M 100 f4 Macro shots. Hints and tips please.


Link Posted 02/08/2009 - 16:02
I'm new to this macro lark. These are some of my better efforts with this lens. I bought it recently for 70 on ebay and I must say the more I use it the more I like it. It is soooo sharp!
So far I have only ever used it hand held in natural light and my biggest problem is getting things in focus. Being manual focus it's not ideal for fast moving ( or even slow moving) insects, as the depth of field is so shallow. Also the slightest breeze moves whatever the insects are perched on so everything goes in and out of focus. My current solution is just to take loads of pictures and hope some come out in focus but there must be a better way! How do you regular macro users shelter thing from the wind and/or hold things steady. I'll leave additional lighting for another topic, after I've got a decent flash!
Anyway I hope the links work, I'm new to this too.... be as brutal as you like , I can take it!
Bee on clover. I think I should have cropped this a bit.

Bee on Dahlia. I really like the colours on this one.

Hoverfly on thistle. Hmm, not sure about this one. At first I thought the beetles were some sort of fruiting body like blackberrys, but then it dawned on me that thistles don't do that! Then one moved!

And now the ladybirds. I've cropped these, hopefully in the most interesting way. I've included the original uncropped pictures for two of them so you can make up your own mind and offer "constructive" criticism....
Ladybird 1 cropped

and uncropped

Ladybird 2 cropped

and uncropped

and finally......
Ladybird 3. This one was blowing in the breeze a bit so if I knew how, it would be the perfect candidate for focus stacking the multitude of attempts at this one...

.........all the gear, no idea!
Me super, MX, LX, K5,DA 18-55WR, DA 17-70, DA 55-300, DA40 Ltd, FA50 1.4, Samsung D-Xenon 12-24,Samsung 100mm macro M50 1.7(x3), M28 3.5, M35 2.8, M100macro f4, M135 3.5(+others)
Last Edited by MarkD on 02/08/2009 - 16:07


Link Posted 02/08/2009 - 16:26
I have just (over the last couple of weeks) tried out some macro work as well - employing exactly the same technique as you (hand held, natural light, fire off a lot of shots), although I have been using the macro setting on my 70-300mm sigma lens. Your results are significantly better than mine! - I really like your Bee on Dahlia shot. I find I have a struggle with the depth of focus and the sensitivity of the focus to the slightest movement, probably not helped by the fact that the macro functions on the sigma lens are only ~200mm and above, so the lens is quite long and after a while I start to wobble a bit! (must try it with the tripod...). I find the manual focus gives better results with my K10D than the autofocus. I was trying to get some pictures of spiders/webs this morning and with autofocus, it was 'hunting' all over the place... I am uncertain how to post pictures into the forum here, although I have a couple of my tentative shots in the gallery. Similarly grateful for any hints and tips!
Mat W

My Flickr: link


Link Posted 02/08/2009 - 16:46
Hi guys I do a bit of macro work, the best shots will always come if you use a tripod, on saying that I have taken a lot hand held, you can check out my portfolio, I find F11 or less is about the best to use as it gives you more depth of field, as for movement in the wind I up the ISO to 400/800 to get the fastest shutter speed but I live in Spain and the light is much brighter here that does help, if you are really into macro shots I would invest in a ring flash which I don't have and really want, I've sent a letter to Santa so who knows, anyway keep practicing and you'll soon learn, hope that helps you,


Link Posted 02/08/2009 - 21:19
I use a monopod. One trick is to prefocus and then just move the camera backwards and forwards until you get the insects eyes in focus. Take plenty of shots and have patience - lots of it

Macro & Wildlife Photography


Link Posted 02/08/2009 - 21:58
Sorry to go off topic but our native ladybirds are under threat from a foreigner, the Harlequin Ladybird. As a lot of us are nature enthusiasts, I thought it would be worth while mentioning them.
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