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camprl1

Regular
Location
Eastern Ontario, Canada
Name
Robert C
Thanks for showing the description and set up @L0n3Gr3yW0lf . It is difficult to deal with the shallow depth of field at high magnifications. It looks like you have a similar macro rail to the one I use (Sunwayfoto MFR150s https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1337836-REG/sunwayfoto_mfr_150s_macro_focusing_rail_with.html). It certainly can be tricky to make small enough movements with these.

What do you use for stacking the images? I assume the Sony doesn't have it built in.

I previously had participated regularly in the Flickr MacroMondays group. I should restart that since my teaching load is lighter in the winter! Here's one from a year ago using my Minolta 50mm Macro lens and Minolta Bellows on my Fujifilm X-A1 giving a magnification of about 3.5:1:

51825792449_ce286a1dd8_h.jpg
Crimping beads and thimble by Robert Campbell, on Flickr

I used a couple of flashes to light it. The orange glow from inside the thimble was a complete accident! This was a stack of 10 images. I used ImageJ (commonly used in microscopy) to do the alignment and stacking. There clearly are still some artifacts from that process.
 
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bdbits

Regular
Location
USA
Sony has added in-camera focus stacking in their latest camera, the A7R5. I do not expect they will backport it to older cameras, but will have it in new cameras going forward.
 

L0n3Gr3yW0lf

Top Veteran
Location
Somerset, UK
Name
Ovi
Thanks for showing the description and set up @L0n3Gr3yW0lf . It is difficult to deal with the shallow depth of field at high magnifications. It looks like you have a similar macro rail to the one I use (Sunwayfoto MFR150s https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1337836-REG/sunwayfoto_mfr_150s_macro_focusing_rail_with.html). It certainly can be tricky to make small enough movements with these.

What do you use for stacking the images? I assume the Sony doesn't have it built in.

I previously had participated regularly in the Flickr MacroMondays group. I should restart that since my teaching load is lighter in the winter! Here's one from a year ago using my Minolta 50mm Macro lens and Minolta Bellows on my Fujifilm X-A1 giving a magnification of about 3.5:1:

View attachment 356343Crimping beads and thimble by Robert Campbell, on Flickr

I used a couple of flashes to light it. The orange glow from inside the thimble was a complete accident! This was a stack of 10 images. I used ImageJ (commonly used in microscopy) to do the alignment and stacking. There clearly are still some artifacts from that process.
Thank you, I appreciate it. The rail I have is this one:
Screenshot_20230103_230239_Amazon Shopping.jpg
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It's all I could afford at that time. It can be moved in small enough increments, I'm just not used to this (small) level of Depth of Field, it will take me time to figure out how much is needed to transition from one acceptable DoF "slice" to another. Also it doesn't help that I don't have a very stable table to work on (unless I try to do it on the kitchen counters) or a proper mini tripod (I might get one though 25 £ is cheap enough).

I use auto align and auto blend in Photoshop, I do have a (don't ask me how I got it) copy of Zerene Stacker but I haven't used it in quite a long time.

I do find the lens to be an extreme annoyance because the focus breathing is absolutely imense and atrocious. I changes the perspective so much it would be impossible to focus stack subject larger then a couple of cm/1 inch.
 

L0n3Gr3yW0lf

Top Veteran
Location
Somerset, UK
Name
Ovi
I tried a few macro shots today because I couldn't get any birds with this bad weather (they are mostly hiding in thick, as far as they can find them given the lack of leaves, and vegetation to stay safe from the insane strong winds and lots of rain).

OVI02801-Edit.JPG
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There are new plants growing after Gardners (contracted workers) blew away most of the leaves in the open areas at my workplace. Lots of tiny little sprouts from a few millimetres to a handful of centimetres tall, this one I illuminated from the left side with a large-ish LED with a warm panel diffuser. I didn't get the entire plant in focus because I was trying to get as close as I could (about 1.3 to 1 macro magnification) but the DoF wasn't enough for f 11 and I was hand-holding the camera in the wind.

