Honey bee extreme close-up

cabledawg

TPF Noob!
Joined
Sep 27, 2011
Messages
71
Reaction score
13
Location
Buckeye State
Can others edit my Photos
Photos NOT OK to edit
Disregard the amount of dust on the subject and what appears to be low lighting. I had the aperture closed way down to get a deeper DoF and even with my LED lights on the high setting, there simply wasnt much light making it to the sensor. My subject had died earlier that morning so I had her on the table with the camera on a tripod. Equipment included my Canon 30D, FD to EOS lens adapter, Canon FD 25 Extension Tube (30D doesn't fit up against the bellows directly), Canon Bellows FL, Canon 50mm Macro and a 10x close-up lens. With that said, I forgot to write down my settings for the lens and camera.

I expect constructive criticism, but please remember I did this with budget equipment. Besides the camera body, I got everything else listed for under $150 and had to use Google to teach myself how to set up the rig. I know the lens has fungus or dust in it, but it's not noticeable in regular shots. The point of the picture was to see how much magnification could be achieved adapting old film equipment to a new(ish) digital camera and still keep the picture quality decent.

Overall, I'm happy with it but maybe next time I'll pick a bug that doesn't look like I pulled it from the vacuum bag.......

 

Overread

has a hat around here somewhere
Staff member
Supporting Member
Joined
May 1, 2008
Messages
25,373
Reaction score
4,943
Location
UK - England
Website
www.deviantart.com
Can others edit my Photos
Photos OK to edit
A few thoughts:
1) What settings did you use exactly (review your exif information attached to the photo in your editing software it should have an info tab to show you the settings used for the photo). There's a few ares where you might get improved performance, but I'd like to know what you used first.

2) Subject is dead (ergo static) and camera is on a tripod. So long as you're on a stable floor surface (carpet moves even as you move weight and the same for some wooden floors - a hard tile or concrete or other surface can stop some minor shake that macro will show up). Thus with this situation you can use a slower shutter speed and thus let more light into the sensor even with the aperture closed down. This also means you can use a low ISO as well.

3) You mention fungus - be careful. From what I've heard if you've fungus in one lens it can spread to others (spores) so I'd keep it separate from other lenses or only around those you don't mind getting damaged.
A few thoughts:
1) What settings did you use exactly (review your exif information attached to the photo in your editing software it should have an info tab to show you the settings used for the photo). There's a few ares where you might get improved performance, but I'd like to know what you used first.

2) Subject is dead (ergo static) and camera is on a tripod. So long as you're on a stable floor surface (carpet moves even as you move weight and the same for some wooden floors - a hard tile or concrete or other surface can stop some minor shake that macro will show up). Thus with this situation you can use a slower shutter speed and thus let more light into the sensor even with the aperture closed down. This also means you can use a low ISO as well.

3) You mention fungus - be careful. From what I've heard if you've fungus in one lens it can spread to others (spores) so I'd keep it separate from other lenses or only around those you don't mind getting damaged.
 
OP
cabledawg

cabledawg

TPF Noob!
Joined
Sep 27, 2011
Messages
71
Reaction score
13
Location
Buckeye State
Can others edit my Photos
Photos NOT OK to edit
I'm not sure if it's fungus or dust. I cant see anything unless I'm looking at a bright light source or zoomed way in like the photo I posted. The person I bought it from sells tons of camera equipment and couldn't tell either but disclosed the issue and priced accordingly. Either way, I'll be sure to go separate it from the other lenses for now.

Looks like the ISO was 800 and shutter was at 0.4 seconds. That's the slowest I can go without using bulb and I dont yet have a remote shutter control for this camera. I used the timer function so as not to wiggle the camera when the shutter opened. I believe the lens was at f22 but again, I forgot to write down my settings.

Thanks for the feedback. I'll be eager to hear more!

Edit: Macro lens is a Canon Macro 50mm 1:3.5 SSC. Not sure if that makes a difference or not.
 
Last edited:

Overread

has a hat around here somewhere
Staff member
Supporting Member
Joined
May 1, 2008
Messages
25,373
Reaction score
4,943
Location
UK - England
Website
www.deviantart.com
Can others edit my Photos
Photos OK to edit
f22 is probably causing you more problems than its helping with depth of field.
Aperture affects both sharpness and depth of field.

