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D2x+105mm+2xTC+Woody's diopter


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#1 randapex

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Posted 01 September 2005 - 09:20 AM

I'd like to hear any ideas on this style of shooting. I've seen some terrific shots using diopters, Teleconverters etc. and finally had not just the opportunity, but the time to dedicate to learning more about "micro" photography.

My main question concerns aperture and f stops. The below photo, which isn't that much in and of itself, is a good example of how these blennies require some DOF to capture the mouth back to the fringe. Shot at f29 @ 1/25 ISO 100. Although I was able to capture static poses, whenever the blennie shot out to grab something, the resulting image was blurred due to low shutter speed combined with the shallow DOF. So my question is, would a higher ISO be the soloution? The Inons were not up to lighting the subject at such high f stops when the shutter was cranked up to say 1/80. I'm hoping to try a more powerful strobe next time out as well. In general, even with the 2x teleconvert and the woody's, lighting wasn't that difficult. Just needed more power.

The other question I had, what's the next logical progression to increase the subject size? 150mm with 2x or?

This is full frame:

Posted Image
Rand McMeins
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#2 Alex_Mustard

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Posted 01 September 2005 - 09:29 AM

Hi Rand,

I really don't understand why you had to use such a slow shutter speed. The slowest the Inons take to fire is 1/500th of a second. I cannot see why you would need to slow the shutter speed down to 1/25th to get more light from your strobes.

Regards DOF - I find this shot very acceptable as seen here.

Alex

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#3 richorn

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Posted 01 September 2005 - 09:30 AM

I would like to add another question to this... we all "know" that shutter speed should not be of concern in this situation, but it was. Rand and I both ran up against the need for slow shutter speeds in these types of shots (I was only working at 1:1 however), and it seemed to "break the rule".

Adding ambient light via slow shutter speeds seems counter intuitive based on the basics of UW photography with strobes.


BTW, I should add "Great SHOT, Rand! But I have already said that so many times! ;-p
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#4 Alex_Mustard

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Posted 01 September 2005 - 09:48 AM

The best way to overcome limited DOF is to "parallel the subject" - I know that you have an example of this!

I took this shot at 1/250th - the max synch speed of the D2X. Also uncropped. 105mm & +4dioptre - focus is actually slightly off on the eye - although you can't tell at this size ;)

Posted Image

I would never use less than 1/250th for this type of shot unless I was purposely trying to burn in a blue background.

I used a slow shutter speed of 1/15th @ F32 for this shot (taken with the D100 + 105 & +4).

Posted Image

And this picture taken just previously I used a 1/180th (max D100 synch speed) at F32. And I was using an Inon strobe (this one was tighter than the first, but I have also cropped it a bit for publication)!

Posted Image

Alex

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#5 randapex

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Posted 01 September 2005 - 10:03 AM

Now I wish I'd kept my "Lead in shots" as you would see the progression of better exposure as the shutter slowed down. But they're all in garbage.

Alex, I'd never doubt what you're saying and you have the pictures to prove it. But all I can say is, at 1/100, the exposure was very dark. Of course, there is the possiblity, along with the shutter adjustments, there was some re-positioning of the strobes as well. Just don't remember. Thanks for the input. My Port Hardy trip will furnish a wealth of macro subjects to further my experimentation.

As you said, the profile shots are a better option for DOF but I waited an eternity for my mouth wide open shot but it never happend.

As an aside, Capt. Piers, an accomplished photographer on the Aggressor, also mentioned to me that 1/20 to 1/30 was appropriate for shooting these blennies with a teleconverter.

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#6 Rocha

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Posted 01 September 2005 - 10:03 AM

Rand, how far were your strobes from the subject? I also have no problem in lightining my macro shots at fast shutter speeds and small apertures, but I have more powerful strobes (Ikelite SS200 and 100a). I do however move them a lot closer to the port when shooting macro.

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#7 herbko

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Posted 01 September 2005 - 10:13 AM

Alex is right that the shutter speed should not affect the flash exposure for any sync speed the D2x can achieve. For more details than you want to know, data for the Inon Z200 flash duration can be found here:

http://wetpixel.com/...al-explanation/

I suspect that at 1/25 you are adding significant light from your high power spotting light.

Yes. The Inon Z220 is a little underpowered for this situation. The problem is that brighter strobes are much bigger and is more difficult to position in lots of macro shots. We need something with the same size and power but more concentrated beam. Don't need 100 degrees for macro. In fact that's a disadvantage in most cases.

F/29 with a 2x teleconverter is really extream. I don't know if your camera & tc combination figures in the conversion factor in the setting. If it doesn't (mine doesn't) you're really shooting at F/58 ! If you're not sure, a quick test is to spot meter something with and without the tc at the same distance.

Keep in mind that at really small apertures you are loosing resolution because of diffraction. For my 6MP sensor, that begins around F/16. For your camera with the higher pixel density that'll be around F/11. I understand the need for bettor DOF, but as far as the final image resolution, you are only slightly better off than backing up, use a smaller aperture, and crop. I know... that's cheating.
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#8 randapex

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Posted 01 September 2005 - 10:14 AM

Hi Luiz,

The bulk of the shots were taken with the strobes on either side of the port, pushed forward just a bit beyond. On the last day, when shooting the 105mm with just the Woody's, I put one strobe over the top and flat blew out the scene. So, I'm not sure if maybe my strobes aren't always loading up, or the extra glass on the 2xTC is hindering the light path or what.

