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Growers' Macro Photography - Tools & References

spacef

New Member
Hi all !!


This thread is made to help people choosing macro-photography tools for trichome control.

We need technical information, brand names, and a few pictures examples.

-> Even if you use a very cheap gear: as long as you can take a decent macro-photo that shows trichome colors, we are interested to know what it is in case someone wants to buy it.

-> Even if you use expensive gear, then it would be also interesting to know your favorite photo technics.

-> It is not about showing off your best macro shots (but you can!!) - but it is about showing what different gear does what and how, and to serve as a reference.

- Even if you have done a DIY thing, let us know.


Why Macro-photo can be important to growers?
- Macro photography is used to control the state of trichomes and the best moment to crop.
Sometimes, what you see with macro is quite different from what you "saw" or guessed with your eyes, especially the balance between amber and white/creamy trichomes.


- Controlling trichomes could be crucial for medical growers, and recreational as well. it simply allows more precision and a crop at the right time.




Thanks a lot for your participation!!! let's have fun now :)
 

spacef

New Member
re: Growers' Macro Photography - Tools & References

Hi !

Lens: Canon 50mm f1.8 + Meike Extension tubes
Camera: Canon EOS 60D
Other gear necessary: tripod, flashlight... concentration (and a few puffs) :)

photos generally taken at f/22, then only a small part of the picture is kept.

076-BM036.jpg


100-BS02.jpg
096-Amnes01.jpg


an example at f/1.8 (or the like)
095-TBlowmInd02.jpg
 

Nismo12

Member of the Month: May 2017 - Grow Journal of the Month: Dec 2016

Canna Montana

Grow Journal of the Month: Dec 2016
Re: Growers' Macro Photography - Tools & References

Hey there spacef! Have you used any other camera besides the Canon? I was wondering what you prefer. Are you happy with the Canon? Anything you would do differently? Thanks for posting this journal. Seems as if it was meant for us to find you here. Almost cosmicf. <-- see what I did there? It's like your name. Lol! Anyway, thanks in advance for your help. We truly appreciate it. Your pics catch my eye, and it took me a while to look away from them. The colors are so beautiful!
 

spacef

New Member
HiCanna Montana,

Yes I am happy with the Canon: one big advantage of some Canon cameras is that you can replace the system with Magic Lantern with its wealth of features from movie makers, and the 60D is compatible. I cannot live anymore without Magic Lantern's timelapse features, that I've used a lot and that I still use a lot for macro photos.

I find it limited only by its poor performances in video; video lenses can't be used (automatic auto focus would not work), and the sd cards are not the latest-fastest ones so it remains a bit "from the past" in terms of video. video quality is good but it easily stutters.

As I did a lot of timelapses, the battery of the 60D has a very long life (same battery as the 5D Mark II ) and its 18 million pixels are still a high number nowadays.

If I had to do a choice today, I would of course choose more pixels for cropping (important feature in macro) and better video (4K!! lol) ....

But I don't think I will buy another one for the moment, the Canon 60D is a great camera for photo, it is not full frame but I can manage that. For the moment I prefer to extend my collection of lenses and tools according to the use of the moment :)
 

SlowToke

New Member
Hi everyone! Spacef, an excellent thread you have started here. As you know, I have ordered a set of extension tubes and will use them on an 85mm prime (non-zoom) lens that I own. The tubes are supposed to get here today, and as fate would have it, I have a house full of trichomes at the moment and am looking forward to seeing how well the extension tubes will do. And from your photos, it looks like they should do pretty well! Give me a few days, and I'll have some test shots to show here.

And for Canna and Nismo, I would encourage you to stick with either Nikon or Canon. The main reason for that is that they both have extensive lenses and accessories that can be extremely useful. Sony is getting there, but for now the other two have a lot more to offer in the complete line. Both brands will give you very good pictures. But there are some user interface and ergonomic differences that may make one brand more appealing to you than the other brand. While I shot with a pro quality Canon camera back in the 70s, my more recent experience was with Nikon film cameras, so I leaned toward Nikons when I decided to go digital. All the controls just felt a little more familiar, and the Nikon bodies fit my hand like a glove. But like I say, Canon cameras and lenses are excellent as well. You can see a lot of excellent camera reviews on the DPreview website . They give good marks to both the Nikon cameras you are looking at, but I'm sure Canon has similarly rated models. You also might look at the Nikon D5300, if you have a couple extra $100 to spare.

One thing I would suggest if getting the more consumer geared models that generally come with one or two "kit" lenses. I would get it with only the main kit lens that it comes with for starters. Then add lenses as you need them. The main reason for this is so you can budget funds for the extension tubes and/or lenses you will need for macro work. My off-brand set of tubes cost $130. And they work best on a lens that is 50mm or longer at the widest zoom range. So for macro, you need another lens right off the bat. Nikon has a DX micro 40mm lens (60mm field of view, as compared to the film days lenses) for around $250 that will give you a 1:1 sized image. I'm sure Canon has a similar lens, but just wanted to make sure you realized that you couldn't take macro shots right out of the box with most DSLR cameras.

