Luminous Landscape Forum

Equipment & Techniques => Cameras, Lenses and Shooting gear => Topic started by: JohnKoerner on January 06, 2009, 06:56:47 PM

Title: How Do You Like My Bokeh Now?
Post by: JohnKoerner on January 06, 2009, 06:56:47 PM
Well, I finally took the plunge and got me a real live DSLR camera  

Got my Canon 50D today, which is a day early, even though I originally ordered a 100-400mm lens, but changed my mind to a 100mm USM macro for now. B&H made the switch and still got me the thing a day earlier than schedule. Upon receipt I was a bit dismayed by all the controls, and sat there scratching my head like a monkey for awhile trying to figure out how to get the thing to work  

I have never shot anything but a G9 (and a G7 prior to that), so after a bit or tinkering I figured I'd start w/ full auto and right out of the box I was able to take some decent shots:
Title: How Do You Like My Bokeh Now?
Post by: JohnKoerner on January 06, 2009, 07:00:48 PM
Here are a couple more of a froggie
Title: How Do You Like My Bokeh Now?
Post by: DarkPenguin on January 06, 2009, 07:25:53 PM
I quite like it.

Very nice.

(3 f'ing times the cat decides to step on the mouse and f up this posting.  Going to make mittens out of her yet.)
Title: How Do You Like My Bokeh Now?
Post by: jjj on January 06, 2009, 07:32:00 PM
I see you garden is still full of critters that would make many people run a mile!  

Nice pics, but I'd say the subjects are a bit too centred, but once you get used to the camera, I'm sure you will play around a bit more.
Good to see you can still get things in focus even with a bigger sensor.  
I have contemplated getting the 100mm macro for the girlfriend as she loves doing macro shots with her Ixus P+S and she can put in on my barely used 20D.
Some of her pics - taken with an Ixus 850IS

Shield Bug
(http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3017/2506852532_c420b04319_o.jpg)

Spider carrying egg sac
(http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3218/2749227853_047d3fd75e_o.jpg)

Stink Bug, hatching
(http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3246/2792527253_d1f74727f5_o.jpg)

I built her a pond as a birthday surprise at her allotment and now she get very little done somedays,
as she spends all her time looking at the froggies. Probably looking for her prince.
(http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3245/2749224095_12bacc1a43_o.jpg)


Title: How Do You Like My Bokeh Now?
Post by: JohnKoerner on January 06, 2009, 07:48:14 PM
Quote from: DarkPenguin
I quite like it.
Very nice.


So do you think I got a good lens copy?

Everyone talks about maybe not getting a good copy right away, and I was kinda worried about that ...

I know this is a reduced .jpg, from a .tiff, processed from a raw, so I don't know if you can tell something like that from those pics or not  





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JJJ,

Those are very nice shots! I like them all, the beetle for color, but I think that stinkbug hatching takes the prize  


I notice that your shots are clear acrossed the board, while mine are blurry everywhere but the center. I think that is because I was shooting f2.8 and f4, is that correct?

I am going to read my manual once a week, for 5 straight weeks, and perform every function that the camera is capable of, over and over again, until I completely familiarize myself with the controls/features. (LOL, about my garden ... and that is what I am waiting for, Spring, when all the critters come back  )

Hopefully, by that time I can really make this thing sing, and do something besides "point-n-shoot" with my DSLR 8^)

Jack
Title: How Do You Like My Bokeh Now?
Post by: jjj on January 06, 2009, 08:12:44 PM
Quote from: JohnKoerner
So do you think I got a good lens copy?

Everyone talks about maybe not getting a good copy right away, and I was kinda worried about that ...

I know this is a reduced .jpg, from a .tiff, processed from a raw, so I don't know if you can tell something like that from those pics or not
Only way to tell is to take shots of a detailed flat surface like  a dollar bill.




Quote
JJJ,

Those are very nice shots! I like them all, the beetle for color, but I think that stinkbug hatching takes the prize
They are my girlfriend's shots, so nothing to do with me.  I just bought her the camera.


Quote
I notice that your shots are clear acrossed the board, while mine are blurry everywhere but the center. I think that is because I was shooting f2.8 and f4, is that correct?
Partially. The main reason is that the sensor you are now using is way bigger than on a Canon Ixus pocket camera, plus you were using a 100mm lens and the ones I posted were shot on an 28mm equivalent] so even shorter in reality, probably only a few mm. So apart from close up work, everything tends to be in focus with small sensor cameras.
With a 50D and 100mm at close range even with f11, you will still have a very shallow depth of field, compared to what you are used to. The spider pic could have done with a slighter deeper DoF, so don't be afraid to stop down further when so very close, shutter speeds permitting, as the amount in focus will never be that great.
Heck, getting anything you want in focus at that magnification whilst using wide apertures, is an achievement.

