Macro Noob

Discussion in 'Macro Photography' started by lilmsmaggie, Oct 3, 2009.

  1. lilmsmaggie

    lilmsmaggie Member

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    OK - got the camera: Minolta X-700

    got the lens: Kiron 28-105mm f3.2-4.5 MACRO 1:4

    I've been shooting B&W film with the X-700 for about 30 days now.
    Primarily Delta 400, but some HP5+. The closest I've come to shooting macro is at the local nursery shooting flowers with a 28mm.

    I've been given a shallow depth of field class assignment. I thought I'd try shooting macro.

    Although not ideal, I'd like to try shooting with this lens hand held if that's possible. Tripod's not an issue but what-if the only lens you have on the camera is a macro lens sans the tripod? I was thinking of maybe going back to the nursery. Get an idea what the potential is hand-held.

    Also, are there any B&W films that are particurily suitable to macro photography? I was thinking of maybe shooting at a slower ISO, Fujifilm Acros
     
  2. Christopher Walrath

    Christopher Walrath Member

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    MACRO = TRIPOD! TRIPOD! TRIPOD! TRIPOD!

    Why do work that is not quite up to snuff. Get your tripod out!
     
  3. Chazzy

    Chazzy Member

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    And pray that there isn't a wind, if you are shooting flowers out of doors.
     
  4. David Brown

    David Brown Subscriber

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    Just so there's another opinion: I have shot lots of flower macros (documenting the wife's gardening efforts) over the years handheld with ISO 100 slide film. A tripod is always nice, but not always necessary.

    Now, having said that, I use a tripod or even a copy stand for a lot of indoor macro stuff, but outside in bright sunlight, it's possible to handhold.

    I wouldn't say that any particular film is better for macro than your other shots with the same camera. You might prefer a different film due to the subject matter, but not to the "macro" part per say.
     
  5. Jeff Kubach

    Jeff Kubach Member

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    Even though you can handhold for macro shots, I find that usually I get better shots when I use a tripod. But that's just me.:smile:

    Jeff
     
  6. Larry.Manuel

    Larry.Manuel Member

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    You may find that even at f/22, the depth of field is surprisingly shallow. If you are in blistering sunshine, that's [possibly] OK handheld, assuming the subject is still. Soon you'll understand why there is more than one recommendation for a tripod [or something to rest the camera upon]. Even steadying on top of a board, on a towel, helps immensely.
     
  7. lilmsmaggie

    lilmsmaggie Member

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    OK - so I'l try it both ways. I'll make sure to take along the tripod and I'll try shooting without the tripod.

    I'll probably go in a few minutes to try hand-held shots -- see what happens.
     
  8. Rick A

    Rick A Subscriber

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    I almost always use a tripod. When I cant get close enough to the ground, I switch to a beanbag(stuffed with rice). At very close range, the slightest movement looks like an earthquake, and leaves you with a blurred image.
    Rick
     
  9. Christopher Walrath

    Christopher Walrath Member

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    Oh, and for the record, I seldom use a tripod. But there are times where it proves absolutely necessary. I have simply reached the point where I don't have to follow all the rules anymore if I don't feel like it. I keep telling my wife 'You're not the boss'a me!' Yeah, right.
     
  10. Toffle

    Toffle Member

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    I'll add my two cents here... If you have the camera, the lens and the tripod, and are going to be doing some serious macro shooting on an ongoing basis, I would strongly recommend a focusing rail. Even a simple single axis rail gives you so much flexibility in choosing your exact focal point... and they are dirt-cheap on the 'bay. (no help at all with flowers on a windy day, but then again, nothing really helps then... :smile: )

    Cheers,
     
  11. polyglot

    polyglot Member

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    While it's a bit hard with an X-700, I find that off-camera flash is the greatest thing when doing macro. You can go completely handheld and it doesn't matter if the camera is moving when the shutter goes off as long as your plane of focus is right. And you can shoot happily at f/16 in the dimmest light.

    If you have a recent AF minolta like a 5 or a 7 (I assume other brands too though extra dongles or cables might be required), they support wireless auto-exposure flash and it works very very well.
     
  12. Q.G.

    Q.G. Inactive

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    Sometimes a clear windscreen helps. Depends on how big the flower bearing plant is.
    A few sticks, a clear plastic foil, and you can set up a shield around the thingy. The plastic rolls up, the sticks bunch up, and all packs away without taking up much space.

    But only sometimes.
     
  13. Allan Swindles

    Allan Swindles Member

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    Why on earth complicate matters by choosing such a difficult technique? Your project is shallow DOF, 100/105mm is ideal portrait focal length. If it was my project I'd shoot faces @ f4.5 in available light. The film you are currently using will be ideal. BTW, close-up and macro photography are my prefered subjects but I use macro flash units which eliminates many of the forementioned problems. Keep it simple, don't do more than is being asked of you, after all, the next project might be c/u and macro pics.
     
  14. nsurit

    nsurit Subscriber

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    Do you have a normal lens (50mm). If so shoot it wide open. Use a tripod if you have one. You don't have to go to the nursery. How about shooting down the edge of a book, your tooth brush, down the side of a wall, your hand, a stalk of celery, your pet, your parent, your girl/boy friend. Don't need to leave your house. Bill Barber