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Macro gear (insect photography), suggestions needed
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NikonUser



Joined: 04 Sep 2008
Posts: 2575
Location: southern New Brunswick, Canada

PostPosted: Sat Apr 25, 2015 3:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The glass looks in a good condition, I have seen a lot worse.
If this was my lens this is the way I would handle it; what you do is your choice - proceed at your own risk.
I would first try blowing off any loose debris with either a hand blower or canned-air. Be careful with the latter, keep can upright so as not to spray out any liquid and use short bursts of air so as not to freeze the glass.
Then very carefully wipe the glass with a damp (distilled water) lens tissue working in expanding circles from the center.
If spots remain try the same but using pure alcohol, either methyl or iso-propyl.
I see some fine greasy circles (or perhaps very fine scratches) on the front and back lens, the alcohol should remove those.
There are some dull spots on the front glass which look as though they may be on the inside surface.
_________________
NU.
student of entomology
Quote – Holmes on ‘Entomology’
” I suppose you are an entomologist ? “
” Not quite so ambitious as that, sir. I should like to put my eyes on the individual entitled to that name.
No man can be truly called an entomologist,
sir; the subject is too vast for any single human intelligence to grasp.”
Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr
The Poet at the Breakfast Table.

Nikon camera, lenses and objectives
Olympus microscope and objectives
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Rawsons



Joined: 07 Apr 2015
Posts: 30

PostPosted: Sat Apr 25, 2015 3:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

NikonUser wrote:
The glass looks in a good condition, I have seen a lot worse.
If this was my lens this is the way I would handle it; what you do is your choice - proceed at your own risk.
I would first try blowing off any loose debris with either a hand blower or canned-air. Be careful with the latter, keep can upright so as not to spray out any liquid and use short bursts of air so as not to freeze the glass.
Then very carefully wipe the glass with a damp (distilled water) lens tissue working in expanding circles from the center.
If spots remain try the same but using pure alcohol, either methyl or iso-propyl.
I see some fine greasy circles (or perhaps very fine scratches) on the front and back lens, the alcohol should remove those.
There are some dull spots on the front glass which look as though they may be on the inside surface.


Thx! I just bought a lens cleaning kit with a small blower, a duster, a bigger microfiber cloth and some alcohol solution. Will give it a go tonight.
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ChrisR
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Joined: 14 Mar 2009
Posts: 8393
Location: Near London, UK

PostPosted: Sat Apr 25, 2015 7:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I doubt it'll make a noticeable difference, to be honest. I thiink you'll like this lens. Smile
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Rawsons



Joined: 07 Apr 2015
Posts: 30

PostPosted: Sat Apr 25, 2015 7:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

ChrisR wrote:
I doubt it'll make a noticeable difference, to be honest. I thiink you'll like this lens. Smile


I think so too, although it will still take some time to get all my gear together. Flash is coming next month, and then IF needed the Kenko tubes. But it looks very promising so far, I am getting much more light.

Will post some photos when I try it out in a few days Smile
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Rawsons



Joined: 07 Apr 2015
Posts: 30

PostPosted: Sun Apr 26, 2015 9:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I just made some test photos and the lens is absolutely amazing! Super sharp and super bright, I could shoot at F/22 and only used the built-in flash and the quality was absolutely stunning! And the fact that I didn´t have to creap up to the subject as with the 40mm is a huge advantage as well.

I will be out later during the week and have a few more serious shots and post some samples later on.
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ChrisR
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Location: Near London, UK

PostPosted: Sun Apr 26, 2015 10:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Smile
Don't forget that as you're further away from the subject , the flash will behave more like a point source, which won't suit everything.
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Rawsons



Joined: 07 Apr 2015
Posts: 30

PostPosted: Sun Apr 26, 2015 10:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

ChrisR wrote:
Smile
Don't forget that as you're further away from the subject , the flash will behave more like a point source, which won't suit everything.


