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Isle of Skye collection. First baby steps with super macro
  
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Forrestblyth




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PostPosted: Jul 24, 2023 10:39    Post subject: Isle of Skye collection. First baby steps with super macro  

I was fortunate enough to obtain a small high-end collection of specimens suitable for my first try at a few close-up shots.
I was so impressed with the beautiful images you guys displayed I was determined to try for something better than my shots taken just with my Galaxy S22 phone.

So, my first purchase was a modest Canon Rebel T5i DSLR. Decent macro lenses cost more than my car, so I found a Movo Reversing ring that enables a standard lens to be mounted backwards giving the effect of a poor man's macro lens. This was very easy to use but wow super macro has so shallow a depth of field. I took a few random shots from that super nice mineral collection but was disappointed with the results. I was shooting holding the set up by hand holding a LED torch in the other LOL. Test results embarrassing.

I now realize good lighting and tripod stability is just as important as optics. The depth of field limitations are just not manageable at all without a stacking program, so add that to the ever-growing list. (suggestions on a good program are needed)

I was knocked for six at how difficult an achievement you guys have surmounted in presenting those amazing images. I put my first few test images that show the problems faced fresh out the box macro wise. I expected to be rocking out with the bellows and Nikkor reversed enlarger lens but that's gone back in the box until I get the basics sorted.

My apologies for mascaraing those delightful Isle of Skye minerals for those that would have loved to see them given justice. They do make delightful subjects with the needle sprays and complex crystalline forms. If anyone has a particular interest in any of the specimens just shout out and I shall at least try a few decent shots from the s22 until I get dialed in on the reversed lens setups. I have never heard of most of these, if any are of particular rarity please let me know as I am well out of my normal scope of knowledge being as I only collect English Pennine material.

In conclusion. I have a lot to learn before I could ever feel comfortable presenting a properly collated macro specimen. My first macro attempts are embarrassing but I have shared to show newbie progression and learning curve.



20230724_142642.jpg
 Mineral: N/A
 Description:
Isle of Skye mineral collection
 Viewed:  17306 Time(s)

20230724_142642.jpg



20230724_115659.jpg
 Mineral: N/A
 Description:
random test result S22
 Viewed:  17364 Time(s)

20230724_115659.jpg



IMG_6953.JPG
 Mineral: N/A
 Description:
Random test reult Movo revering ring. Stock reversed Lens
 Viewed:  17271 Time(s)

IMG_6953.JPG



IMG_6943.JPG
 Mineral: N/A
 Description:
Random test result Movo reversing ring,Stock Cannon lens
 Viewed:  17238 Time(s)

IMG_6943.JPG



20230724_142736.jpg
 Mineral: N/A
 Description:
random Macro test minerals Isle of Skye.
 Viewed:  17282 Time(s)

20230724_142736.jpg


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Forrestblyth




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PostPosted: Jul 24, 2023 11:11    Post subject: Re: Isle of Skye collection. First baby steps with super macro  

Movo reversing ring


20230724_150948.jpg
 Mineral: N/A
 Description:
movo Reversing ring
 Viewed:  17244 Time(s)

20230724_150948.jpg



20230724_151713.jpg
 Mineral: N/A
 Description:
The poor mans Macro set up
 Viewed:  17243 Time(s)

20230724_151713.jpg


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James Catmur
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PostPosted: Jul 24, 2023 11:32    Post subject: Re: Isle of Skye collection. First baby steps with super macro  

I found that you have to use a tripod and the timer settings, so as to not touch the camera when the photo is taken. I connected the camera to my computer over WiFi, as that enable me to review and shoot remotely. Good lighting and aperture control will improve the depth of field but only so far, then you may need to stack.

I have not done any photos for years, things may have moved on. I know some camera bodies will now automatically stack shoot (focus stacking)
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silvia




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PostPosted: Jul 24, 2023 13:55    Post subject: Re: Isle of Skye collection. First baby steps with super macro  

Hello James [Forrestblyth]:

I am happy to see that my partner and I were not the only people to acquire mineral specimens from other collectors. I look forward to seeing the photos of the minerals, which I am sure, will be first-rate.

I have been taking some macro and super macro shots of our minerals and I hope to write an FMF article on the technique.

I will give a synopsis of a portion of the process as you might find it useful. We set the Canon camera (suitable attachment clamp) on a 50 cm long pole attached to a rigid stand in such a way that when released the camera descends slowly to a predetermined stop point on the pole. The camera and mineral have already been adjusted so that the mineral is in view of the camera during descent. Descent can take from 3-5 seconds and the camera is set to super high movie mode. The movie is then loaded into the most recent version of Helicon Focus we have (V8.1.1) and we render the video as a series of photos to enhance the depth of field. We also use the technique on a level surface for minerals that do not behave well with the vertical set up. We have also used the technique with a digital microscope to obtain some really nice super close up shots. The best way to discuss the process is with photos and perhaps a video.
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Roger Warin




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PostPosted: Jul 25, 2023 08:21    Post subject: Re: Isle of Skye collection. First baby steps with super macro  

Hello,
There is one parameter that must be taken into account: the focal length.
Journalists avoid these depth-of-field issues by always using short focal lengths. Personally, when shooting in shows, I use a small Leica DL 109. Or Iphone 14.
My other macrophotos are taken against the light on a window sill with an already old Nikon 800 E (with MicroNikkor) which seems quite sufficient to me.
A small bathroom mirror gives me natural light frontal lighting.
Obviously, the depth of field limitations is just not manageable at all without a stacking program. Without this technique I would have had to use the old film cameras.
Today, I use stacking even under the microscope, changing the focus manually.
I attach a recent example, a small carletonite of which 67 shots have been merged.
No money !



