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Photography Question 
Bobby R. Strange
BetterPhoto Member Since: 5/14/2006
 

Would this be macro?


I'm not sure this is the forum for this question, but here goes anyway...

A friend and I were having a discussion about whether or not one of my shots would be considered macro. She says it would, I say it's a stretch. Could someone take a look at my gallery, at the photo titled "Celia's Favorite" and tell me what you think?

Thanks :)


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8/27/2006 5:14:43 AM

 
Diane Dupuis
BetterPhoto Member Since: 12/27/2003
  I'd suggest elements of design.


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8/27/2006 5:53:14 AM

 
Christopher Budny
BetterPhoto Member Since: 10/3/2005
chrisbudny.com
  I agree with both of you---that it is a stretch for the D&M category, but fits in EoD---and maybe even Digital Darkroom?


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8/27/2006 6:42:33 AM

 
Samuel Smith
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/21/2004
  definately not macro.


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8/27/2006 9:13:59 AM

 
Jagadeesh Andrew Owens   Yes, definitely not macro. I would echo my compatriots and suggest either EoD or DD.


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8/27/2006 12:20:57 PM

 
Ariel Lepor
BetterPhoto Member Since: 9/8/2005
  I don't know about it being definitely not macro. Elements of design would be a better category for the contest than details and macro, but I don't think that's your question.

You do have a small DOF, and a macro is defined as the picture looking at least as big as it does in real life (I guess at 100% magnification?). It's not as close as most macros I've seen (none of which have been pianos), but I think this is pretty boarder-line. Maybe a macro, but yes, a bit of a stretch.

Ariel
ScrattyPhotography
ScrattyPhotography Blog


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8/27/2006 6:50:25 PM

 
Samuel Smith
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/21/2004
  oh boy,
I did a search here and looked it up in the photography books I have about macro photography.
def.1,shooting closer to your subject than is possible with normal lenses.
def.2,can be achieved by using close up lenses,extension tubes,bellows units,macro lenses or lens reversing rings.
and a shallow DOF is a result of shooting macro not a description or requirement.
now that's just my understanding of the topic.contradiction was not intended,and someone with more knowledge,which could be about anyone,may clarify this a little better.
sam


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8/28/2006 9:00:21 AM

 
David A. Bliss   A photo is considered macro when there is a one to one ratio on the film. This ratio is written as x:y, where x=size of film, and y=size of subject. Originally, a photo was considered macro when the subject had at least a 1:1 ratio on a 35mm negative (or slide). A typical 35mm negative is 24mmx36mm. This means, it is considered a macro when you take a picture of a penny, and when you put the penny on the negative, they are the same size (or the photo is larger).

Definitions change with technology. Any more, it is considered a macro when it has a 1:1 ratio on a 4x6 print. I personally feel that this is a little too loose, but hey, who am I to argue!!

Most digital cameras come with a macro setting, as do a lot of SLR lenses. Really, all you need to take a macro picture, is a lens that will focus close enough, and have enough of a telephoto to transfer the subject to the photo at at least a 1:1 ratio. Just because you have the camera set for macro, does not mean the final shot is going to be a macro.

Say you take a picture of a large flower, one that has a diameter larger than 4 inches. If the entire flower is in frame (of a 4x6 print, using the newer definition), it is not a macro, because it is not lifesize (or larger). It can't possibly be, because the flower is LARGER than 4 inches.


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8/28/2006 4:12:10 PM

 
Samuel Smith
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/21/2004
  ok,so.
it was a macro shot?it wasn't?
i'll talk at ya david.
macro is about details and fine tuning,maybe there were cracks in one of the keys in the photo,a slight yellowing in one of the outside keys,a slight wear mark on a prominent key.
but the whole keyboard?
alright.i take a photo of a car,now if I take a photo of just a fender,it's macro,because it covers more than a 4x6 print?
1x1 is reproduction,and I don't think macro..but if you think macro is just a part of a whole subject,i'm fine with that.
sam


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8/28/2006 8:27:14 PM

 
Ariel Lepor
BetterPhoto Member Since: 9/8/2005
  Well, then, even according to the new definition, it seems this photo wouldn't be a macro.