I was quite close, so the flash wash pretty much utilized. But it is nice to be far enough so that the actual lens wont shade my subject as with the 40mm Smile
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ChrisR
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 26, 2015 3:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

What I mean is, what angle from the point of view oif the subject, does the light source cover? The reflection you got was looking fairly hard already - it'll be harder when you're further away. (Try holding a sheet of paper up, near the subject, that the flash has to go through.)
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Rawsons



Joined: 07 Apr 2015
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 27, 2015 9:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have now bumped into a problem that I will hope the flash will solve next month. I was out shooting in very windy conditions with close to none sunshine, and the results are very meh..

I am simply missing the crisp sharpness that I SHOULD be getting with this lens and the distance.

Take this shot for example:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/131106354@N08/17287131321/

I will do some more testing with a different F number, at around 8-11 tomorrow and get back with some results.
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ChrisR
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 27, 2015 10:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

On the shot you linked to, you missed focus - it's better off the bottom edge somewhere Smile. But you're right, using f/22 and looking at the pictures full size, (1m wide on my screen) they aren't going to look razor sharp.

More light won't help with that - you need to do live, in-field focus stacking, which can be OK hand-held if you practise. Keep the axis of the lens on the same point and move a small amount closer, or use the focus ring. Either should work at this distance. Brighter flash will let you drop the iso and "lose" ambient light blur.
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NikonUser



Joined: 04 Sep 2008
Posts: 2575
Location: southern New Brunswick, Canada

PostPosted: Mon Apr 27, 2015 2:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hmm, I don't see anything in focus; I doubt that f/22 is the problem.
This image looks very similar to the earlier beetle photo, decent clear image but nothing in focus.
Perhaps a problem with the camera's sensor ?
_________________
NU.
student of entomology
Quote – Holmes on ‘Entomology’
” I suppose you are an entomologist ? “
” Not quite so ambitious as that, sir. I should like to put my eyes on the individual entitled to that name.
No man can be truly called an entomologist,
sir; the subject is too vast for any single human intelligence to grasp.”
Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr
The Poet at the Breakfast Table.

Nikon camera, lenses and objectives
Olympus microscope and objectives
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Rawsons



Joined: 07 Apr 2015
Posts: 30

PostPosted: Mon Apr 27, 2015 2:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

NikonUser wrote:
Hmm, I don't see anything in focus; I doubt that f/22 is the problem.
This image looks very similar to the earlier beetle photo, decent clear image but nothing in focus.
Perhaps a problem with the camera's sensor ?


No idea actually, but I doubt it. The image clearly sucks, but I will try to do some tests with better settings and post the results.

Thanks for the help so far, will get there soon Smile
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ChrisR
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Joined: 14 Mar 2009
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Location: Near London, UK

PostPosted: Mon Apr 27, 2015 2:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The next one seems to be in focus?
https://www.flickr.com/photos/131106354@N08/17100087160
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NikonUser



Joined: 04 Sep 2008
Posts: 2575
Location: southern New Brunswick, Canada

PostPosted: Mon Apr 27, 2015 4:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

No!
It's a huge dragonfly, should be able to see much more detail.
_________________
NU.
student of entomology
Quote – Holmes on ‘Entomology’
” I suppose you are an entomologist ? “
” Not quite so ambitious as that, sir. I should like to put my eyes on the individual entitled to that name.
No man can be truly called an entomologist,
sir; the subject is too vast for any single human intelligence to grasp.”
Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr
The Poet at the Breakfast Table.

Nikon camera, lenses and objectives
Olympus microscope and objectives
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View user's profile Send private message
ChrisR
Site Admin


Joined: 14 Mar 2009
Posts: 8393
Location: Near London, UK

PostPosted: Mon Apr 27, 2015 6:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've downloaded the original and looked at pixels, compared with airy disks and my own copy of the lens at f/22, and unsharpened, it looks about right for f/22 to me. Confused
f/8 is a lot sharper.
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