OVI02814-Edit.JPG
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I tried looking for interesting subjects but couldn't find much for more than half an hour, not even mushrooms. I did find this little bug under a wet log but it was running away quite fast and I was struggling to get the DoF, the focus and the shutter speed to work even with the addition of artificial light (the working distance with this lens is starting to get on my nerves BUT I still need to focus on practising shooting macro between 1:2 and 1:1 in the field before I can actually make 2:1 work).

OVI02821-Edit.JPG
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There are A LOT of snowdrops starting to come out but none of them has opened yet, maybe next week? I will need to start carrying more of my (tiny) lights and mini tripods for when they do so I can shoot slow shutter speeds and more DoF (I don't think focus stacking will work with this lens but I will give it a few tries).

OVI02848-Edit.JPG
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After getting home and grabbing my dog for a walk I had bad luck with not much wildlife to shoot in the afternoon (bad timing but I worked until 14:00) and crazy weather. While heading home I found these little guys, barely the size of a thumbnail, they were hanging around a tree above me. I need to revisit them with some extra lights so I can get more DoF and lower ISO.

OVI02851-Edit.JPG
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Then things got weird because I found 3 mushrooms UNDER the tree branch, just hanging around. I didn't know that these kinds of mushrooms can grow like that (I have seen other types but not ones with sombrero caps). This image is looking up the branch.

OVI02852-Edit.JPG
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These ones are the same as the one from above but from the opposite direction, still growing under the tree branch, I didn't have my Laowa lens with me but sometimes I am happier with my Tamron lens for close-ups.

OVI02856-Edit.JPG
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This 3 hombre were sticking out of one end of a tree branch, quite an interesting location, surrounded by the "rings of life". I wish I shot at f 16 or even smaller (sharpness be damned) but I was in the shade, the sun was very low and out of sight and the wind was making it impossible to slow my shutter speed down even more.

OVI02857-Edit.JPG
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This bunch was hiding quite well in a large bush, it was quite hard to get a good enough angle on them and I really wish I could have gotten that little stick above out of the frame but keep the two beautiful heat leaves with the mushrooms.
 
Location
Cambridgeshire, UK.
Name
Charles
I tried a few macro shots today because I couldn't get any birds with this bad weather (they are mostly hiding in thick, as far as they can find them given the lack of leaves, and vegetation to stay safe from the insane strong winds and lots of rain).

View attachment 358070
There are new plants growing after Gardners (contracted workers) blew away most of the leaves in the open areas at my workplace. Lots of tiny little sprouts from a few millimetres to a handful of centimetres tall, this one I illuminated from the left side with a large-ish LED with a warm panel diffuser. I didn't get the entire plant in focus because I was trying to get as close as I could (about 1.3 to 1 macro magnification) but the DoF wasn't enough for f 11 and I was hand-holding the camera in the wind.

View attachment 358072
I tried looking for interesting subjects but couldn't find much for more than half an hour, not even mushrooms. I did find this little bug under a wet log but it was running away quite fast and I was struggling to get the DoF, the focus and the shutter speed to work even with the addition of artificial light (the working distance with this lens is starting to get on my nerves BUT I still need to focus on practising shooting macro between 1:2 and 1:1 in the field before I can actually make 2:1 work).

View attachment 358073
There are A LOT of snowdrops starting to come out but none of them has opened yet, maybe next week? I will need to start carrying more of my (tiny) lights and mini tripods for when they do so I can shoot slow shutter speeds and more DoF (I don't think focus stacking will work with this lens but I will give it a few tries).

View attachment 358075
After getting home and grabbing my dog for a walk I had bad luck with not much wildlife to shoot in the afternoon (bad timing but I worked until 14:00) and crazy weather. While heading home I found these little guys, barely the size of a thumbnail, they were hanging around a tree above me. I need to revisit them with some extra lights so I can get more DoF and lower ISO.