Title: How Do You Like My Bokeh Now?
Post by: DarkPenguin on January 06, 2009, 09:13:31 PM
I'd only worry if focus isn't where you think it should be a lot.  If you get a lot of images that you think should be in focus but aren't start shooting tests.
Title: How Do You Like My Bokeh Now?
Post by: JohnKoerner on January 06, 2009, 09:37:51 PM
Quote from: jjj
Only way to tell is to take shots of a detailed flat surface like  a dollar bill.

Click on the thumbnail below (on the very, very bottom of this post). I actually took a shot of a mossy old dowel that was sticking up out in the field. It has a "flat" top surface with a lot of different textures, so do you think this will suffice? I notice there seems to be a "line" of focus, cross-ways, and that everything before that "line" is blurry ... and everything behind that line is blurry. Is that good?




Quote from: jjj
Partially. The main reason is that the sensor you are now using is way bigger than on a Canon Ixus pocket camera, plus you were using a 100mm lens and the ones I posted were shot on an 28mm equivalent] so even shorter in reality, probably only a few mm. So apart from close up work, everything tends to be in focus with small sensor cameras.

Interesting. That is the criticism I got from a butterfly shot I took w/ the G9 that the background focus ruined the shot. Yet in some instances (like that stinkbug shot you have on the leaf), I think it looks better to have the whole thing in focus. Like for instance, I took another shot of the jumping spider and most of him is out of focus:



Jack
Title: How Do You Like My Bokeh Now?
Post by: stever on January 06, 2009, 10:34:48 PM
the 100 macro is probably one of Canon's most consistent lenses, don't worry - but take advantage of the 50D focus adust for fine tuning and use liveview if the subjects will hold still

if you're shooting macro, then you generally need to be at f8 or greater - with the 50D you will start to lose sharpness from diffraction at f16 but it may well be worthwhile for depth of field

i've been able to hand-hold macro in bright sunlight, but generally need flash for consistent results - another learning experience
Title: How Do You Like My Bokeh Now?
Post by: JohnKoerner on January 07, 2009, 12:34:49 AM
Quote from: stever
the 100 macro is probably one of Canon's most consistent lenses, don't worry - but take advantage of the 50D focus adust for fine tuning and use liveview if the subjects will hold still

Thanks Steve, I think it will come along just fine as I come along in my learning curve.

What is interesting is that, with the G9, I loved the Live View and have shot over 4000 images without ever once using the viewfinder. With the 50D it is exactly the opposite now: it take almost every photo with the viewfinder, and only use the LCD for looking at the images afterward. Regarding micro-adjust, I haven't read about that yet ... but both you and Ray have mentioned it now, and I am certain that is going to become an important tool for me to use.




Quote from: stever
if you're shooting macro, then you generally need to be at f8 or greater - with the 50D you will start to lose sharpness from diffraction at f16 but it may well be worthwhile for depth of field

As I have been reading the manual, I also have the option to use the "Landscape" setting which is supposed to increase it, as well as a dedicated "A-Dep" (auto-depth-of-field) setting, specifically for this need. I have not used it yet, but tomorrow I will. I am sure that, in addition to the traditional stopping down that there are a myriad of ways this camera will allow me to fine-tune everything to my liking ... I just have to discover them.




Quote from: stever
i've been able to hand-hold macro in bright sunlight, but generally need flash for consistent results - another learning experience

Speaking of flash, my next purchase is going to involve their MT-24 Macro Ringlight Flash, but first I need to learn how to walk with this thing before I go to trying to run  

Thanks again,

Jack
Title: How Do You Like My Bokeh Now?
Post by: jjj on January 07, 2009, 01:03:23 AM
Quote from: JohnKoerner
What is interesting is that, with the G9, I loved the Live View and have shot over 4000 images without ever once using the viewfinder. With the 50D it is exactly the opposite now: it take almost every photo with the viewfinder, and only use the LCD for looking at the images afterward.
IIRC you can trigger camera from a laptop and use the live view to tweak focus, which could be handy for some macro/nature shots as you as away from camera.



