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Posted bandi on 25 May 2010 - 08:37 PM
Ok, for those easily bored by the technical side of things, tune out now
Cascade: I always shoot hand held with the MP-E. I tried using a tripod and it just didn't work... for me anyway! If you had a high precision two way focus rail system (ie: left/right and forward/backward) it might work. The problem is, you're dealing with tiny amounts of depth of field.. less than 1mm at 5x mag, and trying to make those precise movements with a tripod is near impossible. Even the movements on an average focus rail are too coarse.
So, the alternative is to hand hold the lens. Shooting free-hand, 1-1 is no problem with practice, 2-1 is acheivable again with practice but from there on, it tends to be very hit and miss... far more miss than hit actually To counteract that, I use two different methods....
1) A simple length of dowel, about 3cm diameter with a rubber stopper on the end. I stand the dowel vertically, wrapping a couple of finger on my left hand around it, and hold the lens with the rest of my left hand. By pushing down on the dowel, you can then increase stability. You can also freely move your hand up and the down the dowel to get the height you need. You can then tilt the dowel forward or backward to get the subject in focus. This method is good as you dont disturb the subject, but at high mags can still be a bit hit and miss, although much better than free hand holding. You also have a problem if the subject is higher than your length of dowel is tall!
2) If the subject is calm enough, I will slowly reach out with my left hand and take hold of the grass/twig/leaf on which the subject is sitting. If you move slowly and come from below the subject, it's quite amazing how often they will remain comfortable. Come from above or move quickly though and they disappear rapidly! Once I have a grip on the perch, usually about 4-5 cm from the subject, I rest the lens on top of the base of my thumb, letting it take the weight. Using my right hand, I can then slide the lens forward and backwards with great control to get the exact focus point. The beauty of this method is that once you have everthing in order, even if you move your left hand, the perch and the lens move in tandem, so the subject stays in focus! It's also a lot easier to make changes to your composition by changing the lens angle very slightly. I'd sy about 75% of my shots are taken this way and once I have hold of the perch, about 8 or 9 out of 10 shots are in focus, even at 5x mag. In all 5 of the dragonfly shots above, my fingers are just out of shot (below the frame) holding onto the twig the dragonfly is perched on. Another advantage of this method is that you are almost perfectly still once in place, rather than swaying forward and backwards trying to get anything in focus!
In terms of light and shutter speed... I always shoot in full manual with flash. I will sometimes change back to Av to see the shutter speed and early morning, at 200ISO and F13, it is often out to 2+ seconds when magnification is above about 2x. At 5x you can be looking at 10+ seconds . Middle of the day in bright light the speeds will obviously be quicker, but then you have harsh sunlight to deal with and the glare / dark shadows that can be a problem with any photography. I've seen early morning shots with the MP-E taken in natural light on a tripod where the shutter speeds are over 2 seconds... NOt sure how they achieve it, but they can look amazing. Unfortuantly after trying the tripod approach however, I'm happy to admit it's beyond my abilities at the moment!
So, full manual and flash it is for me. I tend to shoot ISO200, F13, 1/200th. ETTL metering will then calculate the flash exposure to light the scene automatically. If it's too bright or dark, I'll simply adjust flash exposure compensation to get it right.
The difficulties with using flash are positioning it and then dealing with the harsh light it outputs.
In terms of positioning, I've rigged up a small movable bracket that lets me position the flash right near the end of the lens. This is a little more difficult with the mp-e as the lens extends as the magnification increases. It goes from about 10cm long at 1-1 to about 22cm long at 5-1! The bracket mounts to the tripod hole on the bottom of the camera and lets me push the flash forward to keep it near the end of the lens. If you don't do this, then it's almost impossible to get light onto the subject past about 3-1 magnification.
