Tuesday, April 27, 2010
As promised, here’s a picture taken using my new macro tools that came in on Friday and Saturday. (To refresh your memory, I got a set of macro extension tubes, and a cheap macro flash.) I spent a little bit of time playing around with them over the weekend, and so far I’m pretty happy with the results. I’ve been using the setup almost exclusively with my 50mm prime lens so far, and it’s been working out fine.
It doesn’t seem like you can get in as close with this particular setup as you can with the reverse mounted lens, although that was sort of expected. (Although I wasn’t sure how dramatic of a difference it would be.) This picture was taken using 2 of the 3 tubes, so I could have added the third to get in closer, but it’s pretty unwieldy as-is with the flash attachment and everything on there, so getting close enough to the subject would be pretty challenging. (The tip of my lens was about an inch away from the bee as it was.) I need to try it out on different lenses though, to see how it reacts with each. (The longer your lens – not focal length, actual length – the less dramatic the effect. Makes sense, really, since if you’re 3 inches out from your sensor to start with, adding another 3 inches means you’re doubling it. If you start 12 inches out, adding 3 more is less than 30% of an increase..)
The flash is pretty awesome though. It of course takes a little bit of time to refresh, so my old strategy of just taking oodles and oodles of frames as I slowly swayed back and forth (to try to ensure that I got at least one in focus) needed to be adjusted somewhat. But, the benefit of being able to use a super-tiny aperture (f/18, even at ISO 100!) outweighed that. After shooting with the reverse-mount for awhile, having the extra depth of field is reeeeeally nice, and it has the added benefit of covering your butt if your focal point is a tiny bit off. It’s definitely a little bit unwieldy, especially when you mount it on a short lens. Having a longer lens (like a 100mm macro) that allows you a greater distance to your subject would be really handy for getting into corners and stuff. But, if you’re on a budget like me, this setup seems to be working out great so far. I’m sure this won’t be the last you’ll see of it.
Notes: Canon EOS Rebel T1i, Canon 50mm f/1.8 lens, with Opteka macro extension tubes. 1/160s, f/18.0, ISO 100. Phoenix macro ring flash.