Macro beginner

Daigoro

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I’m an experienced photographer but I’m new to macro. I would like to take a series of forced perspective photos around my city of small toy/model vehicles with famous cites of the city out of focus behind them. I thought of using a reverse ring but I think this is a bit too extreme. I am looking for a solution where all or nearly all of a model, say VW Bus that is 1:24 is in focus as well as some of the stone ground around it and everything else can be very or severely out of focus. The cites in my city are so iconic, even if they’re severely out of focus, it will be obvious where it was taken.
 

RAZKY

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I’m an experienced photographer but I’m new to macro. I would like to take a series of forced perspective photos around my city of small toy/model vehicles with famous cites of the city out of focus behind them. I thought of using a reverse ring but I think this is a bit too extreme. I am looking for a solution where all or nearly all of a model, say VW Bus that is 1:24 is in focus as well as some of the stone ground around it and everything else can be very or severely out of focus. The cites in my city are so iconic, even if they’re severely out of focus, it will be obvious where it was taken.
I believe macro lenses would be the most convenient way to to go - generally one brand's as good as another. Your city's famous sites and foreground subjects are likely to be of various sizes, so for starters I would buy an inexpensive set of extension tubes and experiment with a variety of focal lengths before investing in macro lenses. You're probably right that a reverse ring would be too extreme.
Edit: Without knowing more about your sensor size and the background distances, it's nigh on to impossible to recommend focal lengths.
 
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Daigoro

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I believe macro lenses would be the most convenient way to to go - generally one brand's as good as another. Your city's famous sites and foreground subjects are likely to be of various sizes, so for starters I would buy an inexpensive set of extension tubes and experiment with a variety of focal lengths before investing in macro lenses. You're probably right that a reverse ring would be too extreme.
Edit: Without knowing more about your sensor size and the background distances, it's nigh on to impossible to recommend focal lengths.
Some additional context. I use a Nikon D850. I have a variety of lenses. 50mm, 85mm, 24-105mm, etc etc.
And I live in Berlin Germany. So the Brandenburg gate or Potsdamer Platz for example are rather large but not massive. The tv tower on the other hand is massive. But there’s plenty of locations where I’d have a nice view of the tower in the distance. But obviously in these shots the background can’t be too out of focus or it’d just be a toy car on any random sidewalk.
So an extension tube with a 50mm should be a good possible fit?
 

Strodav

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Just experiment. Try a few things. The first thing I recommend it a set of extension tubes. You can go with tubes that preserve AF function or less expensive tubes that are manual focus. I would shoot in Live View mode with focus peaking (manual focus) on the D850.

If you gave me that assignment. I would play with a macro lens or a close focus prime or zoom, but probably end up taking 2 separate shots and combine them in PhotoShop
 

RAZKY

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Some additional context. I use a Nikon D850. I have a variety of lenses. 50mm, 85mm, 24-105mm, etc etc.
And I live in Berlin Germany. So the Brandenburg gate or Potsdamer Platz for example are rather large but not massive. The tv tower on the other hand is massive. But there’s plenty of locations where I’d have a nice view of the tower in the distance. But obviously in these shots the background can’t be too out of focus or it’d just be a toy car on any random sidewalk.
So an extension tube with a 50mm should be a good possible fit?
You may end up needing two exposures and photoshop them together. I would experiment with different lenses at their minimum focus distances to see how the various toy models turn out. At the most you'll probably only need a PK-11a and/or a PK-12 extension tube with your 50 and 85mm lenses. (Sure, either tube will cost you more than a set of cheap manual tubes, but don't Nikon cameras deserve the best accessories?)
 

RAZKY

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Just experiment. Try a few things. The first thing I recommend it a set of extension tubes. You can go with tubes that preserve AF function or less expensive tubes that are manual focus. I would shoot in Live View mode with focus peaking (manual focus) on the D850.

If you gave me that assignment. I would play with a macro lens or a close focus prime or zoom, but probably end up taking 2 separate shots and combine them in PhotoShop
You were posting while I was talking with my wife, but it looks like we're thinking pretty much alike! :encouragement:
 
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Daigoro

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Ok. I’ll experiment with this advice and find a solution. Thanks
 

dunfly

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I did a similar series a few years ago with a rubber duck. I used a 35mm 1.8. It gave me just the right amount of blur for the background elements, but you could still easily make out what they were. I would think a macro lens would give you too much background blur.
 

RAZKY

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I would think a macro lens would give you too much background blur.
All else being equal, background blur with a non-macro lens would be the same.
 
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greybeard

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I would use a macro lens, focus stack the toys and then blur the background in post processing.
 

RacePhoto

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Wide angle, narrow aperture, closest item (front subject) is just past the minimal limit of focus, which gives you more depth to the back subject, so both will be in focus.

Which the question comes up WHAT macro lens? I have a 28mm and I have a 100mm. If I was doing this forced perspective kind of shot, I'd want the 28mm. While someone might be able to create the shot using a 10mm standard lens?

Have fun, always experiment and experience.
 

snowbear

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Here's one way to get closeups without a macro lens. You will need two lenses of different focal lengths. I've only tried this in manual mode; not sure how well it will work in aperture priority or auto (if at all).

Closeup without macro lens: reversed lens method
 

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