A few pictures using my 30D

Discussion in 'Photography' started by tonggao, Jul 6, 2007.

  1. tonggao

    tonggao Guest

    For some reason, I am not able to take good macro pictures with my canon 100mm macro lens on a 30D. Maybe someone can enlighten me on this, I just can not zoom all the way in and get sharp pictures like other people here do :(. My last resort is to send the lens to Canon factory for calibration.

    Instead of using the macro lens, I used my 70-200mm f4L lens together with a lens extender to get some semi decent pictures below.

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  2. Raddogz

    Raddogz Guest

    Are you using the lens on a tripod, they seem awfully blurry.
     
  3. Elite

    Elite Guest

    Come on Tong.. That's a good camera. You can do better than that :D ..

    Did you select macro function?
     
  4. kinetic

    kinetic Webmaster

    zoom? I think the 100mm macro is a fixed length lens, thus you cannot zoom in and out. you could be using it slightly off? can you stand outside and take nice sharp pictures of objects far away? At 100mm, you don't have to be all that close to get 1:1 magnification.

    For 100mm macro in sort of low light, you *must* use a tripod.

    Can you explain your technique of how you're using the lens? I'm not doubting your ability, but maybe we can help you spot something critical? Otherwise it's probably a mechanical problem with the lens.

    On that last picture you took, I believe your subject is too close to stay in focus.
     
  5. tonggao

    tonggao Guest

    Eileen, I do use a tripod. The cheap $30 one, could this be a problem?

    Phong, macro function? How do I select that? I know it is supposed to be good camera, and that is why I am bummed out about it.

    Art, sorry, I should not use the word zoom (I meant close in to get 1:1). Even though you are not doubting my ability, I am ;D. I can take pretty sharp pics outside from far away. But if I do that with the little polyps, they are pretty small and sharp in the pics. But after cropping and enlarging, it becomes fuzzy again. When I take the pics close by either with manual or auto focus, it always appears to be fuzzy. I typically use f4 to f7, 1/15 to 1/60 sec, one F stop under exposure (adjusted later with photoshop), taken on a cheap tripod. Any of these flag a red?

    For the pics posted above, I did not use the 100mm macro, instead I used 70-200mm 4L zoom lens together with a lens extender. The lens extender serious shrink the minimal focal length and significantly reduce the usable focal range. What I did is to place the camera close to the polyps, adjust the zoom so the lens can lock on the polyps, then auto focus.
     
  6. Raddogz

    Raddogz Guest

    Try taking some pics with the macro lens, and let's see what it looks like.
     
  7. fishnfst

    fishnfst Guest

    Tagging along on this one... Trying to learn a little more about macro shots as well.. I had to move my frags up to the front glass with the 105mm nikon macro... What Eric recommended to me was to increase the f setting to 12+ and then adjust the iso for lighting.. It seemed to bring the complete frag into focus much better.. The remote shutter release also helped a great amount.. I don't have enough control to be able to depress the shutter release on the camera body while keeping it completely still... :) I'd like to see how your current macro shots are turning out...
     
  8. kinetic

    kinetic Webmaster

    definitely try to take some shots with your macro lens and let's see what's happening.

    Take three shots at varying distances, at F/8, on a tripod. The first shot being pretty far away, then the last shot being pretty close to 1:1, like 1.5 or something.

    Try going outside to take a picture rather than strictly reef subjects for the time being. Reefs can be tricky in their own regard, such as fish moving the water around, etc.

    And lastly, we should just go have a photoshoot and we can try it too first hand.

    =)
     
  9. tonggao

    tonggao Guest

    I just came back from a 5 day Disney trip, and am totally spent. Don't have any pics that you guys asked for yet, but will take some tomorrow. One thing I was thinking, I could feel the camera moving on my cheap tripod, and this could be pretty bad with macro shot with slow speed on my 100mm macro lens, which does not come with a image stabilizer. I will try to use timer to take pics tomorrow to see if it gets better. Also, does it really make any difference to buy a canon remote release or a cheap brand like this one: http://www.amazon.com/Opteka-Remote-Release-Digital-Cameras/dp/B000NVX7EC/ref=pd_bbs_sr_5/103-5175045-0762200?ie=UTF8&s=electronics&qid=1184217782&sr=8-5

    A stupid question, how do I know if I am making a 1:1 or 1:1.5 shot?

