(new bee) Q: Equipment setup questions

Have questions about the equipment used for macro- or micro- photography? Post those questions in this forum.

Moderators: Pau, rjlittlefield, ChrisR, Chris S.

jac B
Posts: 31
Joined: Tue Jul 14, 2020 2:01 am

(new bee) Q: Equipment setup questions

Post by jac B »

Hello,

I’m new on www.photomacrography.net and want to start with (wild bees) insect (full frame dslr) macro photography via a microscope objective, read the Frequently Asked Questions (viewtopic.php?f=29&t=12147) and have some beginners questions, namely:

What are the pros and cons of using a XYZ linear translation stage (positioning / moving the insect) AND/OR using a focus rail (positioning / moving the equipment)?
What are the pros and cons of a tube lens (https://www.closeuphotography.com/52mm-setup, viewtopic.php?f=25&t=12880) versus using a (macro and/or tele) objective versus using a bellow (https://www.photomacrography.net/forum/ ... php?t=8247)?
How to calculate the (exact) length of the tube lens, (macro and or tele) objective, bellow?

What are the pros and cons of Helicon Focus versus Zeren Stacker for macro photography via a microscope objective?
How to convert a lot of Nikon RAW files into JPEG for Zerene Stacker?
Can a 3D model made with Helicon Focus and/or Zeren Stacker?

Regards, Jac B

Macro_Cosmos
Posts: 935
Joined: Mon Jan 15, 2018 9:23 pm
Location: Sydney

Re: (new bee) Q: Equipment setup questions

Post by Macro_Cosmos »

jac B wrote:
Tue Jul 14, 2020 2:38 am
What are the pros and cons of using a XYZ linear translation stage (positioning / moving the insect) AND/OR using a focus rail (positioning / moving the equipment)?
Why is it specifically XYZ? That's three axis.
For the specimen, it makes positioning and framing easier.
For the camera, you need X or Z to make the stack.
This simply cannot be summarised in a pros/cons list. The cons for specimens would be cost, but for focus stacking, one axis of translation is a requirement at higher mag for the stacking process.
A "focus rail" is a linear translation stage.
jac B wrote:
Tue Jul 14, 2020 2:38 am
What are the pros and cons of a tube lens (https://www.closeuphotography.com/52mm-setup, viewtopic.php?f=25&t=12880) versus using a (macro and/or tele) objective versus using a bellow (https://www.photomacrography.net/forum/ ... php?t=8247)?
Hard to understand. So you're asking a tube lens coupled with an objective, compared to a macro or telephoto lens on a bellows?

A tube lens is required for infinity corrected objective lenses. Whether it's a simple planoconvex lens or a complicated corrected tube lens, or a modern/vintage telephoto lens, it's called a tube lens in infinity optical systems.
https://www.microscopyu.com/microscopy- ... al-systems
Pros would come in play for higher mag. ie >=5x. For anything below that, there's cheaper options that are at least 95% as good. (Laowa 25mm ultra-macro).
Cons... I don't know, compared to bellows coupled with a macro or telephoto? Coupled with a macro lens, the image quality won't be that good, you will need a lot of extension to reach higher mag also. Why put a telephoto lens on a bellows? It would make more sense to reverse a wide-angle lens.
jac B wrote:
Tue Jul 14, 2020 2:38 am
How to calculate the (exact) length of the tube lens, (macro and or tele) objective, bellow?
Just shoot a ruler, calculate the ratios. Fullframe sensor width is 24mm, divide by whatever you see on a ruler, you will get a general sense of the magnification.
For dedicated TLs, manufactures give a spec sheet.
For popular repurposed ones such as the Raynox, the forum has numbers.
For telephoto lenses used as a tube lens, focus the telephoto lens to infinity, and put the objective onto the front via an appropriate adaptor.
jac B wrote:
Tue Jul 14, 2020 2:38 am
What are the pros and cons of Helicon Focus versus Zeren Stacker for macro photography via a microscope objective?
How to convert a lot of Nikon RAW files into JPEG for Zerene Stacker?
Can a 3D model made with Helicon Focus and/or Zeren Stacker?
1. The forum is brand agnostic, the author of ZS is Rik. However I think ZS is better, produces better and cleaner stacks. ZS however is at least 5 times slower, as it doesn't use GPU acceleration. Typically a stack takes 20-30 minutes on my laptop, using HF, it's ~5, a lot faster.
2. Use lightroom or Nikon's own software, or any other raw processor.
3. Yes, both can make 3D models I believe