Depth of field increases as the aperture gets smaller (bigger f number). This generally remains a constant element; you make the aperture smaller (pick a bigger f number) and the depth of field gets greater.
Sharpness is a little different. You get an initial increase in sharpness as the aperture gets smaller; but it will eventually reverse and you get a continuous drop in sharpness thereafter as a result of diffraction taking effect. At what
point the sharpness starts to drop off varies from lens to lens, but in general terms around f5.6 to f10 is the rough range of values where it tends to start to change. Of course you can continue to stop down for a while (to around f13 or f16) before the drop in sharpness becomes too great for most to accept.


In macro this is important because most methods of increasing magnification result in an effective increase of the aperture as well. As a result whilst your lens is set to f22 the effective aperture could be even smaller; which means even more softening.



One way to counter this is to use focus-stacking. What you do here is you take a series of photos at a wider, sharper aperture. Starting at the closest point you want in focus and moving the camera closer to the subject for each subsequent shot (allowing for a bit of overlap between each shot's depth of field). You can also move the subject closer to the camera and you can also get away with using the focusing ring too (although ideally you move things rather than chance focus).

A focusing rail (cheap ebay kind work surprisingly well) can allow you to move the camera without moving the tripod (you can also put the rail under a subject to move the subject the same way if you so desire).

Photoshop will do focus stacking; but you've also got programs such as Helicon Focus and Zerene Stacker (both 3rd party options which cost) and Combine ZP (freeware). Each works differently and its one of the few areas where owning more htan one bit of software makes a big difference; one might work with one series of stacks whilst the others might fail. You can't shoot to the softwares strengths either so you generally benefit from having a few to use. CombineZP would be ideal if you're on a tight budget.
 
OP
cabledawg

cabledawg

TPF Noob!
Joined
Sep 27, 2011
Messages
71
Reaction score
13
Location
Buckeye State
Can others edit my Photos
Photos NOT OK to edit
Didnt know about the softening affect. I was using f22 to gain maximum DoF as my other pics looked brighter but had much more area out of focus and I didnt like that.

I dont have PhotoShop or any programs similar to it. I went digital a few years back to ease uploading pics to family/friends but most of my nature pics are still done on film. So looks like I'll be needing to get with the 21st century and get some actual editing software.

I have the rails already; one built into the bellows below the front/rear adjusters and a separate one so I can do x and y adjustment. I at least thought that far ahead and knew with high magnification fine adjustment in all directions was needed to prevent losing the subject from the field of view.

Again, thanks for the info. I'll try again tomorrow on the spider living in my window and post up with my results. Unless she climbs on the camera at which point I'll probably be in the hospital.
 

Overread

has a hat around here somewhere
Staff member
Supporting Member
Joined
May 1, 2008
Messages
25,373
Reaction score
4,943
Location
UK - England
Website
www.deviantart.com
Can others edit my Photos
Photos OK to edit
Focus stacking can be done on living subjects, but certainly needs them torpid or very static (early morning on a cold day works well or after a rain shower). Your dead bee would work well to practice on for focus stacking.

Also for software look up about Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom. They've basically gone for an account system at under $10 a month subscription that gets you both software packages; lightroom does management and most common editing a photographer needs whilst photoshop then backs it up with more power and options when needed. It can be a lot to take in all at once; but its an affordable way to get into digital editing.

IF you're more tight on budget there is GIMP which can be used for free legally as its freeware software. It is trickier to use than photoshop; but its certainly got more power for editing than most photographers need in regular photography. Photoshop is still the best and the industry standard, but GIMP is a very solid choice for those on tight budget.
 
OP
cabledawg

cabledawg

TPF Noob!
Joined
Sep 27, 2011
Messages
71
Reaction score
13
Location
Buckeye State
Can others edit my Photos
Photos NOT OK to edit
I'll look into the cost of the Adobe products. I get deals on Microsoft products for our homeschooled kids, maybe Adobe has something similar. I'll also look into GIMP. Havent heard of it but I like the price! ;)
 

petrochemist

TPF junkie!
Joined
Mar 9, 2014
Messages
1,817
Reaction score
577
Location
North Essex UK
Can others edit my Photos
Photos OK to edit
3) You mention fungus - be careful. From what I've heard if you've fungus in one lens it can spread to others (spores) so I'd keep it separate from other lenses or only around those you don't mind getting damaged.

Fungus spores are everywhere, so spreading from one lens to another is not an issue. If lenses are stored in the dark at moderate to high humidity the spores will start to grow. That's why lenses stored together can develop fungus at the same time, it's not spores from one infecting the others.
 