    Art, definitely want to go to one of these photoshoot trip with you sometime, just need to find the time somewhere :(.
     
  10. Elite

    Elite Guest

    Welcome back Tong.. 5 days huh.. I can't stand 2 days staying there :D ..


    Maybe you should bring that camera to my house so I can try it out :D ..
     
  11. kinetic

    kinetic Webmaster

    [quote author=tonggao link=topic=2202.msg21910#msg21910 date=1184218693]
    I just came back from a 5 day Disney trip, and am totally spent. Don't have any pics that you guys asked for yet, but will take some tomorrow. One thing I was thinking, I could feel the camera moving on my cheap tripod, and this could be pretty bad with macro shot with slow speed on my 100mm macro lens, which does not come with a image stabilizer. I will try to use timer to take pics tomorrow to see if it gets better. Also, does it really make any difference to buy a canon remote release or a cheap brand like this one: http://www.amazon.com/Opteka-Remote-Release-Digital-Cameras/dp/B000NVX7EC/ref=pd_bbs_sr_5/103-5175045-0762200?ie=UTF8&s=electronics&qid=1184217782&sr=8-5

    A stupid question, how do I know if I am making a 1:1 or 1:1.5 shot?

    Art, definitely want to go to one of these photoshoot trip with you sometime, just need to find the time somewhere :(.
    [/quote]

    I am not completely familiar with Canon lenses, but I believe it should have the markings on the focus ring. The focus ring should have somewhere the magnification numbers. If not... I'm not too sure.

    I have a photoshoot with one of my models on July 21st, most of the day. It will be in the Marin Headlands. If you'd like, you're more than welcome to come and bring your lens. You can shoot plenty of things around where I'm doing the photoshoot, and I would be happy to take a look at the lens and see what's going on. It's not a problem to take breaks, the models need them sometimes anyway ;)

    Let me know!
     
  12. Ibn

    Ibn Supporting Member

    Take a look at the mirrored portion on the side of the lens. It should read 1: on the barrel and a different number in the mirror.
     
  13. tonggao

    tonggao Guest

    Thanks Art and Eric, I found the 1: number. I told you guys, it was a stupid question ;D.

    Phong, Disneyland definitely is not my cup of tea :(. But with my daughter complaining to me everyday that "you seems to care more about your fish tank than me!" and "you always spend your time with your fish tank!", I figure this is the best way to prove that she was wrong ;D.

    Phong, sounds like a plan for me to take the camera to your house. What are you going to be taking pics of, your new >360G tank? ;D

    Art, you definitely have a fun life! I wish I can go to your model shooting, but probably will not be able to make it >:(. Maybe in the future.

    So I managed to snap a few pics today. All pics are taken with f8 and with auto timer (no shaking). ISO is set to 640. I also put the frag close to the front glass with all the water pumps turned off. I took two pics at each distance, and picked the best one here. The pics are NOT photoshopped or cropped. The distance I took are 1:1, 1:1.5, and 1:3. Interestingly with 1:1.5, both shots are very flurry. With 1:3, if I crop the pic to about the same size as 1:1, it shows similiar clarityas 1:1. Please enlight me!

    1:1 - 1/25 second
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    1:1.5 - 1/25 second
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    1:3 - 1/50 second
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    Here is another pic of my Steve Elias that I accidentally fragged yesterday with about 1:2.5 with some photoshop to adjust lighting
    [​IMG]
     
  14. Raddogz

    Raddogz Guest

    Wait a second the 100mm lens is 2.8 which is pretty damn fast.

    Can I ask why are you taking such slow shots (shutter speed wise)?
     
  15. kinetic

    kinetic Webmaster

    well he's at F/8 which will slow it down a bit... but being at ISO 640 should make it faster.

    The first one, it seems like you are not close enough to the subject. When you shoot 1:1, you have to be VERY careful focusing. A macro focusing rail helps a ton in this case. I mean the focus ring is basically your magnification, thus setting it to 1:1, you'll need to move the camera to actually focus on your subject. I believe you are just a bit off in this case, which can totally come out badly.

    Your second shot is blurry because something is shaking it.

