Super macro

For this week’s Photo Challenge we have to take a mystery macro picture. It’s supposed to be obscure, and then there will be a guessing game before the zoomed-out versions of the entries are revealed.

Super macro

I won’t say what this picture is of, but I’ll say a word about my macro equipment. I have a Tamron 90mm f/2.8 macro lens which is capable of producing a life-size image of the object on the sensor, known as a 1:1 macro lens. I didn’t use that.

Instead, I used an old, Soviet lens (a Helios 44M 58mm f/2.0) attached to my camera via some leather bellows which can be extended as far as 15cm. This gives around 5x magnification, so you can fill an APS-C sensor with an object that is only 5mm wide. It sounds good, but the flip side is that you get extremely shallow depth of field (fractions of a millimetre!) and that you throw away almost all of the light that the lens transmits. You need a lot of light to make this work – especially if you stop down to improve the depth of field.

The picture above was taken at ISO400, f/16, 30 seconds. I decided not to use a flash but rather to set up a very sturdy tripod (and shut the kitten in the other room, because she likes to attack my tripod’s carry strap).

3 Comments

  1. Lee Griffiths
    June 11, 2012
    Reply

    Nice work! I’m watching some old lenses on eBay at the moment for this very reason!

    I reckon it’s the underside of a mushroom btw 😉 You’ll have my entry tonight, I have a couple of ideas but havent’ had the time!

    • June 11, 2012
      Reply

      Not allowed to guess until the pictures are published!

      • Lee Griffiths
        June 11, 2012
        Reply

        It’s an unofficial guess!!

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