Best camera for Macro Photography 'out of the box'

Oswoc

Arachnosquire
Joined
Feb 28, 2021
Messages
87
So, this is the best I can do so far with my Pentax KS-2, with a £50 2nd hand Sigma 70-300mm f/4-5.6 DG Macro. I'm 'zoomed in' to 300mm before I'm allowed to flick the 'macro' switch lol
I did a touch of editing to make my P. hoffmannseggi 'pop' with colour :)

Is there any way i could improve these shots? I used a tripod for the first time and that helped. I've looked into 'focus stacking', but it seems quite pricey to pay for Lightroom to do that.

Lastly - I'm super keen on saving up and buying a 5:1 Macro lens from 'Laowa' - a '25mm F/2.8 2.5-5x Ultra Macro Lens' - would people recommend this? or is it overkill? I'd love to get more detail from the eyes of my Isopods and other Inverts!

Thanks all, and I love the shots you're getting! Who knew these 'creepy-crawlies' were so photogenic!?
woodlice blu.jpg woodlice mama .jpg
 

Oswoc

Arachnosquire
Joined
Feb 28, 2021
Messages
87
Can you post some of the shots?

Narrow focal planes can be cool depending on what you're trying to do, but yeah, without focus stacking, you might not get the detail you're looking for. Also depends on the size of the subject you're shooting. The DCR-250 + a macro lens can be overkill unless you're going for detail shots of eyes or something on a larger spider.

I've been having fun messing with macro extension tubes. They increase magnification substantially without an additional lens. The biggest drawback is the amount of light you'll need to compensate, but that can be addressed with an external flash or ring light. Depending on your lens, you may also have to get way too close to the subject to focus, but a 50mm has been usable. My 135mm telephoto lens also leads to good results. I think I paid about $11 for a Canon compatible set of tubes on ebay for my prime lenses and $17 for a set that preserves the electrical connection to your lens.
So this is the best i could do with that little crappy '20x' macro filter I bought - tried getting a shot of pasta, but its just SO blurry, whatever i do, I can't focus.
 

Attachments

Oswoc

Arachnosquire
Joined
Feb 28, 2021
Messages
87
But also quality of image is less dependent on camera body and MP, but on the lens and quality of light you have and your ability to actually compose and control images and light manually, the megapixel hype is so stupid because you simply just dont need that resolution unless you plan on having a crop contest (which nowadays a lot of the macro out there with high MP cameras is also cropped, (eh not a fan really), and are gallery printing and expensive professional printers, you wont really notice it. and most monitors cant appreciate it anyway and websites downsize all the time. I have shot on a 10 and 12mp Nikon for quite a long time, sensor pixel size and quality of light are far more important than how many megapixels you have. I had work published with those MP.

I have a Nikon D750 that I use for a lot not only macro, I didnt get it for that, but also have a crop Canon T3i with 100mm f/2.8 and the images are great as long as you know how to take a photo and dont blow it out cropping it. #ComposeNotCrop

For example a shot taken today: Canon Rebel T3i 100mm f/2.8 USM macro. ISO 200 f/11 1/125sec. Manual Focus. Flash: Nikon SB-600. Manual fire- 1/4 at 24mm. w/ $10 amazon diffuser. View attachment 394465
The level of detail is incredible! If I zoom in on this, I can see the hairs around it's eyes and everything - how do you get such detail? Is it purely the lens? I've attached some pictures of Isopods in a recent post on this thread, and I 'zoom' in and dont get close to the level of detail you have.... very jelous!
 

Dry Desert

Arachnoangel
Joined
Mar 9, 2016
Messages
890
The level of detail is incredible! If I zoom in on this, I can see the hairs around it's eyes and everything - how do you get such detail? Is it purely the lens? I've attached some pictures of Isopods in a recent post on this thread, and I 'zoom' in and dont get close to the level of detail you have.... very jelous!
You can spend £3000 on the latest 100+ megapixel "X" make of camera and stick a cheap lens on it you will get crappy results. You could probably improve it to an extent with a lot of time/ software. It's not about the camera or the tripod, it's about the lens quality. Film makers don't spend £20/30 thousand on their cameras then go for the cheapest lens around. The lens of their choice will probably be another £20 thousand to ensure btoadcast quality. I appreciate we all have a budget to work to, but the money, for whatever branch of photography you're interested in, needs to be spent on buying the best quality lens you can afford. Not spent on camera megapixel, or expensive software. In the good old days of film, the saying was" a camera is just a light proof box, it's what's on the front that matters"
 

basin79

ArachnoGod
Active Member
Joined
Sep 14, 2013
Messages
5,898
this is amazing! What lens/body did you attach this to?
You can spend £3000 on the latest 100+ megapixel "X" make of camera and stick a cheap lens on it you will get crappy results. You could probably improve it to an extent with a lot of time/ software. It's not about the camera or the tripod, it's about the lens quality. Film makers don't spend £20/30 thousand on their cameras then go for the cheapest lens around. The lens of their choice will probably be another £20 thousand to ensure btoadcast quality. I appreciate we all have a budget to work to, but the money, for whatever branch of photography you're interested in, needs to be spent on buying the best quality lens you can afford. Not spent on camera megapixel, or expensive software. In the good old days of film, the saying was" a camera is just a light proof box, it's what's on the front that matters"
Sums it up perfectly.