Another option is a close focusing filter to screw on to your lens. Canon make a very good one of these, but the two element model (the one with two separate glass elements in the filter) is up in the $150 range. Just make sure the filter thread size matches your lens.

Anyway, just my $0.02 worth on gear for close up work. I'll be back soon with pictures to share.
 

spacef

New Member
Another great (not users) review magazine source is {{header.title || 'DigitalRev - Focus on photography'}} from Hong Kong and the youtube show "Bokeh" . Well, you must bear the reviewers because they are crazy. Crazy but fun most of the time ;-)

About the Nikon/Canon match, it's difficult not to want both. I've always loved photos made with Nikon and they are different from canon's, always makes me want to get a nikon. It seems more for photographers, while canon is/was more versatile (the 5D Mark II was a success because it allowed to make movie quality, it was used by pro film/ads makers who can't afford the Red or Red One cameras, and it was better on the viodeo lens front. But photos made with Canon also won 1st prizes. I can't imagine a camera without Magic Lantern now because of my timelapse stuff and I am used to it, but it's on canon only, so the choice is quick for me :) . May be one day I'll also get a nikon, but in a few years :)

I add to SlowTake's post above that - in case of a DSLR - it is (almost) necessary to use editing tools such as lightroom or phostoshop or something that can edit "RAW" format, because that's what you are going to want to be able to edit them deeply. JPEG can be fine but is frustrating after a while. There are free RAW editors to begin with (I even have a plugin for windows that allows me to see the RAW pics in window explorer as thumbnails, otherwise it is not a format that you can see in windows, you may have to open all RAW files to see what they contain. I paid a few bucks for this plugin (may be 5$ max, but very worth it).

If you use leds, then you might need something like Lightroom, or Photoshop Elements (cheaper than photoshop "full"), or DxO, or else, to remove the red tone, change exposure, stress white and light, and crop the picture to keep only the elements you need.
 
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kelticBlue

Creme de la Creme Photos: Dec 2016, Apr 2017 - Photo of the Month: May 2018
Hey All

thought I would chime in real quick. I have a Canon t4i but it is not what I use in my tent. I use my small point an shoot and sometimes a tiny tri pod.

It is a casio ex zr100. I use the super macro setting and If I can get away with it iso 100 and the daylight white balance. I also use the 3 seconds timer to let the camera settle after pushing the button.
I cannot get the resolution I could with the Canon but I can maneuver a lot better with the smaller body.
I took these today then cropped in to get the detail look. It ia an AutoCBG harvested 3 days ago. ( ignore the white cat hair )
CIMG09811.jpg


CIMG0987_-_Version_3.jpg


A somewhat less expensive option. As I think of more I will post back.
gotta run
:ciao:
 

Nismo12

Member of the Month: May 2017 - Grow Journal of the Month: Dec 2016
Hey All

thought I would chime in real quick. I have a Canon t4i but it is not what I use in my tent. I use my small point an shoot and sometimes a tiny tri pod.

It is a casio ex zr100. I use the super macro setting and If I can get away with it iso 100 and the daylight white balance. I also use the 3 seconds timer to let the camera settle after pushing the button.
I cannot get the resolution I could with the Canon but I can maneuver a lot better with the smaller body.
I took these today then cropped in to get the detail look. It ia an AutoCBG harvested 3 days ago. ( ignore the white cat hair )
CIMG09811.jpg


CIMG0987_-_Version_3.jpg


A somewhat less expensive option. As I think of more I will post back.
gotta run
:ciao:
Beautiful!
 

santb

New Member
Cool thread!
IMG_197420.JPG


IMG_195827.JPG


These were taken the other day with an old Canon 20D, Tamron Macro (old too) at f5 and 2.8 under crappy fluro, Practicing for harvest bud porn..

Not quite close enough for good trich study but a different view of the plant..
 

spacef

New Member
Hi there,

Just got myself a new lens, canon 24mm "pancake" that i needed for everyday photos of everything.


It is not made for macro at all, but i tried it anyway. And I don't regret it: with macro tubes, it becomes like a microscope.

Equipment:
- lens: canon 24mm + Extension Tubes Kit by Meike (all 3 rings at the same time)
- cam: eos 60D


It is very hard to use because you must really be super close to the subject, like those cheap microscopes (eventhough you don't need to touch the subject). I didn't use a tripod, which didn't make it easier.

Here i pushed iso to 640, used a flash, a flashlight, and a little bit of luck because i couldn"t see much and focussing distance is so short that auto focus is useless :) f/13 - shutter speed 160. iso 640 (I tried lower iso but only got dark usnuseable pic). With included flash + a cree flashlight (fenix tk15 to be exact)

048-35-27-005.jpg



Cropping into the pic at 100% size. Lots of noise due to higher ISO (640) :
048-35-27-004.jpg


with denoising plugins and other enhancements;
048-35-27-003.jpg



The 50mm is easier to use (longer focussing distance) but if you already have a 24mm, you can get extension tubes for macro, and you end up with a super cool microscope!
 

