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Doing better with the Oly... and tripod.

 
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Yawns



Joined: 20 Dec 2015
Posts: 229

PostPosted: Sat Feb 23, 2019 6:08 pm    Post subject: Doing better with the Oly... and tripod. Reply with quote

Text "google translated from Portuguese".. sorry if it sounds "funny." to you.

.. I got up early, today to catch the sun very low and the morning cold. Went with a friend.. good to have company .. and 4 eyes find the double of good insects.
And to try the Oly E-M10 II for few hours in a row.. my first "serious" day out with the Oly.
I set OLY to "macro", .. all the programmable buttons programmed for focus functions .. even the REC button since I do not intend to use video functions

FLK_000137 by antonio caseiro, on Flickr

Most important camera settings

- ISO set at 200 (the minimum of OLY) .as suggested here in another post.
- "Natural" mode
- Noise reduction OFF
- Noise filter OFF
- Focus differential in the minimum (1) (focus Bracketing
- "Superfine" JPG format. The superfine mode is hidden by default and must be activated in the menus.
- Sharp +1
- Saturation -1

I took the Vanguard Alta 263AT tripod with oscillating column .. it's heavy, solid and has a huge head / ball that makes positioning a lot easier .. I never used it in macro before. ... I never used a "serious" tripod with macro before too. Only used before those "gorilla" types... but to hold the subject
The head almost can touch the ground ...
Between the ball and the camera a sliding rail (without screw) Pentacon "vintage" .. for fast positioning of the camera near to focus...

Flash Meike Twin (for Nikon) with insulation tape on the shoe, just leaving out the center pin .. so the Flash for Nikon works on Olympus in manual mode (... I never use TTL anyway)

FLK_000136 by antonio caseiro, on Flickr

I did very few photos..but better a good one than 5 or 6 so - so.

The process with tripod is slow and could not do many
Note: The photos are not fully edited ... they were edited in a hurry ... I did not do any noise cleaning etc ... I do not have the time now.

1st of the day
A Bombyliidae [: clap:] .... I have very few of these flies ... they are frantic with the hot weather; do not stop a second .... I was super happy.

The fact that it was cold and humid helped immensely and there was only a very slight breeze. The studio umbrella served as a windbreaker and immobilized the wire of grass where she was.
It turned out nice ...

60 photos natural light (without flashes)

FLK_000135 by antonio caseiro, on Flickr

The setup / making of this one.

Early morning there is a problem .. the lack of light (sun) on the grass makes very ugly backgrounds (in my opinion) .. green and brown very grey'ish and "dead" colours.

I took photos printed on plain paper (not glossy) and .. some cards I painted with watercolors..the watercolor blurs produce a fake bokeh and very bright backgrounds.

FLK_000134 by antonio caseiro, on Flickr

2 nd
the same fly
but this time to stay even at fly level (It was only 10cm off the ground) I used a "bean bag" that I made with a black sock and rice ... just to support / orient the lens

150 photos .. natural light (without flashes)

FLK_000133 by antonio caseiro, on Flickr

FLK_000132 by antonio caseiro, on Flickr

3rd
An empusa (only today we saw 3) [: clap:]
Stack of 50 handheld (without tripod) .. Natural light.
we were moving to another place and the camera was off the tripod ...

2019-02-23-16.31.15 ZS PMax by antonio caseiro, on Flickr

(it's not me in the picture.... my friend trying his luck with the empusa)
P2231510 by antonio caseiro, on Flickr

4th
Another empusa
Natural light, tripod 150 pictures
FLK_000131 by antonio caseiro, on Flickr

FLK_000130 by antonio caseiro, on Flickr


5th
The same empusa
"normal" method .. one PHOTO..flashes, diffuser ...
FLK_000129 by antonio caseiro, on Flickr

and a few more .. "normal" ... single photo / flash .... handheld
got tired of the tripod "gymnastic" and it was warmer ..very slim chance to find perfectly still insects

6th

FLK_000128 by antonio caseiro, on Flickr
7th

I do not like at all photos on the ground ... but the cicindelas live mostly on the ground ... in the sand,... although they fly very well.
FLK_000127 by antonio caseiro, on Flickr

Feels good to go back to activity ... it's so relaxing.

Thanks for watching.
Antonio
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SteveB



Joined: 25 Nov 2017
Posts: 44
Location: Pretoria South Africa

PostPosted: Sun Feb 24, 2019 1:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think that first fly picture is one of the nicest "live insect" stacks I've seen. Thanks also for the tip of the white umbrella.
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Beatsy



Joined: 05 Jul 2013
Posts: 1501
Location: Malvern, UK

PostPosted: Sun Feb 24, 2019 2:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Super impressive! How long does it typically take to shoot a (say) 150-image stack?

I'm hoping and praying a Sony firmware update (or a new Sony camera) will add this capability one day (just capture, not stacking). But I won't hold my breath.
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Yawns



Joined: 20 Dec 2015
Posts: 229

PostPosted: Mon Feb 25, 2019 4:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

SteveB wrote:
I think that first fly picture is one of the nicest "live insect" stacks I've seen. Thanks also for the tip of the white umbrella.


Thank you Steve ...
If you plan to use an umbrella, get a studio one ...
mine is retractable, semitransparent ... folded is just 25-30cm long and easy to carry.. makes a diffusion in sunny days and let pass plenty of light.

before I was using a regular one for rainy days... the handle is very awkward and i should do some gymnastic to hold it with my knee or foot ...
the studio one can be stick in the ground and stays in place even if there is moderate wind.
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Yawns



Joined: 20 Dec 2015
Posts: 229

PostPosted: Mon Feb 25, 2019 4:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Beatsy wrote:
Super impressive! How long does it typically take to shoot a (say) 150-image stack?