Quote
As I have been reading the manual, I also have the option to use the "Landscape" setting which is supposed to increase it, as well as a dedicated "A-Dep" (auto-depth-of-field) setting, specifically for this need. I have not used it yet, but tomorrow I will. I am sure that, in addition to the traditional stopping down that there are a myriad of ways this camera will allow me to fine-tune everything to my liking ... I just have to discover them.
Just use aperture priority  and set the aperture you need - if light is changing. Otherwise, use manual and set shutter speed to match your desired aperture. Manual is often easier than auto as lighting tends to be constant, but the subject matter in the light may change nd confuse meter.

Title: How Do You Like My Bokeh Now?
Post by: jjj on January 07, 2009, 01:09:45 AM
Quote from: JohnKoerner
Click on the thumbnail below (on the very, very bottom of this post). I actually took a shot of a mossy old dowel that was sticking up out in the field. It has a "flat" top surface with a lot of different textures, so do you think this will suffice? I notice there seems to be a "line" of focus, cross-ways, and that everything before that "line" is blurry ... and everything behind that line is blurry. Is that good?
By flat, I mean someting like a dollar bill on a wall and camera absolutely perpendicular and square to it. The intricate pattern on the banknote will show up any focusing problems or iffy lens quality, as well as how lens quality varies at different apertures .


Quote
Interesting. That is the criticism I got from a butterfly shot I took w/ the G9 that the background focus ruined the shot. Yet in some instances (like that stinkbug shot you have on the leaf), I think it looks better to have the whole thing in focus.
Some shots work better with more DoF and some with less. You'll learn as you go along.
Title: How Do You Like My Bokeh Now?
Post by: jjj on January 07, 2009, 01:43:25 AM
Quote from: DarkPenguin
I quite like it.
Very nice.

(3 f'ing times the cat decides to step on the mouse and f up this posting.  Going to make mittens out of her yet.)
My computer is currently called ijju83swe45FA4tewrerhdeybrty6grhthhhhhtrewh7h5CGFCQFYBG6N87R5CDAQ !  
I suspect one of the fetid breathed felines has been dancing a jig on the laptop,whilst I wasn't looking.
They try and look sweet,but underneath that fur is some seriously cunning hackers.
(http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3011/3006322370_342643c0fb.jpg)
Title: How Do You Like My Bokeh Now?
Post by: JohnKoerner on January 07, 2009, 02:19:13 AM
These were taken as .jpgs. The left image was shot in full auto. The right image was shot with me trying to figure out how to use manual mode.

The left image was not processed (other than re-sampling). The image on the right was dark and I tried to made it brighter.

Jack

Edit: My mistake: those were taken as raw and converted to .jpg. What I did was convert straight to .jpg. I typically convert to .tiff first, and tinker with it in .tiff, and then I convert to .jpg. I just haven't set up my new ZoomBrowser to convert to .tiff yet. Anyway, let me know what you think. Thanks.
Title: How Do You Like My Bokeh Now?
Post by: Marlyn on January 07, 2009, 02:29:41 AM
What breed are those cats ?

I ask because the bottom one looks a lot like a NFC (Nowegian Forest Cat).

Mark
Title: How Do You Like My Bokeh Now?
Post by: JohnKoerner on January 07, 2009, 02:58:33 AM
Here is another shot from a more level perspective, taken at f/4 so as to show a more pronounced bokeh in the fore- and backgrounds.

It was taken in raw, processed in .tiff (sharpened a hair), and converted to .jpg and it is a pretty big file.

What do you honestly think of the lens quality? Bokeh?

(Taking into account I hardly know how to make the camera work yet  )

Thanks and goodnight for now ...

Jack
Title: How Do You Like My Bokeh Now?
Post by: Tony Beach on January 07, 2009, 03:32:59 AM
Quote from: JohnKoerner
Here are a couple more of a froggie

Oh, I really like that second shot.

Welcome to the club Jack, in no time you will being picking up the G9 (for old time's sake) and be baffled by it instead of the 50D.
Title: How Do You Like My Bokeh Now?
Post by: David Sutton on January 07, 2009, 05:11:09 AM
My biased opinion is you have a fine camera and a good copy of that lens Jack. You are going to have a lot of fun.
I don't know how what I'm using (40D and 70-200 with close up lens) compares to the 100mm, but I find I can't go under f16 much and have any depth of field at all. And to hand hold at that aperture I really have to use a flash, mounted on a bracket to get it off to the side, and use manual exposure and let the camera and flash sort it out. But I prefer your naturally lit shots to this the "flash look"
[attachment=10789:93.jpg]
[attachment=10788:_MG_8023.jpg]
even though I couldn't have got these in low light any other way.
BTW, have you tried live view yet for focusing? David
Title: How Do You Like My Bokeh Now?
Post by: jjj on January 07, 2009, 09:12:01 AM
Quote from: Marlyn
What breed are those cats ?

