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Jumping spider - second stack

 
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canonian



Joined: 31 Aug 2010
Posts: 890
Location: Rotterdam, Netherlands

PostPosted: Wed May 18, 2011 3:13 pm    Post subject: Jumping spider - second stack Reply with quote

After posting my first real attempt at macro and stacking discussed here, I received sound advice from Rik and Laurie how to improve my skills and techniques.
So this evening I boldly tried a second attempt, this time with 3 Led lamps (Jansjo's), the same styropor soupcup diffuser, changed from a new plastic model El-Nikkor 50mm/F2.8 to an older 50mm/F2.8 model, on the same CCCP bellow, fitted reversed with a 40,5mm to M42 convertor I picked up this afternoon.
Found a cone-shaped M42 to M25 adapter that fitted perfectly underneath El-Nik's backend and acted as a lenshood. Took 6 shots and rendered it with ZS's DMAP.

Oh, and the same model, allthough not so fresh anymore but willing to give it another go. Marpissa muscosa, I was told. (Thanks, Wim!)
No PP, no enhancing or sharpening, just resized before uploading, partial stack of 6 shots, fresh out of ZS. Didn't even edited the sensorblobs out.



I'm glad I see some improvement , especially in contrast.
Discovered I got a lot of flare from the tubes at my previous attempt, which I removed this time but left 2 small ones in the get things fitted properly.

All the bits were fitted like below.
From top to bottom, not all pictured: Repro Stand - Canon 550D - small extension ring - CCCP bellow - small extension ring - M42 to 40.5mm adapter - reversed El-Nik - and finally the lens hood. A combo I'm very happy with, leaving enough room for tweaking, depending on the subject/specimen. I guess the next challenge will be using flash instead of constant lighting.



So, great advice and thank you Rik & Laurie (and all the member from this board who has been a great source of help on pointing me in the right direction.
Again, all critisism, advise, input and opinions are very welcome!
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rjlittlefield
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Joined: 01 Aug 2006
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Location: Richland, Washington State, USA

PostPosted: Wed May 18, 2011 4:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Striking improvement in contrast. The shading and flocking have done wonders.

With the flare gone, I'm now intrigued by the difference between this critter's two big eyes. In the one on the left (spider's right), the reflection of the diffuser is obviously much darker and has a distinct blue cast, while its mate in the other big eye is brighter and neutral. I don't recall noticing this sort of thing before. Now that I notice it here, I can see the same thing in your earlier photo. I can't imagine that anything in the photo setup is causing this effect. Seems like it must be a difference between the two eyes -- almost like the darker eye has some anti-reflection coating on it.

Regarding the photo, the most obvious glitch is that one leg at bottom right that escaped the front of the stack. I don't understand exactly why it is, but OOF foreground is much more prone to be considered a defect than OOF background is. It seems like OOF foreground is OK if there's a lot of it and it's obviously related to the geometry of the scene, for example a leaf that some critter is sitting on. In that case sometimes it even makes a useful frame. But isolated spots of OOF foreground somehow manage to divert attention from the main subject, and that's never a good thing.

Your sensor actually looks pretty clean to me. I see couple of OOF blobs above right of the spider's head, but I wouldn't have noticed them unless I were looking for them.

Regarding your bellows, is that "CCCP" as in Russian for USSR, or is it some other designation that I don't know about?

--Rik
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canonian



Joined: 31 Aug 2010
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Location: Rotterdam, Netherlands

PostPosted: Thu May 19, 2011 1:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank Rik, your opinion and advice means a lot to me.
The difference in the eyes also puzzles me, I think the right eye could be damaged behind its lens. The specimen is old and not in good shape to begin with. I will have a thourough look tonight under my stereoscope.

With everything in place now I soon will take a deep stack and pay special attention at back- and foreground focus with another challenging specimen. It was getting really late last night and I only took 6 photo's for this stack, didn't go all the way, just a partial stack around the eyes. Front and back parts were not in focus. The key to this attemp was to improve and judge contrast and less attention was payed to focus. I included a raw, unpolished photo with no PP. I'm also glad I got rid of most of the blue haze you noticed in the previous post.

I've seen several posts with the same El-Nik and see what it is capable of. A lot can still be improved in shading and lighting. DrLazer is working with the same lens and pointed me to a post from Charles Krebs what's possible. Leave it to Charly to push things to its limits. I hope some day to post a picture at this level.

EDIT: Just examined the eyes, the difference in reflection seems to do with degradation, right behind the surface of its left eye, it shows a kind of glare.
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Last edited by canonian on Thu May 19, 2011 11:54 am; edited 1 time in total
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canonian



Joined: 31 Aug 2010
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Location: Rotterdam, Netherlands

PostPosted: Thu May 19, 2011 1:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rik, regarding the CCCP bellow I mentioned, here's one pictured.
Yes, it's Russian and fitted both my rig as well as my budget.

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=160558948335

EDIT: added a picture of its logo, hence the name CCCP Bellow.

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Last edited by canonian on Thu May 19, 2011 11:43 am; edited 1 time in total
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DrLazer



Joined: 16 Feb 2011
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PostPosted: Thu May 19, 2011 3:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

looking forward to seeing the full stack canonian
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canonian



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PostPosted: Thu May 19, 2011 5:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Maybe it will be a bee of some sort, DrLazer.
I really loved your bee shots and understand you also like to play with the El-Nik's.
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DrLazer



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PostPosted: Thu May 19, 2011 5:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Maybe it will be a bee of some sort, DrLazer.
I really loved your bee shots and understand you also like to play with the El-Nik's.


Thanks! I only own the El-Nikkor 50mm f/2.8 non of the others. I bought it as a recommendation for a good bellows lens that would work in the range of 2x -> 5x. Recently I have been playing around with it in the field, it works quite nicely but it does mean you have to cart your bellows around too.

If you do a bee ... dont make my mistake and try to stack a bumble bee as a first one. The black fur acts like flocking and the eyes and skin reflect a lot of light leaving you scratching your head as to why you can't get the exposure right.

Do you have a Flickr account?
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canonian



Joined: 31 Aug 2010
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PostPosted: Thu May 19, 2011 6:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's sound and useful advice DrLazer, I stay away from bumblebees.
(on the other hand it seems a challenge but feel I only just starting to scratch the surface)

The recommendation to use an El-Nik totally came from this forum. I was awestruck seeing your link to Mr. Krebs' fly. The El-Nikkors have great potential.
Not much people in my surrounding that have been 'bitten by the bug' like we are. Really love this hobby and all aspects of it.
I would not have gotten this far by now if it wasn't for this forum.

My Flickr : http://www.flickr.com/photos/54515459@N02/
Not yet much to see but in time I'll incorporate it in my signature.
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rjlittlefield
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PostPosted: Thu May 19, 2011 10:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

DrLazer wrote:
Recently I have been playing around with it in the field, it works quite nicely but it does mean you have to cart your bellows around too.

For field use, you might consider using an M42 focusing helicoid such as eBay 320634704046. They're more robust than bellows (harder to damage), but don't give as much range for different magnifications.

--Rik
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