Macro lenses are often seen as this weird special purpose thing, that only those interested in shooting bugs should buy. But they’re so much more than that. Photographer Peter McKinnon believes everybody should own one. In this video, Peter talks about the versatility of a macro lens. That it can be used for so much more than typical “macro” use.
Last summer I bought a macro lens. A normal one, giving 1x magnification. This means that your subject will be projected as big on the sensor as it is in real life. So if you shoot a bug that is 36mm long, it will completely cover a full frame sensor from side to side. I discovered that macro photography is just so much fun. It is much easier to take a cool looking macro photo than a cool looking street or landscape photo. I completely fell in love with macro photography.
But the summer of 2017 I felt that I wanted to take it to the next level: I wanted to try a super macro lens, with a magnification of 2x and beyond. I wanted to really get up close to insects and bugs. I made one!
Fujifilm have announced an update to the mid-range model in their rangefinder styled mirrorless lineup. The new Fujifilm X-E3. It comes with the 24MP X-Trans III sensor found in the X-Pro2. This brings it in line with other models like the entry level X-A3 and recently released X-T20 and X100F. Fuji are also releasing two new lenses. One for the X system, and one for GF medium format.
The X-E3 shoots 4K UHD video, or 1080p at up to 60 fps. It sports a 3″ touchscreen LCD, comes with all the film simulation modes we’ve come to expect, and also includes Bluetooth connectivity for low power transfer and remote control from your phone.
If you’re a bit of a macro addict, photographing bugs while out and about can be great fun. There’s so many out there to see, and they come in some fantastic shapes, sizes and colours. Not everybody wants to photograph them sitting on a leaf or crawling across the ground, though. Sometimes you want to have a cleaner look that features just the subject.
In a studio, this is quite easy to do, but how can you get a studio type of look while out in the middle of nowhere? Well, here’s a video from photographer Phil Torres at The Jungle Diaries to show us. It’s easy to do, and if you already have a macro lens, it only requires a couple of inexpensive extra bits.
With the advent of mirrorless, lens adapters have become very popular. With such a short flange distance, mirrorless cameras offer so many more lens options. You might not always get the full benefit of the lens, and some might kill your camera, but overall they’re extremely useful.
Fotodiox have just launched a new series of lens adapters for Sony, Micro Four Thirds and Fuji mirrorless cameras for a range of lenses. There are 8 different lens mounts available, and you can even lengthen the adapter. This means it essentially acts like an extension tube, offering you closer focusing with any lens.
Every year, on the cusp of true, Rocky Mountain summer, I travel to the high country to photograph butterflies. For a brief couple of weeks, during the height of the alpine meadow bloom, when lupine and mallows turn acres of open space to blue and pink, Montana’s butterflies make the most of their short season.
This year, I test drove Nikon’s flagship dx camera, the D500. I ran it with Nikon’s 300mm f4 PF VR and the TC-14E III, giving me a whopping 630mm of reach, hoping to bring these colorful insects up close and personal and preserve more depth of field than when shooting with my 200mm Micro Nikkor, my usually choice for butterflies.
Last year, Olympus Singapore loaned me a pre-launch unit of their new STF-8 Twin Macro Flash, together with their OMD-EM1 Mk1 and M.Zuiko Digital ED 60mm f/2.8 Macro for a test-run in the field. I’ve had the set for about a week — it was easy to use and the results were pretty good, although it took some time for me to get used to focusing using the LCD.
This review is grossly overdue, but I’m posting it because I had been receiving questions on macro photography performance on micro four-third systems. This not a technical review. Instead, I will explain its pros and cons, as well as simple steps to maximise its capabilities.
The world of macro photograph is one that can absorb a photographer completely. You start off simple, perhaps with a reversing ring photographing small things around the house. Then you find a bug or two, buy a macro ringflash. Perhaps a speedlight or two, small reflectors and maybe even a softbox. But there’s only so much you can shoot at home on the kitchen table.
Getting out on location to shoot macro can be great fun. But the issues dealing with tripods or hand holding available light shots can be a pain. The typical go-to is the ringflash mentioned earlier. But there are some tricks to taking your tabletop studio out on location. In this pair of videso, Paul Morgan from Wex walks us through his mobile macro studio, and how he uses it on location.
If you’d like to explore macro photography and you’re not willing to invest thousands of dollars in professional macro lenses, photographer Adam Kappa has quite an affordable solution. He shares the setup he uses for macro photography which all of us can use with minimum investment. It involves a kit lens, a cheap external flash, macro tubes and a DIY diffuser. So, with less than $100 of additional gear and some DIY magic, he achieves really great results. Take a look.
Ink floating in water is one of the most hypnotizing things to watch. It’s a favorite subject of many photographers and videographers, and guys from Macro Room have raised it to a new level. They have created a video using a fish tank with water, some ink and a couple of objects. And they did such a great job, it will be hard to believe there aren’t any computer generated effects. There’s no CGI, only the mesmerizing dance of ink with different elements in water. Three minutes seem like a fair time for a video, but when it ends, you’ll wish it lasted longer.