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Old 23rd May 2009
PeterD PeterD is offline
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Want to try Macro photography?

At this time of the year, there are many opportunities to try your hand at macro work but the cost of a dedicated Macro lens can be what stops us having a go.
As you may know, I have loaned a Sigma Achromatic screw on lens that fits the 40-150mm and better still, the 70-300mm lens. Barrie has now finished using it and has settled for the EX-25 extension tubes with the 40-150 lens. It's been a good journey and at no cost for Barrie (Other than the purchase of the Extension tubes).
In the spirit of supporting any aspiring Macro enthusiast, I can now offer the lens on loan to someone else. There is no obligation to buy it but simply to try it and post your images on here. Obviously, I would expect whoever takes this offer up to take care of the lens. It could be passed over to other members later.

About the Sigma lens:
As I say, it's an Achromatic lens and not just a magnifying lens. It comprises more than one lens element which ensures that the visible light, at different wavelengths, appear in focus at the sensor. This produces good quality images.
In use, the AF system will work but the focusing has a minimum AND a maximum working distance distance (e.g. a focusing window). It's easy to work with this and I shall provide help to any prospective user.
The light loss through the screw-on lens is very low.

Peter
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Last edited by PeterD; 23rd May 2009 at 09:37 AM. Reason: spelling
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Old 27th May 2009
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Re: Want to try Macro photography?

I saw this on a wall where a bird feede had fallan on to the top of it. 35mm macro lens and E3
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Old 27th May 2009
PeterD PeterD is offline
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Re: Want to try Macro photography?

Well done Yorky. Great shot of a terrible tragedy. Was there a sequel to this shot?

I am a little surprised that I have had no response to my offer of the loan but there you go. You clearly do not need it but your image might get a few people to think about having a go. We are so used to seeing life in the scale we see every day and miss the real beauty that also exists in the smaller scale.

Thanks for this posting

Peter
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Old 27th May 2009
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Re: Want to try Macro photography?

This is the sequel of a very persistant escapologist


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Old 27th May 2009
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Re: Want to try Macro photography?

mmmh also might start a new trend for French bird food
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Old 27th May 2009
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Re: Want to try Macro photography?

Quote:
Originally Posted by stevednp3 View Post
mmmh also might start a new trend for French bird food
But you need to put garlic in the picture too - not birdseed
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Old 29th May 2009
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Re: Want to try Macro photography?

Quote:
Originally Posted by PeterD View Post
Well done Yorky. Great shot of a terrible tragedy. Was there a sequel to this shot?

I am a little surprised that I have had no response to my offer of the loan but there you go. You clearly do not need it but your image might get a few people to think about having a go. We are so used to seeing life in the scale we see every day and miss the real beauty that also exists in the smaller scale.

Thanks for this posting

Peter
I've taken a leap of faith and ordered the Sigma AML as I have been in exactly the position you describe of quite liking the idea of capturing the smaller side of life, but not quite getting there and investing in a dedicated lens.

Reason Ive jumped in is that Fotosense seem to have the Sigma screw on lens you describe in their clearance section for 8 + p&p?!
http://www.fotosense.co.uk/sigma-58m...e-up-lens.html

I'm fairly sure this is the right item and will do just fine on my 40-150mm ED?
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Old 29th May 2009
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Re: Want to try Macro photography?

That is just the ticket and at a great price too.

I started with this lens before purchasing my Sigma 150mm Macro. The longer focal length helps so, if you have the 40-150mm kit lens try it with that too.

Here are a few shots using this lens
Robins Pincushion


Marmalade Hoverfly


Mid day fly


I hope this gives you a taster for what you can expect. There is a technique which I will happily share with you when you get to use the lens.

Peter
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Old 29th May 2009
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Re: Want to try Macro photography?

wow, if I could make images like that I'd be ecstatic! were they really using a kit lens with the AML? My 40-150mm is the f4-5.6 ED kit lens from the E420 twin lens kit, lovely and small and light as we all know but I'm hoping not too shabby as a pretend macro with the Sigma AML all of your advise on the technique welcome. According to the Fotosense email, the Sigma will arrive tomorrow.
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Old 29th May 2009
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Re: Want to try Macro photography?

These were all taken with the ZD 70-300 which was redundant at the time (will be again when I get my Bigma back). What I found was that the longer focal length was essential for good Macro work without disturbing the subjects (Robins Pincushion being an obvious example where this would not apply). Having said that, click on the images and look at the exif data. The second shot was taken with an fl of 125mm. The kit lens you have is a superb lens and should allow you to get some really good shots - I shall trawl through my photos and see if I can find some that I can show you.
You will find that, with the screw on lens fitted, you will get a focussing window. That is, a minimum distance and a maximum distance from the subject. At all other distances the subject will remain out of focus. This window will change depending on the focal length set.
To start you off and avoid complications, set the lens to maximum focal length. Adjust the focus manually to get the subject into best focus. You may not achieve proper focus at this stage. Stop manually focussing and move closer then further away from the subject until focus locks with the button half pressed. Take you shot and bingo, should be sharp. Experiment after you have a few good shots under your belt and you will find a technique that best suits you.
The usual rules apply for dof - the closer you are to the subject the shallower the dof and the wider the aperture the shallower the dof. Practise will make perfect.
I tend to use ISO 800 for most of my shots when using the E3. ISO 400 is my limit using the E500. These are my preferences but I am not sure about your E420.
Please do ask if you want any further advice or have any query about your set up. I will be more than happy to help. Good luck and don't forget to post your images - tomorrow night.
Cheers for now
Peter
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Old 29th May 2009
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Re: Want to try Macro photography?

