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Best Macro

Discussion in 'Photography Forums' started by drew, Oct 10, 2003.

  1. drew

    drew
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    There's been previous threads on this but they're getting a bit old now......

    What's the best camera in the current market for close up work, - say, taking a pic of your finger nail, the blunt end of a bic biro, and even down to a good size image of the head of a pin.

    But also able to give a good account of itself in the usual family domestic stuff, with a fussy user who's happy playing around with exposure/depth of field etc. Though this'll be my first (and hopefully only) digi camera.

    Budget is Olympus 5050 territory, ie £500, though if I can get what I want for less that's a bonus.

    And, no, I'm not into taking pics of pins. My fetish is the inside of clocks and watches - just thought a more general usage spec would be more helpful for those not as sad as I am!

    If there's extra bits I need, like close up rings (do you use them with digi cams?) and additional memory for high resolution work, then I'd appreciate advice on this as well.

    Is there anyone out there who does similar stuff to my requirements and can give a steer?

    Thanks,

    Andrew.
     
  2. RobertP

    RobertP
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    At the risk of becoming a 5050 bore.... it is really good at 'super macro'

    You can get to 3cm from the lens to the subject and get some awesome pictures. No add on lenses etc.

    One of my efforts is here . Its a user group friendly competition - all Oly 5050 macros.
    Mine was p08. Didn't win... but then the eye was slightly out of focus:rolleyes:

    With any close up depth of field is the problem - you need lots of light so you can keep the aperture small
     
  3. RobertP

    RobertP
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    if this works I'll be amazed... never posted a pic before.....

    Heres one I took earlier - 3mm dia pop rivets

    edit <deleted link>

    it'll never work....

    edit - and it didn't

    anyone care to tell me how i put a picture into a post... it looks like it should be easy:confused:

    I used the IMG button... it asked for a link to the picture... I uploaded the pic to my webspace .....pasted in the URL. All I see in the final post is the link not the picture. I know it can be done I've seen enough pictures in posts....how?
     
  4. Mark Grant

    Mark Grant
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    Hello Andrew,

    I would say a Nikon for Macro work.
    Maybe a 4500.

    http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/nikoncp4500/
    (read the conclusion on page 19)

    I have owned both the Coolpix 950 and 995, both excellent at macro shots.


    Mark.
     
  5. RobertP

    RobertP
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    dp review says nice things about the oly super macro too ;)

    Truth is many 'quality' digi cams will do this job.

    Anyhow this is a link to a small crop of a super macro ~ 160k

    And this is the straight from the camera original ~ beware its 2.2Megs

    I tried to post the crop in the message earlier :laugh:

    edit - oh yes... the lighting was just overhead fluor. -not strong -so it shows the depth of field nicely.
     
  6. captain chunk

    captain chunk
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    if you can go to £550 the sony f717 has a great lens with a 58mm thread so if you dont like the inbuilt macro mode (i can focus so close the the subject can touch the uv filter) you can screw in extra macro filters,also you can affix reversed zoom lenses (from £50 used on ebay) you can get shots like this
    [​IMG]
     
  7. wilber

    wilber
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    I'd go for a second hand Oly E10 (Ebay regularly sells at about £400) with a macro converter. Fabulous camera.
     
  8. drew

    drew
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    Wow!

    From the quality of pics posted here - I'll have a big choice of kit that'll do the job.

    RobertP - that pic of the butterfly looks great!

    Can't remember now where I got the notion of an Olympus 5050. Seems like it'll do the job just fine.

    But I do like the Macro Cool-light SL-1 accessory for the Nikon - an LED light ring that fits to the lens. I imagine this makes lighting the subject a breeze.

    Mark - have you used one of these with your Nikon kit? Though, from the shot of the rivets by Mark, with only overhead flour to light, I'm wondering if a digi cam really needs fancy lighting? BTW, that's some review of the Nikon 4500 you pointed me to. I don't think he left much out! I didn't take to the split body when I first saw it, but gather that it brings advantages. How does it work in the real world?

    Hello Captain Chunk and wilber - not looked hard at these two up to now. That Sony 717 looks like a handful, - is it easy to work with?

    Thanks for the input so far.

    Andrew.
     
  9. Mark Grant

    Mark Grant
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    Hello Andrew,

    The poprivet shots are Roberts,

    The split body design of the Nikons is great in my experience.
    Much easier for low to the ground shots, or above head height in a crowd etc.

    I never did buy the macro cool light SL-1,

    I planned on making my own using a few white LEDS for about £1 each, a 9 Volt battery and a few resistors. Would be mounted on a lens cap, that would have a hole cut in the middle, to glue to a filter that screws onto the camers lens, if that makes sense.

    One of my many unfinished projects....


    Mark.
     
  10. drew

    drew
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    Hi Mark

    Yup, makes perfect sense. I haven't checked what the proper lighting ring costs, and have a funny feeling I'd be doing the same thing.

    Though, as I said, looking at Robert's pic - (sorry Robert, slip of the keyboard in previous post) - I'm wondering if additional lighting is required anyway.

    From further research today, I'm wondering what any of you think about shutter delay on any digi cams you've used. Don't fancy that myself. What's it like in actual use situations?

    Another thing that comes up with the 5050 is the on/off button, that switches on in transit, and linked to this, the lens can try to move out against the lens cover. Also, chroma problems, blue/green fringing, noise problems. One guy says he had access to a pair of these cams - one had the problems and the other didn't. So if you get a bad one........you take it back I guess, but don't you just hate it when that happens??

    Robert, let me know re these points if you can.

    And anyone - about that shutter delay. I really, really don't like the sound of that. Surely it can't be as bad as some make out, otherwise how did digi cams take off at all?

    Andrew.
     