Thanks Herb, that conversion certainly didn't occur to me. That's really cranked down. Wow.
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#9 james

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Posted 01 September 2005 - 10:48 AM

Hi Rand,

I'm really glad you started this thread! I've been trying to figure out why you had to slow down your exposures, and I went searching for the Inon discharge curves that are posted here at Wetpixel. Fortunately, Herb beat me to it! So at 1/250th your strobes should be able to put out almost all of their energy.

I'm left making the same conclusion - it must be extra light from somewhere else, probably your spotting light. Were you using a Fisheye light and if so, was it on high power?

I just did some super-macro myself, using the Inon Z220's (two of them) and I found them more than adequate for shooting 5:1 (35mm equivalent), but I was using diopters which don't "steal" light, instead of teleconverters. My working distance for the magnification equal to what you were getting was about 4" from the tip of the port. For my tight pygmy seahorse shot, I was at f22 on the lens, and my strobes were both set at -1 with a working distance of about 6" from strobe to subject.

How close were you to the secretary blenny? I also found that strobe positioning was EXTREMELY important, and I was using the Inon's with the diffusers mounted.

Here's the shot - ISO 100 and I didn't push it up almost at all:

Posted Image

Another thing that I'm not sure Herb took into account for his calculation (he probably did) is that when you are extremely close, the bellows effect adds even more to the actual f-stop.

Cheers
James
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#10 randapex

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Posted 01 September 2005 - 10:58 AM

Hi James, good stuff. Beautiful Pygmy shot.
Yes, I was using the Fisheye. And at full power as seeing sharp focus, so critical and very difficult to hold still. Subject to lens was very short, maybe 3".

It was really exciting to use this setup. Detail on some of the shots was really amazing. You start to see, for want of a better word, individual pixel colors on the fish. Going from what I'd call a nice even paint job to highly magnified details on the indvidual color components. Whatever they are called.

Here's one more, full frame f29 @ 1/30. No Woody's just the 2xTC:

Posted Image

Rand
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#11 james

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Posted 01 September 2005 - 11:00 AM

Thanks Rand.

Please let us know when you have some more of your super-macros posted in your gallery. I'd love to see more.

Cheers
James
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#12 herbko

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Posted 01 September 2005 - 11:20 AM

Rand and James: Can you post a 100% crop around the eye area of your shots. I'd like to see the difference due to small aperture.
Herb Ko http://herbko.net
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#13 james

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Posted 01 September 2005 - 11:54 AM

Hi Herb,

The eye in my pygmy shot is not in focus, so I picked a piece of another photo:

Posted Image

100% crop from the tentacle of the whip coral. Note that the 1DmkII has a STRONG AA filter and this photo isn't sharpened.

Posted Image

and:

Posted Image

Sigma 150mm + 500D + Macromate

Cheers
James
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#14 yahsemtough

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Posted 01 September 2005 - 12:03 PM

Rand I think it may be strobe to subject. I found a similiar issue with the 100mm in Port Hardy and Indonesia. What I found was because I was so far back from the subject the strobes had to be pushed in front of the port to get adequate light in the subject. After pushing them forward I had no issues and was shooting at around 1/160 and stopped to F22 ish if memory serves me correct.
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#15 randapex

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Posted 01 September 2005 - 01:15 PM

Not sure I'm doing this right. If I blow the image up to 200% and then crop, is the resulting picture a 100% crop? I've heard this term before but not sure how to do it. Anyway, here's the crop after expanding to 200%

Posted Image
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#16 james

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Posted 01 September 2005 - 01:19 PM

Hi Rand,

Look at the picture at "Actual Pixels" or by clicking Ctrl+Alt+0

Then use the marquee set at "Actual Size" (Or whatever photoshop calls it I can't remember, it's not Normal or Fixed Aspect Ratio) to select an area say 300 x 200 pix

Do all that with an unsharpened image if you have one.

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#17 randapex

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Posted 01 September 2005 - 01:33 PM

James, unsharpend image? Ohh, the pain ;)

Here's a try. Didn't have the raw file here at work for the second one posted that was a bit sharper so I found one that is reasonalbly sharp.

I did find the actual pixels and clicked on it for this:

Posted Image

Then I set the marque tool for 300x200 but saw no place to click on actual pixels so this may or may not be a proper crop:

Posted Image
Rand McMeins
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#18 james

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Posted 01 September 2005 - 01:44 PM

You got it Rand. I don't think my explanation was very clear anyway.

Thanks for doing the work and posting the image.

I'm not sure if we should post sharpened images or not. I picked unsharpened. Thoughts?

Cheers
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#19 herbko

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Posted 01 September 2005 - 02:11 PM

James, unsharpend image?  Ohh, the pain ;)

Here's a try. Didn't have the raw file here at work for the second one posted that was a bit sharper so I found one that is reasonalbly sharp.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


Hi Rand. I don't think that's a 100% crop either. You're probably cropping a pic that's already scaled down. The reason I say this is that I don't think you'll take a shot with the subject filling such a small part of the frame.

To give you rough idea of scale, your shot of the goby in the coral, this one

Posted Image

should have eyes nearly 500 pixels apart on a 100% crop from your camera.
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#20 randapex

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Posted 01 September 2005 - 02:24 PM

Ok, tried something different. Took the orginal to 100% set the marquee tool at 600x400 and this is the result:

Posted Image
Rand McMeins
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