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My "Poor Man's Macro" Outfit, Exploded View

Posted: Sat Jun 02, 2018 9:15 pm
by Charles Haacker
Self assignment. My new-this-year Sony A6000 with my $40 Neewer extension tubes/rings, shot with my Sony RX-10. For some reason the exposure data did not come over,* but I recall shooting it manually at 20 seconds, f/16, ISO 100. Light was a single CFL in a spun reflector bounced from the ceiling. No other light, no additional reflector other than the white surface it is on. Finished in Lightroom with a little extra in Photoshop. The light surprised me given that it really is just one bounced light. :|

The second shot was made of one of the rings using the other ring, handheld, available light, sitting in my chair just goofin' around. ;) Earlier I showed some other shots made with them. The thing is, a dedicated macro for my A6000 runs close to $300. These extensions cost less than $40. I think they do well, and certainly far better than any screw-in simple diopter (which I've used and they are awful).

* Turns out I had an instruction messed up in the export thingy. Fixed it.

Re: My "Poor Man's Macro" Outfit, Exploded View

Posted: Sat Jun 02, 2018 9:39 pm
by minniev
Charles Haacker wrote:
Sat Jun 02, 2018 9:15 pm
Self assignment. My new-this-year Sony A6000 with my $40 Neewer extension tubes/rings, shot with my Sony RX-10. For some reason the exposure data did not come over,* but I recall shooting it manually at 20 seconds, f/16, ISO 100. Light was a single CFL in a spun reflector bounced from the ceiling. No other light, no additional reflector other than the white surface it is on. Finished in Lightroom with a little extra in Photoshop. The light surprised me given that it really is just one bounced light. :|

The second shot was made of one of the rings using the other ring, handheld, available light, sitting in my chair just goofin' around. ;) Earlier I showed some other shots made with them. The thing is, a dedicated macro for my A6000 runs close to $300. These extensions cost less than $40. I think they do well, and certainly far better than any screw-in simple diopter (which I've used and they are awful).

* Turns out I had an instruction messed up in the export thingy. Fixed it.
Cool! We'll watch for other pictures as you get up close and personal with bugs and flowers and who knows what else! (Try marbles, they are a lot of fun).

Re: My "Poor Man's Macro" Outfit, Exploded View

Posted: Sun Jun 03, 2018 9:57 am
by davechinn
Excellent Chuck !!! Something for me to think about, if I choose to downsize.
Dave

Re: My "Poor Man's Macro" Outfit, Exploded View

Posted: Sun Jun 03, 2018 2:36 pm
by Charles Haacker
minniev wrote:
Sat Jun 02, 2018 9:39 pm
Cool! We'll watch for other pictures as you get up close and personal with bugs and flowers and who knows what else! (Try marbles, they are a lot of fun).
Thanks Minnie. I've been in a bit of a funk again of late; trying to bust through it. :|
davechinn wrote:
Sun Jun 03, 2018 9:57 am
Excellent Chuck !!! Something for me to think about, if I choose to downsize.
Dave
Thanks, Dave. I thought of something else; I've pretty consciously tried to stay small and light, and these rings nest and fit in any corner or even a pocket. If I bought a $300 dedicated macro lens I'd hafta carry the thing. Now, a real lens is almost certainly better, sharper, faster, but if I were to get serious and use tripods or beanbags or something, get stopped down, I suspect no one would be likely to spot the difference between extensions with a much-disparaged "kit" lens, and a Real Macro. I can't actually compare but that'd be my bet. (Y)

Re: My "Poor Man's Macro" Outfit, Exploded View

Posted: Sun Jun 03, 2018 2:51 pm
by PietFrancke
I am convinced - it is about the light. Diffused light will be your friend. Softbox or whatever, the quality of the light will make all the difference between looking good and not looking good. You will need MORE light (longer exposures if it ain't moving) - perhaps flash, but like I said, getting the light diffused will be the key. That single thing is 10 more times important than the camera or the lens used.

Re: My "Poor Man's Macro" Outfit, Exploded View

Posted: Mon Jun 04, 2018 2:03 pm
by Charles Haacker
PietFrancke wrote:
Sun Jun 03, 2018 2:51 pm
I am convinced - it is about the light. Diffused light will be your friend. Softbox or whatever, the quality of the light will make all the difference between looking good and not looking good. You will need MORE light (longer exposures if it ain't moving) - perhaps flash, but like I said, getting the light diffused will be the key. That single thing is 10 more times important than the camera or the lens used.
Thanks Piet, and I absolutely agree, although I have on more than one occasion shot tight in full sun just 'cuz I liked what I saw and I could shoot with a high shutter and small stop handheld. I tend to resist schlepping a tripod with my keep-it-light-and-simple mantra, but I have often mused about bringing along a white shoot-thru umbrella (I have one someplace) to make artificial diffusion. The problem would be not enough hands unless I cobbled together some Rube Goldberg clampy thingy, or used a tripod. :| (I yam one laaaazy sonofagun!) :D

Re: My "Poor Man's Macro" Outfit, Exploded View

Posted: Wed Jun 06, 2018 3:07 am
by Matt Quinn
getting the light diffused will be the key.