As for dealing with the harshness of flash... that can be difficult! I use a single flash (430EXII) and have created several different homemade diffusers for it. I have been following some peoples work and the testing they have done with diffusers and have based my latest setup on some of there ideas. I've made a rectangular tube that slips over the flash head out of thick cardboard. This this, I've mounted a softdrink can, by cutting the ends of, and mking slits about 2cm apart along half the length of the can. You can now flare these strips out and gaffa tape them onto the outside of the cardboard tube. On the other end of the can, Ive placed an opaque dome shaped lid off a food container (called a nudie, available from woolworths for a couple of dollars). The lid fits perfectly inside the can. Place the dome IN the can, giving you a hollow concaved surface on the end of the can. This actually focuses the light and makes it more efficient. Over the outer hollow end of dome lid, place some sort of diffusion material... I am use cottton backing from a sewing shop. Between this layer and the opaque dome lid, you are effectly softening and diffusing the light.
While this diffuser gives good results, it can be taken to the next level buy incorporating a light tent on the end of your lens. Now the fun really startes! Get a sheet of vellum paper, or proper tracing paper and double it over. Wrap this around the top half of the lens so that it sticks out about 5-7 cms from the end of the lens. You have to pick your subjects to use it on, as a lot dont like you coming near them with it! But, for thos that dont mind, you can now place then under the "tent" and fire the flash through it. This adds another layer of diffusion and also bounces the light around under the tent, filling in the shadows and giving a beautiful even light. I'll post an example with and without this "tent" below to give you and idea of the difference it makes. It took a fair bit of playing around to get all the components right, but it is working really well at the moment!
If anyone is considering getting one of these lenses, I couldn't recommend it highly enough! Amazing peice of technology. I'll also be happy to post pics of my setup and step by step how I made the bracket/diffuser/tent.
Phew! Hope that answered the questions If you have any more, or want anything clarified, just let me know!
Standard diffused flash. Not too bad, but note the highlights and shadows behind the head
[Different dragonfly] Diffused flash, with the light tent attached. No highlights and the shadows are now filled in
Posted lou on 05 April 2013 - 07:18 PM
The man and the nurse
I am an old man. I was sick and in the hospital. There was one nurse that just drove me crazy. Every time she came in, she would talk to me like I was a little child. She would say in a patronizing tone of voice,
“And how are we doing this morning?” or “Are we ready for a bath?” or “Are we hungry?”
I had had enough of this particular nurse.
One day, at breakfast, I took the apple juice off the tray and put it in my bedside table. Later, I was given a urine bottle to fill for testing. So you know where the juice went
The nurse came in a little later, picked up the urine bottle and looked at it.
“My, it seems we are a little cloudy today.”
At this, I snatched the bottle out of her hand, popped off the top, and drank it down, saying, “Well, I’ll run it through again. Maybe I can filter it better this time.”
The nurse fainted.
I just smiled.
The hearing aid
An elderly gentleman had serious hearing problems for a number of years. He went to the doctor who was able to have him fitted for a set of hearing aids which allowed the gentleman to hear perfectly.
The elderly gentleman went back to the doctor a month later. The doctor said, “Your hearing is perfect. Your family must be really pleased that you can hear again.”
The gentleman replied, “Oh, I haven't told my family yet. I just sit around and listen to the conversations. I’ve changed my will three times!”
Posted Cascade on 03 April 2013 - 06:36 PM
Extending the arrival date could also mean he could possibly have a job to start upon arrival and having where you'll settle down basically predetermined.
Bearing in mind you will be new to Tassie are you prepared to have him nicking off to sea for a few weeks at a time while you get left behind without little support from friends or family? Bit personal I know but probably needs serious consideration.
Hehe... You can drive from one end of Tassie to the other in 6 hours a total distance of around 520 km. What you will find is that unless you know the roads it quite hard to average more than 80 km per hr staying within the law. Journeys here generally take longer than they should, due to scenery. The only way you get a long distance view here is by looking out to sea as all other views usually get spoilt by a bloody mountain.
I'm sure we can give more satisfactory answers once a few things start falling into place for you especially as you get closer to the time you intend leaving the mainland.
Posted Jonas Grumby on 02 April 2013 - 06:10 PM
Posted Mystic on 02 April 2013 - 02:54 PM
Posted aussie856 on 29 March 2013 - 10:19 PM
I realise this is an old post but thought it might be ok to update removal company recommendations here. We just moved from Melbourne to New Norfolk and cannot recommend "Chess Moving" highly enough. We had initially organised removals through "Island Removals" but they phoned at the last minute and told us they could not pick our gear up as promised and left us in the lurch. Lucky for us Chess went out of their and helped us for a cheaper price! than the original company. Would definitely recommend Chess to anyone moving over from Melbourne.
