I understand that one has a very steep learning curve, due to its virtually unlimited adjustability. I did a lot of research between the MT-24 and the MR-14EX Ring Lite and ended up going with the latter. I can tell you that the MR-14EX is a beautiful piece of equipment on the front of the 100 mm macro. You can adjust the power ratio between the two light halves, and you can also rotate it on the front of the lens so the stronger light comes from the direction you want. It gives excellent results without having to take a course on the thing.
That is what I have read, is that the MT-24 takes a lot of know-how to use, but once mastered takes the better photos. Since macro is my primary interest, I am going to go with the MT-24 and will accept the steep learning curve.
Here's an example with the MR-14EX ring lite. This spider is so small, it was all I could do to track and focus on it. I wouldn't want to be messing around with positioning light heads. You can see the quality of the light from this unit:
Note: I am pretty sure I had a stack of extension tubes on for this shot.
That is a clear shot of the side and abdomen of the spider, but his back looks a bit over-exposed (of course it doesn't help that the spider's back is yellow, which augments the effect). That is the one problem with any flash and macrophotography, is the sometimes unnatural lighting.
Yer gonna have loads of fun! (The 100 mm macro lens should probably have a red circle around the end, it is that good.)
Thank you. I am having too much fun as I have been tinkering with this thing all day, all night to the point I haven't got much sleep
I think the 100mm should get 3 red stripes, as it takes photos as nicely as (or better than) just about any L lens at about 1/3rd the price
I was concerned about the focal distance, but I was able to fill my entire frame with that Ben Franklin from about 2.5' away and got that close to the frog from maybe a foot or so. I don't know if there is a way to tell exactly how far away a shot is from the information, but not only is the lens excellent image-wise, but it allows you to take a good shot from a workable distance.
These look good.
The color looks real.
That is one of the most important elements about this lens (or camera?) is the fact the colors look real, as my eyes truly see them. To me, a good clear shot is ruined when the color comes out wrong. I have taken many shots with the G9 where the color was just too unnatural, but the auto white balance seems to be outstanding on this camera, whether I am taking a shot of a dollar bill under a nasty light bulb, or a shot of a froggie on top of a stump at dusk
No rendering artifacts like from the G9.
The bokeh is much smoother making the rest of the image pleasing.
I did learn to value the bokeh on that other thread, so thanks for the lesson. Hopefully as spring comes around, and the critters come back, I will get lots of practice. Fortunately, since I live in FL it still gets quite warm out at times, even in the dead of winter, so I always have a subject or two to work with.
Try with f8 through f22. You will get the DoF back, not as much as a tiny lens of course. Still, the actual image will look of sellable quality unlike the sharp but horrid rendering before.
Thanks for the tips. I am learning there are many ways to adjust the DOF with this camera, from the lower f-stops, to using Landscape mode (which brings out more vivid colors also), as well as a dedicated A-Dep mode which automatically sets the all the camera settings to achieve the greatest and clearest DOF.
I am in such a "hurry to learn" that I've read the manual twice now. Since it is a gorgeous, sunny day out ... and one of the rare instances with no wind ... I think I will practice a lot today. One of the frustrating things about macrophotography in Florida is you have all the creatures in the world to keep you occupied, but even having a tripod and good lens can't do much if a butterfly is swaying back-n-forth in a constant wind