Oly 60mm macro lens, MC-14 teleconverter and Raynox 202

Images taken in a controlled environment or with a posed subject. All subject types.

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1of1snowflakes
Posts: 46
Joined: Fri Sep 06, 2019 3:30 pm

Oly 60mm macro lens, MC-14 teleconverter and Raynox 202

Post by 1of1snowflakes »

First test completed. I'll be providing the unedited stacked JPEGS if you want to view on FLICKR.


I took this image below two weeks ago with my Olympus EM1 mark 2, a Kenko 10mm extension tube, the Olympus 60mm macro lens and a Raynox 202 attached to a Raynox 250. Approximate magnification is 3.5x.

Image

I did crop this image, as I wanted to show the detail of the sand. The image was taken at f5.6, iso200, and 40 High resolution JPEG images stacked (50mp each). I use a godox speed flash mounted on the hotshoe.

Here is the original file:

https://flic.kr/p/2hgADyf

As you can see, the sand grain is fairly small in the frame, which is to be expected as the grain itself is approximately 1/3 millimeter in total width.

Today I received my MC-14 in the mail, a 1.4X teleconverter. It is not made for the 60mm macro lens. It is only supposed to be used on the PRO 40-150 and the PRO 300 lenses. However, a friend suggested that it worked with his 10mm and 16mm cheap PIXCO extension tube set for Micro 4/3. I decided to try a set to see if it would work. I tried several different shots with spiders and other items. THen I decided to bring out the same sand grain I found from two weeks ago. I couldn't get the same angle as the garnet has so many different facets, but it is the same crystal I assure you. I label each crystal in their own bag after I take the images.

I used the 10mm Pixco extension tube attached to the MC-14, and the 10mm Kenko tube attached to the Pixco tube as you must have at least 20mm of tube after the MC-14 to be able to attach to the Olympus 60mm macro lens. I then attached the Raynox 202 to the Olympus macro lens's front with a 37mm to 46mm adapter. I focus stacked 40 high resolution images, the same as before, with the only change being that I used 250 for my ISO instead of 200.

My crop was much less, with the ending image having much more detail that looks splendid!


Image



Here is the original untouched JPEG stack

https://flic.kr/p/2hgCghF

I am working on a RAW stack right now as it will take a while to process 40 Raw images at 80MP with only 8GB of RAM!

Chris S.
Site Admin
Posts: 3526
Joined: Sun Apr 05, 2009 9:55 pm
Location: Ohio, USA

Post by Chris S. »

Ethan,

You're getting a lot out of that Oly 60mm lens. A few thoughts:

Your original jpeg stack on flickr shows, to my eye, a bit more detail than the crop you've posted here. Any idea where that detail is being lost? I just now did a similar crop, resize, and down-resolving of your file in Photoshop, and found much of this detail was retained. (Example of detail: More observable lines on the facets of the garnet.) I did see more noise, which perhaps you've suppressed--is this difference?

To my mind, stacking in raw is not optimal--it's time consuming, yet leaves behind most benefits raw shooting can confer. As you may know, software that permits stacking of raw files converts them out of raw using a set of defaults, stacks the conversions, and puts the output back into a raw file. Using those defaults is like shooting with your camera on "auto"--it might work OK, but leaves behind the opportunity to apply your judgement as a photographer to get exactly the result you want. It's generally better to convert your raw files to tiff, using a good raw converter and controlling the variables to taste, then stacking the tiff files.

Also, magnification 3.5x is around the transition point where, for state-of-the art results, one needs to mount a microscope objective on the camera instead of a macro lens. Given your workflow, you're pretty clearly aiming for state of the art. If you get a good 4x or 5x objective, you'll likely see a significant improvement from what your Oly 60mm macro provides for a subject the size of your garnet crystal. If you want to photograph even smaller things (you know you do. . . :twisted: ), a good 10x objective will definitely give superior results. And then there are 7.5x, 20x, 50x, 100x objectives, etc.

If this interests you, and you haven't yet read FAQ: How can I hook a microscope objective to my camera?, you definitely want to check it out. :D

--Chris S.

1of1snowflakes
Posts: 46
Joined: Fri Sep 06, 2019 3:30 pm

Post by 1of1snowflakes »

Chris S. wrote:Ethan,

You're getting a lot out of that Oly 60mm lens. A few thoughts:

Your original jpeg stack on flickr shows, to my eye, a bit more detail than the crop you've posted here. Any idea where that detail is being lost? I just now did a similar crop, resize, and down-resolving of your file in Photoshop, and found much of this detail was retained. (Example of detail: More observable lines on the facets of the garnet.) I did see more noise, which perhaps you've suppressed--is this difference?

To my mind, stacking in raw is not optimal--it's time consuming, yet leaves behind most benefits raw shooting can confer. As you may know, software that permits stacking of raw files converts them out of raw using a set of defaults, stacks the conversions, and puts the output back into a raw file. Using those defaults is like shooting with your camera on "auto"--it might work OK, but leaves behind the opportunity to apply your judgement as a photographer to get exactly the result you want. It's generally better to convert your raw files to tiff, using a good raw converter and controlling the variables to taste, then stacking the tiff files.

