Author Topic: MP-E 65mm  (Read 9893 times)

  • Offline zpyder

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Re: MP-E 65mm
Reply #15 on: June 27, 2013, 16:10:32 PM
Ring flash! I did take half a dozen shots though, and picked the best one, though thats the nature of working with nature I think.

If I'd have known how much of a difference a ring flash makes, I'd have bought one 2 years ago!

Camera settings = manual mode, 1/100s exposure and aperture of f6.3 (could have been 8 though). The fast(ish) exposure meant combined with the pseudo-monopod, it wasn't too hard to not get a shaky hand, and as I said, the nymph wasn't that mobile.

Still getting to grips with the ringflash settings though. In manual mode, you get options to basically power the flash from full power, 1/2, 1/4,1/8,1/16,1/32 and 1/64 power (or off). Not entirely sure how this works, as in manual mode if I leave the flash power settings unchanged (lets say both rings at 1/16) - and take a shot at 1/100th, if I take another shot at 1/200th the exposure is pretty much the same, making me wonder whether there is still some form of metering going on and as I increase shutter speed, flash power is increased but correspondingly reduced to make the same exposure?

If the above is true, not sure what difference there is between controlling the flash output by manual mode, or leaving it in e-ttl, adjusting flash compensation and the flash ratio between the two rings!?

  • Offline zpyder

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Re: MP-E 65mm
Reply #16 on: June 30, 2013, 20:25:50 PM
Starting to try and get a bit creative with some of these specimens. Bit limited on what you can do with a small dead insect glued to a piece of card, but still, doesn't hurt to try!


Nebria rufescens by Chris_Moody, on Flickr


Hylobius abietis 2 by Chris_Moody, on Flickr


Forficula auricularia 3 by Chris_Moody, on Flickr

Fly heads doesn't get old

Fly 3 by Chris_Moody, on Flickr


Untitled by Chris_Moody, on Flickr


Hypera plantaginis 2 by Chris_Moody, on Flickr


Sitona regensteinensis 3 by Chris_Moody, on Flickr

Re: MP-E 65mm
Reply #17 on: July 04, 2013, 13:25:40 PM
Ring flash! I did take half a dozen shots though, and picked the best one, though thats the nature of working with nature I think.

If I'd have known how much of a difference a ring flash makes, I'd have bought one 2 years ago!

Camera settings = manual mode, 1/100s exposure and aperture of f6.3 (could have been 8 though). The fast(ish) exposure meant combined with the pseudo-monopod, it wasn't too hard to not get a shaky hand, and as I said, the nymph wasn't that mobile.

Still getting to grips with the ringflash settings though. In manual mode, you get options to basically power the flash from full power, 1/2, 1/4,1/8,1/16,1/32 and 1/64 power (or off). Not entirely sure how this works, as in manual mode if I leave the flash power settings unchanged (lets say both rings at 1/16) - and take a shot at 1/100th, if I take another shot at 1/200th the exposure is pretty much the same, making me wonder whether there is still some form of metering going on and as I increase shutter speed, flash power is increased but correspondingly reduced to make the same exposure?

If the above is true, not sure what difference there is between controlling the flash output by manual mode, or leaving it in e-ttl, adjusting flash compensation and the flash ratio between the two rings!?


Don't know how much you know about using flashes in general so hopefully I'm not teaching you how to suck eggs here (and that the same logic applies to ring flashes as well as ordinary flash guns) but I watched a video on how to use flashes by Zack Arias about a year ago and he explains it quite well, but basically the shutter speed only controls the amount of ambient light that's in the shot ie use a fast shutter speed to produce a dark background and a slower shutter speed to get some detail in the background etc.  The affect the flash has is controlled by the apperture and the flash power settings which sounds like what your getting, you changed the shutter speed but not the apperture so the affect the flash has is the same.

The shots you've been producing with it are great and make me want a ring flash myself, or at least an LED one anyway.  I tried to do some macro shots of a flower on Monday night when I was out at a nature reserver looking for little owls but as it was just around sunset I couldn't get the light to give me a shutterspeed around 1/100th so most of the shots were blurred doh.

Re: MP-E 65mm
Reply #18 on: July 08, 2013, 13:03:41 PM
Russell is right, a flash burst is typically over in ~1/10,000 sec, so shutter speed makes no difference. This is also the reason why focal plane shutters have a max sync speed above which you can't use flash without clever technical jiggery pokery.

  • Offline zpyder

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Re: MP-E 65mm
Reply #19 on: July 09, 2013, 07:45:57 AM
That's what I thought/suspected, it was just odd to observe, as it wasn't quite what I was used to :D


  • Offline zpyder

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Re: MP-E 65mm
Reply #20 on: January 15, 2014, 15:32:31 PM
Had a bit of a technique breakthrough over the last week, whilst unemployed.

Used some light tent fabric to make a small cube tube, helps diffuse the light on the specimens. A black cloth positioned out of the light behind the subject gives a nice uniform black background. I've got some 1mm gauge black aluminium wire which I'm using to pin the specimens in the cube, stuck into some modelling clay.

First of all I retrieved a bunch of fried insects from inside a light fitting:

Lightbulb (halogen) Heat seems to make the bluebottle go more purple:

Bluebottle by Chris_Moody, on Flickr

Still working on what this is/was:

Chrysalis 2 by Chris_Moody, on Flickr


Cranefly by Chris_Moody, on Flickr

And then I went through some of the girlfriends sediment samples from her PhD. Added challenge here is they've all been preserved in alcohol so they are either wet, or wet and squishy. Hard to suspend on black wire.


BV 2 by Chris_Moody, on Flickr


Cockle 2 by Chris_Moody, on Flickr

This shell is about 5mm long. I think I could get scale bars in the photos if I use some tipex on some wire to give an indication of size, I can then add a digital scale in photoshop after:

Hydro 3 by Chris_Moody, on Flickr


Coro 2 by Chris_Moody, on Flickr


Prawn 2 by Chris_Moody, on Flickr


Ragworm 2 by Chris_Moody, on Flickr

This one is actually more like 10cm long. Again I need to get a scale bar in. Amazing what having mega DoF can do for screwing up sense of size and scale.

Worm pipefish 2 by Chris_Moody, on Flickr

Re: MP-E 65mm
Reply #21 on: February 20, 2014, 22:37:57 PM
They look really good with the pure black background, only managed that once with a macro/flash shot I did, but that was shot out of a window so the flash didn't have anything to bounce back of so it just went to nearly pure black.  Is it worth trying a pure white background using the same method?  Should cut down on a few shadows you get under the beasties, probably not the best for everything but might make some a bit more useful to people buying them for text books etc

  • Offline zpyder

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Re: MP-E 65mm
Reply #22 on: February 21, 2014, 08:50:15 AM
Some of the shadows are actually my attempts at cloning/masking out the pins holding the specimens ;)

I've done some white background ones as well, it depends on the subject. I don't think a beige/off white object comes out that well on a white background. Darker things, like ants, or beetles work well though:

2 by Chris_Moody, on Flickr

 
8 by Chris_Moody, on Flickr


2014-02-19-11.29 by Chris_Moody, on Flickr

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