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PostPosted: Tue Aug 28, 2007 9:43 am 
Mostly people do not like spiders or flies or insects in general, because insects are annoying, ugly and some can give a nasty sting....but if you take a closer look at them they are quite interesting.
So if you like to see some flies, spiders, weevils or other bugs you could visit my insect-set at flickr. http://www.flickr.com/photos/59821394@N00/sets/72157601629280576/

The photo's of the smaller insects(flies,weevils,jumping spiders) are made by using a Canon MP-E65 macrolens.....the larger insects(dragons,grasshoppers) are photographt with a Canon 300mm tele.

Peter


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 28, 2007 10:20 pm 
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Peter, those photographs are truly spectacular!

We need to know more about how you did them! Tell us more about the Canon MP-E65 macro lens - is it easy to use? Is the depth of field hard to work with?

What kind of lighting do you use? And how do you get the insects to stand still long enough? Are they in fact deceased, or do you have a colection of co-operative pets?!

Sorry for so many questions, but the photos are wonderful and I'm sure I'm not the only one who wants to know more about how to do them!

Gordon


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 29, 2007 11:45 am 
Gordon Laing wrote:

We need to know more about how you did them! Tell us more about the Canon MP-E65 macro lens - is it easy to use? Is the depth of field hard to work with?

What kind of lighting do you use? And how do you get the insects to stand still long enough? Are they in fact deceased, or do you have a colection of co-operative pets?!

Sorry for so many questions, but the photos are wonderful and I'm sure I'm not the only one who wants to know more about how to do them!

Gordon


The Canon MP-E65 is a macro lens that can only be used for macrophotography.Other macrolenses can be use for portraits or other uses than macro...this MP-E65 can not be used that way.It does not focus at infinity. This fully manual lens "zooms" between 1:1 (lifesize) and 5:1( 5x lifesize) .This means when used on a 30D or 400D (or other 1.6crop bodies) at 1:1 lifesize you could fill the photo with objects 22x15mm in size.....at 5:1 you can fill the photo with an object 4,4 x 3 mm in size. The workingdistance is very limited at 1:1 its about 100mm at the 5:1 setting its 40mm between subject and front lens. There's no focusring , you can focus by moving the lens back or forwards.
It takes a long time to get used to this lens....but once you get the hang of it there's nothing in Canons line-up that gets even close. The sharpness is really unbelievable. I have used the good Ef 100mm2.8macro for a while....but when you compare the photo's taken with this lens at 1:1 against the MP-E lens they do not look sharp at all.(sorry Canon).

For the best results you need to use a flash with this lens. The workdistances are very short and the shadow cast by your gear blocks most natural ambiant light. Most other macrophotographers that i know use a Canon MR14 ex(ringflash) or a Canon MT24 ex(twin flash) . These are both very good but really expensive. I do not use them . I use the build in flash from my 30D and a special flash softener (diffuser) that i attach at the front of the MP-E65 lens. The light that comes from the flash gets spread evenly on the diffuser plate and gives a soft light on my subject. Normally the light from the build-in flash would not reach in front of the lens because the lens blocks most of it. When used with this diffuser i can work at 2,5:1 without any other lightsource. The diffuser is just a piece semi transparent neutral colored plastic( 20x15cm) with a hole cut at the bottom.The lens fits snuggly in this hole. Without the diffuser(softener) the light would be to hard ,an this gives to much reflections on the shiny parts of the insect. Hard light also gives dark ugly shadows.
When i want to work at higher magnification (2,5:1 and higher) i use a Ex 430 speedlite(with a diffuser , softbox or an omnibounce cap) that i use with an off-shoe cord. The flash is attached on a flexible arm that i can bend in the exact position that i need.

The camera is always set on M-mode. Aperture at the max f16 setting, shutterspeed at max sync 1/250sec. By using a higher or lower flash output i can bring more ore less light on the subject. After a while you know the exact settings that fit the situation.

At short workdistance the depht of field (dof) is very narrow. No more than 2mm at the 1:1 end(at f16) and maybe 1/4 mm at 5:1(at f16). So you need good eyesight to get the focus exactly where you need it.

All the insects that i photograph are alive and well....there absolutely no fun in photographing dead ones. Photographing fast moving insects(flies) can be compared to hunting rabbits and birds( but without killing them). You need to move slow without making to much noise. The first photo is critical....some insects are allready gone when the flash fires....all you get is a piece of theirs wings or legs at the top of the picture....others remain in place and you can take several shots before they fly or run off.
I think they get stunned by the flash and it takes them a while to see again :lol:

I hope this info is usefull to somebody.....and please forgive me my bad writing in English :oops:


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 30, 2007 12:48 am 
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Hi Peter, that's great advice, thanks! And also some really inspirational photos and techniques.

