Sony’s New FE 90mm f/2.8 Macro Lens Takes On Canon’s 100mm f/2.8 In Lensrentals’ Resolution TEst

We got a pre-release set of Sony FE 90mm f/2.8 G OSS Macro lenses in for preliminary testing last week, and I was kind of excited about this lens for a couple of reasons. First it simply gives me a nice short telephoto prime option that has been lacking in the lineup (although the Zeiss 85mm Batis lens will be coming along fairly soon). Second, it gives me a true macro lens at the focal length I prefer.

Image Courtesy Sony, USA

I hoped that the combination of a good macro lens with the A7r sensor would turn out to be a winner. We used our Imatest lab to compare Sony 90mm f/2.8 G OSS lenses mounted to Sony A7r cameras, and compared them with Canon 100mm f/2.8 IS Macro lenses shot on Canon 5DIII cameras in our Imatest lab. (For those who are curious, we can’t test Sony E mount lenses on an optical bench because the electromagnetic focus system requires electrical power to operate. Until we do some really geeky, overly complex engineering modifications, the optical bench isn’t an option for Sony E mount lenses.) It would have been nice to also compare with a Nikon D810 and Nikon 105 f/2.8 Micro lens, I know, but our time is limited.

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Adaptalux Hopes To Revolutionize The Way We Light Macro Photography

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The old adage “Don’t fix it if it isn’t broken” holds a lot of wisdom, but every once in a while a new product shows up to replace an old one that we didn’t fully realize needed to be fixed. In many ways, Adaptalux appears to be that kind of item. Using a combination of interchangeable, flexible lighting arms, Adaptalux hopes to revolutionize the way macro photographers and videographers light their photos.

Sam Granger, owner and CEO, says Adaptalux will eliminate three major problems currently found in the typical macro lighting setup. He says his nifty invention will battle the inherent restrictions of most light sources, reduce the amount of time needed to setup and start shooting, and save photographers money all at the same time. That’s enough to get my attention. Let’s take a look at their Kickstarter video to see how they plan to do it. [Read more…]

Velvet 56 Is The Portraits Lens You Always Wanted

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Lensbaby is stepping up their game and their latest announcement from just a few minutes ago moves the company from the “toy lenses” market into the big guys game. Their newest Velvet 56 lens is aimed at portrait makers and is an object of desire.

This gorgeous, 9-bladed, lens just feels good, it is constructed from metal and has some details engraved into it. It comes in the most wonderful box along with instructions and some art. If you really life to feel exclusive you can get a silver edition for an extra $100.

The Lensbaby Velvet 56 has a max f/1.6 aperture and as other Lensbaby lenses it has a spectacular bokeh beautifully shaped with 9 aperture blades, making it an interesting creative choice for portraits. The lens also features macro capabilities at 1:2.

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The 2015 Wellcome Image Awards Will Spark Your Interest In Science

Boll weevil (Anthonomus grandis), SEM and LM composite – Daniel Kariko

Boll weevil (Anthonomus grandis), SEM and LM composite – Daniel Kariko

The Wellcome Image Awards recognize science imaging talent and techniques and this year’s winners including some fascinating entries.

Scanning electron micrographs of a boll weevil and a greenfly’s eye, a clinical photograph of an elderly lady’s curved spine and a parasitoid wasp are just a few of the 20 winning images.

The winners were selected from all the images acquired by the Wellcome Images picture library in the past year, and are already accessible along with over 40,000 contemporary biomedical and clinical images.

Unlike other awards, the winning images, along with all content in the Wellcome Images collection, are available under Creative Commons license.

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The best way to do a focus stacking: Macro Focusing Rails vs Focus Variation

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This tutorial is about how to obtain a large depth-of-field using focus stacking.

The main question is: Is it better to use a macro rail or is it better to vary the focus of the lens?

As Alex, I use focus stacking (or “deep focus fusion”) quite often and most of the time I just shoot a series of photos with varied focus instead of a series with varied distance, using a rail.

Until now I always thought, that approach is a bit dirty, because it introduces changes in the magnification, but often it was the only way, because the depth of the object was far too deep for any rail. Imagine for example shooting a landscape. :-)

But now, I wanted to know for sure what is the better method and and did some tests.

One thing I can say to start with: With complex scenes, it is a good idea, not to change the position of the camera!

But now let’s take a closer look:

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How To Build A huge Macro Tube for $5

Have you ever looked inside a macro tube to examine the optics there? haha. No optics, it is just a big tube filled with air.* This is why it is an extremely easy device to replicate. Maker Vinnie Hirt used the macro tube quality of nothingness to build his own set of an uber extension tube for a mere $5 give or take.

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Love Them Or Hate Them, These Ultraviolet Macros Will Change The Way You See Arthropods

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Ogre-face spider (Deinopis sp.) Just when we thought that the ogre-face couldn’t get any scarier, the eyes lit up under ultraviolet with an eerie blue.

Whether creepy-crawlies make you run for your camera or run for the hills, these photos will not leave you indifferent.

Be it a beetle, a spider or a scorpion, Nicky Bay has pointed an ultraviolet light at it – and a lens.

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Variable 3 point LED lighting kit for macro/miniature for $55

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Welcome to my tutorial on how to make a 3 point light setup kit that allows you to vary the point LEDs independently. I wrote this for fun and i hope it inspires you! Warning: ManualMode.ca and I are not responsible for ANY damage caused to you, others or your household while following this tutorial.

I decided to make this kit because i shoot macro a lot and I’ve been disappointed by the macro mini studios i bought mostly because i could not control the light intensity for each bulb and even if I hacked it into a dimmable solution, fluorescent lights do not dimm, so i had to buy special white light tungsten bulb. I was also limited by size of the bulb and the heat it generated. All i wanted is to have positional whitelights that can vary their brightness and small enough so i can use it for macro.

Before I dive in, look at the lead image to see some quick tests I made with the completed setup

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Thomas Shahan Shares His Methods In Macro Photography

Methods In Macro Photography
A few days ago we shared some macro shots of spiders being reflected in drops of dew which were simply stunning. They definitely inspired me to pull out my extension tubes and reverse ring and get back into macro. If they inspired you to dabble, too, macro photography master, Thomas Shahan, just posted a new tutorial on the subject. There’s a lot of good advice for beginners in there, but more experienced photographers can find a few gems in the clip as well.

The video is an mostly an eight minute long slideshow of Shahan’s brilliant macro photos with some behind the scenes shots in there for good measure. Shahan narrates the clip by explaining his setup, process, and dishes out a ton of great pointers for levels of photographers. Be sure to look for the variety of DIY light modifiers he uses in some of the images. He briefly talks about how he made one of them with a paper towel and some sheets of plastic. He’s able to get some great shots using just that and the pop up flash on his Pentax DSLR

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