Tag Archives: Close-up diopter lens

Nature & Macro in the Texas Hill Country

Join me at Mo Ranch in the very heart of the magical Texas Hill Country for a three-day nature and macro photography workshop geared to shooting in field settings and indoors. Dates are Friday-Sunday, September 18-20, 2015.

This workshop will be packed with hands-on instruction to help you grow your photographic abilities with new found skills, techniques and proficiency. Two nights lodging and six meals provided.

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The historic, 500 acre Mo Ranch is located in a beautiful setting on the North Fork of the Guadalupe River. Here, habitats include: aquatic, riparian areas, grasslands, oak-juniper woodlands, and limestone hills. We will make use of all of them.

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The workshop will feature classroom instruction, hands-on learning, and computer demonstrations  with native flora and fauna of the area. A computer lab is available for all participants for processing images. The workshop will cover many subjects including discussions on:

•    Equipment for getting close   •    Wide Angle Close-Ups
•    Backgrounds   •    Tools to make macro work easier
•    Lighting with Flash & High Speed Flash
•    High Key and White Box
     •    Macro Panorama
•    Extreme Macro   •    Focus Stacking

For more information, visit my website: Nature-Macro Workshop 
Or, E-mail me direct: bkloflin@austin.rr.com  .

Copyright © 2015 Brian K Loflin. All rights reserved. 


“Poor mans” macro

I frequently tell my macro photography students not to run out and buy a macro lens right off the bat. I believe that after they complete my macro course, students will have a better understanding of the process, of the equipment and what lens may best fit their needs.

In the meantime, I illustrate several alternatives to expensive glass. The first is the one they may already have: their “kit lens”, plus an accessory diopter lens.

To illustrate this arrangement for the class, I made the following image:

This image is of a small pair of poppy buds growing in my garden. To produce the image I went back to very basic equipment. I put the Nikkor 17-70 mm
DX F 3.5-5.6 D “kit lens” on my 10 year-old Nikon D-70 D-SLR. To decrease the minimum focusing distance, I added a Canon 500D accessory diopter lens to the front and carefully composed. Because of the magnification, the camera is mounted on a tripod.

The image is made with natural sunlight as back light at 1/500 sec @ F8.0  and the camera’s pop-up flash for fill. (ISO=320; WB=Daylight “Sunny”) To help the pop-up flash a bit, I used a sheet of plain white copier paper as a reflector, directing more of the light to the subject. For fill, I generally dial the flash intensity down to -0.7 F stop (sometimes a little more reduction)  so as not to burn out the highlights. The image is shot as a JPEG, Large, Fine on that camera which produces a file of about 2.6 Mb.

The image above is almost full-frame from the camera and final magnification in the camera is just about half-life size ( o.5X ).

There are many inexpensive solutions to achieving close up  images in addition to this one that may be accomplished prior to purchasing the dream macro lens.  The Canon 500D diopter, at $150.00, is not the least expensive out there; yet it is a very good one. It is a compound, multi-element accessory lens that produces edge-to-edge sharpness. It simply screws on the front of your lens and, because it is optically clear, there is no light loss to deal with. These characteristics should be sought when purchasing a diopter close-up accessory lens.

© Copyright 2011 Brian Loflin. All rights reserved.