Saturday, January 28, 2012

Macro Experiments with my camera

One of the dangers of the modern age is the Internet – it is just too easy to find out about stuff and then spend money. As a result of my son’s interest in Macro photography for his work, I have been spending time checking out what is possible. Which resulted in me spending money

Sad smile

There is loads of information on the web, but as usual nothing quite answers the questions in my mind. In general, like most things quality of the reproduction in photography is related to how much you are prepared to spend. Of course the aesthetic quality of the actual picture is about much more than just the cash involved.  I didn’t want to spend too much money either.

My camera uses a Micro Four Thirds standard, which is used by both Panasonic and Olympus.  A 45mm F2.8 Macro lens would cost  around £560 (today’s Amazon price) and is capable of 1x magnification. For me that is too much to try out a branch of photography and for my son in his first job way too much.

An alternative is to use extension tubes, cheap, but lots of uncertainties about what you do about aperture and focus. Some tubes just physically move the lens away from the camera body, others might allow the camera and lens to “communicate”. Another alternative is to use a close-up lens which goes on the end of the lens but none fitted my Panasonic lens, as far as I could tell.

I’d given up, but it turns out that various filter manufacturers make them – from £10.00 to these Hama ones for £40.78 (Currently half price). In the end I succumbed and went for the Hama ones. The great thing is that I order them yesterday afternoon and they arrived in the post mid-morning today.

We have friend coming around for dinner tonight so I don’t have much play time. So here are a few cheeky pictures.

Using my 14-140mm lens this is the result.

Using the N4 lens – quite an increase in magnification – but either the focus point is wrong or I shook or the quality is compromised – it is a little blurry.

This time I used the N2 to take two pictures at different zooms. In the second case I allowed the camera to rest on the table and set the aperture to the max – f22.

When using the close-up lens I can see I will have to learn about the focus issues. Depending upon the zoom factor and distance from the subject I found there were times I couldn’t focus.

This is pretty good though, reasonable sharpness and flexibility.

A similar picture, but this time at f22 to get a greater depth of field. This was taken resting on the table with a speed of around 0.4s

I can see that, for me these close-up lenses will do the trick, without spending inordinate amounts on a new lens. As for my son I can see that will probably work for him – providing he can get the right filter size. As these were quick experiments I left the sky-light filter on the lens which probably compromises things a bit.

And finally (well a few finallys) – a driver takes a wrong turn and drives 50 yards along a main line railway track. I wonder if there were some lens issues?

Apparently we are no longer so keen on being green. For what it is worth I think that there are three issues, being green can be unclear – we sort our rubbish, but can they take batteries, what about compact fluorescent bulbs, where do they go. The second issue is we don’t see any real payback. I don’t mean that we don’t get paid – just that we don’t see any noticeable advantage. The last issue is that we are all guilty and frankly don’t want to acknowledge change is necessary – ‘cos we’d have to change things significantly. Let’s face it cars are pretty bad – but very few of us want to give them up (me included.)

Then when we do try we get let down – apparently some smart meters don’t work

This is related to photographing small things – a Lego man in space. The art of disguise – against wallpaper – although she needs to sort out her hair! and fireworks and lightening in Perth. 

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