ..

If you dont want to use flash photography , then :

Mirror up or Live view ( LV )
Use a timer , or remote trigger
Get the focus right ,
And youl need a tripod ( very much so )

All good fun for sure ...
Dont forget to post a picture ( a picture can tell us a lot more of whats going on )
09-08-2014, 01:33 AM   #8
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The refresh rate of the LCD screen can affect your image. Too fast a shutter speed and you can get an incomplete screen capture. Too slow you might get some blurring. Interlacing or non-interlacing makes a difference too.

09-09-2014, 01:13 AM   #9
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i dont understand why members would advocate the use of flash, its entirely inapprpriate for this task. your best advice would be to double check your focus and then make sure you can hold the camera stationary. by use of a tripod or some other means of support.
09-09-2014, 03:25 AM   #10
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Hmmm

QuoteOriginally posted by keithlester Quote
i dont understand why members would advocate the use of flash, its entirely inapprpriate for this task. your best advice would be to double check your focus and then make sure you can hold the camera stationary. by use of a tripod or some other means of support.
Interesting question !

Generally for Macro U need artificial light ...
For several reasons :

If you go without artificial light , then you need to work around the issue of Low shutter speed ...

We have as yet not been informed of any details , pictures ..
So the advice must cover all possibilities .. Why cant you use a flash ? Im sure a well set up flash with a diffuser could do a wonderful job ...
I know shiny surfaces can be tricky ,



Butt certainly not impossible ...

Macro shot ( 1:1 ) of the LCD on one of my Dual band hand held radio's .. Flash was used with no diffuser ..
09-09-2014, 06:04 AM   #11
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Flash is OK, but you have to make sure you don't reflect into the lens. So the flash at an angle, with a diffuser is a good solution. LED panels may be a better solution to add more ambient light. With a handheld macro you will need to stop down and preferably use a tripod.
09-09-2014, 09:53 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Reddaddy Quote
ld 55mm Pentax 1:4 macro lens on a K5 in M. My viewfinder is filled and in good focus, but he photos are all blurry. I have tried focal lengths of 15 to 135, makes no difference.
I don't understand this. What is the "focal lengths of 15 to 135" supposed to mean? When using a manual lens and the camera asks you to input focal length, you input the number that is written on the lens. In this case 55mm. If you input the wrong number, the SR may introduce blur. Or are you talking about shutter speed? Because shutter speed of 1/125 is not very fast. In macro situations blur is exaggerated

Anyway, here is what you do. The whole tutorial to get nice macro product photos. You set the screen brightness to around maximum on the phone, and select it so that the screen stays active for a minute or two, so you don't have to constantly unlock it. Now place the camera on the table and put the prop the phone sideways in front of it (long side of phone touching the table, screen facing the camera lens). Use books or something to prop things up. Set camera to M mode, ISO 100, and 2sec timer. The 2 sec timer is important. Now place the camera closer until the screen of the phone fills the frame. Set lens to wide open aperture (lowest f-number) and focus. You can try using live view and focus peaking if your camera supports that. Now set the lens aperture to somewhere between f8 and f16. Press the green button, and the camera will automatically set the shutter speed. Now press the shutter button, and don't touch the camera, phone, table until the exposure is complete. It takes two seconds, then photo is taken, and maybe a dark frame after that for NR.
Since the phone screen is flat, the DoF should not be a problem, as long as the screen is parallel to the sensor. If DoF is too narrow at f8, set the lens to a bigger f number, like f14, f16. This might make the photo fuzzier/less sharp, but it will give you more depth of field. If you shoot raw, you can use photoshop to adjust the photo and make it much sharper and contrasty (easier to read the text and icons in it). If you don't have photoshop you can use a free program like FastStone, Gimp, RawTherapee.. maybe even Google's Picasa?

Oh, one more thing. With old lenses you have distance scales on the focus ring. These distance scales go from the camera sensor to the in focus. So you can use a measuring tape and set the focus by number. If you measure from the subject to the camera mount, you have to add 4.5cm.

Last edited by Na Horuk; 09-09-2014 at 10:06 AM.
09-09-2014, 10:54 AM   #13
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This might be a silly question but why not just take som screenshot with the phone?
09-10-2014, 01:48 AM   #14
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Thank you all for your information. I was successful in taking the photos. Used tripod and flash at slight angle.
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