I could use some help with macro photography...
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Old 01-28-2006, 01:00 AM   #1
algae
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I could use some help with macro photography...


About six months ago, I bought a Canon A510 to record my progress in this new planted tank hobby. I STILL cannot take a macro shot. I've run for the camera many times when the tank inhabitants pose for photos, but I've never been able to get the shot. Normal shots of the tank from several feet away are fine, but the extreme close-ups just ain't happenin'.
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Am I missing something? Do I need an attachment or separate lense?
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Old 01-28-2006, 01:11 AM   #2
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Are you setting your camera to macro mode for macro shots? Along with using wideangle setting, this should get you awfully close. Do you let the camera focus (shutter half pressed until it beeps)? Do you use flash? Do you support the camera so you don't move it while pressing the shutter? How do your images turn out? Are they out of focus, do you get reflections, what's wrong?
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Old 01-28-2006, 01:57 AM   #3
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In macro mode, I just can't get the camera to focus in the display. I've tried extending to infinity, and then physically moving the camera in and out...then brought the lense to the opposite extreme, alternately moving the camera and focusing. It just won't focus. If I even bother to attempt a shot, it's just a blur.
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The flash shouldn't enter into this, but I usually have it off. For the 10g countertop tank, I can handhold while bracing against the counter. That wouldn't come into play though, before the photo is even taken. Again, I think that I should be able to at least get a clear image on the display, even handheld.
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Old 01-28-2006, 06:46 PM   #4
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.........anyone?
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Old 01-28-2006, 07:26 PM   #5
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If you push the 'flower' button again you'll get to manual macro focus. You can set it to the number of inches/cm that you want (test by focusing on somthing nice and sharp like a book at your selected distance) then rotate the camera toward the tank and you should be able to shoot objects in the tank at your chosen distance. You can then focus up or down from there. Best shots will come from shooting with no flash in a darkened room looking straight into the tank with a motionless camera. I use a 2 second shutter delay to minimize jiggling and a tripod. You can get mini tripods for cheap, or a stack of books on your counter might get you to the right altitude on the cheap. I hope this helps.
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Old 01-28-2006, 11:36 PM   #6
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http://www.ximinasphotography.com/lessons/
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Old 01-29-2006, 01:19 AM   #7
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Ahh...it never occurred to me to go into manual mode. I'll try it. Nice link there, also.
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Old 01-29-2006, 04:39 PM   #8
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I found that it is very hard to get good macros without flash. Motion blurryness increalses as you get closer. Of course, if it is a plant or other non-moving object that is not a big problem, as long as you use a tripod or other way to stabilize the camera sufficiently.

Without flash, I usually have to use shutter speeds of 1/4 sec or so, there is no way to do that handheld.

Flash provides two things: controlled, neutral light, and a short enough exposure to do handheld shots. Most flashes have a timing of around 1/1000, with your camera set to around 1/60 to 1/250.
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