I ask because the bottom one looks a lot like a NFC (Nowegian Forest Cat).

Mark
Well spotted. We got him from the pets section of the local forum, as when we were looking for a cat last year, my girlfriend showed me a photo of 4 three day old kittens and I said I want the tabby one [as they are my favourite]. It was only on third visit when we went to finally take him home we were told he was a wegie.
He didn't get his huge fluffy tail and longer hair until later. So a bit of an unexpected bargain as he was free, rather than the usual 400+. Apparently the mum was a bit small for a wegie, so not good enough for official breeding!! I'd never heard of them before as I tend to have had waifs and strays before, but I highly recommend these cats.
Ianto, the rescue cat [the other moggy in shot] that we got at same time seems slightly Bengali, same beautiful eyes and a bit of a spotty tummy.
Loki, the wegie is a real character, more like a dippy scavenging mutt on speed than your average somnolent cat. He loves DIY, which is just as well as we had house gutted this year. Still growing and he's bigger than his parents already at 10 months and apparently wegies can keep growing for up to 4 years according to vet!!   .

 His tail is now bigger than he was then!
(http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2249/2419350224_30eea4296b_o.jpg)

And to get back on topic here's the adjacent image from the flickr set
(http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2400/2419368096_55e79a6562_o.jpg)

Title: How Do You Like My Bokeh Now?
Post by: jjj on January 07, 2009, 09:43:42 AM
Quote from: JohnKoerner
Here is another shot from a more level perspective, taken at f/4 so as to show a more pronounced bokeh in the fore- and backgrounds.

What do you honestly think of the lens quality? Bokeh?
I meant to shoot money like this
Title: How Do You Like My Bokeh Now?
Post by: DarkPenguin on January 07, 2009, 10:44:28 AM
Quote from: jjj
My computer is currently called ijju83swe45FA4tewrerhdeybrty6grhthhhhhtrewh7h5CGFCQFYBG6N87R5CDAQ !  
I suspect one of the fetid breathed felines has been dancing a jig on the laptop,whilst I wasn't looking.
They try and look sweet,but underneath that fur is some seriously cunning hackers.
(http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3011/3006322370_342643c0fb.jpg)

Nice.  I wondered why I wasn't getting any messages on my answering machine once.  Turns out the other cat gnawed through the phone line.  They're big rats.
Title: How Do You Like My Bokeh Now?
Post by: DarkPenguin on January 07, 2009, 10:46:37 AM
One might want to look up focus stacking.  Provided the critters stay still long enough.  Nice way to have your bokeh and your dof, too.

Title: How Do You Like My Bokeh Now?
Post by: JohnKoerner on January 07, 2009, 12:54:36 PM
Quote from: Tony Beach
Oh, I really like that second shot.

Thank you Tony, that is also my favorite shot I have taken with it to date.



Quote from: Tony Beach
Welcome to the club Jack, in no time you will being picking up the G9 (for old time's sake) and be baffled by it instead of the 50D.

I already am. After practicing with the 50D, when I used my G9 to take a photo of it on the tripod, the G9 felt like a silly toy. I am sure that is what D3/1DsMkIII users feel like when they pick up their smaller crop counterparts  



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Quote from: Taquin
My biased opinion is you have a fine camera and a good copy of that lens Jack. You are going to have a lot of fun.
I don't know how what I'm using (40D and 70-200 with close up lens) compares to the 100mm, but I find I can't go under f16 much and have any depth of field at all. And to hand hold at that aperture I really have to use a flash, mounted on a bracket to get it off to the side, and use manual exposure and let the camera and flash sort it out. But I prefer your naturally lit shots to this the "flash look"
[attachment=10789:93.jpg]
[attachment=10788:_MG_8023.jpg]
even though I couldn't have got these in low light any other way.
BTW, have you tried live view yet for focusing? David


Nice shots and thanks. I had actually ordered the 100-400mm to take both telephotos of birds, as well as to take "macros" from afar myself. However, I decided on the 100mm macro for its ease of carry, quality of output, its low price, and the fact 99% of what I will be doing is macro. But those are some nice and close butterfly shots with a zoom, and I am sure you can get a lot more of them from afar like that, than I will scare away trying to come close  



>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>



JJJ:

That second frog shot is wonderful. You too musta been using a zoom also, and not a macro, as I doubt you (or your girl) were/was wading in the pond with the froggie.