OP
cabledawg

cabledawg

TPF Noob!
Joined
Sep 27, 2011
Messages
71
Reaction score
13
Location
Buckeye State
Can others edit my Photos
Photos NOT OK to edit
Mine are all in a Pelican case. Whether it's just dust or fungus, I did find a local shop that does cleaning/repair work on camera equipment. I have two Canon AE-1's that need to be fixed so I'll just take everything down at one time.

Question: Would it help to have a lighter background and shoot at say, f16? Still keep a deeper DoF but maybe help sharpen up the image a little? The more I look at my pic, the more I think that using the table surface (which is black chalkboard) was probably not a good idea as it made the overall image very dark when shooting at f22. Below is a shot of the same bee, same camera settings but the aperture was wide open. As you can see the lighting was good however the DoF was very shallow. I have noticed the image was a bit sharper, or at least the part that was in focus.

 

Scatterbrained

Been spending a lot of time on here!
Joined
Apr 19, 2010
Messages
2,184
Reaction score
1,083
Location
Yucca Valley, Ca
Can others edit my Photos
Photos NOT OK to edit
.4 second exposure. You should be able to go all the way to 30 seconds in manual mode before bulb mode becomes a requisite. Simply dropping the iso to 100 should yield a 3.2 second exposure. Boosting that 2 stops should give you 13 seconds. Still doable without bulb mode.
 
OP
cabledawg

cabledawg

TPF Noob!
Joined
Sep 27, 2011
Messages
71
Reaction score
13
Location
Buckeye State
Can others edit my Photos
Photos NOT OK to edit
.4 second exposure. You should be able to go all the way to 30 seconds in manual mode before bulb mode becomes a requisite. Simply dropping the iso to 100 should yield a 3.2 second exposure. Boosting that 2 stops should give you 13 seconds. Still doable without bulb mode.

I stand corrected. I was sure I couldnt get that far up but have verified it is possible. I've had this camera for four years and still learning stuff. My old film cameras had just three things to change: shutter speed, ISO and aperture. Plain and simple.
 

Frank F.

engineering art
Joined
Oct 24, 2016
Messages
2,022
Reaction score
1,081
Location
Bonn
Can others edit my Photos
Photos OK to edit
Hey, the fly is dead? What are you up to? If I compare this shot with Bob Friedman's dead insects I see a lot lacking. He has posted extensive making ofs of his rig, his lighting, his background. There is a lot to learn. As a hint I can say that I can achieve the shown resolution with living samples of bees
 
Last edited:

Overread

has a hat around here somewhere
Staff member
Supporting Member
Joined
May 1, 2008
Messages
25,373
Reaction score
4,943
Location
UK - England
Website
www.deviantart.com
Can others edit my Photos
Photos OK to edit
The background will affect the photo but it won't make the exposure brighter in itself. A bright background that is illuminated might well reflect light onto the subject, but it will be backlighting and thus lighting the edge of the subject rather than the body (because the light is coming from behind not in front).

If you can leave the shutter open longer then do so it should help a lot. I would also advise looking into the focus stacking approach - you can use that wider aperture and get the sharp details whilst at the same time then using the software to stitch the shots together.

If you're concerned get a series of shots together and then we can go through the steps.
 
OP
cabledawg

cabledawg

TPF Noob!
Joined
Sep 27, 2011
Messages
71
Reaction score
13
Location
Buckeye State
Can others edit my Photos
Photos NOT OK to edit
I have a trial version of PS. Looks to be full featured, just limited to 30 days or something like that. When I get time from work, I'll try again with another subject only this time take several pics with focus at different depths as prescribed by Overread and try to use PS to stack them together. I'll post up on here when I've got something.
 
OP
cabledawg

cabledawg

TPF Noob!
Joined
Sep 27, 2011
Messages
71
Reaction score
13
Location
Buckeye State
Can others edit my Photos
Photos NOT OK to edit
Hey, the fly is dead? What are you up to? If I compare this shot with Bob Friedman's dead insects I see a lot lacking. He has posted extensive making ofs of his rig, his lighting, his background. There is a lot to learn. As a hint I can say that I can achieve the shown resolution with living samples of bees

I've never heard of Bob or his dead insects but I'll be sure to check him out. Thanks for the info!
 

Most reactions

ClickASnap

New Topics

Top