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Tips on GREAT Macro Shots?

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  • Tips on GREAT Macro Shots?

    I have found a love for Macro shots, so much so that i just purchased a Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 USM Macro lens. (Cost a few pay checks for sure )

    I currently have the Canon Rebel XTi and I have the Canon EF-S 17-85mm f/4-5.6 IS USM Lens and the Canon EF 70-300mm f4.5-5.6 DO IS USM lens.

    Anyways, I LOVE the Macro lens, and have gotten some very good shots with them of small animals (Frogs, such as in my display pic), flowers, plants, and some fun water droplets.

    HOWEVER, i haven't been able to do any Great shots of smaller things, such as BUGS... I would really like to get some great Macro shots of bugs. You know the ones i mean... the close up on fly's eyes, or so close the the insect you can see the hair on there legs.

    PLEASE give me some tips on how to get close the bugs, and also if there is anything i need besides the 100mm Macro lens, as it doesnt seem to get me close enough (and lets be honest... the bug would fly away if i got as close up to it as i would need to get a 1:1 shot )
    I heard something about extension tubes or something? I'm saving up for a Macro Flash as well.

    THANKS so much. This is my first post, so hopefully i did this correctly haha

    Here is one of my Macro shots. Photobucket
    Last edited by nutmeg; 07-13-2008, 10:23 PM.

  • #2
    Sounds like you might want to save up for a Canon MP-E 65mm macro lens too...although it involves being much closer that the 100mm is at 1:1 but if you want close ups of insects in the field it's the tool for the job. (I'm lucky enough to have both the 100mm for larger insects and the MP-E 65mm for smaller insects and detail shots. Loads of macro pics on my Flickr )

    To get closer with the 100mm I'd suggest getting a set of Kenko extension tubes which at minimum focus will give you about 2:1, doubling your magnification. A flash is very handy....the closer you go the more you'll likely find you need flash. I find the Canon MR-14 EX ringflash works very well with the 100mm and would happily recommend it.

    Thing is if you want to get closer shots of insects you will need to be able to get physically closer to them...or at least the front of the lens will be closer to the subject! Practice approaching the subject slowly and try not to cast a shadow on it.
    Andrew - My pics on Flickr
    Canon 7D, 24mm f/2.8, 50mm f/1.4, MP-E 65mm macro, TS-E 90mm, 100mm macro

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    • #3
      er nutmeg, you need to reduce the size of your picture 600px is the limit, it pushed way out of bounds on my screen
      And God said, "Let there be light". Ever since then man has been trying to capture it!
      If your work speaks for itself... DON'T interrupt!
      Dreamstime RedBubble My Bubble

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      • #4
        Originally posted by genielamb View Post
        er nutmeg, you need to reduce the size of your picture 600px is the limit, it pushed way out of bounds on my screen
        Thanks for letting me know Geniel. this was my first posts and i just assumed that the website would shrink it to fit My mistake.
        I edited the photo above, so hopefully its better and hopefully you come back to view it
        Thanks

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        • #5
          Originally posted by daft_biker View Post
          Sounds like you might want to save up for a Canon MP-E 65mm macro lens too...

          To get closer with the 100mm I'd suggest getting a set of Kenko extension tubes which at minimum focus will give you about 2:1, doubling your magnification. A flash is very handy....the closer you go the more you'll likely find you need flash. I find the Canon MR-14 EX ringflash works very well with the 100mm and would happily recommend it.

          Thing is if you want to get closer shots of insects you will need to be able to get physically closer to them...or at least the front of the lens will be closer to the subject! Practice approaching the subject slowly and try not to cast a shadow on it.

          Hey daft_biker... thanks for all of your time in your very helpful response. WOW now i really want ANOTHER new Macro lens haha.

          And the Flash looks really cool. I am debating between the ring that goe's around the end of the lens - Can you change how much light comes out of different areas of the ring? or is it just and even ring of light? - and the one that has to seperate flashes coming off a metal ring that you can swival around the lens, so that you have a main and a fill light kind of thing.