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8/28/2006 8:40:50 PM

 
David A. Bliss   Sam, I was just giving the definition of macro photography, not really saying whether I thought this photo was a macro. Well, I guess I was, by giving the definition. This is not a macro, because it is not at least a one to one ratio at 4x6 (even using the "new," looser definition). A macro does not have to be part of a subject (a larger than lifesize picture of a small insect, for instance), and it does not have to be the whole subject (a lifesize rendering of rust detail on a fender). Very simply, in photographic terms, a macro is at leat 1:1. If a photo is at least 1:1, no matter what the subject, it is a macro. It's pretty easy to test. Take a 4x6 print (man I hate this newley accepted sizw ;-) ) and put it up to the subject. Is it the same size or larger? It is a macro.


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8/28/2006 8:50:06 PM

 
anonymous A.    Not a macro. Not by any stretch, Bobby. A macro is (as some of the definitions suggest) life size on the film or sensor. The film format is not relevant: a larger format (say 1/2 plate) will fit an image of a larger object onto it's surface, but what counts is that, on the sensitive surface, the magnification is 1:1. If the subject is an inch long, a contact print (remember those?) will yield an inch long image. Not once enlarged to 6x4 or at any other magnification. 1:1 images can be generated by shooting with a longer lens and then enlarging to produce a same-size image on a 6x4, but the fact that manipulating the enlargement size to generate 1:1 images is so easy, this looser definition makes the whole idea of macro photography pointless; it's really just defines any smaller image printed large as life as "macro". I know it has received some currency lately, but it isn't helpful.
Lenses are often called Macro which give only 1:3 magnification, but that can be achieved by almost any lens, and isn't meaningful eiher, except to salesmen. BTW, larger "true" magnifications can be achieved, but when you get past about 2:1 (double life-size) you are moving into the Micro area. If we allow the thinking that lets 1:1 AFTER enlargement to be called macro, would we call really, really big enlargements "micro"?


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8/29/2006 7:26:12 AM

 
Samuel Smith
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/21/2004
  i think I appreciate the help,i'll know better when my head quits hurting.
actually it was explained very well by both.
thanks,sam


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8/29/2006 1:15:32 PM

 
Bob Chance
BetterPhoto Member Since: 2/19/2006
  Gee Bobby:

Seems I'm a little late on this one, but standing in agreement with some, I would not consider it a macro.
There are a lot of lenses out there, particularly zoom lenses, that offer what the manufacturer calls "macro" mode or focus. All this means is the the lens is designed in such a way to allow the user to focus closer than otherwise.
But in all practicality, I beleive true 'macro' is a lifesize or larger, rendition of the subject.
Some manufacturers, such as Canon, offer a 50mm 'macro' lens. And even though it is so dubbed, this lens will only give you half life size unless you also use the optional life size converter, which is nothing more than an extension tube. An expensive tube at that.
The price combo for the 50mm macro and it's extension tube, is almost as much as the cost of thier 100mm Macro, which does give life-size without any accessories.
True macro lenses, in my opinion any way, will offer 1:1, or life size magnification without the aid of optional equipment or add-ons.
Canon also makes a specialty macro that starts at 1:1 and goes to 1:5 times life size. This lens has no focusing collar. Focus is achieved by adjusting the distance between the camera and the subject.


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8/29/2006 1:28:50 PM

 
Jagadeesh Andrew Owens   Macro rocks! That's what motivated me to buy a dSLR. My favorite macro lens is the 60mm f/2.8 (1:1) Nikkor lens. It's very reasonably priced, too ($450). Who knew such an innocent question would spark such lively, dynamic debate!?!! Good, clean debate. Hooray!


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8/29/2006 1:34:32 PM

 
Robyn Gwilt
BetterPhoto Member Since: 7/15/2005
  :) Definitely not macro, but I think your paper clips are :) Bob, what exactly is an extension tube? Is it like my 2x converter? And why would using said tube turn a lens into a macro lens? - Yip, pass the soap Sipho :)


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8/29/2006 1:54:26 PM

 
Samuel Smith
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/21/2004
  i'm already laughing pretty hard robyn,
but are you hi-ja
yeah somebody is probably going to shoot me before too long,i hope it's a macro bullet.
sam


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8/29/2006 2:40:36 PM

 
Christopher A. Vedros
BetterPhoto Member Since: 3/14/2005
  Robyn,
An extension tube is similar to your 2x teleconverter, in that it mounts between the camera and the lens. That's where the similarity stops.

