Some flies in the garden

Discussion in 'Nature' started by gardenersassistant, Aug 26, 2011.

  1. robertmwilliams

    robertmwilliams Mu-43 Regular

    Very nice and detailed captures.
    Love the eyes on the 3rd one.
  2. Art

    Art Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 13, 2011
    San Francisco, CA
    very impressive use of OIS. I am not able to achieve this kind of sharpness at such slow shutter speeds with Oly 40-150mm and IBIS
  3. Thanks. I used a small sensor superzoom since I got back into photography several years ago. I have just (two weeks ago) moved on to MFT and I am very much in the learning phase. However, it is already clear that (when I get my side of things right, which is a bit hit and miss as yet) MFT can capture significantly better detail and more subtle textures than I am used to. The JPEGs are a joy to work with, so much so that it might be a while before I explore RAW (which has some downsides for my working methods).

    Thus far I am a very, very happy bunny.

    Thanks. I just checked - OIS was off for all of these. I use a tripod (big, heavy, reversible central column and a lateral arm so I have a lot of flexbility). With my superzoom, if the conditions were still I would use the self-timer, and if there was any movement I would use bursts. Now with the G3 I can use a remote release, waiting a few seconds for (the worst of the) vibrations to die down after setting up for the shot, and then fire off one or more shots or bursts depending on the conditions. I am really getting to like working with the remote release.
  4. zpierce

    zpierce Super Moderator

    Sep 26, 2010
    Minneapolis, MN
    Real Name:
    Wow this is really impressive! How did you get them so sharp at f22?? Any time I've had to use that it was so soft.
  5. Thanks.

    The effect on sharpness of using a small aperture presumably depends to some extent (possibly a large extent) on the characteristics of the lens. However, I believe there are also some more general considerations.

    It is true that you lose sharpness because of diffraction with smaller apertures, and f/22 (on micro four thirds) is well into diffraction territory, and the loss of sharpness is significant. There are however a couple of things to bear in mind about this. The first one is a guess on my part, and I'm not sure I can express it correctly anyway, but I'll give it a go and someone who knows more about these things can put me right if I'm wrong or explain it better if I'm right.

    First then, the loss of sharpness is obvious when you pixel peep. There is an example with the first two (out of the camera) images here, albeit at ISO 3200 because they were done to illustrate some noise characteristics. The f/4 version isn't exactly sharp at full size, but the f/22 version is definitely worse. However, you don't typically use 100% crops and so you view a smaller version of an image. (Here comes the guesswork) As pixels are merged to make the image smaller, detail gets lost. Beyond a certain level of detail (depending on how much smaller the image is than the original) you would not be able to tell that there had been more detail in the original.

    The second point is less theoretical. Have a look at the five images here. As you move through from f/5.6 to f/22 the DOF increases significantly. There is presumably a loss of sharpness going on too, but I think it is overwhelmed by the increase in DOF. The overall impression, at least to my eye, is that the image is getting more detailed (if not exactly sharper) all the way to f/22.

    Post processing might be (I'm not sure about this) a further consideration. All the images I post (apart from technical ones like the ones linked above) are post processed. Sharpening is an important part of that. I also suspect the distribution of light (contrast, micro-contrast, tone/gamma curve) can influence apparent sharpness. It might be that post processing can to some extent "even things up" in terms of the final impression given by two images coming from originals of slightly different sharpness. Maybe.
  6. tomrock

    tomrock Mu-43 Regular

    Jun 21, 2010
    Indianapolis, IN
    Wow. I'm off to google "Raynox 150" now.
  7. It is a lovely add-on lens (IMO).

    A lot of people use the Raynox 250, which is more powerful. If you like really close-up close-ups then that is the one to go for. On MFT with a 45-200mm at full zoom you get a scene about 11mm across with the 250. However, being more powerful, it is more difficult to use.

    Digression: Add-on lenses work a bit differently from macro lenses.

    With a macro lens you increase the magnification (and decrease the width of the scene you are photographing) by moving closer to the subject. Whatever distance you are at, as long as you are no nearer than the minimum focus distance, you will be able to gain focus.

    In contrast, with add-on lenses like the Raynox 150 and 250 you have to get the distance between the end of the add-on lens and the subject (the "Working Distance") to a certain distance, and you alter the magnification (and scene width) by zooming in and out.

    One of the things that makes the 250 a bit tricky to use is that you have to be fairly precise about the working distance. I did some measurements recently and found that, with the 45-200 on the G3 at maximum zoom the working distance had to be between 102 and 119 mm, a range of about two thirds of an inch. Quite tight.

    And there is another complication. If you have the 250 attached to a zoom lens that extends and contracts as you zoom in and out, like the Panasonic 45-200 that I use for example, as you alter the amount of zoom (and hence the magnification, scene width and photo composition) the working distance changes and may move out of the acceptable range. So, you may have found the right position to take a picture, but if you then want to alter the composition you may find the camera won't focus any more and you have to play with the distance to get it back within the magic range.

    With the 150 at maximum zoom you get a scene width of 18mm, which is the same as you get with a 1:1 macro lens on MFT. With the 150 on the 45-200mm at maximum zoom I measured the acceptable working distance as between 164 and 210 mm, a range of about 1.8 inches, which I find fairly easy to work with.

    [End of digression]

    I have three add-on lenses. The Raynox 250, which I don't use very often (but I'm not much into really close-up close-ups; also known as "not very good at them". I do like looking at other folk's amazingly detailed images.)

    Then the Raynox 150.

    Then a less powerful again Canon 500D lens, which has a longer working distance again, and still more latitude as to the distance to the subject. So the 500D is particularly easy to use.

    I tend to use the Raynox 150 for a lot of insects, except the very small ones. (But bear in mind I tend to take pictures of whole insects rather than parts of insects - super close-ups of flies' eyes etc.)

    I tend to use the Canon 500D for flowers and larger insects such as craneflies, damselflies, dragonflies, butterflies etc.

    Without changing the 45-200, this setup covers the complete range from scenes 11mm wide to the scene you can capture at 45mm with none of the add-on lenses being used.

    There is one distinct weakness though. Butterflies in particular are very jumpy, and damselflies can be too. Although the kit lets you photograph a scene of the right size, it forces you to get sufficiently close that butterflies and damselflies tend to fly off. I'm thinking that I might get an FZ150 to handle that side of things, because I believe (I'd need to check in due course) that its telemacro would be fine for these types of subjects. Hopefully like the FZ100 etc it would also take a (not terribly expensive) 1.7x teleconverter, which would give a maximum 1020mm focal length, which might make me more inclined towards photographing birds.
  8. Alanroseman

    Alanroseman Super Moderator Emeritus

    Dec 21, 2010
    New England
  9. Alanroseman

    Alanroseman Super Moderator Emeritus

    Dec 21, 2010
    New England
    They are very generous with prizes, and last month offered 4 of them.

    We had a tie for second place, they awarded both, and they were so enthralled with another image that they offered a sponsors choice award.

    Go ahead and enter, your work is very nice.