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01-29-2007, 04:04 PM   #1
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super close macro

In the spring I intend to take photos of insects and would love to get really close (such as capturing just the eye of a 3cm insect). I will be using the K10D with either a Pheoenix 100mm macro lens which comes with a 1:1 macro adapter....or a Pentax-A 70-210 macro telephoto zoom. Also a tripod.
I have an extension tube set of three and also a 2x teleconverter.
My question is.. (because I have never done macro before)...with the equiptment I have, will I be able to get what I'm after?
I know that I will need a flash but that will be added later (although I have no idea what I shall need)...that will be a later question which I hope the generous members can help me with.
Any help would be gratefully accepted and will aid me in purchasing additional equiptment if the need arises.

01-29-2007, 04:57 PM   #2
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Yes you can, I shot the eye of a needle with a 35-70 f4 with macro focus, a full set of tubes, and a 2x converter. The image filled the frame and has good detail. Distance from subject 1/4 inch. Focus is difficult but can be done. I used a lamp rather than a flash because of the short distance.
01-29-2007, 04:58 PM   #3
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what makes u think u can capture just the eye of 3cm insect.. ??

mind u a 3 cm is a big insect so it might not be quite as extreme as it sounds.. your ambitions seem a little high for someone who hasnt done it before.. it might be better to get some lesser macros under your belt then reassess the possibliltes.. especially if u mean a live insect..

trog
01-29-2007, 05:04 PM   #4
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Hmmm.. not sure anything you have is really sufficient. You would probably need to go to 10:1 Macro. Not really possible w/ HIGH quality.
Beautiful Bugs: How to Do Macro Insect Photography
Shutterbug: Macro Photograqphy
A 24mm reversed on the end of tubes or a bellows (I'd prefer the bellows) is what your really after........


Last edited by jeffkrol; 01-29-2007 at 05:14 PM.
01-29-2007, 05:40 PM   #5
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while the A70-210 does have the macro feature it is not the lens for the application.

Focussing on just the eye, and filling the frame, and getting good composition, and good exposure is no small feet, even if the subject is small. I'd start reading and looking at examples of macros and get started on taking pictures to learn. Moving bugs can be a b*gger to catch 'specially just a specific part of the creature. Sometimes you can capture them and shove 'em in the 'fridge for a bit to slow 'em down, but remember to keep them away from your chocolate cake, or if you have a sadist bent and are only going for a headshot you could pin 'em down.

My son was asking a trivia question the other day about the lifespan of an average worker ant. My answer was if it was a carpenter ant and I saw it around my house it would depend on how old it was already before it was in striking distance 'cause A, B, C, or D was much too long after my spying it.
01-29-2007, 05:52 PM   #6
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I would use the longest focal length macro length possible. in this way you can be further away from the subject when you take the photo.

the 70-200 lens probably has a maximum magnification ration of 1:4 and also it will be at the shortest focal length, the macro lens will probably have 1:2 magnification ratio without the adaptor and a 1:1 ratio with the adaptor and you will be further away when you take the photo.

I have not looked at what I could do with my 1000mm celestron C90 but depth of field would be very limited and as it has no controllable apature you would have only very short depth of field, but you coud work at 10x the distance of the 100 mm macro.
01-29-2007, 06:32 PM   #7
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Thanks guys, It looks like I was aiming too high and need to evolve to my plan of eventual extreme closeups. All your advice will be digested and hopefully when I finally produce a decent set of photos I will post them on this forum.
Aint this age of cyberspace the greatest thing!....instant response from members in three different countries. Thank you again.
01-29-2007, 08:33 PM   #8
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I never tried what you want to do. but I know by playing with the sigma 17-70 macro that when you get that close, lighting (or shall I say lack of) becomes a real challenge. My lenses ability to get real close is only stopped by the lack of light due to the shadow of the lens.

I was thinking I could somehow rig this little unit up which could be triggered by my flash.



not sure how though

cheers

randy

01-30-2007, 09:22 AM   #9
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two things have to be traded off against each other and there are two basic kind macros.. in the field live and the table top type..

then u have handheld or tripod.. again a trade off..

in the field live is the more difficult.. the longer the lens the harder it is to get the dof and focus correct.. u get the working distance but other problems crop up..

table-top u can get close up but the lighting becomes difficult..

its something u have to have go at and find out which trade off suit u best..

a very cheap sigma 28 x 80 "1:2 zoom teamed with a tamron or kenco 1.5 tele converter will produce some nice results for little money..

trog
01-30-2007, 11:35 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by slipchuck Quote
I never tried what you want to do. but I know by playing with the sigma 17-70 macro that when you get that close, lighting (or shall I say lack of) becomes a real challenge. My lenses ability to get real close is only stopped by the lack of light due to the shadow of the lens.

