1:1 isn't macro (enough) anymore!

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Beatsy
Posts: 1789
Joined: Fri Jul 05, 2013 3:10 am
Location: Malvern, UK

1:1 isn't macro (enough) anymore!

Post by Beatsy »

For the past couple of years, whenever I go out macro-shooting with a standard 1:1 macro lens I *always* end up cropping my images hard because I'm *always* attracted to the smaller things in nature. Just snapping around the garden recently, 50 megapixel full frame, every one of the "keepers" was cropped to 6 megapixels or less! That doesn't seem right, somehow. Here's a few of them...
notmac1.jpg
notmac2.jpg
notmac3.jpg
It's not limited to macro subjects either. Our resident robin landed nearby and was posing so nicely I had to snap him too. But I was using a 90mm macro from 12 feet away. Guess what - hard crop again :)
notmac4.jpg
I think my threshold for where close-up ends and macro-starts has drifted up to around 2x - 2.5x these days (oh for a macro lens that did that range really, really well - Sony or anything).

Am I the only one?

RobertOToole
Posts: 1970
Joined: Thu Jan 17, 2013 9:34 pm
Location: United States
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Re: 1:1 isn't macro (enough) anymore!

Post by RobertOToole »

Beatsy wrote:
Sat Jun 12, 2021 2:13 pm
For the past couple of years, whenever I go out macro-shooting with a standard 1:1 macro lens I *always* end up cropping my images hard because I'm *always* attracted to the smaller things in nature. Just snapping around the garden recently, 50 megapixel full frame, every one of the "keepers" was cropped to 6 megapixels or less! That doesn't seem right, somehow. Here's a few of them...
notmac1.jpg
notmac2.jpg
notmac3.jpg

It's not limited to macro subjects either. Our resident robin landed nearby and was posing so nicely I had to snap him too. But I was using a 90mm macro from 12 feet away. Guess what - hard crop again :)
notmac4.jpg

I think my threshold for where close-up ends and macro-starts has drifted up to around 2x - 2.5x these days (oh for a macro lens that did that range really, really well - Sony or anything).

Am I the only one?
Hi Beatsy,

Thats one nice thing about modern cameras, we can shoot full frame and always have the option to use a crop mode and still have plenty of pixels, 26 MP on the A7R4.

I like to think its better and safer to have enough megapixels to crop at 1x rather than have a setup for 2x and be too tight for a larger subject!
I remember being at some large mag x ratio and I spotted two giant Robber flies mating when the female grabbed a honey bee, and landed on a nice perch...all three of them......but I was at 2.5x, way too tight.

One other thing to think about is with a crop camera or a full frame camera in crop mode you will always work at a longer distance so your DOF will be deeper at the same aperture closer filling the frame in full frame mode. That can make a nice difference. I really prefer APS-C for in-the-field handheld/tripod/monopod shooting and I recommend the same when I lead workshops.

Best,

Robert

lothman
Posts: 578
Joined: Sat Feb 14, 2009 7:00 am
Location: Stuttgart/Germany

Re: 1:1 isn't macro (enough) anymore!

Post by lothman »

with the high frame rate of the A1 you could do stacks out of an axial stroke of a makro slider, so there is a high chance to stack living insects.

palea
Posts: 37
Joined: Mon Dec 17, 2018 8:09 pm

Re: 1:1 isn't macro (enough) anymore!

Post by palea »

Beatsy wrote:
Sat Jun 12, 2021 2:13 pm
Am I the only one?
Why I use μ43 instead of full frame or APS-C.
lothman wrote:
Sun Jun 13, 2021 10:54 am
with the high frame rate of the A1 you could do stacks out of an axial stroke of a makro slider
An easier way is autofocus bracketing, which I think Sony and Pentax are the only manufacturers not to support at this point.
Last edited by palea on Sun Jun 13, 2021 5:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Beatsy
Posts: 1789
Joined: Fri Jul 05, 2013 3:10 am
Location: Malvern, UK

Re: 1:1 isn't macro (enough) anymore!