          What exactly is an "Extension tube" does it just double the focal lenght of the lens you are using? does it work with ALL of my lens? or do i have to buy different ones for each lens?
          I checked out your Flicker... OMG you are AMAZING. Sorry for all the questions but you obviously know what you are doing with Macro

          I will work on my Insect STEALTH sneak up mode haha

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          • #6
            Happy to help

            Extension tubes are just empty tubes that fit between the lens and camera. They do increase focal length but the main reason for using them is usually to reduce the minimum focus distance. (Don't worry...there is still a good distance between lens and subject with the 100mm and tubes on)

            As for which flash.....ringflash(MR-14) or twin flash(MT-24).....generally speaking I use the ringflash on my 100mm and the twin flash for the higher magnifications on the MP-E 65mm. The Canon ringflash does allow you to adjust each half of the ring so you can balance the output.....I thinks that's a very important feature and I wouldn't get a cheaper ringflash like the Marumi for that reason. Personally I find that the twin flash isn't an advantage on the 100mm unless you plan to mount the little lights on tripods rather than the lens (unlikely?). I find the more diffuse light from the ringflash is preferable and the ringflash is also more controllable at low power settings....eg using a little fill flash to fill in shadows from one side and the sun as your main light.
            Andrew - My pics on Flickr
            Canon 7D, 24mm f/2.8, 50mm f/1.4, MP-E 65mm macro, TS-E 90mm, 100mm macro

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            • #7
              getting in closer

              you might want to consider also the sigma 180mm macro, you don't have to get as close to the subject.

              http://www.sigmaphoto.com/lenses/len...84&navigator=5
              KASEY

              Pentax K10D, K20D, K100D IR converted body
              50/f1.4, 77/f1.8, 16-45/f4.0, DA*50-135/f2.8, DA*300/4.0, sigma 180 macro/f3.5
              www.pbase.com/kclanin, http://www.pentaxphotogallery.com/karenclanin

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              • #8
                You shouldn't need anything more than that 100mm macro, 100mm is probably the best range for a macro lens, all you need is a little luck and practice. Just keep up the good work, the frog looks great.
                CAMERA'S;
                K7, K100d, K1000

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                • #9
                  thanks

                  Thanks everyone for all of the help and imput.

                  I tried going outside for a few hours to try and get some shots of some bugs. I was fortunate enough to see a dragonfly land, but by the time i got close enough to get it in focus it flew away and i haven't seen on since.

                  All of the other bugs i was finding were just moving and flying around to fast to focus on them. They wouldnt land for more then 2 seconds.

                  I live by the lake so you would think there would be more bugs, But by the time i would spot one, turn my camera to take a pic they have flown off somewhere esle.
                  its so frustrating haha.

                  Oh well practice, practice i guess

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                  • #10
                    Tubes are definitely needed for some of those super amazing shots

                    I have no where near the amount of cash needed for a good setup, but let me share with you some of the best shots I've seen. You can see his setup on the website as well:
                    http://www.bugography.com/

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by nutmeg View Post
                      Oh well practice, practice i guess
                      Yup

                      Try not to get excited when you see a bug and make a sudden dash for it or it will likely try to make a sharp exit! Take your time and it will become easier with practice. Keep at it
                      Andrew - My pics on Flickr
                      Canon 7D, 24mm f/2.8, 50mm f/1.4, MP-E 65mm macro, TS-E 90mm, 100mm macro

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                      • #12
                        If getting close is your problem you could try using teleconverters. They do degrade image quality a tad and will make you lose an f/stop but if you use a 2x teleconverter not only will you be able to get a magnification ration of 2:1 but 1:1 will be at double the distance leaving you a bit more working room. Make sure that if you go this route you know the teleconverter will work on your lens.

                        For the future you could also go for longer macro lenses. The Sigma and Canon 180mm's are the best there are but the Sigma 150mm macro seems better to me personally(it's not as heavy so easier for hand holding and it's also f/2.8 where the 180mm's are f/3.5).

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