Photographing really small objects


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toasty

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I want to photo something that is maybe 1mm x 1mm in size, so that I can see what is on it. I have a canon 100/2.8 macro that is 1:1, but I think that alone may not be enough. I have a 50/1.4 as well, has anyone tried reversing that on a 100/2.8? I also have a 25 mm tube. Would like to know if anybody out there has the experience photographing such small stationary objects? What kind of setup could anyone recommend?

Thanks
 

benedium

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#2
uh... since you have all the equipment, how about try using them in the ways you suggested...
 

Del_CtrlnoAlt

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#3
toasty said:
I want to photo something that is maybe 1mm x 1mm in size, so that I can see what is on it. I have a canon 100/2.8 macro that is 1:1, but I think that alone may not be enough. I have a 50/1.4 as well, has anyone tried reversing that on a 100/2.8? I also have a 25 mm tube. Would like to know if anybody out there has the experience photographing such small stationary objects? What kind of setup could anyone recommend?

Thanks
1mm x 1mm is really small, think u need more than 1:1, should be using a 2x or 3x type of macro lens will be seeing something... well... if u using a DSLR, depending on range, you might get a 1.6:1 or 1.3:1, or 1:1 (since u canon user...) for a start, u might wanna use your 100mm macro with the extension tube and mounted on tripod. manual focus

down to technical stuff... u will need at least 2 flash. either left & right or top & bottom of the subject. a light meter to measure the aperture to use. for left & right, can set both to same power, if you place them really near, try about 1/32 or 1/16. If you are using top & bottom method, use a cloth, cover the flash head, depending on the intensity. place the subject on top of the flash head, and use about 1/3 to 1 stop lower power than the top one. this is when you are shooting on a 45degree plane. for such macro, u might even need up to f32 to see something. cos its hard to see a thing.
 

toasty

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Oh, I'm currently at work and dont have access to my camera. Also I got to buy a reversal ring for the 50mm lens, so I wanted toknow if anybody else has tried to photo really small stuff before to get their feedback first.
 

lsisaxon

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#5
toasty said:
I want to photo something that is maybe 1mm x 1mm in size, so that I can see what is on it. I have a canon 100/2.8 macro that is 1:1, but I think that alone may not be enough. I have a 50/1.4 as well, has anyone tried reversing that on a 100/2.8? I also have a 25 mm tube. Would like to know if anybody out there has the experience photographing such small stationary objects? What kind of setup could anyone recommend?

Thanks
Hi, what you need is some extension tubes.
 

toasty

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#6
Del_CtrlnoAlt said:
1mm x 1mm is really small, think u need more than 1:1, should be using a 2x or 3x type of macro lens will be seeing something... well... if u using a DSLR, depending on range, you might get a 1.6:1 or 1.3:1, or 1:1 (since u canon user...) for a start, u might wanna use your 100mm macro with the extension tube and mounted on tripod. manual focus

down to technical stuff... u will need at least 2 flash. either left & right or top & bottom of the subject. a light meter to measure the aperture to use. for left & right, can set both to same power, if you place them really near, try about 1/32 or 1/16. If you are using top & bottom method, use a cloth, cover the flash head, depending on the intensity. place the subject on top of the flash head, and use about 1/3 to 1 stop lower power than the top one. this is when you are shooting on a 45degree plane. for such macro, u might even need up to f32 to see something. cos its hard to see a thing.
Thanks for the reply, my easiest, first option is to use the 25mm tube, but I am not able tell apriori, what kind of mag that would get me. I heard that to get a 1:1 reproduction ratio, you need a tube the same length as the focal length of your lens. But my 100mm macro is already 1:1, so I don't know how putting a tube will affect this ratio.

Thanks for mentioning about the number of flashes I need too. I think I'll try with 3 flashes to start with. I have several u/w strobes (flashes) that come integrated with the slave, adding flashes to the picture should not be problem.

I also have a 500D filter-type lens, but I tend to use that with my 300/4. From my understanding of the 500D, it allows you to focus at a distance of approximately 500mm. well, for this I want to be focusing at a much closer distance than that so I believe the 500D will not be useful for this. At this time, in my mind the options are using the 100/2.8 + tube, or 100/2.8 + reversed 50/1.4, or both. Does anyone know if I can reverse a lens onto the 300/4?

BTW, what is this 2x or 3x type macro lens you mention above? specialized macro lens that can shoot 1:2 or 1:3? Incidentally, I dont plan to be making any huge purchases for this experiment, just want to see if anyone has ideas or tried this before with non-specializezd equipment and had some degree of success?
 

LittleWolf

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#7
toasty said:
I want to photo something that is maybe 1mm x 1mm in size, so that I can see what is on it. ... What kind of setup could anyone recommend?
Mount the camera on a microscope. Or use a microscope lens directly on the camera, using e.g. a bellows.

If your intention really is just to "see what is on it", do you have to take a photo? If not, a good magnifying glass or even an el cheapo toy microscope may do the job.
 

Del_CtrlnoAlt

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#8
toasty said:
Thanks for the reply, my easiest, first option is to use the 25mm tube, but I am not able tell apriori, what kind of mag that would get me. I heard that to get a 1:1 reproduction ratio, you need a tube the same length as the focal length of your lens. But my 100mm macro is already 1:1, so I don't know how putting a tube will affect this ratio.

Thanks for mentioning about the number of flashes I need too. I think I'll try with 3 flashes to start with. I have several u/w strobes (flashes) that come integrated with the slave, adding flashes to the picture should not be problem.

I also have a 500D filter-type lens, but I tend to use that with my 300/4. From my understanding of the 500D, it allows you to focus at a distance of approximately 500mm. well, for this I want to be focusing at a much closer distance than that so I believe the 500D will not be useful for this. At this time, in my mind the options are using the 100/2.8 + tube, or 100/2.8 + reversed 50/1.4, or both. Does anyone know if I can reverse a lens onto the 300/4?

BTW, what is this 2x or 3x type macro lens you mention above? specialized macro lens that can shoot 1:2 or 1:3? Incidentally, I dont plan to be making any huge purchases for this experiment, just want to see if anyone has ideas or tried this before with non-specializezd equipment and had some degree of success?
extension tubes let you get closer to the object, same like the 500D, except 1 is just empty tube & another is a piece of glass.

if u know, 1:1 = 35mm film view or full frame sensor, you see the subject that is there... so if for eg, a fly, you shoot on a 35mm film, when you see that film, the fly would be the same size as the film. so if you are shooting a 1mm x 1mm, and you want it to fill up the 'frame' you need more than just 1:1, u need a 2x or 3x to magnify the 1mm x 1mm so it will be about 3x = 3mm x 3mm? on 35mm film. Of course, putting on monitor screen will be very much clearer, but compared overall, you are seeing like a dust on a 35mm film if you shoot 1:1.

also, 50mm 1:1 allows you to shoot at about 50mm? (me not good in calculation) away from the subject, same as 100mm, so if you get too close to your subject, its hard to angle the light source.

like another one just mentioned, a telescope would be good in tis... since u can even magnify a few times more...
 

lsisaxon

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#9
LittleWolf said:
Mount the camera on a microscope. Or use a microscope lens directly on the camera, using e.g. a bellows.

If your intention really is just to "see what is on it", do you have to take a photo? If not, a good magnifying glass or even an el cheapo toy microscope may do the job.
Microscope has a really shallow depth of field and objects will look flat.

In my previous job, I had the chance to use a tilt and shift lens with extension tubes to shoot tiny objects.
 

ricohflex

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Feb 24, 2005
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#10
use camera bellows with special bellows macro lens
 

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