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Technical Forum => Photo help => Topic started by: mel on January 12, 2013, 10:33:17 AM



Title: Macro lense advice
Post by: mel on January 12, 2013, 10:33:17 AM
I really envy all the lovely crisp photos that you guys take. Mine are invariably pants. So, do you think a macro lense would help. I have an old (but still quite a nice camera) canon powershot G6 which is supposed to be good for close ups and has a macro function already, but I can't seem to get any decent depth of field. My ordinary photos are fine. I know light is important and have a light box of sorts (a fine white cotton pop up laundry 'basket') with 2 natural daylight lamps that shine through. My best shots are outside in good natural light, but I want to get something reliable set up indoors.

What do you think?


Title: Re: Macro lense advice
Post by: spexy on January 12, 2013, 11:30:11 AM
I'm not expert but are you able to change the apperture on your camera? If so try increasing the number to the highest and see what happens. This is the depth of field. Mine goes up to 22.


Title: Re: Macro lense advice
Post by: Zeldazog on January 12, 2013, 01:16:13 PM
Have to correct you Linda, the larger the number, the 'smaller' the aperture.  No idea why, but that's how it is

So F22 is a smaller aperture than F1.8


And the larger the aperature, the greater the depth of field.


Title: Re: Macro lense advice
Post by: helbels on January 12, 2013, 01:21:21 PM
If it's any help at all, I have a bridge camera that I use on the manual setting, and generally use F5.0 and ISO 80 when using a light tent (don't ask me what on earth that means, I just know that those settings mean the photo normally comes out ok!!)



Title: Re: Macro lense advice
Post by: Zeldazog on January 12, 2013, 01:23:35 PM
And the larger the aperature, the greater the depth of field.

Sorry said that the wrong way round - the larger the aperture, the smaller (or narrower) the depth of field (I was thinking in terms of I like having very little depth of field, the the larger the aperture, the more fuzzy a background you get....)



Title: Re: Macro lense advice
Post by: mizgeorge on January 12, 2013, 01:25:34 PM
There's some useful stuff in the wiki

http://www.frit-happens.co.uk/wiki/Photography

and a lot of other posts on the subject if you search the forum.


Title: Re: Macro lense advice
Post by: Helen G on January 12, 2013, 02:09:19 PM
With regard to a macro lens be aware that they can show imperfections that are not visible with the naked eye. I bought a macro lens and although I love photographing nature in macro, I stopped using it on my beads and just use my standard lens. I would say a better investment is a tripod and using a remote or timer.


Title: Re: Macro lense advice
Post by: cbeadies on January 12, 2013, 02:12:46 PM
This book may be helpful - I borrowed a copy from my local library service.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Crafters-Guide-Taking-Great-Photos/dp/1844487512/ref=sr_1_sc_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1358021288&sr=8-1-spell
 (http://www.amazon.co.uk/Crafters-Guide-Taking-Great-Photos/dp/1844487512/ref=sr_1_sc_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1358021288&sr=8-1-spell)




Title: Re: Macro lense advice
Post by: spexy on January 12, 2013, 02:55:20 PM
I did say I wasn't an expert. I had a lesson with a photographer and he said use 22.


Title: Re: Macro lense advice
Post by: Zeldazog on January 12, 2013, 04:05:05 PM
I did say I wasn't an expert. I had a lesson with a photographer and he said use 22.

Sorry, Linda, I didn't mean that F22 wouldn't give a large depth of field - as you say, the higher the F-stop, the larger the depth of field is. 

I was just explaining that the larger F-stop numbers actually mean a smaller hole in the lens.... I just didn't say it very well  :-\


Title: Re: Macro lense advice
Post by: Rosenquartz on January 12, 2013, 04:15:19 PM
The larger the F-number, the smaller the aperture, the larger the depth of field - i.e. more will be in focus. Small number, big hole, small depth of field.

In macro photography you're working with such a small depth of your subject that a small depth of field might mean that a plane of just a couple of millimetres might be in focus - but then if you get the depth of field right you can throw the laundry basket out of focus.

I don't know the G6 but looking at the spec you have a macro setting, close focus at 5cm and f-numbers from 2 to 8 - which seems pretty good for a small sensor camera.

Are you using it on Av mode? That's aperture priority (hope I'm not telling you what you know already) and it means you take control of the aperture and the camera set's the shutter speed. If you can control the ISO (sensor sensitivity) then set it at ISO 100 if possible. And as Helen said - use a tripod and remote release or timer to avoid shake - with the smaller aperture your camera will select a slower shutter speed.

But having said all of that - I've looked at your photos and they are not that bad.


Title: Re: Macro lense advice
Post by: chipperpottery on January 13, 2013, 05:24:44 AM
Mine is a lumix FZ45 bench camera. I always use a tripod and I use a no 2 Macro lens.
I always get a better picture of my beads if I use a light tent.


Title: Re: Macro lense advice
Post by: kerensky on January 13, 2013, 09:03:56 AM

The three things that have made a huge difference to my photographs are : - 

Lighting

Tripod

Using the Timer option on the camera.

I have a Macro lens too, but find that I don't really need it.


Title: Re: Macro lense advice
Post by: Purple Cobwebs on January 13, 2013, 11:23:23 AM
I love my Macro lens. I usually use a small F stop, F4.5ish, to get an in focus bead and fuzzy background. I always use a tripod and timer to avoid camera shake.
For necklaces I go up to about F22 so that there is more in focus.


Title: Re: Macro lense advice
Post by: mel on January 23, 2013, 11:22:16 AM
Thanks for your advice folks. I've looked at my photos, and the ones outside are much better, it's the ones inside which cause the problems so it's probably lighting issues that are my biggest hurdle. I tried losing the lighting tent and using the same 2 lights. I also overcame my laziness and got the tripod out and used the timer, and also re read the camera instructions on setting the white balance. I set my ISO to 100 but couldnt work out how to set the aperture but will have another go. There was a slider scale which allowed me to over or under expose, presumably for a greater depth of field I want to slide the slider to under expose, thus decreasing the physical size of the aperture which will make the shutter speed slower? I can then brighten what is likely to be a dull (but possibly with good depth of field) photo on Photoshop? Does this make sense?

 


Title: Re: Macro lense advice
Post by: GaysieMay on January 23, 2013, 12:39:02 PM
I'm a complete novice with photographs but I try and take them outside and use the auto setting - the very helpful girl at Jessops (I hope she has found a new job since) suggested this camera to me when she knew what I wanted from it.  I have canon power shot SX200 - I wanted something I could sling in my handbag as well as use for beads.  I love it!  ;D