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Posts Tagged ‘macro’

200mm with a Marumi Macro 3 lens attached.

200mm with a Marumi Macro 3 lens attached.

I got a new set of filters today, 3 Marumi filters: a +3 macro, a circular polarizer and a neutral density. After looking at all of them I immediately put the +3 macro onto my lenses to try it out in my backyard.

At first I tried it with a 50mm f/1.8, I could focus a lot closer to the lens but the region I could focus shrank a bit. It was small to begin with. If I was shooting still objects they photos would have come out sharper with a better focus. However I was thwarted by a light consistent wind.

Then to try out the extreme I put it on my 55-200 VR lens keeping it at 200mm. The focus distance went down from about three feet in front of the lens down to a foot or so. Again the focus region was small but this lens had autofocus. Or at first I thought that this would make it easier, the AF for either the lens or the camera body (D6o) was slow and not very good with macro. I quickly reverted to manual focus (except when trying to shoot moving bees).

The image quality was alright. For the 50mm it was pretty good, not as sharp as it usually is but not bad either. At 200mm it is not that sharp and there is a lot of soft glow spread around the image. The images at smaller focal lengths did look better and I only practiced in direct sunlight. Though I feel that there might not be enough light to use the +3 lens by hand without direct sunlight.

I don’t have a dedicated macro lens or any other close-up lenses to compare this Marumi lens with but so far it has been fun to play with. I don’t know how I will use it in the future or if the images will be sharp enough (maybe I should not do 200mm?) for decent macro photography.

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Reimu, made by my suite-mate and a star of the Touhou Project games.

Reimu, made by my suite-mate and a star of the Touhou Project games.

Cruising around on the internet I came across a brief article on how to make a macro studio for dirt cheap. This was almost as exciting as finding instructions on how to make a cheap panoramic tripod head out of plywood (if I only had access to the needed tools I would make it).

With nothing better to do, or more accurately no desire to do anything else I made a shoddy little macro studio. One set of instructions suggested a large piece of white paper, butcher paper would have been ideal, an off camera flash would also help greatly and don’t mention the needed macro lens. Since I was making a cheap paper box I correspondingly did not have any of these, not even the paper.

What I did have was printer paper, two desk lights, two LED flashlights and my trusty 50mm f/1.8 lens. I read the instructions, tried them and failed at the folding since I really was not reading it, however I did come up with an almost passable little set up. Here is a shot of what my desk looked like after this macro studio venture:

My desk after being inspired to build a macro studio.

My desk after being inspired to build a macro studio.

At first I calibrated my white balance, exposure and camera angle using my trusty desk knife. One of my limitations is that I did not have long enough paper so that I only had a small level area to work with, if I went farther out I encountered the seam between the pieces of paper. One advantage I did have was I had a willing subject. My suite-mate is big on origami and making paper creations and they happen to be about the right size for my studio.

While he was not looking I abducted Reimu from his desk to star in my little experiment in macro photography. I felt that it went well, I realized afterwards that my white balance was off but a little editing solved that problem. Two other issues arose: I could have really used some black paper as a backdrop and I now need a true macro lens. An off camera flash might also be beneficial, or maybe a more useful 4100 lumen flashlight.

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