I am actually well-pleased with the lens at this point, and I have already taken a few hundred shots, almost all of them showing a creamy bokeh, and I think once I get my own technique down over the next few months that I will (hopefully) be able to make this camera sing in time for butterfly & critter season  

Jack



.
Title: How Do You Like My Bokeh Now?
Post by: DarkPenguin on January 07, 2009, 01:05:01 PM
That's the 100macro?

I really want the 60 but I may have to re think that.
Title: How Do You Like My Bokeh Now?
Post by: jjj on January 07, 2009, 01:28:11 PM
Quote from: JohnKoerner
That second frog shot is wonderful. You too musta been using a zoom also, and not a macro, as I doubt you (or your girl) were/was wading in the pond with the froggie.
Not sure which camera that shot was taken on as it's one of my pics, but it was done almost certainly by hanging over pond, holding camera in froggie's face. If you are slow and careful you can get quite close without them fleeing.
If it was the 5D it would have been either the 16-35 or the 24-70mm lenses.
Title: How Do You Like My Bokeh Now?
Post by: JohnKoerner on January 07, 2009, 03:50:46 PM
Quote from: DarkPenguin
That's the 100macro?
I really want the 60 but I may have to re think that.


Yes it is the 100mm. The 60mm is supposed to be a wonderful lens also, but the focal length is too short for critters IMO. At just $100 more, you can step up to the 100mm macro, a wonderful lens also, but you also enjoy a much more workable focal range (especially w/ a crop camera). The reason I didn't go to the 180 macro was because, while it offers still more focal length, it is 3x as expensive as the 100 mm macro and yet isn't even offering quite as good an image quality. I think for only $444 the 100mm is the highest-quality lense available anywhere. It rivals anything any other lens can do, for a fraction of the price.

Keep in mind that the frog I shot on the previous page is only about the size of the first joint on your pinky finger. It is one of the tiniest frogs found in nature, and yet the closeness and clarity were excellent, whikle the bokeh was as buttery and smooth as I can remember seeing (and, remember, I hardly know how to use the camera  )

Also, those "Ben Franklin" shots I took were at around 3 in the morning, indoors, with only a standard ceiling lightbulb for lighting. That's it. Some people complain about the colors their cameras shoot under indoor lighing conditions, but yet right out of the box the 50D (set to AWB) took some pretty clear and natural-looking photos, color and clarity-wise, in the hands of a rank amateur (me). The first two Ben Franklins were handheld; the third was by tripod at f/4.

In that third photo in particular, if you look at the detailing of Ben's eye, and even the roots of his hair in his scalp (along the minimal "in-focus" range) I think it is pretty remarkable ... all surrounded by gobs of what seems to me to be a very nice bokeh also. And all there was for lighting was a nasty General Electric lightbulb in the wee hours of the morning  

Jack



.
Title: How Do You Like My Bokeh Now?
Post by: David Sutton on January 07, 2009, 03:54:34 PM
Quote from: JohnKoerner
But those are some nice and close butterfly shots with a zoom, and I am sure you can get a lot more of them from afar like that, than I will scare away trying to come close
Thanks. I just looked at the metadata and one was shot at 78mm and the other at 111. So I think your new lens is just the right focal length for macro (and it's probably sharper). The only reason I went for the 500D add-on is that I don't shoot enough macro to warrant lugging around a 3rd lens.  David
Title: How Do You Like My Bokeh Now?
Post by: JDClements on January 07, 2009, 10:20:38 PM
Quote from: JohnKoerner
Speaking of flash, my next purchase is going to involve their MT-24 Macro Ringlight Flash, but first I need to learn how to walk with this thing before I go to trying to run
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.

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:
(http://www.clements.on.ca/img/egg_spider.jpg)
Note: I am pretty sure I had a stack of extension tubes on for this shot.

Yer gonna have loads of fun! (The 100 mm macro lens should probably have a red circle around the end, it is that good.)



Title: How Do You Like My Bokeh Now?
Post by: Fine_Art on January 08, 2009, 01:46:41 AM
Quote from: JohnKoerner
Here are a couple more of a froggie

These look good.
The color looks real.
No rendering artifacts like from the G9.
The bokeh is much smoother making the rest of the image pleasing.

