Photo Blog 62

27 05 2009

So one of the things that I’ve been doing to learn more about photography, apart from doing this photo blog, is to follow various other blogs and instruction based websites. Yesterday there was a really cool tip posted on how to do ‘extreme macro photography’ i.e. photographing really small stuff. What intrigued me is that to the tip involved using a telephoto lens set to ~100mm on the camera and then inverting a 50mm lens infront of this lens and setting both to focus on infinity. As far as I can tell this causes the camera to be focusing exactly on the plane that would correspond to the sensor of the 50mm lens… if it was attached to a camera. You can see a video of what I mean here.

First off, my 24-105mm lens already is technically a macro lens but isn’t really designed as such and the best it can get is this:

Normal Macro (f4.0 1/8 105mm)

Normal Macro (f4.0 1/8 105mm)


which isn’t bad as such lenses go and means there are still lots of interesting creative opportunities.

But that wasn’t the point of this post :-) I played with the method described in the video and found that there were a couple of interesting things:

  1. The 24-105 lens has a 77mm diameter and the 50 lens has a 52mm diameter. These numbers aren’t equal
  2. It is bloody hard to keep the 50mm lens in the middle and impossible not to get the vignette due to the above difference
  3. The depth of field is very, very small (a few millimeters) so is quite hard to get right. And you really need to use a small aperture
  4. It was too hard to get a good image at 100mm so I pulled back to 70mm. It still works, just with more black around the edges
  5. I like playing with stuff but would need a lot more experiment time to get it right

So the first ‘extreme’ image I have illustrates exactly what sort of detail we are talking about here. The image is of the base of the pen cap from the photo above. There has been a bit of cropping to get rid of as much of the black vignette as possible but is still fairly representative of what the technique can do:

Extreme Macro - Detail (f22 2.5s 70mm + inverted 50mm)

Extreme Macro - Detail (f22 2.5s 70mm + inverted 50mm)

Finally, a more artistic shot that shows what can be done. Once again the gold colours are very muted in Firefox compared to a proper viewer but you can see what I was going for:

Extreme Macro - Artistic (f6.3 1/13 70mm + inverted 50mm)

Extreme Macro - Artistic (f6.3 1/13 70mm + inverted 50mm)

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One response

28 05 2009
Chancho

Well look at Mr. FancyPants with his MontBlanc Pen and his two fancy lenses!

For your next post you should take photos of yourself having tea with the Queen!

Seriously, lovely shots though – am really looking forward to seeing more! :)

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