macro Tag

Carlos and Sam at the Stirling Street Store are real life savers. When I'm casting about for a topic to include in the week's reports here on the weblog column, they always have something new - or newish - to show me. This time it was Carlos and a new little accessory from Manfrotto. Note: I am a fan of Manfrotto, as my studio will show. Nearly everything that has to stand up or hang down does so on something from either Manfrotto or Bunnings ( and if Camera Electronic did sheets of MDF board and sausages in a bun I could cut out Bunnings...

One. Or none at all, if you've got a jacket with a pocket. Hello. It's the Shrinking Photographer here. Off on another adventure to see if he can get away with not carrying a bucket full of camera gear to his latest photoshoot. He's long given up the business of the monorail 4 x 5 in the field, the 6x6 and the suitcase of lenses, the DSLR and the rolling bag, and has come down to the mirror-less Gladstone bag. Now he is trying to ditch that and go with a shoulder bag and/or padded envelope from Australia Post to contain his kit. It's not laziness - really it's not. I do lots of hard work and hobby activities that involve heavy lifting. You've no idea how much effort it takes to bombard Coolbellup from Bull Creek if you have to lift your own howitzer shells. But the increasing advances in camera and sensor performance mean that so much more can be done than heretofore with so much less weight - it's time to see if the next step is possible. I took...

A little while ago we showed the Canon twin-flash for macro workers. A TTL solution for illuminating the tiniest of worlds. Well today here is a suitable lens for it - the new 35mm Macro IS STM for the RF system. A very tempting piece of glass. The 35mm focal length is somewhat ideal for both small and full-frame cameras - a normal field of view for the former and not too wide for the latter. Of course there is some debate as to what a normal field of view might be when you move to 1:1 macro - but you can decide for yourself by raising your spectacles and peering closely at something a couple of inches away from your nose. Get to the point where your focusing ability just about runs out and before you lose the ability to set the stereo images together in your head. That's how wide you can see, so that's the standard for you. Those of you who have markedly different abilities in either eye - one working better than the other at certain distances...

A lot of manufacturers say that they are dedicated to the small world of macro photography - and they point to one lens in their range with that word on the barrel. Or to a small flower symbol somewhere in their digital menu. Mount the lens or press the icon and all will be tiny and in perfect focus...

I do not often get a chance to test Sigma lenses here in the column - I don't own a Canon, Nikon, or Sony body to which they might be attached. But this week I got the opportunity to grab a demo-body Canon from the shelves to exercise a Sigma macro lens - and I am delighted that I could.  I've had a good morning in the studio. The Canon body was the 75oD - a very capable small-frame body with a number of modern features - not the least of which is a modern and efficient processor. I cannot pretend to be a Canon expert, but the operation was simple enough to let me use it as I would my normal mirror-less. I did not figure out the live view in the small time I had it but I'm sure it was there somewhere. The body functioned flawlessly. The lens was the Sigma 70mm F2.8 DG Macro. I know that means that it could also function on a full-frame body, but I am used to APS-C sensors for my tabletop work...

I proceeded to the Murray Street premises of Camera Electronic and interviewed the store manager, Domenic Papalia. He opened the Canon show cabinet and took out a Canon Macro EF-S 35mm f:2.8 IS STM lens and a Canon 70D camera. After ascertaining that there was a charge in the battery, Mr. Papalia admitted that the lens had an inbuilt lighting system that could be actuated by a button on the side. Subsequent tests showed this to be the case  - the button has three positions: high power, low power and off. The lens has aperture stops ranging down to f:29 - which is quite unusual for many small digital lenses. It autofocuses, as well as manually focusing once you release the locking. It contaains internal stabilisation. The picture of the SD card may not be art but it is science enough to show you how close and big it will go. The advantage of the two LED lights is seen when you are this close - otherwise, it is nearly impossible to obtrude other lights in front of the lens at such a distance....

You've got the bully beef or the mutton stew. And cans of plum and apple jam too. There's a tablet of salt and a biscuit of wood And you end up feeling fed-up good. Or you can go to Margaret River and have a different sort of MRE Experience. Here's a few bits of the local flora that I found on a recent weekend trip. I was fortunate in being able to poke around a bush track that abutted a forest. Every district has someone who is interested in it - a long-time resident or a zealous newcomer - and who is generally shyly bursting to tell you all about it. The thing is to find them and to give them a chance to do it. It may involve a little money, but the expertise you get in your exploration will make the expenditure well worthwhile. Any day you learn something is a good day. Expect to get dirty in some places, and tired in many more. You'll generally have to walk it some part of the way but if you pick the right season to...