View Full Version : Am i a macro idiot? Jerm-come on in!

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04-30-2012, 02:34 AM
So I watched a few videos, and thought I knew what I was getting into with a macro lens. I borrowers a friends sigma 105 and I cannot for the life of me get this to focus.

I have tried manually focusing, autofocus, limit, full...

I have just been puttering with my own rings for practice on, but I dont feel like I am getting anywhere.

I was able to get a few photos of them. But they aren't all that great and the DOF is too bokeh-y. I have not been able to get the lens to focus with anything above 2.8.

Am I missing something obvious? I know I need a fair amount of light for pretty shiney objects, but I want to slightly master this lens before bringing it to an event, before wasting time there trying to get a shot.

04-30-2012, 04:58 AM
is it the AF or just focusing in general? AF is a joke when it comes to macro stuff.

04-30-2012, 08:12 AM
Focusing in general

I think what confuses me is how to work the focus ring itself. I get tha you shift the focus ring in one location to pick a focus level, but ... How do you actually focus after setting the level without shifting from 1:1- 1:2?

04-30-2012, 10:06 AM
That IS the focus... At the 1:1 mark, you need the object to be at the minimum focus distance (about 12 inches). My suggestion is set it to 1:1 and then adjust your position while looking through the viewfinder until the object appears sharp.
Hope that helps, I'm kinda having trouble finding the words to explain.

04-30-2012, 10:46 AM
Are you close enough to what you are shooting? Especially with Macro rings. With anything but the longest of lens I end up with an inch or two of the subject...

Plus I use Live View and zoom in and MF to get exactly what I want in focus

Plus I usually have the "bug" on a piece of glass and actually slide the glass forwards and backwards when needed rather than the camera (which is on a tripod BTW)

04-30-2012, 12:07 PM
I'm kinda having trouble finding the words to explain.

That's why I didn't reply. Macro focusing is hard to put into words.

04-30-2012, 12:22 PM

My suggestion is set it to 1:1 and then adjust your position while looking through the viewfinder until the object appears sharp.

also, check this switch (the right one):

it's a focus limiter, make sure it's either in the "full" option or the 0.312~0.45 option. That's the macro section of it's focus zone. They do that to keep the lenses from hunting when you're NOT shooting macros.

but yeah, before you even try to auto focus or take a shot, put your rings down on the table in your house, put it in MF, dial it to it's MFD (minimum focus distance) and just look through the viewfinder and move close enough that they're in focus. Then switch AF back on, move 1" back, hit the focus button and see if it'll pop into focus for you. Once you're close to the right distance it should hop into focus for you, but there are a LOT of variables here.

as for the image being all "too bokeh-y", a lot of the time when you shoot macro you'll want to stop way down to f/11 or f/16 and even then you might not get the whole ring in focus. As you get closer to a subject the DOF gets thinner. So depending on the look you want, if you want more DOF either back up a bit or use a tripod and stop down if you have to.

04-30-2012, 12:35 PM
Ok, so.. i think i understand now.. basicly.. its like a magnifying glass.. you physically move the lens/camera forwards and backwards (or the object as ben suggested) till its in focus, once i have the ratio set?

04-30-2012, 01:40 PM
yes. And don't worry too much about the ratio. 1:1 just means the item is as big on the camera's sensor as it is IRL, but so what? With wedding rings that'd just about mean they're going to cover the ENTIRE frame, do you really need them that big?

04-30-2012, 02:03 PM
no.. but why go small when i can go big?

:lol: jk.

I just wanted to try and figure it all out.

05-01-2012, 11:24 AM
Were you able to get this working? Post some pics!!!

05-01-2012, 11:57 AM
I thinks so. Ive got 2sessions to edit before hobby pics. I didn't take anything exciting.. Just random crap on my desk.. I haven't used the tripod for it yet..

I have to return it today, but I feel a bit better acquainted with it now, and will be using it for a wedding in may..

05-04-2012, 03:00 AM
LIke i said these arent artworks.. but ..

Bleeding hearts
http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7241/7141165225_9494b8f633_c.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/luckyboudica/7141165225/)
_PLH4353-2.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/luckyboudica/7141165225/) by Lucky Lola Studios (http://www.flickr.com/people/luckyboudica/), on Flickr

http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8149/6995075754_68cfc3528a_c.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/luckyboudica/6995075754/)
_PLH4352-2.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/luckyboudica/6995075754/) by Lucky Lola Studios (http://www.flickr.com/people/luckyboudica/), on Flickr

Oddball flowers that bloom pretty every spring.. THey are about the size of a quarter
http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7180/7141164933_c9985302c4_c.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/luckyboudica/7141164933/)
_PLH4351-2.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/luckyboudica/7141164933/) by Lucky Lola Studios (http://www.flickr.com/people/luckyboudica/), on Flickr

My pocket knife which is about 2.5" long

http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8155/6995106568_e2cba93f16_c.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/luckyboudica/6995106568/)
deathmask-3.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/luckyboudica/6995106568/) by Lucky Lola Studios (http://www.flickr.com/people/luckyboudica/), on Flickr

http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7109/7141195113_e8af473ce6.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/luckyboudica/7141195113/)
deathmask-2.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/luckyboudica/7141195113/) by Lucky Lola Studios (http://www.flickr.com/people/luckyboudica/), on Flickr

http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7109/7141195113_e8af473ce6_c.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/luckyboudica/7141195113/)
deathmask-2.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/luckyboudica/7141195113/) by Lucky Lola Studios (http://www.flickr.com/people/luckyboudica/), on Flickr

http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8154/6995106694_279d2604a2_c.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/luckyboudica/6995106694/)
deathmask-4.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/luckyboudica/6995106694/) by Lucky Lola Studios (http://www.flickr.com/people/luckyboudica/), on Flickr

and My Wedding/Engagement Ring.. which upon seeing the images, i realized is filthy. :lol:
http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7099/7141196959_9a644dd046_c.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/luckyboudica/7141196959/)
deathmask-10.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/luckyboudica/7141196959/) by Lucky Lola Studios (http://www.flickr.com/people/luckyboudica/), on Flickr\

I also had one accidental beauty.. this is the very first shot and ONLy shot of the engagment ring i tried with the macro.. I honestly didnt think i had got anything good when i did it and only tried once, and thanked her for letting me try before they headed out
http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7100/7141208785_57d472a1dc_c.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/luckyboudica/7141208785/)
untitled.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/luckyboudica/7141208785/) by Lucky Lola Studios (http://www.flickr.com/people/luckyboudica/), on Flickr