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View Full Version : I Love the 60mm macro


brian1208
4th June 2013, 08:09 AM
The garden has started to come alive with small critters so it was time to dig out the macro kit again - happy days for me :)

I am still amazed at just how good this system is for my favourite genre, see what you think:

These two (2nd is a crop) are a shot I have been after for years and whilst not technically perfect made my day. Its a shot of the Bee's tongues opening up to show the detailed construction (there are around 7 elements in total.)


All these were shot hand-held using ambient light

http://i1130.photobucket.com/albums/m531/oldcanon/Macros%20from%20my%20Garden/beetonguepacking.jpg

http://i1130.photobucket.com/albums/m531/oldcanon/Macros%20from%20my%20Garden/beetonguepackingdetail.jpg

http://i1130.photobucket.com/albums/m531/oldcanon/Macros%20from%20my%20Garden/reddamselflyface.jpg

http://i1130.photobucket.com/albums/m531/oldcanon/Macros%20from%20my%20Garden/antfeedingonnectar.jpg

http://i1130.photobucket.com/albums/m531/oldcanon/Macros%20from%20my%20Garden/HoverflyVolucellabombylans.jpg

http://i1130.photobucket.com/albums/m531/oldcanon/Macros%20from%20my%20Garden/hollyblueonloganberrywingscales.jpg

pvasc
4th June 2013, 08:15 AM
Wow hand held, very nice, no, excellent job. I am not a bug macro fan, frost & snow flakes are my thing. But I do like these pictures.

jamsa
4th June 2013, 10:52 AM
Superb, my macro is on the camera right now but there are no bugs to find!

tomphotofx
4th June 2013, 11:01 AM
Excellent photos I congratulate you for getting WoW results from hand holding and making good use of the ambient light. The 60mm is a stunning lens, makes a good portrait lens too.

Tom :)

Ulfric M Douglas
4th June 2013, 12:31 PM
Awesome getting that tongue thing!
So handheld & no flash?
Oh great job.

Jetset95
4th June 2013, 01:02 PM
Several of the early reviews of the 60mm macro (I assume we're talking the new M4/3 version?) demonstrated how great it was combined with the OM-D IBIS and high ISO capability. Still wanting...

Imageryone
4th June 2013, 01:51 PM
Sterling work, just admiring the shots. Have you tried using the EX-25 or m equivalent with this lens?

Wee man
4th June 2013, 03:11 PM
Super series love the ant and water droplet.

Bluegrass Jim
4th June 2013, 03:38 PM
Hello Brian,
Love your shots and have to agree that it is a fantastic lens, I've been using it as a tele mainly and have yet to really get going with the macro side. Now I've seen yours I know what to aim at! The bee's tongue is brilliant.
Regards Jim.

brian1208
4th June 2013, 03:51 PM
thanks all, I haven't tried the ext. tubes seriously yet, once the current exhibition is over http://www.cadarts.com/news/living-crafts-be-inspired/1196 then I will have more time to play and explore their use

dbutch
4th June 2013, 08:18 PM
These are very good, you say ambient light it is very even did you use a reflector or diffuser?

Dave:)

Swordfish
4th June 2013, 08:49 PM
Stunning detail, especially the bee. Hand held? - amazing.

Martin

brian1208
4th June 2013, 09:05 PM
Dave, no reflector or diffuser, just the ambient light. I tried hard to get the angles right when approaching the subject and juggled with the exposure compensation as needed but I guess I was just lucky with the conditions :)

IainMacD
4th June 2013, 10:21 PM
Great set of images Brian, the bee shots are superb.

Ross the fiddler
4th June 2013, 10:54 PM
All very nice. They are impressive! *yes

*chr

Greytop
4th June 2013, 11:08 PM
Top job Brian, it's a great little lens :)

brianvickers
5th June 2013, 06:42 AM
These are impressive...I'm not an insect person but these are stunning.

Alpha1
5th June 2013, 07:35 AM
Lovely shots Brian, now I really must get that lens!!

