A few macro shots - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-19-2011, 10:29 PM Thread Starter
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A few macro shots

Few shots i took yesternight


CRS 1 by xJaypex, on Flickr





Obviously i need more practice.
Thanks for watching.
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post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-19-2011, 11:29 PM
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Tops! thanks for posting. They look to be the size of a city bus in the pics.
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If at first you don't succeed,,, keep kicking it
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post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-20-2011, 01:28 AM
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Nice pics, what camera/lens? Did you use a flash?


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post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-20-2011, 01:55 AM
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Nice shots

I know I wasn't by the lens, but my guess is that a flash was used...pretty sure I can see the reflection in the glass in a couple pics...that, or there's a significant amount of light coming in from behind the camera somewhere.

One pointer that will probably help out tons with getting better pictures: if possible, try to not use a direct flash, that'd be why you're ending up with a high amount of contrast and a loss of detail in the whites. If you're using a point and shoot, turn off the flash if you can, and just get a HIGH amount of light coming in at about a 45 degree angle from the top of the tank. I'm sure you'll see a dramatic difference if you play around with the lighting a bit
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post #5 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-20-2011, 06:15 AM Thread Starter
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Tops! thanks for posting. They look to be the size of a city bus in the pics.
No problem dude!
I printed a picture out and my dad couldn't believe a camera can take pictures that close, he's not much of a tech guy at all.


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post #6 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-20-2011, 06:18 AM Thread Starter
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Nice pics, what camera/lens? Did you use a flash?

Thank you,
I used sony DSLR with the Minolta AF 100 F2.8 Macro lense and a bower macro ring flash.


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post #7 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-20-2011, 06:20 AM Thread Starter
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Nice shots

I know I wasn't by the lens, but my guess is that a flash was used...pretty sure I can see the reflection in the glass in a couple pics...that, or there's a significant amount of light coming in from behind the camera somewhere.

One pointer that will probably help out tons with getting better pictures: if possible, try to not use a direct flash, that'd be why you're ending up with a high amount of contrast and a loss of detail in the whites. If you're using a point and shoot, turn off the flash if you can, and just get a HIGH amount of light coming in at about a 45 degree angle from the top of the tank. I'm sure you'll see a dramatic difference if you play around with the lighting a bit
Thanks for the pointers, i used a macro ring flash and still figuring out how to reduce the brightness. The reflection is a bit of a problem with it, but also couldnt get as much detail without it. Any tips with a ring flash?


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post #8 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-20-2011, 01:20 PM
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Thanks for the pointers, i used a macro ring flash and still figuring out how to reduce the brightness. The reflection is a bit of a problem with it, but also couldnt get as much detail without it. Any tips with a ring flash?
Actually...I do

I used to use a macro ring back when I used a 35mm. Since switching to digital, I haven't experimented with it (that's what happens when you switch from Canon to Nikon and your equipment becomes useless, haha).

That being said...I haven't had the chance to play around with the white balance in combination with the ring flash. There's a chance that if you manually adjust your white balance settings, you may be able to get a bit more detail in the whites. BUT, I think the main issue that you're having is really just the direct flash combined with the fact that you are shooting a subject that's highly reflective.

The unfortunate disadvantage of the ring flash is that you usually lose the ability to control the intensity of the flash...I know this was the case with my canon...it basically shutoff the controls on the shoe mounted unit. So...you have a couple options.

1) Go back to the shoe mounted flash, ditching the ring flash. Angle the shoe mount upwards and bounce it off a reflective surface above the tank. White posterboard works fine for this...and if you don't have a volunteer to hold it for you, just rig it up some way. It can be awkward, but it works, and is cheaper than buying a fancy umbrella or light box.

Who want's to ditch a fancy ring flash though

2) Keep using the ring flash, but instead of mounting it on the lens, use a bracket and mount it above the camera, at about 45 degrees to the tank like I mentioned. If the cord is long enough...you basically already have a (wired) remote flash to put to use. I dunno if you're shooting with a tripod already...but if you happen to have a spare one, it's pretty easy to just hang it somewhere on the tripod and go to town. I've used a ziptie in the past and it's worked out great.

I have some 35mm prints that I shot like this at an aquarium in Spain...without a macro lens. I'll see if I can "take a picture of the picture" with any luck. If I can, I'll upload those and show you the results. Since you can't adjust the intensity from the shoe mount, all you have to do is play around with the distance and angle to compromise for that, and it makes a noticeable difference.

As I said though, impressive pics...you're making me want to get back into macro after shooting landscapes and portraits for the past several years. Once you get dialed in with the settings, macro can be a lot of fun.
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post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-20-2011, 05:21 PM
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Like jahmic is saying, you really need to be able to mount the flash or bright lights above the tank so you don't get the reflection on the glass. It also makes the pictures appear more natural because we are used to seeing sunlight from above. Keep playing around with it, I get 1-3 good macro shots out of every hundred I take.

Here's a shot I took using a Nikon D40x, Sigma 150mm macro lens, and a flash mounted above the tank. There's more here: https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/ta...9-edge-6g.html

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post #10 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-20-2011, 11:41 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the tips!

Dont know why i didnt think of it earlier. I removed the flash from the lense and just placed it on the side and got better results.






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post #11 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-20-2011, 11:48 PM
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Much better, good work!


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post #12 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-21-2011, 12:02 AM
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Looks GREAT.

but...now I wanna go out and buy a macro lens for my Nikon, lol.


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post #13 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-22-2011, 11:39 PM Thread Starter
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Much better, good work!
Thanks!

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Looks GREAT.

but...now I wanna go out and buy a macro lens for my Nikon, lol.
Go ahead! Have an eye put for one in particular?



Heres one i just took one one of them munching!!



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post #14 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-23-2011, 01:55 AM
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The problem with a true macro lens is they're crazy expensive. The Nikon 105mm f/2.8 micro lens is legendary but pricey at nearly $1000. The 200mm f/4 is also amazing and would be great for aquaria as you have a greater working distance but it's even worse at $1800. There's a limit to how close you can get to fish without scube gear.
Getting the flash off the camera is a good plan. If the light is still too intense and you can't dial it back (surely there must be a way to dial in negative flash compensation) shoot in manual mode and stop down the aperture until you get the exposure your looking for. With any flash close to the subject the contrast is going to be (too) high. If you can diffuse the light or move it far away from the tank the contrast will be lower and give you a more natural even light.


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post #15 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-23-2011, 02:37 AM
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Awesome closeups

Patience is the name of the game.

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