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  #1  
Old 9th April 2009
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ZD 70-300 Macro

They say that practice makes perfect, I have been practicing with this lens for some time and I am determined to get the better of it. Here are two shots taken today. Please make comments as the only way to improve is by constructive comments, good or bad.






Both shots take Apature Priority f/8.0 without fill flash, I did experiment but prefered the shots without the flash. No post processing only RAW coversion carried out so you can see them as taken.
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Digital Equipment: Olympus E1 - E30 - E-500 | EC-14 & EC-20 Teleconverter | Zukio 14-45mm, 40-150mm, 150mm F/2, 50-200mm SWD, 70-300mm | Sigma 10-20mm F/4-5.6 SLD, 18-50 f/2.8 EX DC MACRO, 150 F2.8 Macro & 50-500mm (Bigma) |Tamron 135mm f/2.5 Macro 200mm f/3.5 | Optecka 800mm f/8 Prime | Wallimax 500mm F/6.3 Mirror Lens | Metz Mecablitz 36 AF-4 O Digital Flash | Manfrotto 055XB Tripod, Opticron Carbon Fibre "Traveller" Tripod, Sidewinder Gimbal Head, Manfratto 676B monopod, Manfrotto 322RC2 Head Lowpro Nature Trekker AWII, Lowpro Vertex 100 AW and Lowpro Toploader Pro 75 AW.
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Old 9th April 2009
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Re: ZD 70-300 Macro

The DOF seems very narrow on that first one, even at F8, there isn't really enough of the flower in focus I don't think. Was it shot hand held?

The bokeh's nice on the second one.

I do think macro shots with that lens need some sharpening. My shots with it seem to respond well - I've no idea why that should be.
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Old 9th April 2009
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Re: ZD 70-300 Macro

Quote:
Originally Posted by jdal View Post
The DOF seems very narrow on that first one, even at F8, there isn't really enough of the flower in focus I don't think. Was it shot hand held?

The bokeh's nice on the second one.

I do think macro shots with that lens need some sharpening. My shots with it seem to respond well - I've no idea why that should be.
Thanks for the comments John, I was using a tripod, as I said I have not processed the images in any way and I am still experimenting with the lens.
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Digital Equipment: Olympus E1 - E30 - E-500 | EC-14 & EC-20 Teleconverter | Zukio 14-45mm, 40-150mm, 150mm F/2, 50-200mm SWD, 70-300mm | Sigma 10-20mm F/4-5.6 SLD, 18-50 f/2.8 EX DC MACRO, 150 F2.8 Macro & 50-500mm (Bigma) |Tamron 135mm f/2.5 Macro 200mm f/3.5 | Optecka 800mm f/8 Prime | Wallimax 500mm F/6.3 Mirror Lens | Metz Mecablitz 36 AF-4 O Digital Flash | Manfrotto 055XB Tripod, Opticron Carbon Fibre "Traveller" Tripod, Sidewinder Gimbal Head, Manfratto 676B monopod, Manfrotto 322RC2 Head Lowpro Nature Trekker AWII, Lowpro Vertex 100 AW and Lowpro Toploader Pro 75 AW.
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Old 9th April 2009
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Re: ZD 70-300 Macro

Hi Barrie

One of my earlier complaints about the ZD 70-300 is that the images look soft (Mine I mean and not just yours).

Having had time to play with the lens myself (forced on me by the lack of a Bigma), I have found that I get narrow dof when I am close to the the object and attempting maximum magnification (fl at 300mm). Have a look again at the Blue tit emerging from the bird box. You might get better success either stepping back a little and trying to shoot the shot again. The trick I have found that generally works is to focus on the subject until the confirmation beep is heard. Move back a further 6" to a foot and re-focus. This should get you back at a safe working distance. If necessary, go to say F10. Flash is not a bad idea and could be tried with a thin tissue over the flash lens to diffuse the light and prevent harsh shadows.

Just a thought and I hope it helps. I am still learning to use this lens so will appreciate any comments you have based on your own research and experiments.

Peter
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Old 9th April 2009
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Re: ZD 70-300 Macro

Barrie

I have taken the liberty of downloading and editing the images you have posted here. With no processing done before, I just wanted to see how they would look with a little editing.





I hope you do not mind. The images are now sharper but the soft areas are now more obvious. In the first image, the leaf behind the flower is much sharper - did you point of focus change? In both cases, there is good sharpness in some areas but dof seems to be the issue.

I shall delete these images when you say. They are located in a private part of my photobucket site.

