Tag Archives: Close-Up Photography

Close-Up Photography, Behind The Scenes…

Close-up photo of sedum

My wife surprised me over the weekend with a large flowerpot she filled with succulent sedums to brighten up the studio door entrance. The area in question gets a lot of afternoon sun so she came up with something that can stand all that light and heat and also not require very much watering.

I had been in the studio shooting close-up images of blood testing kits and needed a bit of a break from all that close focusing so I headed outside to shoot close-ups of the new sedums! This entire shot occupies about as much real estate as the top segment of your thumb so we are definitely past 1:1 in scale here. I had recently upgraded to the newer Canon 100mm f/2.8L macro lens from the older 100mm USM macro introduced in March 2000. While I had no complaints about the older version except being slow to focus in low light (what else is new?) I wanted to see what the designation of L quality had to offer. Being almost double in price, I was expecting a lot and it did not disappoint.

For much of my close-up work with the older lens, I relied on a 62mm Nikon 5T close-up lens attached with a step-up ring to the 58mm macro. This arrangement allowed me to go beyond 1:1 for much of my macro work without having to employ extension tubes which eat a considerable amount of light. There is virtually no light loss with the 5T as it screws on to the front of the lens. With the new lens being larger at 67mm filter thread size, I would need a step-down ring from 67mm to 62mm and this situation had the potential for vignetting the corners using the smaller 5T CL lens.

I’m happy to report that was not the case as I soon discovered. I haven’t experimented at many distances yet, but in this instance I was only about 6 inches away from the little flowers and any slight vignetting was added in Lightroom4 but I was glad to see no apparent vignetting from the lens/ring/5T set-up. Shot in manual focus (as are 95% of my macro images) the lighting consisted of one dome-diffused Canon 600EX-RT on the left, aided by a white fill-card on the right. The colors were sweet but when I saw it on the camera’s LCD monitor it cried out for a B+W treatment. Enjoy :-)