Some fun with the DSLR

caligrown(9b)March 17, 2014

I had some spare time yesterday so I decided to mess around with my new-ish macro filters. As a broke college student I cant afford the macro lens I want, so I decided to buy these macro filters as a substitute till I can save up the money. I didn't have high hopes for the filters as I only spent 10 or so dollars on them. I was pleasantly surprised by them to say the least. For those of you who are in to photography can you please honesty critique my pictures? I have thick skin so don't worry about my feelings. Thanks in advance.

Regards, Patrick

Aloe humilis flower/s

Gasteria liliputana fflowers

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NOID Semp.

Dyckia "Micheal Andreas"

Aloe "Lime Fizz"

Agave filifera sp. schidigera "White Stripe"

    Bookmark   March 17, 2014 at 11:28AM
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They all look good.

Macro filters can soften the image a bit.

What are you using - Nikon or Canon?

Does it have a "live view"?

The old macro lenses can be had for next to nothing if you know what to look for.

Live view helps because it give you critical focus using an older manual focus lens.

    Bookmark   March 17, 2014 at 2:18PM
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tsugajunkie z5 SE WI

Looks good. The depth of field is sacrificed with the macro filters so, until you get the lens, try to get as much of of the subject in the same plane as you can.


    Bookmark   March 17, 2014 at 6:55PM
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Also, do a few tests and stop the lens down, especially if you have a tripod.

Most kit lenses have a sweet spot at f8 but you can still shoot at f14 and get fine results.

    Bookmark   March 18, 2014 at 1:02AM
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wantonamara Z8 CenTex

I would have thought that the higher the Fstop the greater the depth of field.

    Bookmark   March 18, 2014 at 1:11AM
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bikerdoc5968 Z6 SE MI

Mara, in photographic jargon, "stopping the lens down", means to make the diaphragm of the lens smaller or going from f 5.6 to f 22 which would give you better depth of field. The issue with macro photography is that your depth of field is so narrow, using some mechanism, like a monopod or tripod is very helpful.

This post was edited by bikerdoc5968 on Tue, Mar 18, 14 at 12:04

    Bookmark   March 18, 2014 at 8:08AM
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Both Aloe and Gasteria pics look great in the shots provided Nice aim and focus
NOID Semp seems to have lost a little of the background round Continue with F stop practicing

Dykia Same thought as Semp ading try backing up a little more to get a better overall view

Aloe lime fuss pic one very good background slightly off focus on the subject again F stop comes into play perhaps a bit more stable

Pic 2 Aloe: Not to bad I think what you attempted to do was to get close up filters to do what a macro lens would do with ease. You've lost the back looks good for what is in focus but way to fuzzy in back Apature setting VS shutter speed tuff to tell. I would of gave in for a faster shutter speed first

Agave shouldn't comment I dont have any to compare but for suport allow me to repeat :F stop, Tripod F stop, tripod F stop, tripod. Practice and perfection is ohh so very close.

I try to get what I want in the lens first then as much as I can get second

    Bookmark   March 18, 2014 at 10:48AM
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I want to thank all of you for your time and wisdom. I had to put my dog to sleep last night. Needless to say im a bit lost at the moment. So please forgive me for keeping this short.

@avil- Im a canon man. I have a Rebel T3i. It has live view. I read somewhere that you shouldn't use auto focus with the filters due to their weight. So trying to get a flower in focus that's flapping in the wind using manual focus without a tripod was a challenge to say the least. I have a tripod but, it is a mini one that I used for my digital camera. I could use it, im just not willing to test my fate. A decent tripod is on to of my list though. Its funny you mention the f8 sweet spot. I only have the 18-55mm kit lens, so I know exactly what your talking about.

@nomen_nudum- what got me into photography was some of the macro pictures. IMO when used in a correct manor macro shots with a high aperture setting is absolutely breath taking. I fell my problem is finding a balance. Thank you for explaining the problems each picture had.

Again I cant thank each and every one of you enough for sharing your time, thoughts, and advice with me. I truly appreciate it.

Kindest Regards, Patrick

    Bookmark   March 18, 2014 at 8:22PM
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tsugajunkie z5 SE WI

Sorry to hear about your dog. I went through that in November for two of our dogs about 3 weeks apart.

As someone once said, "The only thing wrong with dogs is that they don't live long enough."

So we enjoy them while we can.


    Bookmark   March 18, 2014 at 10:11PM
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OK, I have 30 years in with Nikon and I am not that familiar with the Canon Digital. The one advantage with Nikon is the access to great manual glass that will mount on all the Nikon D's.

I see several 100 macro FD's on the list at but you would need a Canon guy to see what it takes to make it work. If it takes a $50 adapter to make it work all of a sudden it's not such a bargain.

One thing you may want to look at is a used 55-200 kit lens. Not a macro but a cheap work around to upgrade your results. The Nikon 55-200 can focus close up so I would assume the Canon is the same.

I would get the tripod FIRST - look at B and H - they have everything.


Try not to shoot in the wind

Try some tests at f11 or f14 or higher to start. An 18-55 will still make sharp images at any aperture! You may only see a problem if you stop it way down.

If the subject is STILL set the ISO to 200 and adjust the shutter accordingly. Switch the camera to manual mode and bracket the shutter in both directions. Sometimes a slightly underexposed image looks the best. Remember - Digital memory is free!

Always shut off the Vibration Reduction on a kit lens. If you are on a tripod the VR or IS can actually cause a problem - at least it does with Nikon.

Switch the lens to manual focus and use live view. Remember the live view can zoom in for critical focus.

That camera is capable of giving you great results.

Do lots of testing.

Does your college have a Mass Communication Dept? Take a photo class as an elective. Access to Photoshop or another program.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2014 at 1:37AM
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@-tsugajunkia thank you for the kind words. I almost feel bad for saying this but, I am more closer to my dogs then some of my family members. He was 10 so he wa getting up there in age. Im just happy I got to spend the time I did with him.

@- avil thank you for taking the time to explain all this to me. I truly appreciate it

What are your thoughts on reversing my lens and adding extension tubes? From what I have read and seen they can produce great results. Thank you again for your time.

Regards, Patrick

    Bookmark   March 20, 2014 at 8:41PM
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I will check with my Canon friend on a few things.

This could be all you ever need. No work-arounds

    Bookmark   March 21, 2014 at 12:24AM
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