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.
Title: How Do You Like My Bokeh Now?
Post by: JohnKoerner on January 08, 2009, 09:52:50 AM
Quote from: JDClements
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.




Quote from: JDClements
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.




Quote from: JDClements
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.



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Quote from: Fine_Art
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  




Quote from: Fine_Art
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.




Quote from: Fine_Art
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  

Jack
Title: How Do You Like My Bokeh Now?
Post by: stever on January 08, 2009, 12:54:11 PM
the MT-24 can generally make macrophotography possisble in a breeze and get natural looking results with a bit of effort (which i don't think the ringlight can ever achieve)

it's not simple to use and the manual and head design don't help a lot

- i scribed lines on the heads for aiming - you can't look at them and tell where they're aimed and the modeling light is useful only in low light
- i like using one head for top/ background illumination - if you're using a tripod with a passive subject you can hold the head (or even use a full size flash triggered by the MT-24), but if you want a hand-held setup you need support arm - the Wimberley almost works (mounted to a RRS slider clamped to the RRS L-bracket) but it wasn't quite long enough for me so i use one or two underwater ball-joint strobe arms which use the same size ball as the Wimberley bracket (the underwater arms are available in a variety of lengths)
- the sto-fen diffusers are cheap and provide somewhat softer light

i bought the optional tripod mount ring for the 100M, but found the rotation so sticky that a gave up and just use the L-bracket to get verticals
Title: How Do You Like My Bokeh Now?
Post by: JohnKoerner on January 08, 2009, 02:34:19 PM
Quote from: stever
the MT-24 can generally make macrophotography possisble in a breeze and get natural looking results with a bit of effort (which i don't think the ringlight can ever achieve)
it's not simple to use and the manual and head design don't help a lot
- i scribed lines on the heads for aiming - you can't look at them and tell where they're aimed and the modeling light is useful only in low light
- i like using one head for top/ background illumination - if you're using a tripod with a passive subject you can hold the head (or even use a full size flash triggered by the MT-24), but if you want a hand-held setup you need support arm - the Wimberley almost works (mounted to a RRS slider clamped to the RRS L-bracket) but it wasn't quite long enough for me so i use one or two underwater ball-joint strobe arms which use the same size ball as the Wimberley bracket (the underwater arms are available in a variety of lengths)
- the sto-fen diffusers are cheap and provide somewhat softer light
i bought the optional tripod mount ring for the 100M, but found the rotation so sticky that a gave up and just use the L-bracket to get verticals


Thanks Steve; Some of that was over my head but that was essentially my understanding of the MT-24: you might take lousier shots at first, but if you stay with it (and really learn it) eventually you will not look back.

How have you found it to work at night-time?

Does it automatically adjust its flash intensity, or do you have to have to plug-in all of the data?

Title: How Do You Like My Bokeh Now?
Post by: Ray on January 09, 2009, 04:47:46 AM
Jack,
I've often wondered how a P&S would compare with a DSLR, with macrophotography, when DoF and shutter speed are equalised.

If the subject is stationary and you can fit a tripod into the scene, then the DSLR triumphs. If you use a ring-flash, then the DSLR would no doubt produce better results. If you actually want a shallow DoF, then you need the larger format.

But what happens if a tripod is not available or practicable because of the awkwardness of the shot, and you don't have a ring-flash? Your G9 at, say, F3.5 and ISO 100 might compare very favourably with your 50D at F8 and ISO 400 to 800.
Title: How Do You Like My Bokeh Now?
Post by: fike on January 09, 2009, 11:07:31 AM
Quote from: Ray
Jack,
I've often wondered how a P&S would compare with a DSLR, with macrophotography, when DoF and shutter speed are equalised.

If the subject is stationary and you can fit a tripod into the scene, then the DSLR triumphs. If you use a ring-flash, then the DSLR would no doubt produce better results. If you actually want a shallow DoF, then you need the larger format.

But what happens if a tripod is not available or practicable because of the awkwardness of the shot, and you don't have a ring-flash? Your G9 at, say, F3.5 and ISO 100 might compare very favourably with your 50D at F8 and ISO 400 to 800.

