Got a new macro lense - HELP!

Discussion in 'Digital Discussion & Q&A' started by GYFÄP, Jan 17, 2009.

  1. GYFÄP

    GYFÄP TPF Noob!

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    Hi there,

    I just bought a brand new Sigma macro lense for my Canon 400D and I've never used a macro lense before. It was my big dream to take photos of insects etc. close up, but I have no idea how to handle this lense, to be honest. Please help me! :( this is what bothers me:

    1) All of my pictures (taken inside with a lamp as a spot OR taken outside in natural light) seem to be over exposed somehow? I tried to adjust my ISO but it doesn't seem to work.. Along with that the picture tends to get very blurry.

    2) When
    I use AF it's like the lense panicks and is completly unable to stay still and focus when up close.

    3) ... And it doesn't matter if I use AF or manual focus, it still doesn't seem as though the lense can go very close to the object?

    Can someone please tell me what to do? I'm dying to shoot good photographs!

    Thanks in advance :heart:
     
  2. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Ok here is how I shoot macro

    1) set the lens to manual focusing - auto focus is not going to help you at macro levels

    2) turn the foucs all the way round (it should have markers in yellow on the focus info on the lens go to 1:1 - that is full magnifcation - as close as you can focus)

    3) with that done find a subject - once found move the lens and camera closer until you get into focus (this is a by feel part and the more you shoot the more familer you will be with the range of your lens). You will probably have to rock very gently back and forth to get the foucs right where you want it to be.

    4) when focusing half depress the shutter button (which would normally activate auto focus) that will not only give you the confirmation red blip which can sometimes help, but also means that when you press the shutter you create less motion from the hand action.

    When shooting macro I always use flash support - idealy something like a speedlite 430 or 580M2 but the popup flash can work just as well. Set the camera mode to manual (I find this works best with falash - other modes and flash tends to not be taken into account with camera metering)
    For a start with settings try the following:
    Aperture - f13
    ISO - 200
    shutter speed - 1/200sec

    with the popup flash you might have to raise ISO to 400 to get a good exposure - just try experiementing.
    Also if you put a few folds of white toilet paper infront of the flash element (held in place with and elastic band) that will help diffuse the light from the flash
     
  3. doenoe

    doenoe TPF Noob!

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    I got the sigma 105 2.8 macro and it takes great pics. One thing is, you cant go too close to the subject, cause (like every lens) there is a minimum distance that has to be between your lens and the subject. If your are too close, the camera cant focus and will keep searching.......thus looking like its panicking.
    I hope you understand exposure and know how the whole shutterspeed, diaphragm and ISO works. So if your pic is over-exposed you can up your shutterspeed. Or even better for macro, close your diaphragm a bit more (higher F-number)
    I dont know how close your lens was to the subject, but just try getting a bit more distance and see if it will focus then. If it isnt close enough in your opinion, you can always crop (i do that in 90% of my macro pics too)
     
  4. GYFÄP

    GYFÄP TPF Noob!

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    Thank you so much for your reply! It's helped a lot just reading it. I will use the tips you gave about ISO and etc. the next time I'm out with my lense

    .. god I'm so grateful for this forum :hug::
     
  5. dxqcanada

    dxqcanada Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    What lens is it that you have ?
     
  6. GYFÄP

    GYFÄP TPF Noob!

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    I'm just gonna type what it says on the box:

    Sigma 105mm F2.8
    DG MACRO

    ;)
     
  7. Garbz

    Garbz No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Also macro work creates an incredibly tight depth of field. While shooting wide open is normal for many subjects in photography, shooting at f/2.8 would give less than 1 mm depth of field (the areas in focus) for 1:1 macro work. Since the focus works fully open this is the reason the focus hunts around since the movement of your hands prevents a focus lock.

    Autofocus works reasonably well on a tripod.
     
  8. GYFÄP

    GYFÄP TPF Noob!

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    Argh, I'm not that clever on that photography 'language' yet - probably 'cause I'm not English speaking ;)

    But apart from that I think I get what you all mean, and I'm going to try and use it.

    Thanks for all the replies!! :thumbup:
     
  9. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

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    If you get lost - just post some example shots for us so we can get a look at your results and we can advise from there :)
     

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