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osbourne



Joined: 22 Sep 2017
Posts: 9

PostPosted: Fri Sep 22, 2017 1:58 pm    Post subject: Something's wrong here Reply with quote

Hi,

I am new on this site and it is nice to be part of this world:).

I need help. Macro is my passion and I am still learning. I use Sony a6000 (just got it) and Componon-s 50mm. Results are (in my eyes) terrible. Before I used Canon 1100d and I can't see much difference.
Subjects are blurry. I have been watching other's photos with same lenses and just can't realise where I make mistake. Here are 2 last examples:





The most frustrating fact is that I have managed to get some nice photos but don't know what I have done differently:). This one make me happy, and it has been done with cheap second handreversed old 50mm



Also have to mention that I am never happy with my photos. Always can be little bit better:D.
Thank you, I hope that I will find solution and get better photos as equipment that I have can do so.

My gallery: https://www.flickr.com/photos/130698164@N05/

Thank you:)


[/img]
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rjlittlefield
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Joined: 01 Aug 2006
Posts: 18244
Location: Richland, Washington State, USA

PostPosted: Fri Sep 22, 2017 3:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

osbourne, welcome aboard! Very Happy

Looking at your Flickr gallery, I see much to like. I also see some of what looks like the same issue you've raised here about the blurry subject. An example is https://www.flickr.com/photos/130698164@N05/29193047770/ .

What I notice in both that one and the one here is that the most blurry parts are highly flexible. Also, there are other parts of the same images where the subject would be rigid or at least not nearly so flexible, and those parts are sharp.

This combination suggests that your problem is subject movement, perhaps due to slight air movements that are too subtle to notice as such.

Despite people loving to talk about how sharp their lenses are, lens quality is seldom responsible for images that look blurred at web resolution.

The two most common causes of blurred macro images are 1) movement, of either the subject or the camera, and 2) diffraction (stopping down too far). But diffraction and movement of the camera blur all parts pretty much equally, so again, I'm thinking subject movement.

I notice in your Flickr post that you're using ZS. In that case you might consider using the techniques discussed at https://zerenesystems.com/cms/stacker/docs/faqlist#how_can_i_detect_movement_in_my_stack to see if you can spot subject movement from one frame to another. That won't catch all cases where movement was responsible for blur, but it will catch a lot of them, and when it does, you know for sure what the problem was in that case.

--Rik
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osbourne



Joined: 22 Sep 2017
Posts: 9

PostPosted: Fri Sep 22, 2017 4:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you for your answer. It makes sense, but why grasshopper ihas bad quality too?

Look at this photo, found after searching Flickr for "Coponon-s 50"
https://www.flickr.com/photos/100741226@N06/33350758376/in/photolist-RpP5vc-RLyq7y-SP6mxs-RpRo56-SpZizE-SssQCe-SrkzZN-bCVDft-bj3hmv-SDQF3X-FSMzR9-GSHWKK-GJrAhN-CEgn2h-bivS3K-S5oXzE-SMVnqb-kNebQX-U3eXwb-ag4a8Y
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rjlittlefield
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Joined: 01 Aug 2006
Posts: 18244
Location: Richland, Washington State, USA

PostPosted: Fri Sep 22, 2017 5:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hhmm...

I thought you were presenting the grasshopper as one of your "nice photos". The grasshopper looks fine to me. It's noisier than I would like, especially in the background, but I don't see any problems with sharpness. Can you point out the difficulties and/or show a closer crop that makes them obvious?

I agree that Componon S, in good condition and properly used, will make very sharp photos. See http://www.photomacrography.net/forum/viewtopic.php?t=23546 for an example from my own rig. (BTW, many of those old 50 mm lenses are quite good too.)

--Rik
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hkv



Joined: 02 Jan 2013
Posts: 394
Location: Sweden

PostPosted: Sat Sep 23, 2017 10:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi, I think you are on to something good here. the grasshopper looks sharp but is very noisy. What iso are you using? Aim for using as low iso as possible like 100-300. How do you illuminate the subject?
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osbourne



Joined: 22 Sep 2017
Posts: 9

PostPosted: Sat Sep 23, 2017 11:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you for your answers. I will upload zoomed photo later (don`t have original at the moment). Not sure about ISO but I know it has to be as low as possible. I use 3 lamps with diffusers (baking paper).
I think either I have to buy another macro rail (now I am using Velbon) or something is wrong with settings. I desperately want to achieve good quality:)

This photo is good, but don`t know how I achieve it. Still learning, don`t judge me:)

https://www.flickr.com/photos/130698164@N05/24213578556/
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osbourne



Joined: 22 Sep 2017
Posts: 9

PostPosted: Wed Sep 27, 2017 3:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi. Today I tried different approach, without tripod. Setup was solid, f2,8, 1/40 and iso 200. I stacked 101 images, result is still bad. Where is the problem:(?



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rjlittlefield
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Joined: 01 Aug 2006
Posts: 18244
Location: Richland, Washington State, USA

PostPosted: Wed Sep 27, 2017 3:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

What lens is that?

Which way do you have it facing?

At magnifications > 1:1, the lens's short-conjugate side should be facing the subject. With an enlarging lens, that will require reversing the lens so that the male threads are on the front, next to the subject.