Found these examples using the E500 + ZD 40-150 + Sigma Achromatic lens









Hope these help.

Peter
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Old 30th May 2009
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Re: Want to try Macro photography?

They do help and so do your tips and hints, thanks a lot. Royal mail let me down though, no lens in today's post, I was obviously too optimistic to think that 1st class meant 1-day
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Old 30th May 2009
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Re: Want to try Macro photography?

Having seen the above I too have ordered one of these as I have a 70-300 lens. At that price it seems to me to be worth it just to have a play and see if I can come up with some results. If the results are not too shaming I will post them on here. Many thanks to the chap who started all this off!
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Old 2nd June 2009
michaelavis michaelavis is offline
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Re: Want to try Macro photography?

Quote:
Originally Posted by PeterD View Post
These were all taken with the ZD 70-300 which was redundant at the time (will be again when I get my Bigma back). What I found was that the longer focal length was essential for good Macro work without disturbing the subjects (Robins Pincushion being an obvious example where this would not apply). Having said that, click on the images and look at the exif data. The second shot was taken with an fl of 125mm. The kit lens you have is a superb lens and should allow you to get some really good shots - I shall trawl through my photos and see if I can find some that I can show you.
You will find that, with the screw on lens fitted, you will get a focussing window. That is, a minimum distance and a maximum distance from the subject. At all other distances the subject will remain out of focus. This window will change depending on the focal length set.
To start you off and avoid complications, set the lens to maximum focal length. Adjust the focus manually to get the subject into best focus. You may not achieve proper focus at this stage. Stop manually focussing and move closer then further away from the subject until focus locks with the button half pressed. Take you shot and bingo, should be sharp. Experiment after you have a few good shots under your belt and you will find a technique that best suits you.
The usual rules apply for dof - the closer you are to the subject the shallower the dof and the wider the aperture the shallower the dof. Practise will make perfect.
I tend to use ISO 800 for most of my shots when using the E3. ISO 400 is my limit using the E500. These are my preferences but I am not sure about your E420.
Please do ask if you want any further advice or have any query about your set up. I will be more than happy to help. Good luck and don't forget to post your images - tomorrow night.
Cheers for now
Peter
Ive taken a few test shots with the AML on the 40-150mm following the advice above and it seems straight forward enough. With the lens at 150mm a small flower head (about 2") approx 75% fills the frame at about 12" working distance. I felt pretty comfortable. Looking at the image in PS and zooming in to the flower, I can see that it is reasonablly sharp, but to fill the frame and expect sharpness across the features of a bee-sized insect sitting on the flower is probably optimistic, even with practice. When thinking about a dedicated lens that would give me a better chance of those striking and sharp shots, if I went for the Olympus 50mm F2, even with my 1.4 teleconverter on it, would I find the working distance would be significantly less than the 12" distance I was getting with the 40-150mm set at 150mm with the AML?
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Old 2nd June 2009
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Re: Want to try Macro photography?

Maybe I can throw in some information at this point :-) I am currently borrowing Peter_D's Sigma Achromat and I have just run some comparative tests of minimum working distance from front of lens (WD) and lateral Field of View (FOV) using all the lenses I have that take a 58mm on the front, or say "Macro" on the side...

Here we go. All in mm. All at f5.6 and or wide open..

14-42 kit lens @42. WD=50. FOV = 65. OK, might need f8

40-150 kit lens @150. WD=300. FOV=55. OK - better than the 42.

Tamron 135. WD=400. FOV=45. Soft wide open, but good @ 5.6

Tamron 200. WD=500. FOV=30. Soft wide open, OK @ 5.6. Flares easily.

now 2 without the adapter

Tamron SP90. WD=250. FOV=40. Quite sharp wide open. Sharper @ 5.6

ZD 50 macro. WD=50. FOV=30. Very sharp wide open. Very very sharp @ 5.6

I won't post the shots as they were harsh conditions - metal ruler on a sunlit white windowsill - not your normal situation.. I forgive the lenses for a touch of flare. I will do some comparative shots after tea whith more controlled lighting.

You can see that the 14-42 is probably the wrong lens for the job - too close and not a lot of magnification. The 40-150 gets you more mag even though you are a foot away.

That fabulous ZD50 is incredibly sharp but you do get rather close. The Tamron SP90 is a nice compromise, but slightly less sharp than the ZD50.

Finally, putting the sigma close up lens on the Tamron 200mm gets you a lot of magnification - and 1/2 meter workign distance- but oh dear, the camera shake and zero dof

More later

Pete
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