How do you get so close?

Joined
May 9, 2009
Messages
1,042
Location
NYC
Hey everyone,

So I've had my Sigma 105mm for a couple of months now but haven't really used it for Macro until this past weekend. I went out, took some pics of a few flowers in the garden and caught a caterpillar too.

My question for thos who do macro is,

How do you get so close to the bugs/insects? I have seen some great shots here that are right up to the bugs face. Is it because the pictures are cropped and zoomed-in PP? Macro is all new to me so some pointers or advice would be great - Thanks!
 
Joined
Dec 16, 2006
Messages
21,255
Location
South Florida
Depends on the focal length and the bug. I got to flies, bees, and dragon's faces, very close. Sometimes they are tired, or busy eating and don't care. Just smile at them. :smile:
 
Joined
Jan 29, 2005
Messages
33,093
Location
St. George, Utah
Jin, I suspect you are referring to how close you can get and still maintain focus. That being the case, the most common method is to use an extension tube that mounts on the camera end of the lens and extends it away from the camera just bit. They come in various lengths with the longest ones allowing you to get the closest while still maintaining focus. Another method is to use a magnifying lens mounted on the end of your lens. An example of this would be the Canon 500D. I use this method currently. Some might also use a bellows, a method that I used when I was doing extreme close-up photography with slides.

Most macro or micro lenses generally focus down to a 1/1 ratio so in order to get closer than that, extension tubes are the most common method and also the least expensive.
 
Joined
Nov 14, 2006
Messages
5,474
Location
Winnipeg, Canada
I use either the 300mm f4 AFS with an extension tube or a 200mm f4 micro. That way I don't have to get close:smile:

If you are trying with the 105 you have to choose the right insect. Some of the smaller butterflies don't disturb too easily when they are feeding, nor do damselflies. Some dragonflies eating a meal are very confiding - a few weeks back I was able to get Boreal snaketails to walk onto my finger when they were eating. Cool insects are less likely to flee than warm ones, so try looking for them in the morning. Also, sneak up on them very slowly. I think dressing in drab colours helps, too.

Good luck,

Larry
 
Joined
May 9, 2009
Messages
1,042
Location
NYC
I thought using a macro lens would suffice? I didn't think I would need to throw on an extension tube with it?

Below is the caterpillar. It's not a great shot, little soft due to hand holding and no PP done on it, just cropped it. But I just wanted to get people's feedback, I feel like I could get closer, and caterpillars move slow!

Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
 
Joined
Nov 14, 2006
Messages
5,474
Location
Winnipeg, Canada
I assume your Sigma is the micro/macro lens so it goes to 1:1 reproduction ratio. A roughly 23.7 mm object will fill the long dimension of your camera sensor. Have you focused as close as possible on a ruler to get an idea of what your lens can do? Experiment!!

Larry
 

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