Using Macro Filters Effectively

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by nclester, Mar 27, 2008.

  1. nclester

    nclester TPF Noob!

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    I bought a set of macro filters, 4x, 2x and 1x, but I can't seem to get what I'm looking for out of them. I'm using a Nikon D80, in manual, a 18-135mm Nikor n00b lens, using hardly any flash. My edges and borders are blurry, even with my camera set to compensate for light and DOP.

    Can I do anything differently? Any tips while using macro filters? I know I need a new lens, but I can't afford the $800 prime choice, so I'll have to deal for a few months.

    Thanks!

    I have two examples, because my flickr account is relatively new, of flowers. I did a bit of exposure and color correction work. I shot in jpg fine, because I lack the know how of how to edit RAW properly.


    www.flickr.com/photos/nclester
     
  2. passerby

    passerby TPF Noob!

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    I am not qualified in this but is it possible to correct it with narrower aperture to increase the DOF? I know it will end up with slow SS but the flowers are stationary objects anyway. Just an opinion.
     
  3. kidchill

    kidchill TPF Noob!

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    I use a Canon 500D diopter with my 18-200 lens for macro. The thing you have to understand is that you are killing depth of field by being close to the object and zooming in. The best thing to do is get your aperture as small as possible. I just did some new macro shots and went with 1/22 and that seemed to work out. It takes some practice and experimentation.
     
  4. Helen B

    Helen B TPF Noob!

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    Simple, single-element supplementary lenses need to be used at small apertures to limit the reduction in image quality, especially at the edges. You can see this in your flower pictures. As well as the blurriness that doesn't look like it is simply out of focus there is also some colour fringing (chromatic aberration). Stopping down helps to reduce these aberrations, as well as increasing depth of field.

    Supplementary close-up lenses (aka diopters, or 'macro filters') vary widely in quality. There are those made with two or three elements that cost hundreds of dollars and are designed for use only with certain lenses, and there are generic ones made of a single lens.

    Best,
    Helen
     
  5. Groupcaptainbonzo

    Groupcaptainbonzo TPF Noob!

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    OK. Diopter filters are the cheap option. For the price they work well. But, if they worked as well as a £300.00 lens and a £500.00 strobe kit.... No one would EVER sell the expensive alternative.
    But whatever you use, some things don't change. Macro photography will require a small aperture to boost the pityfully small DOF. It will require huge amounts of light to illuminate the subject..
    The next most expensive option is extension tubes. Which are great because all you are putting on the camera is air. Filters are glass and usually cheap glass at that . as such there will be aberations in the glass (Faults).
    you have done really well with the filters, but you are working at the limit of their range and expecting results that thay cannot deliver. you need (if you can justify the expense) to move up a gear.
     
  6. nclester

    nclester TPF Noob!

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    Wow, what a kick-ass forum. Such intuitive responses, and so quickly. I will take everyone's advice, and stop-down as much as possible. I'll just have to slow my shutter way down, and pull out my mini-tripod.

    I wish I had the cash, and I wont for a while the way things look in America right now, for some new gear. I need a Speedlight, Ring Flash and a few lenses. I'm just so broke I can hardly eat, especially being a full time student.

    So, I will continue to work on these shots, actually right now and I'll post a few more tonight. Thank you so much guys and the gal from New York, which is my home state and the one I miss dearly, for all the tips and advice.

    Later on people.
     
  7. nclester

    nclester TPF Noob!

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    Oh, and in a poor attempt to boost my post numbers and inform you that my Hoya filters are not expensive, and that I got em' on e-bay for about 60 bucks. I should have bought a freaking UV, but I wasn't as bright then as I am now : )

    Thanks again!
     
  8. Helen B

    Helen B TPF Noob!

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    I guessed that you had the Hoya set. I know someone who uses them with the Nikon 18-70 for producing images for use on the web, and they are OK for that when used stopped down to f/11 or f/16. The chromatic and spherical aberrations do not occur because it is 'cheap' glass, but because there is only one element - one piece, and hence one type, of glass - in the diopter. That prevents the corrections that can be achieved by multi-element lenses. They use more than one type of glass, so that the aberrations can be cancelled out, at least to some extent.

    Best,
    Helen
     

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