Playing with my new Lens

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by jubbin2001, Jan 3, 2009.

  1. jubbin2001

    jubbin2001 TPF Noob!

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    Well as it turns out my wife got me the Vivitar 100mm 3.5 Macro lens I was looking at. Crafty woman I tell ya :mrgreen:. So I spent some time with it today, and I was actually really suprised at how well it did (though I am not sure yet if I am a fan of the 1:1 adapter, because you have to be pretty close for it to work). I think the problem I am having now is my aquarium lights. I don't think they are bright enough for macro work. Good thing I am getting higher output lights soon :cheer:. Anyway after about 2 hours of playing with it here are the 4 pictures that actually kind of turned out. I just though I would share my progress thus far.

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    I really feel that my current problem is my lighting. When I have the camera on Macro or any other auto setting, the flash wants to pop up. So I think once my new higher intensity lights come into play, perhaps I can yeild some better results.

    Any comments or critiques are welcome, thanks for looking!
     
  2. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

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    I agree with you assement - lighting is your biggest problem I think.
    Not being able to use a flash through the glass is limiting - especially as you can't really use longer exposures because of movement - though some of your subjects could be shot from a tripod with a longer exposure provided that a fish does not swim past ;)

    Also this might be of interest )
    NatureScapes.Net - Article on Cross-Polarization Flash Macro Photography
    not sure if I have shown you that link before, but the idea of cutting out flash reflections with a polarizer is something that I hope to use this year - it should counter the glass reflections well and let you use a dedicated flash head. Certianly it works for normal glass shooting *animals at the zoo* and using it on the flash would only help to counter it in shots
     
  3. CAG76

    CAG76 TPF Noob!

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    Wow! These look pretty good! Maybe play with your camera adjustments if anything you can always use Photoshop if you have it. The top and bottom ones are my faves. The top could be a little bit lighter, the bottom one looks good enough. Maybe little more saturation. Them more I look at them I kind of like them the way they are, but that's just me.

    -Christopher
     
  4. jubbin2001

    jubbin2001 TPF Noob!

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    That's a really neat idea Overread, I have to look into it. I guess when I have used the flash before, the images don't seem to look quite right...or not as natural as they do in the aquarium. here is what I mean.

    Flash:

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    No Flash:

    [​IMG]

    The one with out flash is much closer to the natual color as it appears in my tank. Perhaps if I got a speed light and use a diffuser or even that polarizing film that would work. I would like to get a speed light, but there are so many to use. I know I want one a little more versitile, but I don't think I can spend the $380 on a SB-800 for my D80. I know you can get some that bounce the flash, but I don't know how effective that would be in my scenario. Plus I don't want to get some cheapo that is just a bigger auto flash like the built in one I have. Perhaps I am getting in over my head just a little bit :mrgreen:. I might steal my brother's Cannon SLR with his 60mm macro lens and macro flash, just see what I can come up with. Any further idead are authorized and encouraged! Thanks Overread.

    Thanks for the kind words Chris :D. Photo chopping is always an option. I just normally put up the unedited versions I guess....maybe it's the purist in me that feels its better to start from scratch and then move towards some editing later on. I try to get the pictures as close to what I see as I can before hitting the software...I'll experiment. Thanks again :thumbup:.
     
  5. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Using flash and using flash well are two very different things and its one of the harder parts of photography (I find) get right right.
    I would say that if you shot in RAW you would be able to adjust the white balance of the shot in editing and thus be able to get back to the more natural colourings which might be where you are having problems. Its possible to do with JPEG as well, though it can prove to be a bit harder and a more complex operation - there is also the risk of greater image degradation in that line.
    STill it looks like the flash in that shot was well used - at least I cant see any major overexposures - did you use any kind of diffuser on the flash?
     
  6. jubbin2001

    jubbin2001 TPF Noob!

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    No diffuser. I learned while taking moving fish pictures how to angle the camera to avoid getting those flash marks on the tank ;). I was wondering if maybe wax paper would suffice for a diffuser. I just hate seeing all those hard shadows. I suppose I could go into Lightroom and play around, but more often than not the auto does a better job than I can :lol:. Hmmm more playing around I suppose. Thanks Overread!
     
  7. xtort-

    xtort- TPF Noob!

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    #1 and #4 are pretty nice. You do need some better lighting so you can close the aperture down a little to get some better depth of field. Good work otherwise!
     
  8. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

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    I don't know about wax paper, but I used to use folds of white toilet paper infront my fly flash before I got the softbox. The paper works well at diffusing the light, I have also read some people use tracing paper, napkins - mostly anything white that lets light through -- and you can even used coloured for some - interesting coloured light ;)
     

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