Peter
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Re: ZD 70-300 Macro

Peter

No need to delete the images as some times it is good to keep things like this for future reference. On image 1 I tried to focus on the centre of the plant and I think I was further back than I thought, I use SAF + Manual, so I let the camera auto focus then with the shutter release half way down tweek the focus manualy, or try to, this seems to work for me. As I am into butterflys and dragon flys I tend to use pansy's for practicing on as the are a similar size and don't fly off just as you are about to press the shutter and the texture of the petals is close to that of a butterflys wing. so a good subject to practice on, the second flower has hairy stems so again good to judge the results of the image with. I agree with the sharpening on the first image but I would have used slightly less on the second as I think the detail is lost on the centre buds, again going back to butterfly shots I would prefer to see the details on the body hairs and have the wings a little bit soft than blow out the hair details, but every thing is down to personal preference, I know you are a member of uk butterflies as I have seen comments from you, I keep comparing my shots to ones on there, perhaps aat times I get to critical of my own work but when you sit back and think everything is wonderful you lose interest in improving and that it what makes this so interesting.
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Digital Equipment: Olympus E1 - E30 - E-500 | EC-14 & EC-20 Teleconverter | Zukio 14-45mm, 40-150mm, 150mm F/2, 50-200mm SWD, 70-300mm | Sigma 10-20mm F/4-5.6 SLD, 18-50 f/2.8 EX DC MACRO, 150 F2.8 Macro & 50-500mm (Bigma) |Tamron 135mm f/2.5 Macro 200mm f/3.5 | Optecka 800mm f/8 Prime | Wallimax 500mm F/6.3 Mirror Lens | Metz Mecablitz 36 AF-4 O Digital Flash | Manfrotto 055XB Tripod, Opticron Carbon Fibre "Traveller" Tripod, Sidewinder Gimbal Head, Manfratto 676B monopod, Manfrotto 322RC2 Head Lowpro Nature Trekker AWII, Lowpro Vertex 100 AW and Lowpro Toploader Pro 75 AW.
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Old 10th April 2009
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Re: ZD 70-300 Macro

Barrie

Since you are clearly into Macro type shots, may I suggest buying an Achromatic screw on lens to go with your ZD 70-300. I have found this to be very useful and will bring out the sort of detail you are seeking without too much cost.
I have ordered a Sigma 150mm Macro and expect it to be delivered tomorrow. This will make my achromatic lens redundant. If would help, I could post it, on loan, for you to give it a try.



This is an example from my gallery using this lens with the E500.

Peter
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Old 10th April 2009
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Re: ZD 70-300 Macro

Hi Peter,

What make is the screw on lens?

Regards
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Re: ZD 70-300 Macro

Quote:
Originally Posted by PeterD View Post
This will make my achromatic lens redundant. If would help, I could post it, on loan, for you to give it a try.

Peter
Peter I have sent a PM

Regards
Barrie
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http://naturalhistorycambs.blogspot.com/

Digital Equipment: Olympus E1 - E30 - E-500 | EC-14 & EC-20 Teleconverter | Zukio 14-45mm, 40-150mm, 150mm F/2, 50-200mm SWD, 70-300mm | Sigma 10-20mm F/4-5.6 SLD, 18-50 f/2.8 EX DC MACRO, 150 F2.8 Macro & 50-500mm (Bigma) |Tamron 135mm f/2.5 Macro 200mm f/3.5 | Optecka 800mm f/8 Prime | Wallimax 500mm F/6.3 Mirror Lens | Metz Mecablitz 36 AF-4 O Digital Flash | Manfrotto 055XB Tripod, Opticron Carbon Fibre "Traveller" Tripod, Sidewinder Gimbal Head, Manfratto 676B monopod, Manfrotto 322RC2 Head Lowpro Nature Trekker AWII, Lowpro Vertex 100 AW and Lowpro Toploader Pro 75 AW.
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Old 10th April 2009
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Re: ZD 70-300 Macro

Quote:
Originally Posted by petrovich View Post
Hi Peter,

What make is the screw on lens?

Regards
Its a Sigma Peter. I am not sure that they are still available new but should be on e-bay. Do you want to have a try too? From memory, they only cost about 30 and make a great deal of difference.

Peter
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Old 10th April 2009
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Re: ZD 70-300 Macro

Peter

I think we have started quite a discusion going with regards to the ZD 70-300, but your example with the hover fly is brilliant I didn't think it possible to get results like that with the lens and again thank you very much for your kind offer
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Barrie Norman

http://bwpn.zenfolio.com/

http://naturalhistorycambs.blogspot.com/

Digital Equipment: Olympus E1 - E30 - E-500 | EC-14 & EC-20 Teleconverter | Zukio 14-45mm, 40-150mm, 150mm F/2, 50-200mm SWD, 70-300mm | Sigma 10-20mm F/4-5.6 SLD, 18-50 f/2.8 EX DC MACRO, 150 F2.8 Macro & 50-500mm (Bigma) |Tamron 135mm f/2.5 Macro 200mm f/3.5 | Optecka 800mm f/8 Prime | Wallimax 500mm F/6.3 Mirror Lens | Metz Mecablitz 36 AF-4 O Digital Flash | Manfrotto 055XB Tripod, Opticron Carbon Fibre "Traveller" Tripod, Sidewinder Gimbal Head, Manfratto 676B monopod, Manfrotto 322RC2 Head Lowpro Nature Trekker AWII, Lowpro Vertex 100 AW and Lowpro Toploader Pro 75 AW.
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