Post by Beatsy »

RobertOToole wrote:
Sat Jun 12, 2021 4:59 pm
<snip>
Thats one nice thing about modern cameras, we can shoot full frame and always have the option to use a crop mode and still have plenty of pixels, 26 MP on the A7R4.

I like to think its better and safer to have enough megapixels to crop at 1x rather than have a setup for 2x and be too tight for a larger subject!
I remember being at some large mag x ratio and I spotted two giant Robber flies mating when the female grabbed a honey bee, and landed on a nice perch...all three of them......but I was at 2.5x, way too tight.

One other thing to think about is with a crop camera or a full frame camera in crop mode you will always work at a longer distance so your DOF will be deeper at the same aperture closer filling the frame in full frame mode. That can make a nice difference. I really prefer APS-C for in-the-field handheld/tripod/monopod shooting and I recommend the same when I lead workshops.
I'm OK working with full frame, or crop (mode) when it helps with seeing more in the viewfinder. But I always crop in after shooting 1:1 macro, so there's little danger of a subject being too big for me. Parts of subjects can be interesting too.

I think it's because I've taken to using fast primes with reasonable MFD as close-up lenses, then cropping them for macro scale. The 35GM or 135GM are particularly good as backup on a second body during (proper) macro trips. Both do quarter life-size but with vastly different working distance and perspective. I do a lot of cropped "macros" this way (even cropped in to pixel level) and think the 90mm macro has just slid into being another prime used that way - even though it does life size close focus.

I like working with razor thin DoF and luverly bokeh anyway, an antidote to the infinite-DoF of studio macro stacking. Yin and yang :) But short handheld stacks have recently got easier for me so that compensates with extra DoF for still-ish subjects when needed. Besides, the last thing I need is another camera right now, let alone a completely different system on top!!

Here's a 2.5x shot from this afty. Big flower (relatively speaking) but I'd have cropped in this tight even if shooting a 1:1 lens. MP-E65 1/200th, f/8, ISO 500. Flashed with Canon MT24-EX twin macro flash and custom diffusers. This is most of the full frame (50 mpix) with just a little shaving off the top and right for symmetry. I titled this one "fwoosh", because I imagine it making that sound...
SAO02579.jpg
Last edited by Beatsy on Sun Jun 13, 2021 2:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Beatsy
Posts: 1789
Joined: Fri Jul 05, 2013 3:10 am
Location: Malvern, UK

Re: 1:1 isn't macro (enough) anymore!

Post by Beatsy »

lothman wrote:
Sun Jun 13, 2021 10:54 am
with the high frame rate of the A1 you could do stacks out of an axial stroke of a makro slider, so there is a high chance to stack living insects.
That's where I was going, and one of the key reasons for getting A1. But I had a play with 30fps hand-held stacking in natural light and it worked surprisingly well, and easily (no blackout between frames, hires viewfinder and stabilisation all helped as much as the high frame rate). Long story short, this helped me over the learning hump for handheld stacking and I've since got much better at slower frame rates too. So the (planned) slider setup for field-shooting probably isn't necessary anymore, which I'm very pleased about. Light travel and quick setup always preferred.

lothman
Posts: 578
Joined: Sat Feb 14, 2009 7:00 am
Location: Stuttgart/Germany

Re: 1:1 isn't macro (enough) anymore!

Post by lothman »

Beatsy wrote:
Sun Jun 13, 2021 2:06 pm
That's where I was going, and one of the key reasons for getting A1. But I had a play with 30fps hand-held stacking in natural light and it worked surprisingly well, and easily (no blackout between frames, hires viewfinder and stabilisation all helped as much as the high frame rate). Long story short, this helped me over the learning hump for handheld stacking and I've since got much better at slower frame rates too. So the (planned) slider setup for field-shooting probably isn't necessary anymore, which I'm very pleased about. Light travel and quick setup always preferred.
Or the 8K video of the A1 and extracting frames afterwards. But for more than 1:1 I find it very difficult to do free hand stacking, keeping the correct/uniform "depth-speed" and keeping the subject in frame. So the idea of a fast drive (rack/pinion instead of nut/screw) macro slider might help.

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