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Macro Gone Micro to Journey continues

February 21, 2014  •  2 Comments

 

You may remember that I have an interest in Macro photography.  I also have a microscope that I bolt my camera too, but wouldn't it be neat if I had a Micro Lens ? Well a friend of mine does. So I asked him to come down to my studio and do a little experimentation on a few odd objects we found lying around.  

 

This is the set up we used - 

Camera: Canon 1D MkIV

Lens: Canon MPE 65 f2.8

Flash: Canon MR-14EX

Powerblock for flash: Calumet Speedlight Powerblock 900

Focus rack: Novoflex Castel-cross Q with Cast-fine fine focussing adjuster.

Kirk Arca plate for camera.

 
it weights a fair bit and is huge so requires a Tripod. Although Ken was telling me that some photographers have actually held it manually when photographing butterflies etc outdoors.

Why I found this shoot interesting is because we had exactly the same problems that I did with microscope.  The DoF is very narrow, making 3 dimensional objects very different to keep in focus throughout.  We looked in to this and apparently the best thing to do is take a sequence of photos like with the micro scope work, move the focal point and repeat the process, stack the photos then all should be in focus.  The other issue you have is trying to ensure you have your subject in focus in the first place. The screen on the back of the camera is very small, so zoom in.  Just breathing next to the equipment caused camera shake too, the click of the mirror (corrected by using the mirror up method) all made the image shake.  I guess thats the advantage to using a lab scope.  

however the images produced were far superior to anything I had done previously.  

 
 

This is a tea towel.  Or should I say a 5 ml section of one.  It  demonstrates the issues with the narrow DoF and if you could zoom in, it would be very difficult to find 1 strand of fibre actually in focus.  It was at this point we knew we had a lot of work to do.  

This next image was of a feather.  Don't breath as the fluffy bits will move and you'll have no chance !

I'm not quite sure what I wanted to see on this. Probably not the best subject.  There are a number of settings (As with a microscope) on the magnification, however unless you have a completely solid surface to work on, don't bother. 

 This first image didn't really show me anything a normal macro lens can't do.  Again, actual crisp focus was near impossible to do. 

We started to play around with some of the settings.  Magnification on these lenses is amazing.  I'm going to study the next thing I want to look at on a micro level.  

This beauty is amazing.  Taken by Ken, its a Cactus Flower. Thats what it's all about. We know the lengths at which the detail achievable is.  

 

I'm hoping we will have another session to try and improve on our current findings.  if you are interested in coming along, I'll set it up in my studio and we can all have a go.

I will put a date in my calendar and you can email me. 

STUDIO AVAILABILITY CALENDAR

catherine.heaps@cj-photography.com

 


Comments

2.C J Media Solutions Ltd
Great explanation ken. I am sure with practice we will get some incredible images.
1.Ken(non-registered)
The photo of the camera shows the lens when it is extended for 3X magnification. Although it is capable of 5X magnification, I have only really succeeded at about 3X. At Cath's studio we were pushing the magnification as far as it would go to 5x. The f2.8 maximum aperture is not the usable aperture as that varies with the magnification.
I bought this lens to extend my nature photography. There is a steep learning curve with it. It is a pure macro lens so it does not focus further than a few inches. The focussing ring is really a ring to set the magnification - focussing is done by changing the lens to subject distance like a microscope. I have found the foot of the lens mount gets in the way of the focussing rack on the 1D due to the size of the camera.
In the field it will be impossible to use the focussing rack so the Arca type mount enables me to quickly attach it to my monopod.
Like using a long telephoto lens, it will take a while to fine tune my technique with it, but I knew that before I bought it.
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