I have an absolutely amazing camera and lens. Sony a7r iii with Sony's 90mm macro. It's far more capable then I ever will be. Sharp as a tack.

E3C4C954-4D7E-4C2A-BDA2-394F13C9D22A.jpeg 3C121DA4-B7DA-4F42-9989-7E458AED2295.jpeg FEAA7268-EBCE-48C5-843F-E56AC7BC8C5C.jpeg 04F304F2-C466-4A44-BD6C-16A0A86AE7C4.jpeg A221DF8B-F414-4AED-8EAB-F0C87F0C6919.jpeg 36F5B346-88B5-4766-A6EB-7B3C0A4C103B.jpeg F927DA92-A603-42E0-A83F-78C491EA45B8.jpeg E9B04FCF-F99B-4D02-9974-57D63EE9A622.jpeg
 

Dry Desert

Arachnoangel
Joined
Mar 9, 2016
Messages
890
Sums it up perfectly.

I have an absolutely amazing camera and lens. Sony a7r iii with Sony's 90mm macro. It's far more capable then I ever will be. Sharp as a tack.

View attachment 394949 View attachment 394950 View attachment 394951 View attachment 394952 View attachment 394953 View attachment 394954 View attachment 394955 View attachment 394956
I,m sure if you approached a publisher that specialises in freelance work, rather than your own online website, they would be happy to publish your work in the form of a quality book on either " The Hidden Beauty of Tarantulas" or a" macro world " There used to be a " Freelance " monthly that listed all publishers, their requirements on print quality, minimum amount etc whether its still around I dont know.
I agree with your Mum about the plant shots, my favourite is the Sundew one.
 

Smotzer

Arachnoking
Active Member
Joined
Jan 17, 2020
Messages
3,204
The level of detail is incredible! If I zoom in on this, I can see the hairs around it's eyes and everything - how do you get such detail? Is it purely the lens? I've attached some pictures of Isopods in a recent post on this thread, and I 'zoom' in and dont get close to the level of detail you have.... very jelous!
Are you shooting in full manual and manual focus? It will be hard to achieve any decent quality running off a cameras auto modes. And with the isopod shots are you already cropping them and then trying to zoom in further for detail?
 

Oswoc

Arachnosquire
Joined
Feb 28, 2021
Messages
87
Are you shooting in full manual and manual focus? It will be hard to achieve any decent quality running off a cameras auto modes. And with the isopod shots are you already cropping them and then trying to zoom in further for detail?
Hi mate,

Yes, manual all the way on body and lens. Auto is impossible for macro I've found.

I've cropped the isopod shots, nearly halving the original shot. Which will impede quality I know, but it helps with the composition I want, which is something I can't always get with my crappy 'macro" lens when dealing with small subjects!
 

Anubis77

Arachnoknight
Old Timer
Joined
Aug 15, 2005
Messages
282
The isopods shots are good. I'm into the composition. Like they're legit interesting to look at, like something out of a field book. You can do a lot with even that lens if you keep experimenting.

You can spend £3000 on the latest 100+ megapixel "X" make of camera and stick a cheap lens on it you will get crappy results. You could probably improve it to an extent with a lot of time/ software. It's not about the camera or the tripod, it's about the lens quality. Film makers don't spend £20/30 thousand on their cameras then go for the cheapest lens around. The lens of their choice will probably be another £20 thousand to ensure btoadcast quality. I appreciate we all have a budget to work to, but the money, for whatever branch of photography you're interested in, needs to be spent on buying the best quality lens you can afford. Not spent on camera megapixel, or expensive software. In the good old days of film, the saying was" a camera is just a light proof box, it's what's on the front that matters"
It's true. But I can't help but be reminded of some friends and family who've gone all in and blew $10k on a bunch of equipment, got frustrated with the worse than phone camera shots they were getting, and quit in under a year. Camera stuff either sits in a closet or is resold for a loss. Make sure you want to stick to photography before going hard lol. Speaking of... wonder if my sister wants to sell her camera body.

I recognize I'm just a perpetual noob whose interest ebbs and flows, so I match my equipment to that. I avoid looking at modern macro lenses, because the inevitable down-time they would see would give me massive buyers remorse. Suppose the good thing about high quality lenses is resale seems to hold high.
 