Also, magnification 3.5x is around the transition point where, for state-of-the art results, one needs to mount a microscope objective on the camera instead of a macro lens. Given your workflow, you're pretty clearly aiming for state of the art. If you get a good 4x or 5x objective, you'll likely see a significant improvement from what your Oly 60mm macro provides for a subject the size of your garnet crystal. If you want to photograph even smaller things (you know you do. . . :twisted: ), a good 10x objective will definitely give superior results. And then there are 7.5x, 20x, 50x, 100x objectives, etc.

If this interests you, and you haven't yet read FAQ: How can I hook a microscope objective to my camera?, you definitely want to check it out. :D

--Chris S.
yes the raw stacking is a drain on time, and I only feel like the advantage is a much larger file at the end for cropping purposes. The Raw files are 80mp while my Jpegs are 50mp....still plenty for cropping, but someone told me I should stack raw only. The TIFF thing makes sense to me.

I do not have PHOTOSHOP so I am not sure if I have anything that can convert 40 Raw tiles all into TIFFS efficiently and all the same...
Do you have a program you would recommend??


I have a MITUTOYO 10x and have tried stacking with it using my MJKZZ Rail, and some extension tubes at 180mm with a reversed Raynox 150 as my tube lens. I have been unable to get any image that closely resembles what I am looking for, with good color in the background that gives my image a more artsy-look. I do want good detail, but not at the point of this....this is a shot I took and had the best lighting of anything I tried that week (spent about 20 hours trying different lighting):

Image

I may try the same at 5-6x with the Mitutoyo and see if that helps some....I think I can get that while using maybe 100mm of tubes rather than the 180mm before the reversed raynox...right? I am still relatively new to all this.

The issue with the gems is getting light that does not glisten to the point of being distracting or that it gets overexposed or is just too much of a highlight. I also need to keep my ISO at 250 or under which I was unable to do with my setup. I purchased some IKEA LED lamps to try out and see if that helps some. I do like the darker background on some of my images, but I think those who may be interested down the road in buying a print may want some colored bokeh,

Chris S.
Site Admin
Posts: 3526
Joined: Sun Apr 05, 2009 9:55 pm
Location: Ohio, USA

Post by Chris S. »

1of1snowflakes wrote:yes the raw stacking is a drain on time, and I only feel like the advantage is a much larger file at the end for cropping purposes. The Raw files are 80mp while my Jpegs are 50mp....still plenty for cropping, but someone told me I should stack raw only. The TIFF thing makes sense to me.
If your raw file is 80mp and your jpegs are 50mp with the same number of pixels, they should crop equally well. Ability to crop depends on number of available pixels.

The person who told you to stack raw-only gave bad advice. It wastes time and throws away most benefits of raw.
I do not have PHOTOSHOP so I am not sure if I have anything that can convert 40 Raw tiles all into TIFFS efficiently and all the same...
Do you have a program you would recommend??
The raw conversion software I use only works on Nikon files, so no good to you. But I see that Olympus offers several raw conversion programs that should work for you (You are using an Olympus body, right?

They are listed here:
Image

There are third-party raw converters with good reputations, but I'm not currently familiar with them. Whichever you choose, get to know it well. You should be able to pull more dynamic range out of your files, for example, during this phase; you may also decide to change your shooting settings to take advantage of dynamic range adjustments allowable in raw conversion. These are real advantages--and ones that people who don't develop their raw files attentively--are deprived of.

Since you aren't using Photoshop, you may want some other pixel editor. I hear good things about Gimp (free, I believe?), but haven't tried it.
I have a MITUTOYO 10x and have tried stacking with it using my MJKZZ Rail, and some extension tubes at 180mm with a reversed Raynox 150 as my tube lens. I have been unable to get any image that closely resembles what I am looking for, with good color in the background that gives my image a more artsy-look. I do want good detail, but not at the point of this....this is a shot I took and had the best lighting of anything I tried that week (spent about 20 hours trying different lighting):
Image

There's something wrong with the sharpness of this image--a Mitutoyo 10x should look a lot better. Since you are using continuous light, my first guess would be that you are getting some vibration, a classic cause of fuzziness. If you have a flash, it's easy to test for this. Shoot the garnet with the flash, not worrying about aesthetics for this test. Use the quickest duration your flash offers, in a darkened room, and see if the fuzziness disappears. Best if you diffuse the flash so that it looks large from the standpoint of the garnet,

If this image is sharp, your problem is vibration (lots to talk about, there). If this image is not sharp, there is a problem with your objective (this is common), or your converging lens setup. I have no experience with Raynox lenses, so have little idea what distances are optimal between Raynox and objective, or between Raynox and camera. You want your Raynox focused at infinity, which is nominally 208.3mm from your sensor, but the actual location location should be determined by observation (focus on something far away), or by using information published by someone who has tested.

Once you've solved sharpness at 10x, then comes lighting and backgrounds. You can definitely get similar lighting and backgrounds to what you like with any objective.
I may try the same at 5-6x with the Mitutoyo and see if that helps some....I think I can get that while using maybe 100mm of tubes rather than the 180mm before the reversed raynox...right? I am still relatively new to all this.
Sounds as if you're mixing some concepts from finite and infinite objectives. With a finite, you would indeed move it closer to the camera for lower magnification; with an infinite objective such as your Mitutoyo, you generally keep the converging lens focused at infinity, and change your converging lens to change magnification. The Raynox DCR-250--8 diopters so 125mm focal length--would give you 6.25x with your 10x Mitty.

--Chris S.

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