--Rik
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osbourne



Joined: 22 Sep 2017
Posts: 9

PostPosted: Wed Sep 27, 2017 3:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you for your reply. It is reversed Componon-s 50mm on ext tubes and body Sony a6000.
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rjlittlefield
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Joined: 01 Aug 2006
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Location: Richland, Washington State, USA

PostPosted: Wed Sep 27, 2017 3:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

f/2.8 is wide open, yes? It's usually better to close the aperture by a stop or two.

The report at http://coinimaging.com/lens_tests_new.html for Schneider Componon-S 50mm f/2.8 shows a large improvement between f/2.8 and f/4, with optimum around f/4.7. That's at magnification 1.36. The optimum might be a bit wider at higher magnification, but it's not likely to be best wide open.

Have you run a sharpness test on that lens, varying aperture, and illuminating with flash at low power so as to make vibration not an issue?

--Rik
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Chris S.
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Joined: 05 Apr 2009
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Location: Ohio, USA

PostPosted: Wed Sep 27, 2017 4:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Osbourne,

One problem may be that your light sources are much too small, as "seen" by your subject. Below, I've taken the liberty to rotate, crop, and repost your setup image for emphasis. Note that the diffusion material you've wrapped around your lights changes their apparent size practically not at all. In this arrangement, the diffusion material has little effect.



Imagine doing macro photography outside on a very cloudy day. Your subject is located in an open field, with the sky illuminating it from all around. Such days can produce wonderful macro images. One reasons for this is that with shiny subjects, only broad, even lighting reflects off the subject in a way that fills every portion of the lens' entrance cone with light. Failing to do so can cause substantial loss of resolution.

Indoors, with a shiny subject, you want to create lighting that appears, from the viewpoint of the subject, like the sky on a cloudy day. To do this with diffusion material, place the diffusion material close to the subject, not the lights. Then aim your lights to shine broadly and evenly on the diffusion material.

I agree with Rik that you should also be shooting at whatever aperture your lens happens to be sharpest at. I would urge you to conduct the aperture test on a non-shiny subject, such as white paper with laser printing. And illuminate this subject with broad, soft lighting. Doing such a test with a shiny subject and harsh lighting may not be as revealing as you'd want.

--Chris S.
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osbourne



Joined: 22 Sep 2017
Posts: 9

PostPosted: Thu Sep 28, 2017 12:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi, thanks for the answers. I tried to compare sharpnesses but I'm always getting same result just like with my old Canon 1100d.
Will try to shot with flash and diffusion as recommended.

++++

I used diy diffuser and baking paper. Thank you, result is much better. Now I know what to improve even more. LIGHT
P.S. this photo is cropped jpeg, result is much better

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BugEZ



Joined: 26 Mar 2011
Posts: 642
Location: Loves Park Illinois

PostPosted: Thu Sep 28, 2017 4:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

What shutter mode are you using and length of exposure?

I use LED lights and not flash. Experience has taught me that proper management of mirror and shutter induced vibration is very important.

Are you using one of the timer modes to allow the mirror bounce vibration to settle prior to opening the shutter? If so, an exposure of .5 seconds or more can be helpful.

I have found with LED lights that I get the sharpest image when I wait ~ .25 seconds after the shutter opens before I turn on the LEDs. I have some electronics between the camera and the lights that turns them on after the brief delay. The lights are on about a second, then I turn the lights off and then the shutter closes. My shutter speed is set to 1.5 seconds, and the lights are only on for about a second of that time.

My studio setup is a little rickety but I get good images by the "gated lighting" described above.

Hope this helps!
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osbourne



Joined: 22 Sep 2017
Posts: 9

PostPosted: Sun Oct 01, 2017 3:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi,

I have mirrorless Sony. I'm using shutter mode, depends on situation 1/30 up to 1/100.
Also, I always wait between shot and next shot for the camera to get rid of vibrations.
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BugEZ



Joined: 26 Mar 2011
Posts: 642
Location: Loves Park Illinois

PostPosted: Sun Oct 01, 2017 5:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

No mirror helps a bunch.

But with those exposure lengths, you may still feel the effect of shutter slap.

I use a mirrorless Pentax K-01 (APS-C sensor size) and still delay the light by a quarter of a second.

My experiments to find the best exposure scheme on my rig are documented here. They were performed with a Pentax *ist which was very noisy. Sort of the worst case DSLR. Every camera I have owned since has appeared to have less shutter slap.
http://www.photomacrography.net/forum/viewtopic.php?t=15865&postdays=0&postorder=asc&highlight=vibration&start=15
Rik had suggested the exposure delay, and indeed it worked out very well in practice.

My rig has evolved since I did my first study. The change to a mirror-less camera has allowed me to collect images more rapidly as the "mirror up" delay is not needed. Also I have incorporated a separate "box" that hooks into the camera hot-shoe (flash bracket) and controls the LED lights based upon a "flash request". So my LED lighting now "fires" after a brief delay following the flash trigger. The LEDs then turn off after a second or so.

But the theory remains the same. Let the vibration settle before putting photons on the sensor.

Keith
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