I do agree though that the OMD really suits close up work, although I still remember your wonderful panoramic shot of Christchurch harbour and coast, printed on canvas; it was so crisp with detail...not exactly a close up and canvas is renowned for diluting detail anyway!

brian1208
5th June 2013, 07:49 AM
thanks for all the additional comments.

Dave, yes great for close work but also for just about everything else (although BIFs is still "Work in Progress" ;) )

My bees returned to the Loganberry blossom yesterday evening after we got back from the exhibition, so I was able to work a couple more angles on the "Split Tongue" (should be called Proboscis to be correct)

Funny, its like buses, you don't get one for ages then they all come at once :D

http://i1130.photobucket.com/albums/m531/oldcanon/Macros%20from%20my%20Garden/Beetongueparted.jpg


This shot shows the chitinous nature of the structure

http://i1130.photobucket.com/albums/m531/oldcanon/Macros%20from%20my%20Garden/beetonguepartedunderneath.jpg

Anne
5th June 2013, 05:03 PM
Amazing photos, love the ant/water droplet and red bug in particular but they are all really stunning for handheld. I have the lens....I just wish I had some bugs in the garden :-) Or maybe I need to try wearing my glasses more often!

brian1208
5th June 2013, 05:36 PM
Anne, thanks - when I provide macro training for people the first thing I do is take their cameras away and make them walk about the garden just looking and watching. Once they can spot the subjects we watch a bit longer to understand how they behave, then I give them their cameras back! :)

edmund473
5th June 2013, 08:53 PM
Fantastic macro shots great detail. John.

gregles
5th June 2013, 08:59 PM
These are all excellent shots. The detail is stunning but my favourite is the ant with the water droplet*chr

Looking forward to seeing some more:)

Ross the fiddler
6th June 2013, 12:59 AM
Anne, thanks - when I provide macro training for people the first thing I do is take their cameras away and make them walk about the garden just looking and watching. Once they can spot the subjects we watch a bit longer to understand how they behave, then I give them their cameras back! :)

I've found that I just needed to excercise my macro skills when I had the urge & started focussing on flowers & wotnot around the garden & that's when I've spotted the extra small interesting creatures (or other shapes in nature). You are right, just take a close look around the garden now & then (with appropriate specs on too) & it will surprise you what is already there. Other times something comes along & quick action is needed to get the gear together to grab a shot of the creature while it is there & if you're priviledged, you end up with some nice images.

*chr

brian1208
6th June 2013, 05:32 AM
Spot on Ross. The other thing I find is that, if you have the time, a few macro shots every day keeps the "looking and shooting" skills honed so that when something comes along & quick action is needed to get the gear together to grab a shot of the creature while it is there & if you're priviledged, you end up with some nice images.

its easier to achieve this because you don't need to think about your technique or the camera settings as they are more or less instinctive.

(its the old saying, the more I use my camera, the luckier it gets *chr )

Footloose1949
17th June 2013, 11:08 PM
Some excellent shots, I've been chewing the fat over buying this, as I already have the f2.o 50mm 4/3rds version. Just out of curiosity, what f-stop and shutter speed did you use for these shots?

LMGruchy
18th June 2013, 05:33 AM
The ant is fab.

LMGruchy
18th June 2013, 05:35 AM
The macro art thing here might be worth thinking about. The ant is the one which tells the best story, IMHO. I think that shot is fab.

http://www.igpoty.com/about%20the%20competition.asp

brian1208
18th June 2013, 06:28 AM
my shot settings may be a bit of a surprise to some but are in line with my write up on how I get these types of image:

f 4 - f 6.3 (the ant was f5) - 1/640th - 1/800th sec shutter and ISO 400 with some /- ev to taste according to the light. All hand-held

I'm glad you liked these images as I'm trying to get away from my original more scientifically precise but less interesting style of shooting

Anne
18th June 2013, 06:56 AM
I haven't worked out how to put sections in quotes yet....but thanks for the advice Brian & Ross. I always try to plant 'bee & butterfly friendly' plants in the garden and yesterday picked up a brilliant little bush from the garden centre which looks like it will be bee central :-)

I have played a little with the lens with and without my cheapie LED ring flash from HK (having liked a much more expensive one at Focus but unable to justify the purchase) but with the warm forecast today and my new plant, I'm hoping to get some willing models!!