8 legged

Arachnolord
Joined
Nov 25, 2020
Messages
638

Smotzer

Arachnoking
Active Member
Joined
Jan 17, 2020
Messages
3,204
Hi mate,

Yes, manual all the way on body and lens. Auto is impossible for macro I've found.

I've cropped the isopod shots, nearly halving the original shot. Which will impede quality I know, but it helps with the composition I want, which is something I can't always get with my crappy 'macro" lens when dealing with small subjects!
the reason I asked about that is that if you have already cropped in, and then basically zoom (or crop in) again you are going to the pixel level or past which may be whhy you think its not super in focus, when its actually that youve just gone down to the pixel level or past and that the focus was fine on the original. The photo of mine that you said when you zoomed in everything was in focus and could see all the hairs was not cropped at all, it was composed in camera, so all the resolution was in its original form and it was in focus in that area, hence why when you zoomed in you could see everything.
 

The Snark

Dumpster Fire of the Gods
Old Timer
Joined
Aug 8, 2005
Messages
9,224
Just an observation. I've given up thinking macro and blowing cash on taking macros. It occurred to me what I hoped to accomplish in taking macros is quite well covered by the various posts here on AB. Just being able to take those pictures was my interest. I'm satisfied now.
 

Dry Desert

Arachnoangel
Joined
Mar 9, 2016
Messages
890
Just an observation. I've given up thinking macro and blowing cash on taking macros. It occurred to me what I hoped to accomplish in taking macros is quite well covered by the various posts here on AB. Just being able to take those pictures was my interest. I'm satisfied now.
There are only two things in photography that really affect the end result.
1. What's attached to the front of the camera.
2. Who's behind the camera.
 

The Snark

Dumpster Fire of the Gods
Old Timer
Joined
Aug 8, 2005
Messages
9,224
So now I'm back to looking for a telephoto. Auto focus, up to 5 or 8 x, takes perfect pictures in the dead of night, does parallax free panoramas, lets me snap shoot wildlife a couple football fields off with perfect focus, and of course cost less than the price of a 2 year old Mercedes.
 

Dry Desert

Arachnoangel
Joined
Mar 9, 2016
Messages
890
So now I'm back to looking for a telephoto. Auto focus, up to 5 or 8 x, takes perfect pictures in the dead of night, does parallax free panoramas, lets me snap shoot wildlife a couple football fields off with perfect focus, and of course cost less than the price of a 2 year old Mercedes.
Have a look at what they term " BRIDGE CAMERAS " Made by all leading brand names. the lens is built in and can go from 28mm - 600mm. They can incorperate a 60x zoom.That will take you from 28mm Wide Angle to 600mm Telephoto. They come with in camera software so you can adjust parallex etc.with the built in benefit of having the one lens, so you dont have to worry about what lens for what situation, and you dont have to worry about getting dust on the sensor when changing lenses. I think they would fit your needs exactly.
They also have a Macro setting thats switchable, either on the lens, or camera settings.
 

Edan bandoot

Arachnoprince
Active Member
Joined
Sep 5, 2019
Messages
1,125
@Oswoc so which camera did you end up deciding was the best out of the box?

From what I read most people said to worry about lenses, but I'm still interested in your original question.
 

Oswoc

Arachnosquire
Joined
Feb 28, 2021
Messages
87
@Oswoc so which camera did you end up deciding was the best out of the box?

From what I read most people said to worry about lenses, but I'm still interested in your original question.
Ha! I'm still figuring this one out.
It really is all about the lens though.
I asked the original question before I'd ever owned a camera. Since getting one, I've learnt it was the wrong question.

I've found this thread SUPER helpful though, with some stunning pictures that I can aspire to take one day :)
 

Edan bandoot

Arachnoprince
Active Member
Joined
Sep 5, 2019
Messages
1,125
Ha! I'm still figuring this one out.
It really is all about the lens though.
I asked the original question before I'd ever owned a camera. Since getting one, I've learnt it was the wrong question.

I've found this thread SUPER helpful though, with some stunning pictures that I can aspire to take one day :)
Well what camera did ya end up with
 

Oswoc

Arachnosquire
Joined
Feb 28, 2021
Messages
87
20210817_215937.jpg 20210817_222307.jpg

Recently got a Sigma 70mm f/2.8 EX DG macro lens, my first 1:1 macro - and its amazing! Finally happy with the quality of images I'm getting!
I've attached a few samples, the eye one is random lol
I've uploaded these via phone so detail isn't so good.

Composition is defo more important, as I prefer the 2nd creepy image with the fangs in focus lol even though it wasn't 1:1.


Anyway, thanks again for all your help! And look forward to seeing more of your pictures elsewhere!

Peace ✌
 

Attachments

Top