So for focusing, do you have the camera mounted on some kind of rack?


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 30, 2007 9:47 am 
Hi Gordon

I never use a tripod or monopod for macrophotography with the MP-E65. A tripod or monopod is very usefull when you got a lot of workdistance and a macrolens that can focus between lifesize1:1 and infinity.You cant focus with this MP-E macrolens without moving it between 100 and 40mm distance from the subject. Flies, bees, spiders dont wait long before they move....by the time a tripod and rack is in place, they allready moved on. For me its just not a flexible enough solution......but there are photographers that use camerasupport and get good results when photographing aphids or tiny snails.(very small slow moving insects)
Thats why i mostly use this lens handheld with a flash at max shutterspeed( 1/250sec 30D). Using the camera handheld allows me to move from ground level up to 2meter in no time.....rotating and positioning the camera in smaller places goes a lot faster without a tripod or support. When ever possible i will try to find some extra support near the insect to rest my camera or my hands a bit.(rock ,tree)

Grtz Peter


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 30, 2007 10:37 pm 
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Peter, I'm even more impressed now I learn you're doing this handheld!


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 Post subject: Great work
PostPosted: Fri Aug 31, 2007 8:41 am 
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Hi Peter,

Thank you very much for posting the link to your pictures on flickr. I very
nearly missed seeing them and that would have been a great shame as
you have been doing some wonderful work.

My favourite is this one
    Image
I hope it was OK to link to one of your pictures for this post. Please post more as you can.

Have you thought of using the BBCode image tags in your posts to help promote your work?

Bob.

P.S. If you haven't used the image tags before then here is the string I
used to display the picture above. Note that I have replaced "[" by "{" and
"]" by "}" so that you can see how I did it. Obviously you would need to
use "[" and "]" and enable "Smilies".

{list}{url=http://www.flickr.com/photos/59821394@N00/sets/72157601629280576/}{img}http://farm1.static.flickr.com/161/425854136_3448f4cd8a.jpg{/img}{/url}{/list}

The "list" tags are solely there to move the image off the left margin and
the enclosing url tags make your picture "clickable".

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 31, 2007 3:19 pm 
Thanks Bob and Gordon for the nice comments on my macro-pics.
I will try to use the "BBCode" next time Bob. I am a complete noob in using these different way's of linking photo's.

Grts Peter


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 Post subject: My pleasure
PostPosted: Fri Aug 31, 2007 3:58 pm 
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Houtmeyers Peter wrote:
Thanks Bob and Gordon for the nice comments on my macro-pics.
I will try to use the "BBCode" next time Bob. I am a complete noob in using these different way's of linking photo's.

Grts Peter

As this is a photography site and you are the one taking great photographs and I am the one talking about coding forum messages I guess that makes me the noob, not you. :D

Bob.

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Leica D Vario-Elmar 14mm-150mm f/3.5 - f/5.6 ASPH.
OM-D E-M5, H-PS14042E, Gitzo GT1541T, Arca-Swiss Z1 DP ball-head.
Astrophotography: TEC 140 'scope, FLI ML16803 camera, ASA DDM60 Pro mount.


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 31, 2007 11:55 pm 
Awesome shots Peter!

Darrin


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 01, 2007 4:57 pm 
I concur...Awesome. the detail on some of those ultra close ups was great.


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 09, 2007 11:21 am 
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Unbelievable, Peter!
technically I'm stunned by the depth of field that you get with these magnifications at f16. Seems to me you suspended some laws of optics :wink:
See my own weak effort on a spider this morning here.
Unfortunately I only had the shortest of short wide-angle zooms at hand (Sigma 10-20mm). Bad luck if you want to do some macro-work...

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 14, 2007 8:09 am 
Thanks for taking the time to look at my photo's Tombomba2. :D
You seem to have captured a female wasp-spider in your photo.They are harmless to humans. These spiders use a reinforced web to catch their victims( zig-zag pattern on the spot where they wait for prey).
An ultra wide angle is not the best lens for macro....but its very good for close-up photography. At the same magnification the depht of field is equal to other lenses.....however the apparent depht of field(the distance where all seems to be sharp) is much wider than with a normal lens. The downside is that you need to get very close to fill the frame with smaller objects.


Last edited by Houtmeyers Peter on Fri Sep 14, 2007 12:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 14, 2007 9:57 am 
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I'm one of those weirdos I'm afraid. I do appreciate the technique involved in shooting insects but they literally turn my stomach, sorry. I'm so bad that if I'm reading a book and I think there may be a photo of an insect on the next page then I have to open it with stealth because I can't bare to touch the image. Told you I was weird, lol.

Zorro.

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 14, 2007 10:38 am 
Spectacular pictures Peter! Well done.


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