All other issues aside, I think the added depth of field that is provided by a digicam like a G9 or G10 is invaluable.  When you are taking pictures of a dragonfly and its proboscis is out of focus while its eyes are in focus, you know that you have a very shallow depth of field.  Bokeh is very important to getting a great shot, but I really love having more of the critter in focus.
Title: How Do You Like My Bokeh Now?
Post by: JohnKoerner on January 09, 2009, 11:35:47 AM
Quote from: Ray
Jack,
I've often wondered how a P&S would compare with a DSLR, with macrophotography, when DoF and shutter speed are equalised.
If the subject is stationary and you can fit a tripod into the scene, then the DSLR triumphs. If you use a ring-flash, then the DSLR would no doubt produce better results. If you actually want a shallow DoF, then you need the larger format.
But what happens if a tripod is not available or practicable because of the awkwardness of the shot, and you don't have a ring-flash? Your G9 at, say, F3.5 and ISO 100 might compare very favourably with your 50D at F8 and ISO 400 to 800.

Ray, I took several hundred photos yesterday as I was trying to learn how to use my camera properly. I still have taken shots with my G9 that are superior (or as good as) the shots I have taken with the 50D and 100mm macro, sharpness-wise. And it sure as heck is easier to lug around than a tripod and bulky camera. But when I've hit the bullseye with my new DSLR the overall effect is simply wonderful. I still like my two frog shots I took the day I got my camera better than almost any shot I have taken with the G9 in over a year of ownership. The frog looks like he is sitting in a world of billowy clouds.

Regarding DOF, I have been able to achieve some excellent DOF in my new camera as of yesterday, taking some of the suggestions (as well as reading the manual) and trying them out. Perhaps not as dramatic as the G9 but with an overall better color rendition and presentation.

The most invaluable thing about the G9, to me, is the ability to get a pretty decent shot right then, right now, no setup required. The most important thing to me about the 50D so far is I can get the same magnification in a shot from farther away, its overall presentation is better more often than not, and I capture the image in such a way was (if it's good) I can blow it up to truly usable proportions.



>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>



Quote from: fike
All other issues aside, I think the added depth of field that is provided by a digicam like a G9 or G10 is invaluable.  When you are taking pictures of a dragonfly and its proboscis is out of focus while its eyes are in focus, you know that you have a very shallow depth of field.  Bokeh is very important to getting a great shot, but I really love having more of the critter in focus.

Very good points. I have found the autofocus ruins my shots as often as not w/ macro work, but focusing on a leg (or whatnot) and leaving what I want in-focus a blur. By using manual focus the key elements of the creature are in-focus because I select them to be in focus. If I use autofocus at all anymore, one great feature I have found is my ability to select and control WHICH of my autofocus points is going to dictate the shot. If I have "all" of them searching, it is a big pain in the @$$ and oftentimes what I want in focus is not what's selected by the camera. However, if I just select the central focusing dot to dictate the focus, and if I stop down and get my other controls right, then I get a very nice and clear shot, and an overall critter in-focus, and my bokeh all in one.

I had a very cooperative anole (American chameleon lizard) on my wall yesterday, that sat still for me for about 100 practice shots while I was learning how to use this and that feature, and this "cooperative subject" allowed me to learn a great deal about my camera. I will post some comparisons later and would appreciate any feedback.

Thanks,

Jack
Title: How Do You Like My Bokeh Now?
Post by: fike on January 09, 2009, 12:59:54 PM

Have you tried using live preview with the 10x zoom for fine focusing. It is very impressive.  I haven't used it for macro yet, but I would imagine that it would work very well based upon some landscape shots that I focused this way.
Title: How Do You Like My Bokeh Now?
Post by: Ray on January 09, 2009, 06:29:18 PM
Just press the button on the back of the camera, immediately to the left of the viewfinder eyecup, Jack. To magnify the scene, press the button in the top right corner of the back.
Title: How Do You Like My Bokeh Now?
Post by: JohnKoerner on January 10, 2009, 12:45:06 AM
Thanks guys, I will try that feature tomorrow on a tripod.

I was reading about the autofocuse microadjustment, but can't figure out how to make that work yet. Perhaps the 10x zoom focus is the better tool though, ultimately, though I would like to fine-tune both.

Also, someone mentioned "calibrating" a lens to the body ... how does one go about doing that?

Jack
Title: How Do You Like My Bokeh Now?
Post by: fike on January 10, 2009, 10:28:21 AM
Quote from: JohnKoerner
Thanks guys, I will try that feature tomorrow on a tripod.