Posted Cascade on 28 March 2013 - 03:44 PM
As is, where is.
Location changes on a daily basis.
Collection and removal at own risk and expense.
Slow down....... Speed & Fatigue KILLS ....... Have a Safe & Happy Easter everyone......
Posted Jonas Grumby on 27 March 2013 - 08:30 PM
I lived and worked in Tallinn for a couple of years where it was an easy drive to St Petersburg but a bit too far from Ukraine. Did you receive those two photos I sent you of ice-cricket?
Maybe Cascade lost his electricity, as you did, for just a moment whilst typing, maybe he meant to type "Harris Scarfe on a rope", because I reckon if I were a parrot and I saw Cascade swinging a department store around on a rope, I would probably leave.
Posted brightbyte on 24 March 2013 - 02:46 PM
What we need to do is either educate those that litter and leave or clean up for them if they have already left, it's no big deal for me to pick up for others so that I can come back to enjoy the area again. If we start to look for someone to blame and get involved in argueing who is btter and richer or poorer or what ever we miss the true issue and that is keeping these places for us and others for many many years to come or eventually we wont have any of them left to argue over and we will all have to stay in over priced amenitie lacking caravan parks.
Posted Julzalexhills on 14 February 2013 - 01:05 PM
Posted Cascade on 05 February 2013 - 01:37 PM
Posted Mystic on 04 February 2013 - 07:16 PM
Unlimited "likes" could be done, though we created a limit so that people did not simply click "like" on every post they saw, but were more discriminating. This way the "like" meant more in a sense. We may revisit this at some point.
Your other request is a bit tricky to achieve, but is one I like. However that is going to require some major recoding of the software that runs this site, so is a suggestion I might throw to Invision and see if we could get that incorporated at a later date. I will do some searching to see if anyone might have created a system modification that could do that.
Thanks for the suggestions
EDIT: I did a search and there are currently no modifications coded that will achieve the status setup you requested, but I will definitely suggest thisfor a future update
Posted Cascade on 01 February 2013 - 04:00 PM
Probably because they dont have a clue how to tweek things behind the scenes.
I must admit, this site really caught my eye when I first came across it and the reason I signed up & joined was because of the way it showed off peoples photos of which many of these are now my own.
But "Real Tasmania" turned out to be much more than that, many of the new members that join us here sign up to find out as much as they can about this magic island. We are able to furnish information from the horses mouth so to speak and do so happily, using our own personal knowledge or getting the info from someone we know, I believe we do this well, as many members will no doubt willingly testify.
Posted brightbyte on 31 January 2013 - 01:45 PM
most of the people some of the time and
all of the people none of the time.
In this deabate there will be no such thing as win/win it is just not possible.
Posted Cascade on 26 January 2013 - 09:11 AM
Posted Cascade on 30 December 2012 - 12:04 PM
Glad the info was of some help. As for Hobart, well I'll leave those thoughts unsaid except it's not my cup of tea, there is one thing that you should do before you get out of town and that is to vist MONA , you will need to keep an open mind for some of the displays and there is a small cost for mainlanders to get in unless you have two heads.
Staying at Penguin won't be imposing on us at all, as we live about 27 klm SSE of there.
But the offer is still there as I have plenty of room to camp in my backyard or in one of the paddocks if you would like too do so for a few days, seeing as I offered it would not be considered an imposition. And it's easier to answer questions face to face. It might even be an idea to drive through to this part of the State camp here, get your bearings and then work your way back to Hobart if you do end up hiring a camper from there. But don't feel pressured, we can catch up with you when you get to a camping spot somewhere nearby.
Good luck with the rest of your planning. Dreams do become reality.
Posted Cascade on 29 December 2012 - 10:52 PM
Posted mikeo on 23 May 2013 - 09:56 AM
Time for me to do some more thinking about if i will head to Tasmania, but thanks for the feedback and also all the other threads on this site.