A quick question though....do you rely on the OM D's autofocus or are you using manual focus? With my (now feels too heavy!) Nikon D200/sigma 105 combo I was using manual focus and just moving the camera back and forth but with the Olympus I really struggle to use manual focus with the EVF and rely on AF. Is there a better way I could approach this?

I will work out how to post photos as well and put a couple up later :-) Got to love being a newbie on a forum!

brian1208
18th June 2013, 07:56 AM
Anne, in a similar way to you but with one difference, I now use SAF to get focus lock on the on the subject but then, keeping the shutter button half-pressed to lock focus, make the final adjustment by using "body rock" to move the camera gently back and forth to bring focus on to the eye (or other relevant part of the subject).

Its a method that takes a bit of practise but I found it quickly becomes second nature.

I have the EVF set to 120fps refresh rate and have it set to show the effect of exposure adjustment and now find it very easy to spot the moment of critical focus.

Its almost like a focus peaking effect, as I rock the camera I can see the eye "Pop" in and out of focus (its not so easy if I use the classic "hold the camera still and manually focus" method though as the difference is not so obvious)


hope this may help a little (lets see some pics! :) )

brian1208
18th June 2013, 02:19 PM
I've had a quick play to see if I can give some clues on the effect of shutter speed and angle of approach on "focus hit rate" + movement blur.

In this case the light was a bit poor so I am working at f4.5 / ISO400 with shutter speed from 1/200th to 1/400th sec. and it was also breezy so plants are blowing about

Case 1 : focusing on a feeding bee's tongue: fast moving and erratic subject, shutter speed 1/320th sec - success rate approx. 25% success

http://i1130.photobucket.com/albums/m531/oldcanon/beetongue1-320thf45.jpg

Case 2: Side view: copper fly, focusing on head / eye, static subject but on moving leaf, speed 1/400th sec - success rate approx. 80%

http://i1130.photobucket.com/albums/m531/oldcanon/flycopperside1-400thf45.jpg

Case 3: Face view: focusing on the eyes, shutter speed down to 1/250th, moving leaf with very shallow DOF on target - success rate approx 15%

http://i1130.photobucket.com/albums/m531/oldcanon/flycoppergreenface1-250thf45.jpg

Case 4: flesh fly side view, more distant on fast moving leaf poor light so down to 1/200th sec. Focus accuracy approx 50% but movement blur in all cases (so no keepers)

http://i1130.photobucket.com/albums/m531/oldcanon/fleshflyf451-200thblur.jpg

In each case I shot around 10 images and with the exception of the "face on shot" movement blur was the largest influence at these light levels

brian1208
24th June 2013, 06:09 PM
The macro art thing here might be worth thinking about. The ant is the one which tells the best story, IMHO. I think that shot is fab.

http://www.igpoty.com/about%20the%20competition.asp

Thanks for that link, I've submitted the Ant + 3 other images, so its just a case of waiting to see what happens.

I like the fact that we get feedback on each image, which will be interesting

wellyboot
25th June 2013, 09:54 AM
I've had a quick play to see if I can give some clues on the effect of shutter speed and angle of approach on "focus hit rate" + movement blur.

In this case the light was a bit poor so I am working at f4.5 / ISO400 with shutter speed from 1/200th to 1/400th sec. and it was also breezy so plants are blowing about

In each case I shot around 10 images and with the exception of the "face on shot" movement blur was the largest influence at these light levels

Thank you so much for all that info Brian. Very interesting to see all the stats. I will continue to persevere, but I don't think I have ever known such a windy "summer"!! As you have noted movement blur is a big influence, so watch out all you bees and bugs on the next day when the wind has dropped!