I suggest you to think about what exactly you want to shoot first. You mention wild bees and other insects, which implies them being alive in, well in the wild. For that, the Laowa 2.5-5x or a wide angle lens reversed with good handheld stacking techniques and some kind of DIY illumination setup is far better than going straight to objectives, which almost always deal with dead subjects when focus stacking is used. Search for "Thomas Shahan" on YouTube, his work is great.

jac B
Posts: 31
Joined: Tue Jul 14, 2020 2:01 am

Re: (new bee) Q: Equipment setup questions

Post by jac B »

@Macro_Cosmos, sorrie for the ambiguities. Thank you for you explanation. Regards, Jac B

Macro_Cosmos
Posts: 935
Joined: Mon Jan 15, 2018 9:23 pm
Location: Sydney

Re: (new bee) Q: Equipment setup questions

Post by Macro_Cosmos »

It would be more helpful for both of us if you come up with more specific scenarios for these questions, rather than extremely blanket questions that are frankly very hard to answer. Anyhow, hope you make the correct decision!

A common practice for those who don't like killing stuff for a photo would be to find corpses in the wild/backyard/bathroom. Not saying I'm against this practice (as long as the thing involved isn't endangered), but I personally won't do it either. With that in mind, you could get off with a nice studio setup, far less variables to control, and exploit the full benefits of precise instruments.

jac B
Posts: 31
Joined: Tue Jul 14, 2020 2:01 am

Re: (new bee) Q: Equipment setup questions

Post by jac B »

@Macro_Cosmos
Macro_Cosmos wrote:
Sun Jul 26, 2020 3:08 am
It would be more helpful for both of us if you come up with more specific scenarios for these questions, rather than extremely blanket questions that are frankly very hard to answer.
See my new topic (http://www.photomacrography.net/forum/v ... 28&t=42119), specific enough!
Macro_Cosmos wrote:
Sun Jul 26, 2020 3:08 am
A common practice for those who don't like killing stuff for a photo would be to find corpses in the wild/backyard/bathroom.
As you can read in my new topic (http://www.photomacrography.net/forum/v ... 28&t=42119), I don't kill for a photo, I share wild bees identification information/details.
Macro_Cosmos wrote:
Sun Jul 26, 2020 3:08 am
With that in mind, you could get off with a nice studio setup, far less variables to control, and exploit the full benefits of precise instruments.
Can you specify the "studio setup" equipment/accessories, that would be more helpful?

Macro_Cosmos
Posts: 935
Joined: Mon Jan 15, 2018 9:23 pm
Location: Sydney

Re: (new bee) Q: Equipment setup questions

Post by Macro_Cosmos »

jac B wrote:
Sun Jul 26, 2020 11:22 pm
@Macro_Cosmos
Macro_Cosmos wrote:
Sun Jul 26, 2020 3:08 am
It would be more helpful for both of us if you come up with more specific scenarios for these questions, rather than extremely blanket questions that are frankly very hard to answer.
See my new topic (http://www.photomacrography.net/forum/v ... 28&t=42119), specific enough!
Macro_Cosmos wrote:
Sun Jul 26, 2020 3:08 am
A common practice for those who don't like killing stuff for a photo would be to find corpses in the wild/backyard/bathroom.
As you can read in my new topic (http://www.photomacrography.net/forum/v ... 28&t=42119), I don't kill for a photo, I share wild bees identification information/details.
Macro_Cosmos wrote:
Sun Jul 26, 2020 3:08 am
With that in mind, you could get off with a nice studio setup, far less variables to control, and exploit the full benefits of precise instruments.
Can you specify the "studio setup" equipment/accessories, that would be more helpful?
Sure, I'll have a read.
Re last question:
This depends on how far you're willing to go. A good setup can cost $200 all the way to 5 digits. The law of diminishing returns apply and GAS will inevitably kick in. I'm still buying optomech to this day just because I like to play with it, it's like adult optical Lego.

Post Reply Previous topicNext topic