Hi From France

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Posts: 15
Joined: Tue Apr 17, 2012 8:13 am

Hi From France

Post by toshfox »

Hi Guys

my name is Josué, 32, living France

I have found this forum by searching some macro techniques
After reading some threads, i can say guys u are good and i want to learn from you .. U have talents and look friendly and polite ..

I am interested in photography ( no...really??) and DAW ( music)
both passion cost a lot ... :(
i had started photography with panasonic , the bridges.
then I got a canon 550d. Now I have 60d
I like to take pictures of animal and bugs, so i have bought a canon L 100mm Macro lens. ( i have another lens 50mm for portrait but i dont have models,so i never use it lol )

my macro lens is good but i am tired of 1:1,
i mean i want closer !! closer!!!!!!
i wanted to sell my 100 mm for a canon MP65 ( i saw it at 750 euros in HK) but many ppl say it would be a mistake ..
So while thinking, I have bought some basic tubes and reversed ring.
( i will get them soon)
I am not sure exactly what ratio I want coz i dont have experience to know what ratio would be good for some subjects.
i think maximum i want 3:1
I will try different combos :
inversed 50 mm on the tubes (65mm)
inversed 50 mm on the 100 mm macro
and maybe the inversed 50mm +100 mm + tubes
(but i think it s impossible to get DOF with that last)
I dont have wide angle lens which would give better result than reversed 50mm...

anyway , I hope to be able to do like u , see u soon!

Harold Gough
Posts: 5786
Joined: Sun Mar 09, 2008 2:17 am
Location: Reading, Berkshire, England

Post by Harold Gough »

Hello, Josué


I don't have Canon lenses but I suspect that you will be advised to keep that 100L, unless you really do want to specialise in >1:1. It is a very respected lens for larger insects, etc.

Most(?) of the subjects whose images are posted here are of a size where they don't fill the frame at 1:1. There are all kinds of lenses and combinations used here.

If you use the forum search engine and enter the search term "setup" and select "Equipment Discussions" as the Forum you will find over 500 topics to look at. However, the main place to post setup details is in the Macro and Micro Technique and Technical Discussions forum with over 350 hits. Many of those will be for studio work. I prefer outdoor photography but there is a limit to how high a magnification you can use.

Take a look at the Beginners Macro forum, where some of your questions may have been answered before.

My images are a medium for sharing some of my experiences: they are not me.

Posts: 30
Joined: Fri Sep 02, 2011 2:12 pm

Post by cueben »

Allô Josué et bienvenue sur le forum!

I also started my macro passion with a Canon 100mm lens and I wanted to be closer and closer and closer! What I decided to do was to become more comfortable with each magnification before moving closer. Here is my personal experience and opinions about learning increasing magnification.

I started with a 100mm macro (1:1). I used this a lot for many picture at 1:1 but also at less than 1:1 (e.g. portraits of humans). It is still my favorite lens to carry when I go walking in nature because it can take great pictures of almost anything.

Then I bought Kenko extension tubes (cheaper than Canon but work great). I used this for more than 1:1 with 100mm macro. With this setup, I am still able to make good single-shot handheld pictures but it can become difficult depending on the conditions. Sometimes you need a lot of light or to use a flash. Some bugs will escape when you get too close. Precise focusing become difficult (but possible with practice). At this level, it becomes interesting (but not mandatory) to learn focus stacking.

I recommend that you experiment with stacking before you spend money on equipment for higher magnification than this. Stacking changes the way to take pictures and it is a very different experience. It will give you satisfaction for being closer but it takes more time, more technique and will probably lead you to use a "studio setup" meaning you bring back subjects to your little macro lab instead of walking around in nature. Also consider that as you get closer you need more and more pictures to stack into 1 image. This is almost impossible without a focusing rail, it is frustrating with a bad quality rail and it is time consuming with a good rail.

For me, this just made me want to get closer even more and I enjoyed the challenge of stacking. I decided to get an MP-E65 and a twin light macro flash. I am not very happy with this choice because it was very expensive but does not give me a lot more satisfaction. I think the main advantage of this combination is to be able to continue doing handheld shots in nature without stacking. I prefer to do that with 100mm macro (sometimes with tubes) and if I need to be closer, I prefer to work at home in a controlled stacking setup. At home, I can use ordinary flashes that are more powerful and general purpose (very useful to have for non-macro photos). I can also better control focus at home with a precise rail and have a more pleasant experience for higher magnification.

The next step is to get microscope objectives. This way you can get even better quality images and even higher magnification for a lower price than the MP-E65. If you enjoy stacking with 100mm and extension tubes, I recommend that you move directly to microscope objectives. If you have the money, an automated focus rail like StackShot can save you a lot of time here and can help you get even closer with high precision. I think that StackShot is well worth the money and I recommend it. Some common and good microscope objectives can be mounted directly on your 100mm macro lens. That is one more reason to keep your 100mm and not sell it. There are also options for using a 200mm lens or to use some kinds of microscope objectives without a lens (attached by some special kind of extra long extension tubes).

In conclusion:

- It's a good idea to practice at lower magnification to learn technique before going to higher magnification.

