The Barefoot Photographer®

a photography blog

Wednesday, March 11, 2009


If I am taking a photo -- more than likely -- I am taking a macro photo.  I love macro.  Most people love macro.  It is fun and you can get some spectacular results.  Over a year ago I wrote a blog on macro called, "Could Your Best Macro Lens Be a Whole 'Nother Camera?"  I still love love love the macro capabilities of my old Canon S2 IS (and my even older Fuji S7000).

I have also gotten into the close-up diopters for macro enjoyment.  Lensbaby has their macro kit -- which is two of these -- one 4x and one 10x and you can stack those.  I have others to fit my Tamron zoom.  The first time I ever used a close-up diopter I thought I did something wrong until I realized that my old minimum focus distance was too far away!  When you use these -- you get close.  

Another piece of my macro puzzle -- extension tubes.  This fits between the lens and the camera body -- allowing you to get closer with your lens.  You decrease the minimum focus distance for the lens by using an extension tube.  The tubes come in different sizes and can be stacked to allow you to get closer and closer and closer.

The last thing that I have used to take a macro shot is a reversing ring.  If you are into really getting photos of something tiny or getting that depth of field that is a sliver of sharp focus -- think about a reversing ring.  This gizmo fits onto the end of a lens and allows you to mount it backwards on the camera.  You shoot backward through the lens!  How weird and how cool is that?  It reminds me of the look through a microscope.  Moving subjects are out of the question.  I like to think of the macro I get with a reversing ring as a "super macro."

Yesterday I took photos of an object using different macro methods.  I used an extension tube and the reversing ring -- and then I took a photo using the lens at the usual and customary minimum focus distance.   When doing macro -- be sure you have a good light source.  Getting in close will also block a lot of the ambient light.  If you are like me -- and you do not like to use flash -- and flash with macro is sometimes not a good thing -- have a nice, bright place to play with the macro toys.  I also bumped up the ISO to 400 when I was getting in very close -- even in my very well-lit area.

The photo on the blog today is a macro of the winking tomato king on my pack of grape tomatoes.   I used the reversing ring and an old Nikon lens to get this shot.  Of course, I had to convert it to black and white.


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