I was thinking I could somehow rig this little unit up which could be triggered by my flash.



not sure how though

cheers

randy
I just bought some of these flash units (5) and have set up two as follows. I
un-hook the stand/cover from the flash unit and turn it around and put it back on. Using a bit of camera case padding foam as a spacer, I strap two of these units to the lens-hood on my 100mm macro lens, using a short length of webbing and a slip-tightening buckle. They can be fired by any small flash on the camera body, and they are quite sensitive.

To improve modelling and give some shadow detail, I swivel one flash to face in towards the subject, and leave one facing straight forward. This gives me F16 or better. I also used this arrangement with a reversed 50mm lens on the front of the 100mm lens.

It is early days yet, but I think this is more promising than the previous lash-up I designed with two full-sized variable power flashes and heavy brackets to hold it all together. I was trying to emulate the manfrotto macro bracket, but the whole thing was too heavy and awkward for hand-holding.

You could actually fit three of these units around the lens-hood if you wanted more light. This would emulate a powerful ring-flash set-up, and probably allow you to reach significant magnification at reasonable apertures.

As always, focussing is difficult, due to the massive light loss at high magnification, but I have the germ of a plan to solve that problem with a light-weight ring-light assembly using 3 AAA cell batteries and high brightness white LED's. Hope this is of some use to you.
01-30-2007, 03:06 PM   #11
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randy,
do you have a link to these little flashes??

i made a grip for my DS and vivitar 105mm macro.
it can be used with one flash



or two



i've got a ring flash and a LED ring light but don't like them because everything looks so flat when using them.. a tip from someone else was to take a 1/2'' stiff rod of something and hold it in your left hand along with the grip and let one end of the rod hit the the ground as a type of monopod. i've found it works very well.

Last edited by roy; 01-30-2007 at 09:12 PM.
01-30-2007, 04:49 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by roy Quote
randy,
do you have a link to these little flashes??

i made a grip for my DS and vivitar 105mm macro.
it can be used with one flash



or two



i've got a ring flash and a LED ring light but don't like them because everything looks so flat when using them.. a tip from someone else was to take a 1/2'' stiff rod of something and hold it in your left hand along with the grip and let one end of the rod hit the the ground as a type of monopod. i've found it works very well.



or two. i
wow! that looks cool how did you do that? and what are the "things" at the end of the flashes? diffusers?
I do have a sigma 500 and an old vivitar flash that doesn't work with a pentax but I could likely have a slave trigger and set it on manual

cheers

randy
01-30-2007, 04:55 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by keithlester Quote
I just bought some of these flash units (5) and have set up two as follows. I
un-hook the stand/cover from the flash unit and turn it around and put it back on. Using a bit of camera case padding foam as a spacer, I strap two of these units to the lens-hood on my 100mm macro lens, using a short length of webbing and a slip-tightening buckle. They can be fired by any small flash on the camera body, and they are quite sensitive.

To improve modelling and give some shadow detail, I swivel one flash to face in towards the subject, and leave one facing straight forward. This gives me F16 or better. I also used this arrangement with a reversed 50mm lens on the front of the 100mm lens.

It is early days yet, but I think this is more promising than the previous lash-up I designed with two full-sized variable power flashes and heavy brackets to hold it all together. I was trying to emulate the manfrotto macro bracket, but the whole thing was too heavy and awkward for hand-holding.

You could actually fit three of these units around the lens-hood if you wanted more light. This would emulate a powerful ring-flash set-up, and probably allow you to reach significant magnification at reasonable apertures.

As always, focussing is difficult, due to the massive light loss at high magnification, but I have the germ of a plan to solve that problem with a light-weight ring-light assembly using 3 AAA cell batteries and high brightness white LED's. Hope this is of some use to you.

this sounds cool as well. how much are they brand new? I bought mine used for next to nothing. I have never seen them sold anywhere around here.
when you have the pocket flash mounted on the side of your lens, how do you contol the amount of flash so it isn't over exposed? does it give lens flare at side angles?

If possible could you take a pic of your set up mounted on your lens?

this would be much appreciated

thanks


randy
01-30-2007, 04:56 PM   #14
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lighting

You are not limited to a flash. You could do a DIY LED panel or ring light that you just turn on as opposed to having it flash. Somebody did one I think last year, I think it was on the 'other' site, and in the thread it linked to a couple others. If it was infact the 'other' site I am not sure if it was the Pentax forum or another forum there. There was enough in the thread to give some ideas on making a light panel to suit your macro needs.
01-30-2007, 08:01 PM   #15
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Thanks Randy, that seems quite the setup you have there, and your idea using LED's might be just the ticket. I shall print off your ideas for future reference. Maybe we can connect later after I have had a bit of time to get used to my K10D (due to be delivered tomorrow) My email address is antrev@cogeco.ca.......I am quite handy too and have devised umpteen gadgets for my other hobbies..(fishing diving and boating) so I would be interested in jury-rigging a lighting setup for macro a little later on.
regards Tony.
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