- At higher magnification stacking at home become necessary but it is a very different experience so make sure you like it before you invest.

- If you really desire closer and closer pictures, you will be most satisfied with microscope objectives and a StackShot rail.

I hope this helps you think about your options. Feel free to ask questions. I am a native French Speaker so I am available if you want to send me some private messages for things you have difficulty explaining.


Posts: 15
Joined: Tue Apr 17, 2012 8:13 am

Post by toshfox »

Harold Gough wrote:Hello, Josué

Welcome. ....
Hello Harold ! thanks for your message and advice.

cueben wrote:Allô Josué et bienvenue sur le forum!
salut !

wow long message, thank u for your time

yes i want to get closer , but I dont have the notion of ratio yet
I mean, i know what it represents technically, but maybe finally i would be happy with just 2:1
If i see a small beast, i dont have the thought " ok hmm it s that small, so it needs at least 3:1 if i want to fill frame"
with experience it's sure i will realize what i really want
i just know that sometimes i want to be closer , and sometimes 1:1 is good enough
I guess it's the pics i saw on internet which motivated me to try
i won't spend a lot of money, coz i wanna try first, but it 's sure, even by ebay, we want to add this, that, and this ..
for example : first i bought cheap tubes, like 35 euros for 65mm (3 tubes) with electronic connection.
it's very cheap.. but I needed a reversing ring for my 50mm ... ok 12 euros ...
then oh i needed a coupling ring (67-52) ... same price ...
Oh but i need a flash , even basic ... 50 euros ( YN430II) which i bet will last few months
hey i need a macro arms for the flash lol ... 15 euros ....
it's already good amount for just a test and for cheap versions ....

i cant believe i bought these things already lol i had to save money to buy an used 70-200mm L f4 ...

I think for nature, yes i will be aroud 2:1 and will avoid stacking coz it's kinda hard with living beasts ...
i will try at home with dead bugs for training ( i won't kill them ! ), sometimes i have big spiders visting me
i catch them in small boxes then releasing them ...

thanks for u advice and experience

Posts: 102
Joined: Sun Nov 01, 2009 3:37 am
Location: Toulouse (France)

Post by shrek »

Bonjour Josué

Wellcome on this forum

I think that you must keep on the 100 mm,and buy the MPE 65 mm ,because the 65 is very hard to serve it


Posts: 674
Joined: Sat May 01, 2010 6:12 am
Location: Nice, France (I'm British)

Post by ChrisLilley »

Bonjour Josué, et bienvenue au forum

The Canon 100 L seems to be a well received lens, you can probably do a lot with it plus extension rings and/or close-up lenses. But I shoot Nikon so can't give any detailed advice there.

You will find many great photos taken with the Canon MPE-65 on this forum.

As others have mentioned, for higher magnifications you need to stack, which means either a (good) manual focus rail, or an automated rail, or superhuman muscle control and mad photographer skills. (You will see examples of all three approaches on the forum).

A Nikon 10 CFI microscope objective mounted with an adapter in front of your 100mm lens would give excellent quality 5x magnification.

Harold Gough
Posts: 5786
Joined: Sun Mar 09, 2008 2:17 am
Location: Reading, Berkshire, England

Post by Harold Gough »

ChrisLilley wrote:As others have mentioned, for higher magnifications you need to stack.
While that is true, it needs to be qualified. The depth of the subject and the depth of field (DOF) required to show it acceptably is relevant, greater DOF leading to increased need for stacking. Similarly, increased magnification increases the need.

That said, choice of lens (or reversing it, or stacking two lenses), by use of extension tubes (or teleconverters) or use of supplementary lenses can, with care, get you up to 3, 4 or 5 x life size. Flash will increase your chances of 'freezing' camera/subject movement. All of the preceeding can be used outdoors.

Some individuals have produced stacks in the field, at fairly low magnifications, and of just a few frames, of sedentary or slow-moving subjects. Otherwise, stacking is really a studio (indoor) activity.

My images are a medium for sharing some of my experiences: they are not me.

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Location: Earth

Post by abpho »

ChrisLilley wrote:...As others have mentioned, for higher magnifications you need to stack...
Yes and no. Even at 5:1 (with an MP-E for instance) you can get decent single frame shots.

5:1 f/8 1/200sec ISO200 with 430EX-II and DIY diffuser:

Josué, as for lighting, the MT-24EX, or the MR-14EX for that matter, are not necessarily the only (or best) option. You will quickly find that their light source requires heavy modification (diffusion) in order to yield top quality shots. The pros who use the MT-24EX are constantly experimenting with different setups. It can be frustrating, expensive, and very time consuming. But also very gratifying. For hand held macro photography in the field I have attained amazing results with a speedlite mounted on a flash bracket via off-shoe cord. Then I mounted a home made diffuser on the end of the flash. A regular speedlite (430EX II) can be used in many other situations. The MT-24EX is more limiting in regards to where you use it (mainly macro). The diffuser is made from the top of a bottle, painted black, and a diffusing material added.

The MP-E is an amazing lens. There are some amazing images here on the site. Don't let my sample image above turn you away from this lens. It truly is spectacular when you master it.

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