Carletonite#6-1ABC-1b_R1.jpg
 Mineral: Carletonite
 Locality:
Poudrette Quarry, Mont Saint-Hilaire, La Vallée-du-Richelieu RCM, Montérégie, Québec, Canada
 Description:
67 shots
 Viewed:  17062 Time(s)

Carletonite#6-1ABC-1b_R1.jpg



Elbaite_Paprok#3ABC1c_R.jpg
 Mineral: Elbaite
 Locality:
Paprok, Kamdesh District, Nuristan Province, Afghanistan
 Dimensions: crystal width = 3 cm
 Description:
27 shots
MicroNikkor Nikon 800 e
 Viewed:  17098 Time(s)

Elbaite_Paprok#3ABC1c_R.jpg


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Matt_Zukowski
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PostPosted: Jul 26, 2023 01:28    Post subject: Re: Isle of Skye collection. First baby steps with super macro  

Silvia: It sounds like you are taking your pictures with the camera moving. I think you will get better pictures with a stable camera. I typically use a tripod, take one picture focused on the closest part of the specimen, one picture focused on the furthest part of the specimen, and then a bunch of intermediate pictures, especially those focused on the parts I really want to show well. Then I use focus stacking software to combine them. Sometimes I need to add or subtract pictures in the stack to compensate for the vagaries of the focus stacking software.
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James Catmur
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PostPosted: Jul 26, 2023 03:31    Post subject: Re: Isle of Skye collection. First baby steps with super macro  

Matt

Have a look at their result and see what you think, I can see how it might work if the distance the camera falls during the video is small

https://www.mineral-forum.com/message-board/viewtopic.php?p=81591#81591
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silvia




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PostPosted: Jul 26, 2023 14:47    Post subject: Re: Isle of Skye collection. First baby steps with super macro  

Hello Matt:

Silvia’s Techniques

Actually the distance the camera falls is not a lot, and the subject is always within the focal plane of the camera. My partner machined the column and stand using a lathe and a south bend mill – not store bought. It is possible to control the rate of fall by less than 1 mm per second. A 3 second shot can produce up to 500 photos when loaded into Helicon focus. Using this technique I can produce crystal clear sharp images in which everything is in focus from the very back to the very front. See my latest mineral listing under “A return to Panasqueira” the close ups were my first and very crude attempt with the movie based ‘decelerating’ technique.

The same technique can be used in the horizontal plane using a suitable moving frame. You just control the rate of movement with your finger. I think I have uploaded photos of the frame, but my partner is in the process of machining a product that is so much better than anything you can buy at a camera store. It will be controlled with a stepper motor and an ATmega328 microcontroller – other products my partner is also making.

Apart from these I also use photo-peaking and photo bracketing techniques too. Each mineral is unique one must use different techniques to achieve the best result.

If there is enough interest I can do some reports and a few videos.
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Forrestblyth




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PostPosted: Jul 27, 2023 07:48    Post subject: Re: Isle of Skye collection. First baby steps with super macro  

Thanks for all the helpful comments guys. I have learned a lot to think about.

I had never even considered the high-definition video combined with stacking. I suppose the clever stacking software disregards any unsharp movement data in the same fashion it disregards the soft-focus depth of field data.
Even my older camera shoots 30 frames a second. On a 3 second shot that gives the program nearly a hundred HD frames to select good sharp data from. I see it would benefit from a solid delivery platform as described purpose made. That would be a great project to see details of as I have a mill, lathe, and CNC to work with.

Thanks again to all. And I enjoyed seeing those photographic results obtainable.
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James Catmur
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PostPosted: Jul 27, 2023 11:32    Post subject: Re: Isle of Skye collection. First baby steps with super macro  

I suggest you need some form of linear motor that holds the camera firm and provides steady, slow movement, not a field I have worked in for 35 years. I can guess what they are doing but hope they can provide a design that helps you
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Forrestblyth




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PostPosted: Jul 27, 2023 11:39    Post subject: Re: Isle of Skye collection. First baby steps with super macro  

James Catmur wrote:
I suggest you need some form of linear motor that holds the camera firm and provides steady, slow movement, not a field I have worked in for 35 years. I can guess what they are doing but hope they can provide a design that helps you


I did have the crazy idea of mounting the camera on the head of my cnc machine. But I have seen what it can do to solid carbide tooling never mind a camera
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James Catmur
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PostPosted: Jul 27, 2023 13:44    Post subject: Re: Isle of Skye collection. First baby steps with super macro  

Not a bad idea as long as you limit the movement

Forrestblyth wrote:
I did have the crazy idea of mounting the camera on the head of my cnc machine. But I have seen what it can do to solid carbide tooling never mind a camera
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