  11. RobertP

    RobertP
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    From my experience shutter lag (more accurately auto focus lag) is something you work around.
    If you pre focus (press shutter half way down) it is then near instant to take the shot after pressing fully. Also if you use manual focus there is no lag.
    That is common to most digi cams i believe.

    The on/off thing has never happened to me. If you do turn it on with the lens cap on it whirrs...beeps at you...then turns itself off - no harm done. the on/off switch (not button) is not easy to turn by accident.
    I've never seen a noise problem even with 15 second night exposures. The Oly has noise reduction you can turn on if you want - I never have.
    Purple fringing (CA) is the usual criticism of the 5050. If you set out to take a shot that will show it up and then zoom in on the picture you will see it. Simple fact is that in the 2000 odd shots I've taken I've rarely seen it and no one else has ever noticed anything.
     
  12. RobertP

    RobertP
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    Just realised thats not true. I went to a concert...was a long way from the stage...arms waving getting in the way...not very bright stage lighting.
    I had to use the 400asa setting + lens wide open to keep shutter fast + full optical and digital zoom at times. Some of those pictures were grainy.
    However no one else in our party could even get a picture with their digi cams:smoke:
     
  13. drew

    drew
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    Thanks Robert.

    Looks like I'm going for an Olympus 5050 then.

    Just a thought - as you already have a 5050, is there anything in the 5060 that's a step forward and you'd like to have?

    Can't remember what it was, but I remember reading something about a specific aspect of the 5060 where it appeared they had actually gone backwards.

    Cheers

    Andrew.
     
  14. RobertP

    RobertP
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    I compared specs when i was buying and thought I'd probably go for a canon. I went to Jessops and held the cameras to get a feel for them and then decided on the Oly... which I went and bought online as there was a deal with a free wide angle lens.
    I recommend you do the same. What suits me might not suit you.

    Any 5050 user will knock the 5060 as it is the new model and it would be nice to think the old one is better. From what I've seen i'm in the 5050 camp still.

    I had this conversation before in another thread here

    this is where I got mine. Don't know if they are still cheapest. They do bundle deals as well.
     
  15. drew

    drew
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    Thanks for the buying link Robert.

    They don't appear to have any free lenses or other bundles unfortunately.

    Other than various size memory cards, for extra cost, up to 257MB.

    It costs about £77 to have the 257MB, in addition to the standard 32MB that comes with the camera. Smaller cards are available.

    Question is, I haven't a clue how much memory I'll need as I've never used a digi cam before. Yes I know everyone will be different, depending on how they use it. For my macro work I'll want highest res, and for hols I'll want to store the shots till I get back. Days out could perhaps go on a modest card, but I don't really know.

    So, I need a steer. Is it like PC hard drives? - ie get the biggest option, or do digi cams have other considerations, pros/cons etc?

    Thanks,

    Andrew.
     
  16. RobertP

    RobertP
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    Depends on the settings you use. Best jpeg setting (my normal setting) makes picture files that are 2 to 2.5 Meg so a 128 card would hold 60 odd of those.
    [If you really want *highest* res the 5050 will do raw files (about 7.3M each) and tiff files about 14.5M each - both of which are lossless formats.]
    If you are away with the camera you can review your shots and delete the duds there and then. In that case it would hold 60 *good* pictures.
    I shot 1.5 gig worth on holiday this year. I have a 96M CF and a 128M xD.... i also have a mini laptop that I transferred the pictures to.
    You have the choice of some card reader/storage device (or laptop) or more memory cards (Compact Flash/microdrive,smartmedia or xD - the 5050 has 3 options) if you need to store lots of shots.
     
  17. drew

    drew
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    Thanks Robert.

    I've looked again at the guys you bought from.

    The £70 odd for the extra 256MB card seems a good deal compared with what it would cost if you bought it afterwards. So think I'll go for this and hopefully avoid any need for extra storage like you've mentioned. (Hopefully!)

    That's the only 'bundle' they have at present. Their price for the standard cam with 32MB is £423, and with the extra 256MB it comes in at £501. They've emailed me to say that the price has come down since the lens bundle you had. Has the MRP come down since the 5060 came out?

    Technikdirekt do the extra 256MB for (EUR 682) £482, - but for less than twenty quid I think that's tempting fate you won't have to send it back to Germany. (actually just noticed there's shipping on top, so that kills it for cert)

    Haven't found cheaper in the UK so far but will have another search before I jump.

    Andrew.
     
  18. RobertP

    RobertP
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    The lens offer was a voucher redeemed direct with Olympus. Only selected retailers were given vouchers. Jessops were not one of them so they could not price match. Your offer you could get a price match on.
    The online place were there when i phoned them and helpful but face to face in a shop you can go back to with a problem is preferable if the price is similar.
     
  19. drew

    drew
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    For anyone reading this thread in the context of prices, I've found the OLY 5050 with std card plus a 256MB for about £430 in the UK carriage inc. Seen some places even cheaper but OOS.

    I'm going to go and have a handle again in the shops to be sure, and if Jessops match or get close I think I'll buy there. Can't beat a real shop, personal service and local if any problems.
     
  20. drew

    drew
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    Just had a mad thought. If you're still there Robert, and anyone else still reading this thread that does macro work.

    Because this type of cam is not SLR, I envisaged having the cam on the tripod and adjusting until the image in the LCD viewer is what is wanted. Can you can look at repeated previews until satisfied with the intended shot?

    It seems obvious that this or similar is how it works. Just thought I'd better check out my assumption. Thanks for bearing with me - a digi cam virgin :rolleyes:
     
  21. RobertP

    RobertP
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    Its like a video camera in that respect - continuous preview.
    It also presents you with a brief display of what you just took for a couple of seconds after you have taken the shot.
    Go to a shop and play with one!
     

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