Alchemist420

New Member
Hey, Spacef
Good idea for a thread. Nikon user here. Nothing against Canon, I just have been a Nikon user for 10+ years. Canon make great cameras and lenses also. I have many friends that shoot Canon.
I personally have 2 bodies D750 and D800, and a collection of glass, mostly Primes. Never been a macro shooter, but since I started growing I have seen the need to go ahead and get some tubes and get up close....LOL.
I will come back and add to the thread when I start getting some serious close ups with Nikon gear.
 

Alchemist420

New Member
Space, what length tubes are you using?

We should probably point out that Technique will have a lot to do with success in capturing the shot. So aside from Lens and Extension Tube to achieve Macro I would like to address what will be the biggest issue for people trying to accomplish Sharp Macro shots

Overcoming Focus and Motion Blur issues

- Light: The more light you have the better. More light = faster shutter = less chance of motion blur
- Tripod: The longer the focal length (including adding tubes) the more likely you are to have blur due to shake at slower shutter speeds
- Manual Focus: Yes everyone loves Auto, but when you are really trying to get in there manual is the way to go. Your best approach is a camera that has live view so you can zoom in and really dial in your focus manually. Use of Tripod a must.
- Shutter Release: A shutter release cable, remote control, or delayed shutter setting for the shutter release. This is so you are not in contact with the camera when the photo is taken. This prevents blur from shake.
- Aperture: Shoot with your lens at a very small aperture F16, F22, etc... (Larger Number = Smaller Aperture) This will provide a larger depth of field and more of your frame will be in focus. BUT... the smaller the aperture the more light, or longer shutter you need for a good exposure!.... Which takes you back to the need for LIGHT and TRIPOD. This can be offset by Higher ISO but you lose image quality.
- ISO: Low ISO = less noise in the image but requires more light or longer shutter to capture the same exposure as a higher ISO. If you can control all other factors in taking your image then you want to shoot at the lowest ISO you can. ISO 200 and lower are preferred.

So I would say for best results here is the Secret Recipe....

Lots of Light + Low ISO + Tripod + Manual Focus + Shutter Release + PRACTICE = Great Macro Photo

PRACTICE is a big one... Know your gear, how to use it, and experiment with it all the time.... "Practice makes perfect" they always say.

Feel free to ask me questions about photography.
Don't bother asking me Brand vs. Brand It really doesn't matter with modern digital. Now days all the top brands are comparable until you get into advanced levels then you can start debating the differences, pros, and cons.
 

Justones

Active Member
Nice thread..crosses over to another hobby of mine.
I have a sigma 105 macro lens. I use a Nikon camera. Does a pretty good job.

I still bought a cheap 30x magnifying lens to eyeball the trichnomes without using my camera.
 

Alchemist420

New Member
Nice thread..crosses over to another hobby of mine.
I have a sigma 105 macro lens. I use a Nikon camera. Does a pretty good job.

I still bought a cheap 30x magnifying lens to eyeball the trichnomes without using my camera.

I have been using my Nikkor 28-105mm with Macro switch at 105mm for shots. It is not the same as a macro with a Prime lens and extension tubes.

I am actually going to order a set of basic extension tubes from BH today so I can experiment and figure out the best combo of prime and tubes to get the best Macro.
The non-AF tubes are very cheap actually $20 USD range. I don't need Auto Focus tubes because I prefer manual focus when it is a still subject and pin sharp focus is the goal.

Once I get them I have a range of primes to play with.... 24mm, 50mm, 85mm, 105mm. I may borrow some in between focal lengths... Like a 35mm and 60mm just to play with and see the results.
 

Justones

Active Member
I have been using my Nikkor 28-105mm with Macro switch at 105mm for shots. It is not the same as a macro with a Prime lens and extension tubes.

I am actually going to order a set of basic extension tubes from BH today so I can experiment and figure out the best combo of prime and tubes to get the best Macro.
The non-AF tubes are very cheap actually $20 USD range. I don't need Auto Focus tubes because I prefer manual focus when it is a still subject and pin sharp focus is the goal.

Once I get them I have a range of primes to play with.... 24mm, 50mm, 85mm, 105mm. I may borrow some in between focal lengths... Like a 35mm and 60mm just to play with and see the results.

Sounds interesting. Will be cool to see what you find out.
 

CookieMan

Passionado
I have been using my Nikkor 28-105mm with Macro switch at 105mm for shots. It is not the same as a macro with a Prime lens and extension tubes.

I am actually going to order a set of basic extension tubes from BH today so I can experiment and figure out the best combo of prime and tubes to get the best Macro.
The non-AF tubes are very cheap actually $20 USD range. I don't need Auto Focus tubes because I prefer manual focus when it is a still subject and pin sharp focus is the goal.

Once I get them I have a range of primes to play with.... 24mm, 50mm, 85mm, 105mm. I may borrow some in between focal lengths... Like a 35mm and 60mm just to play with and see the results.

This is kind of late, but did you get your tubes? Have you figured out how to change the aperture for the lens with non wired tubes? I do it on canon using the dof preview button, then disconnecting the lens while the aperture is closed down. Kind of essential. Then you can just focus by moving forwards and back.
 
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