Thanks Piet, something to remember, to remember, to remember. I will write it on the palm of my hand.

Chuck, When I first saw this, I wondered why you would disassemble a nearly new camera since it "ain't broke." Took me some time to understand that you were illustrating your newer than new macro setup. When you do all of this, how do you keep dust out of the camera? It sneaks in when I am changing lenses as fast as my fumbling hands will allow. Can't imagine leaving the innards exposed so long. Cool shots, nonetheless. Matt

Re: My "Poor Man's Macro" Outfit, Exploded View

Posted: Wed Jun 06, 2018 2:06 pm
by Charles Haacker
Matt Quinn wrote:
Wed Jun 06, 2018 3:07 am
Chuck, When I first saw this, I wondered why you would disassemble a nearly new camera since it "ain't broke." Took me some time to understand that you were illustrating your newer than new macro setup. When you do all of this, how do you keep dust out of the camera? It sneaks in when I am changing lenses as fast as my fumbling hands will allow. Can't imagine leaving the innards exposed so long. Cool shots, nonetheless. Matt
Hi, Matt. Yeah, sensor dust when lenses are removed is a problem, probably a bigger problem with mirrorless because, at least in my camera, the sensor is totally exposed when the lens is off. I never used to get it with sealed compacts; now I get it all the time. I have a soft brush with a microfiber pad on the other end (covered by a cap). The pad thingy is theoretically not supposed to be used on the sensor but I know that the sensor in my A6000 (at least) is encased in protective glass. I am never touching the surface of the actual sensor, so I brush and then sometimes use the little pad end. The camera also has a self-cleaning mode that I imagine just shakes the sensor to dislodge dust. Ultimately none of it really works all that well. Changing lenses as fast as you can probably doesn't help much, especially outdoors, more especially if there's any breeze, most especially if things are dusty anyway. I tried using a blower but I didn't feel that it did anything at all and sucked up too much space in the bag (I hate bags anyway).

I find that generally the dust only shows up against areas with little to no detail, like sky, and then I find it's easy to spot down in Lightroom, especially if I turn on the visualize spots feature. Busy backgrounds seem to hide spots really well. In wet darkroom days we were always dealing with dust settling on the negatives in the film carriers in the enlarger. We'd gently blow and brush off as much as possible but the inevitable remainder was a job for magnifying goggles, a tiny brush, and a dye called Spotone to carefully remove the last of the spots. That's probably why I don't much mind having to dust-spot in Lightroom or Photoshop; I was already used to it. :|

Re: My "Poor Man's Macro" Outfit, Exploded View

Posted: Wed Jun 06, 2018 2:29 pm
by Matt Quinn
Hi, Chuck. I have a blower that I use and it seems to work well on the Leica. In the clean sensor mode, I take an out of focus picture of the wall and it shows the spots in the lcd image. Then I use the blower and take another photo. Usually, all the spots are gone. Those that are still there I can spot remove in Lightroom. I always try to think ahead about what lens or lenses I will need and mount them at home. I have had miserable experience changing them even in the confines of the car; I am scared to death of doing any changes out in the open. Stuff happens too quickly. Matt

Re: My "Poor Man's Macro" Outfit, Exploded View

Posted: Wed Jun 06, 2018 2:43 pm
by Charles Haacker
Matt Quinn wrote:
Wed Jun 06, 2018 2:29 pm
Hi, Chuck. I have a blower that I use and it seems to work well on the Leica. In the clean sensor mode, I take an out of focus picture of the wall and it shows the spots in the lcd image. Then I use the blower and take another photo. Usually, all the spots are gone. Those that are still there I can spot remove in Lightroom. I always try to think ahead about what lens or lenses I will need and mount them at home. I have had miserable experience changing them even in the confines of the car; I am scared to death of doing any changes out in the open. Stuff happens too quickly. Matt
I agree. I've seen advice to change lenses with the camera aimed down toward the ground but I find it awkward and fear I could drop a lens. I think the best advice is, whenever possible not to change lenses when outdoors in a breeze and/or dusty environment. But sometimes ya gotta do what ya gotta do. Changing in the car would help but really nothing is going to keep all dust from getting into the camera when the lens is off. My A6000 it turns out is not even sealed. The next version up I think is. My beloved little unsealed Nikon P7800 got permanent sensor spots after a ride up and down the line of the Durango and Silverton in an open carriage. There was dust if from nothing else than from the coal-burning engine. Because the lens cannot be removed it can't be cleaned. Meh. I hardly use it any more but I did for well over a year after that dusty trip so I had to spot out spots. Meh. (?) There are worse things. :)