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 Post subject: Macro Problem
PostPosted: Tue Jun 24, 2008 3:23 pm 
Today I was trying to take a close up shot of a fly and I just could not get it to focus.

I tried both my 18-70 and 75-300 lens but I could not get the image to focus on the fly when I held or zoomed close in to the fly. I tried it on AF and Manual but not much luck. I had the camera set on Macro mode.

Here is a photo of the closest I could get with the fly in focus, but as you can see its not 100% even from this distance

Original image:
Image

Croped Image:
Image

What am I doing wrong and how can I solve this problem? My girlfriend with a Lumix TZ5 camera was getting much better shots than my £400 DSLR as she was able to focus on the fly when the sly was nearly toutching the lens.

Help!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jun 24, 2008 5:08 pm 
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Short answer: the lenses you have are not "macro" lenses. They have a minimum focus distance that is far enough away so that you can't get close.

Compacts are flexible in that respect, as they're designed to cope adequately with everything, rather than be good in specific areas.

A cheap solution to this would be to look at macro lenses. Not a full lens, but the ones that fit like a filter to an existing lens. I recently got a set off ebay for £13 delivered. Also called "close up lenses" or "macro filters". These magnify the image and allow you to focus closer than normal. Not as good as a true macro lens, but a lot cheaper!

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Canon DSLRs: 7D2, 7D1, 5D2, 1D, 600D, 450D full spectrum, 300D IR mod
Lenses: EF 35/2, 85/1.8, 135/2+SF, 28-80 V, 70-300L, 100-400L, TS-E 24/3.5L, MP-E 65, EF-S 10-18, 15-85
3rd party: Zeiss 2/50 makro, Samyang 8mm fisheye, Sigma 50/1.4A, 150 macro, 120-300 f/2.8 OS
Compacts: Sony HX9V, Fuji X100.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jun 24, 2008 6:37 pm 
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Hmmm, the 1st photo shows that you clearly have a zone of focus around the fly. So it's a little irritating not to have a single sharp bit on the second photo. Not even before nor behind the fly (that would have been the case if the focal point was not exactly on the fly.
So this rather looks like one of two possibleprobs:
- Camera shake? Try again at a static object from a tripod or with very good support
- low IQ from the lens at these distances!? Well try the above and if you can eliminate shake then it must be low IQ :?

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jun 24, 2008 6:40 pm 
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Thomas could be right here, camera shake, figure you're zoomed in on it, so event at a fast shutter speed, if you were to move it a little bit, but It also does come down to the lens, get a dedicated macro and tripod, problem solved.

Jake

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jun 24, 2008 8:06 pm 
I userstand how Shake could improve the shot, but it was so difficult to get a focus on the fly... That image I posted above was as close as I could phisicaly get to the fly before it was totaly blury. I may have been able to get it in focus if i moved back a bit but then it wouldent have been so close.

Thoes £13 filters sound interesting!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jun 24, 2008 8:22 pm 
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Again, looking closely at your 2. crop it seems that the sharpest area is at the fly. At least I can see some deterioration of sharpness in front of and behind the fly. This in turn means that the lens was focussed correctly and the reason for the low IQ must lie somewhere else :idea:

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jun 24, 2008 9:42 pm 
Well your more experianced than me so I will take your word for it, could be shake Then. it was taken at 300mm by hand with no support.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jun 24, 2008 10:19 pm 
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I don't know if those closeup lenses will necessarily help in this situation, but I have just written a bit about the set I have here.

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Canon DSLRs: 7D2, 7D1, 5D2, 1D, 600D, 450D full spectrum, 300D IR mod
Lenses: EF 35/2, 85/1.8, 135/2+SF, 28-80 V, 70-300L, 100-400L, TS-E 24/3.5L, MP-E 65, EF-S 10-18, 15-85
3rd party: Zeiss 2/50 makro, Samyang 8mm fisheye, Sigma 50/1.4A, 150 macro, 120-300 f/2.8 OS
Compacts: Sony HX9V, Fuji X100.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jun 24, 2008 11:03 pm 
Can you post some of your shooting data?

Shutter speed, aperture, iso?

Getting a sharp macro shot handheld, usually boils down to:

Fast enough shutter speed to freeze shake
Small enough aperture to get everything you want in focus
High enough ISO to accomplish both of the previous steps while maintaining a decent exposure level

Even still though, it can be tough! Practice, practice, practice :D


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jun 24, 2008 11:17 pm 
Shuter: 1/400 S
Focal Length: 300mm
Aperture: F5.6
ISO: 400


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