I was reading about the autofocuse microadjustment, but can't figure out how to make that work yet. Perhaps the 10x zoom focus is the better tool though, ultimately, though I would like to fine-tune both.

Also, someone mentioned "calibrating" a lens to the body ... how does one go about doing that?

Jack


The AF Microadjust is the feature that "calibrates" the lens to the body.  There are some pretty complicated methods out there, but I used a pretty basic setup for my 24-70 and my 100-400.  I have seen substantial improvement with the 100-400; the 24-70 didn't need adjustment.

First, I setup my camera on a sturdy tripod.  Then I set out three AA batteries standing on end.  Initially, all three were parallel to the front of the lens, but then I took the far left battery and moved it forward towards the camera 1/2 inch and the far right battery and moved it 1/2 inch away from the camera.  I used auto focus to focus on the center battery.  I discovered that the rear battery had the best focus.  This means that my lens was slightly back-focusing.  Then, I just diddled around with the setting for this lens to bring the focus back to the center battery--the one that I was supposed to be focused on.  

There are far more exotic setups for this adjustment, but this worked for me.  At least you can get a good idea if your lenses are pretty close.  The User Manual has some decent instructions about the feature too, so make sure to review that before your start.  There really isn't anything to mess-up here.  If you don't like the settings, just reset to zero and you are fine.
Title: How Do You Like My Bokeh Now?
Post by: JohnKoerner on January 11, 2009, 08:08:31 PM
Thank you for the tip!
Title: How Do You Like My Bokeh Now?
Post by: JDClements on January 11, 2009, 09:16:10 PM
Quote from: stever
the MT-24 can generally make macrophotography possisble in a breeze and get natural looking results with a bit of effort (which i don't think the ringlight can ever achieve)


Out of curiosity, what do you find is unnatural above the image in post #28 above?
Title: How Do You Like My Bokeh Now?
Post by: jani on January 13, 2009, 05:03:31 PM
Quote from: JohnKoerner
I was reading about the autofocuse microadjustment, but can't figure out how to make that work yet. Perhaps the 10x zoom focus is the better tool though, ultimately, though I would like to fine-tune both.

Also, someone mentioned "calibrating" a lens to the body ... how does one go about doing that?
Here's a pretty good article by Keith Cooper (http://www.northlight-images.co.uk/article_pages/cameras/1ds3_af_micoadjustment.html) about how to perform autofocus microadjustment for a specific lens model (which would be "calibrating a lens to the body").

I really liked your frog pictures, BTW!
Title: How Do You Like My Bokeh Now?
Post by: JohnKoerner on January 13, 2009, 06:09:28 PM
Quote from: jani
Here's a pretty good article by Keith Cooper (http://www.northlight-images.co.uk/article_pages/cameras/1ds3_af_micoadjustment.html) about how to perform autofocus microadjustment for a specific lens model (which would be "calibrating a lens to the body").
I really liked your frog pictures, BTW!


Many thanks for the article (another one to bookmark!) ... and thanks for the props on the frog pic  

Title: How Do You Like My Bokeh Now?
Post by: JohnKoerner on January 24, 2009, 10:03:57 PM
Here's a shot of a pet snake and a southern toad I found

I used the microadjustment for the first time today on a squirrel treefrog, and the results were excellent. Haven't processed them yet, but that Live View micro-adjustment really is wonderful when dealing with something that will hold still for a bit
Title: How Do You Like My Bokeh Now?
Post by: fike on January 24, 2009, 10:11:38 PM
Quote from: JohnKoerner
Here's a shot of a pet snake and a southern toad I found

I used the microadjustment for the first time today on a squirrel treefrog, and the results were excellent. Haven't processed them yet, but that Live View micro-adjustment really is wonderful when dealing with something that will hold still for a bit

That is one seriously medieval looking toad.  Great Work!  I am glad they don't appear that big in real life.
Title: How Do You Like My Bokeh Now?
Post by: JohnKoerner on January 24, 2009, 10:26:48 PM
Quote from: fike
That is one seriously medieval looking toad.  Great Work!  I am glad they don't appear that big in real life.


Thanks, and LOL, it's true. Up close, toads look far crazier than the imagination of any sci-fi movie creator.

I thought the texture and coloration of his hide was absolutely fascinating. You can also see the massive poison glands behind his eyes, and the pores the milky substance comes out of
Title: How Do You Like My Bokeh Now?
Post by: JohnKoerner on January 26, 2009, 01:04:19 AM
Here is a shot of a Squirrel Treefrog I took today, handheld.