View attachment 358077
Then things got weird because I found 3 mushrooms UNDER the tree branch, just hanging around. I didn't know that these kinds of mushrooms can grow like that (I have seen other types but not ones with sombrero caps). This image is looking up the branch.

View attachment 358078
These ones are the same as the one from above but from the opposite direction, still growing under the tree branch, I didn't have my Laowa lens with me but sometimes I am happier with my Tamron lens for close-ups.

View attachment 358079
This 3 hombre were sticking out of one end of a tree branch, quite an interesting location, surrounded by the "rings of life". I wish I shot at f 16 or even smaller (sharpness be damned) but I was in the shade, the sun was very low and out of sight and the wind was making it impossible to slow my shutter speed down even more.

View attachment 358083
This bunch was hiding quite well in a large bush, it was quite hard to get a good enough angle on them and I really wish I could have gotten that little stick above out of the frame but keep the two beautiful heat leaves with the mushrooms.
Ovi, Micael Widell has some very informative macro tips on YouTube.
 

L0n3Gr3yW0lf

Top Veteran
Location
Somerset, UK
Name
Ovi
Definitely the way to go! If you go for a diffuser like his Dorr, don't be tempted by the cheaper ones on Amazon, they're rubbish!
I was looking at his diffuser comparison yesterday and I quite liked the Dorr one ... I tried to look it up on Amazon for it but, unfortunately, it gave me to big diffusers ... (Literally) door diffuser :p (I would need a telescope for that).
 

wee-pics

Legend
Location
Germany
Name
Walter
I tried a few macro shots today because I couldn't get any birds with this bad weather (they are mostly hiding in thick, as far as they can find them given the lack of leaves, and vegetation to stay safe from the insane strong winds and lots of rain).
If you really want to get into it, spend some time looking at lots of superb photos and explanations of the setup on Mark's page. He shows you what stunning photos are possible with minimal outfit (just the 2.8/60 macro with flash and home-made diffusor and walking-stick used as a tripod in combination with your two feet).
An absolute eye-opener.
 
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camprl1

Regular
Location
Eastern Ontario, Canada
Name
Robert C
If you really want to get into it, spend some time looking at lots of superb photos and explanations of the setup on mark's page. He shows you what stunning photos are possible with minimal outfit (just the 2.8/60 macro with flash and home-made diffusor and walking-stick used as a tripod in combination with your two feet).
An absolute eye-opener.
I would like to second this recommendation. I have made my own flash diffusers. I think the best one was a small on-camera softbox made out of a breakfast cereal box, lined with foil duct tape (not "Duct Tape") and using some white foam packing "cloth" (not sure what else to call it -- the kind of thing one finds wrapping new electronics sometimes) as the diffusing component. Cheaper than buying but perhaps not as robust. And I use manual flash only, so one doesn't need to spend much on a dedicated flash unit for macro.
 
Location
Cambridgeshire, UK.
Name
Charles
If you really want to get into it, spend some time looking at lots of superb photos and explanations of the setup on Mark's page. He shows you what stunning photos are possible with minimal outfit (just the 2.8/60 macro with flash and home-made diffusor and walking-stick used as a tripod in combination with your two feet).
An absolute eye-opener.
I was going to recommend this site also Walter! Reading the whole article shows what can be achieved from JPEGs and using inexpensive close up lenses.
 

wee-pics

Legend
Location
Germany
Name
Walter
I was going to recommend this site also Walter! Reading the whole article shows what can be achieved from JPEGs and using inexpensive close up lenses.
There's something special about Mark's attitude: macro photography seen as meditation.
I can fully subscribe this. When taking close-ups I'm in a flow forgetting everything around me.
You never come so close to the wonders of the nature around you and its manifold forms, colours and structures as with macro photography. You need not be religious to be fillew with awe. It's the same kind of wonder Einstein and other great Scientists felt when looking at the world and the universe.
 
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