    Your last two shots are great, shows that the lens isn't entirely broken at least ;) Did you have the lens autofocus for you on those two shots? Pulling back is much easier since you have a range to focus with, at 1:1 you can't go any further, and the slightest movements will kill it.

    Do a little research on macro focusing rails... the good ones are damned expensive, but well worth it in my opinion if you want nice fine tuned focusing. Some people may have mad skills, but for others they need the rails to get 1:1. Otherwise, just try to move your camera little by little until at 1:1 until things come into focus. You can also just move your hand closer and further from your lens at 1:1 to get an idea of how far the subject needs to be.

    When we meetup too, I can try to see if we can troubleshoot.
     
  16. tonggao

    tonggao Guest

    Hmmm, why do I feel that I am sitting on top of a wallet black hole :-[? I guess before buying a macro focusing rail, I need to first buy a sturdy carbon tripod and remote control. I really need to work on my boss for a salary increase now ;).

    I did not trust my manual focusing ability, and all the pics were taken with auto focusing. I know it is not a good idea to do auto focusing with macro shots. But a lot of times very clear pics in viewfinder turns out to be fuzzy pics at the end :-.

    About the slow speed, it might be related to my crappy MH ballast used on the frag tank also. I just received two new icecap overdriven new style ballast from marinedepot today, and a quick firing shows much bright light.

    Art, looking forward to check out your gears during the weekend :).
     
  17. kinetic

    kinetic Webmaster

    tong: for 1:1 magnification you almost *have* to manually focus. this is pretty darned easy with a macro focusing rail, and the 30D's awesome viewfinder. For me, I always shoot slightly less than 1:1 so that I have a little leeway, and I try to let it autofocus with a less shallow of a DOF just in case. I'm not the hugest fan of complete macro 1:1 shots in reefs all the time, unless you're trying to take pictures of redbugs or something =X

    Here's something that wasn't 1:1 but still looks pretty darned close:

    [​IMG]

    and a reef one:

    [​IMG]

    Both have awesome detail, but didn't need to be all the way in. The first I used manual focus and took about 15 - 20 minutes to correctly focus without a macro focusing rail, and the second was straight auto focus.

    Taken with my 105mm F/2.8 1:1 Sigma Macro lens.
     
  18. tonggao

    tonggao Guest

    Wow Art, as always, great looking pics!

    Do you have suggestions for tripod and macro focusing rail? What is the difference between pan head and ball head, and which one would you recommand? I have the feeling that I will be a poorer man soon ;).
     
  19. kinetic

    kinetic Webmaster

    haha yeah, photography is another endless pit, but there's an end ;) somewhere... but nothing grows to be propagated =/

    If you really want to get a nice tripod, I could only recommend Feisol's carbon fiber setup. The quality is top notch, and it's more than half the price of a comparable model from companies like Bogen. I know a ton of people who use it.

    It's also sUPER portable. it'll be lighter than your camera bag by far, and is pretty dang small when collapsed.

    You can also order the ball head. Ball heads are basically heads where your camera connects to your tripod, that pivots around a ball. So you release the ball, and you find the angle you want, and then you can tighten the knob and your camera will stay at that exact spot. It's really easy to use. You'll see it on mine when I come.

    Pan head means it also has a panning base, to let you lock the ball in place, and pan around horizontally. BUT what I think you really mean is the pan / tilt kinds. Those are basically two knobs / levers, that control the tilt (1 lever) and the panning (2nd lever). These are harder to use, IMO, since you need to control both levers to do basic motion. Ball heads can achieve the same, but provide another ease with just one knob. I can explain it better to you in person.

    I've never had a macro focusing rail, lol, but I've used one before. I believe it was a simple Adorama brand one. They are generic, but work pretty well. If you REALLY wanna get into it, then get one from Really Right Stuff. Google search. These are really freakin expensive, but work well.

    I'm trying to look for a nice used piece sometime to play with, but people usually keep'em ;)
     
  20. Raddogz

    Raddogz Guest

    Wait...hold up...

    As much as I love my carbon fiber tripod, and ball head mount I don't it's that necessary to buy a carbon fiber tripod, when a good aluminum one will do just as well. ::)

    I have one simply because I was doing film way back when and got tired of dragging out the aluminum one on hikes and such.

    Imho buying the most expensive without working on educating yourself first is just a waste of money. What kind of "cheap" tripod are you using?
     

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