Thank you beatsy

I just measured for you.. my camera does it in 22 seconds ...

but I did a mistake... the Olympus OM-D E-M10 II supports the UHS-II card interface .. and I thought it did not...
so I got a UHS-I of 90Mb/s writing speed ... I should have got a faster UHS-II card.
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A-PeeR



Joined: 02 Mar 2013
Posts: 103
Location: Houston, Texas

PostPosted: Wed Feb 27, 2019 7:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Excellent work Antonio. I've been eyeballing used OMD's in particular the EM5-II and EM10-II.

The EM-10 II has in camera stacking utility but it doesn't stack the images into a final output, correct?

Best regards - William
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Yawns



Joined: 20 Dec 2015
Posts: 229

PostPosted: Thu Feb 28, 2019 3:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A-PeeR wrote:
Excellent work Antonio. I've been eyeballing used OMD's in particular the EM5-II and EM10-II.

The EM-10 II has in camera stacking utility but it doesn't stack the images into a final output, correct?

Best regards - William



Thank you William.

Correct .. the E-m10 II only has "Focus Bracketing" .. you set the number of pictures you want to shoot and a focus differential between each of them... then you have to stack the focus outside of the camera with Zerene Stacker or Helicon or whatever else...

The Em-5 II after the firmware update has in-camera focus stacking as well

Mind you ... you will need a compatible lens too.

have a look on this article if you never did before...
https://learnandsupport.getolympus.com/learn-center/photography-tips/macro/focus-stacking-bracketing-with-om-d
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Troels



Joined: 15 Feb 2016
Posts: 417
Location: Denmark, Engesvang

PostPosted: Fri Mar 01, 2019 3:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Excellent work, Yawns.

Just a tip:
Working with the 60mm macro lens it is completely safe to use Differential Step 2 instead of 1.
As I have shown here you still have a comfortable safety margen.

That could save you some time. Important when shooting live animals with a tripod where a sudden movement of the animal can spoil everything.

On the other hand: If some shaking of a handheld camera is the problem it is nice to have som extra pictures to leave out of the final stack.
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Yawns



Joined: 20 Dec 2015
Posts: 229

PostPosted: Fri Mar 01, 2019 3:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello Troels.. thank you for your excelent article and all the work you did...
I also read Richard Turton's article before but I confess I did not undertand very much...
I also fel very quite disappointed with Olympus for giving us a nice tool... but without giving us a clue about how to use it ... I thought I was missing something in the manuals or so. Good to know I'm not the only one noticing that...

I will take your advice and in my next session i will try your suggestion ...
"You can do most of your field close-up hunting from 1:1 to 1:4 with any f-number you prefer without doing any bracketing menu adjustments apart from setting your BFD-step size to 2 units and the picture count to 100 (or another number if you prefer)."

I decided to play safe and use the minimum as I got a few disappointments before with "banding", even at low differentials...

Thank you for the tip... Any bracketing session can be interrupted by pressing the release button .. I did not know it.
This will save me a lot of swearing Very Happy

This Focus bracketing thing is a hard lemon .... but the money is spent on it and better try to do lemonade...
This day out was very rewarding .. as I was about to quit ..
The focus bracketing with the Olympus is absolutely not "Plug & Play" like it sounds in the paper...
It's a chain of problems to sort out one by one....
Now I'm struggling with studio pictures... can't use the flash... the leds produce flickering.. having to shoot always at 1/50 to match the 50Hz of the eletricity, to minimize flickering etc..etc...
It's very challenging...
Thank you for your work...
Antonio

currently I'm trying bracketing in the "studio"

IMG_20190227_235647 by antonio caseiro, on Flickr

2019-02-27-23.43.14 ZS retouched by antonio caseiro, on Flickr

80 photos, differential 1... but I only stacked 35
speed 1/50 .. because of the flickering... the slow speed forced the use of a narrow aperture. f/8


35 Photos - 2019-02-27 - B by antonio caseiro, on Flickr


[/i]
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anvancy



Joined: 05 Dec 2009
Posts: 372
Location: India

PostPosted: Fri Mar 01, 2019 11:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

the efforts are clearly visible in the photos. The studio umbrella option is something new to me and will try in my own photography.

In my case where it rains (India) painted backgrounds may not work but the photo prints will and I will implement these.

Thanks for these tips Yawns!
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dolmadis



Joined: 07 Dec 2011
Posts: 554
Location: UK

PostPosted: Sat Mar 02, 2019 1:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yawns wrote:
Now I'm struggling with studio pictures... can't use the flash... the leds produce flickering.. having to shoot always at 1/50 to match the 50Hz of the eletricity, to minimize flickering etc..etc...


So is it a case of continuous lighting with halogen lighting instead?

BR


John
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GrayPlayer



Joined: 14 Nov 2009
Posts: 54

PostPosted: Fri Mar 15, 2019 6:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Muito bom trabalho! Hope this comes out right. Congratulations!
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Yawns



Joined: 20 Dec 2015
Posts: 229

PostPosted: Sat Mar 16, 2019 7:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

dolmadis wrote:
Yawns wrote:
Now I'm struggling with studio pictures... can't use the flash... the leds produce flickering.. having to shoot always at 1/50 to match the 50Hz of the eletricity, to minimize flickering etc..etc...


So is it a case of continuous lighting with halogen lighting instead?

BR


John


Never tried .. good question. I think I have halogen bulbs somewhere .. I'm going to try it.
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Yawns



Joined: 20 Dec 2015
Posts: 229

PostPosted: Sat Mar 16, 2019 7:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

GrayPlayer wrote:
Muito bom trabalho! Hope this comes out right. Congratulations!


Muito Obrigado Smile...
Yes it's getting much better now.
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