My macro gear

Thunder_o_b

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I have been asked several times here and on other forums what gear I use for macro and extreme macro. I thought that I would post this to give an insight as to what I use. The bodies are the Canon 5DMKII and 50D

1. The lens that I use 90% of the time is the non IS Sigma 150mm f/2.8 macro. I chose this lens for several reasons:
  1. It is seven hundred dollars less than the Canon 180mm macro.
  2. It is an extremely sharp lens.
  3. It MFD gives good distance between the front of the lens and the subject so as to be less likely to spook it.
  4. Is good for doing close ups of dragonflies and some birds.
Here it is shown with the MT-24 flash and twin flash bracket, but I also use the 580EXII and soft box shown below. This has proven to be a very effective setup

_MG_38640.jpg

_MG_38630.jpg


2. The MP-E 65 with the 580EX and soft box.
IMG_63640.jpg

IMG_63620.jpg


3. The MP-E65 with the MT-24 twin flash
IMG_70640.jpg

IMG_70710.jpg


4. The10x microscope objective and the Kenko tubes used to mount to the camera.
_MG_38660.jpg

_MG_38710.jpg

_MG_38720.jpg


5. The macro workstation that I built. The arm is a coolant hose from McMasters cars.
_MG_6310copy0.jpg

_MG_6313copy0.jpg

IMG_63310copy.jpg


This is a shot using the workstation. It is a stacked shot at 4x using around thirty or so shot stacked using the Zerene photo stacker.
2010-04-14-213248ZSPMax0.jpg


This is a shot at 10x, I forget how many stacked there are, but it was a bunch.
2010-04-14-183930ZSPMax02.jpg


I will be happy to answer any questions, provide sources for the parts as well as construction techniques. I hope this has been helpful.
 
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Overread

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Great post - I keep meaning to do something similar myself with my setups - though you've gone and done it for me now ;)

Out of interest how do you find the twinflash with the 150mm? I've got the same flexi- arms though I've never really used the twinflash with that lens before. Do you find you prefer that over the 580 and softbox?

Also got any examples from your microscope objective? I've always wanted to try with one of them just for some very high-mag stuff.
 

jake337

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Thanks for sharing.
 
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Thunder_o_b

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Great post - I keep meaning to do something similar myself with my setups - though you've gone and done it for me now ;)

Out of interest how do you find the twinflash with the 150mm? I've got the same flexi- arms though I've never really used the twinflash with that lens before. Do you find you prefer that over the 580 and softbox?

Also got any examples from your microscope objective? I've always wanted to try with one of them just for some very high-mag stuff.
Thank you Overread :D

The lighting is different between the two setups, but I find that overall I prefer the flex arm set up as it gives greater control over shadows.

The last shot in the original post is with the 10x objective. The IQ with that objective is lacking compared to the 65, but then it only cost $40.00. I am looking in to the Nikon objectives at $140.00. I think that I will try a 20x. I can get 10x with the 65, ext tubes and a little cropping.


These were taken with the 5DMKII, Sig 150mm macro, MT-24 flash and the flex arm bracket.
1.
_MG_1037DMKII0.jpg


2.
_MG_09885DMKII0.jpg



3.Through glass
_MG_09915DMKII0.jpg


4. Through glass
_MG_09035DMKII0.jpg
 

JSER

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Any chance you can elaborate on the microscope objective on the tubes please

Thank you

JR
Devon UK
 
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Thunder_o_b

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Any chance you can elaborate on the microscope objective on the tubes please

Thank you

JR
Devon UK

Sure can, what would you like to know? :D

Why, what, how, pics, how made etc

The why is easy, higher magnification. The microscope objective lens was picked up from B+H Swift MA10062 10xD Achromat Objective Lens MA10062 B&H Photo

I measured the diameter of the bace of the objective lens and drilled a hole in a body cap. I chose to also drill out the bace cap of the objective and glue the assembly to the body cap, that way I can use the stock cover for the objective to protect it when not in use. I then hot glued the objective in place.

I then mounted the objective lens to 68mm of Kenko extension tubes, and then mounted the assembly to the the camera body. I use a lens butt cap to cover the end of the assembly when not on the camera.
 
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Helen B

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There used to be a great bellows system for mix-and-match macro: BPM bellows. You can still buy them used, of course. The bellows unit had a universal fitting at each end, and you bought adapters for cameras and lens mounts, or reversed lenses. The BPM mount itself is simple, and very easy to fabricate. You could also connect two BPM mounts back to back, thus making a custom mount converter. This means that you can put a BPM Nikon lens mount into, say, Nikon PB-4 tilting bellows then use any other BPM lens mount. This is a quick way of using enlarging lenses, repro lenses, lens heads, microscope lenses and reversed cine lenses - for example the C-mount Kern Switar AR (not RX) 25 mm f/1.4 resolves about 450 lp/mm at the subject, wide open, when reversed. You can do the same, or similar, with an M42 mount of course.
 

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I was looking into getting a bellows for macro but all the ones I was found did not offer aperture control.
 
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Thunder_o_b

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You can also get these cones to help fit microscope objectives to cameras:
RMS Thread to M42 Adapter for microscope objective cone | eBay
Mitutoyo M26 microscope objective to M42 cone Adapter | eBay

I think there are more mounts out there if one hunts around

This is a very helpful bit of info for those that do not already have the ext tubes and don't want to spend the money for them. I found the flat adapter very interesting, the ability to swap from one mag to another would be very helpfull…and besides, it just looks cooler than hot glue
:thumbup: :D
 
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Thunder_o_b

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There used to be a great bellows system for mix-and-match macro: BPM bellows. You can still buy them used, of course. The bellows unit had a universal fitting at each end, and you bought adapters for cameras and lens mounts, or reversed lenses. The BPM mount itself is simple, and very easy to fabricate. You could also connect two BPM mounts back to back, thus making a custom mount converter. This means that you can put a BPM Nikon lens mount into, say, Nikon PB-4 tilting bellows then use any other BPM lens mount. This is a quick way of using enlarging lenses, repro lenses, lens heads, microscope lenses and reversed cine lenses - for example the C-mount Kern Switar AR (not RX) 25 mm f/1.4 resolves about 450 lp/mm at the subject, wide open, when reversed. You can do the same, or similar, with an M42 mount of course.

More great info :thumbup: :D

I am really glad that I stumbled on this site :D
 
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Thunder_o_b

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