The teleconverter, as you know, has lens elements in it that increase the effective focal length of lens - so a 200mm becomes a 400mm, etc. A teleconverter will typically also increase the minimum focusing distance of your lens. If you could focus on an object as close as 4 feet with your 200, you might only be able to focus on objects as close as 6 or 8 feet with the teleconverter. This is usually not a problem, since you are usually shooting at objects that are farther away.

An extension tube usually is a hollow shell. Its purpose is to move the lens farther away from the film/sensor plane. This has the effect of increasing the magnification of the lens, and decreasing the minimum focusing distance of the lens. So you can move in closer to the subject, and you can get a larger magnification of the subject on the negative (or sensor).

Chris A. Vedros
www.cavphotos.com


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8/29/2006 2:57:01 PM

 
anonymous A.    To add to Chris' answer, tubes usually come in sets to allow for different levels of magnification. Like your converter, they reduce the light reaching your sensor/film, so need increased exposure to compensate. Bellows are another way to get the same result, and they are more convenient, since you can vary the extension to give any magnification, unlike the fixed steps of tubes. they too steal light from the sensor. With bellows and tubes you lose your automatic functions (focus, aperture, shutter) and sometimes your exposure meter, so you have to use an external meter. You can also buy an adaptor to allow you to reverse you lens, which has many of the advantages of tubes but without the light loss. The cheapest way to get true macro is with a set of macro filters. These auxiliary lenses screw into the filter mount of your camera. They cost about $50 for a set of 4 (+1, +2, +4, +10), can be used separately or in combination and do not affect your exposure or your automatic functions. The quality of the resulting image depends on how good your lens is (they are magnifying the central part of your image) and the quality of the filters. Obviously, the more surfaces, the greater the possibility of losing image quality. I've used them all, and currently shoot most of my macros with a 90mm Tamron 2.8, but still very happily use close-up filters on other lenses.


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8/29/2006 3:43:40 PM

 
Bob Chance
BetterPhoto Member Since: 2/19/2006
  My Thanks to both Chris and David who just saved me a lot of typing!


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8/29/2006 7:10:20 PM

 
Robyn Gwilt
BetterPhoto Member Since: 7/15/2005
  Thanks guys :) So in a nutshell, its kind of a reverse teleconverter? When you say bellows, I think those old camera's with a black cloth over your head!! Or something to blow air on a fire David! The 'set of macro filters' you talk about - can be used separately or in combo - these are basically lenses themselves?


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8/29/2006 10:06:58 PM

 
anonymous A.   
 
 
In a nutshell...no! Because they both let you get a bigger image than the lens without them. The difference is that the televerter magniifies the middle of the image, the close up tubes let the lens get closer in and still focus.
The bellows on the old folding cameras is close to it. Here are some pics...


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8/29/2006 11:27:35 PM

 
anonymous A.   
 
 
In a nutshell...no! Because they both let you get a bigger image than the lens without them. The difference is that the televerter magniifies the middle of the image, the close up tubes let the lens get closer in and still focus.
The bellows on the old folding cameras is close to it. Here are some pics...


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8/29/2006 11:28:15 PM

 
Robyn Gwilt
BetterPhoto Member Since: 7/15/2005
  Cool!! Thanks so much for your explanation and pics - now they make sense! You see, a pic IS worth a thousand words!!


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8/30/2006 12:19:36 AM

 
Bob Chance
BetterPhoto Member Since: 2/19/2006
  Robyn:

To add again to Chris and David, which are both correct.
Close up filters, though I don't know why they call them filters. In essence, they are lenses. A simple single element lens that screws on the front of your camera lens and magnifies the image. Image quality depends largely on the quaility of the lens and close up diopter.
Remember the pictures of the flies that are posted on BP? The photographer used a high quality close up lens. In fact, I think it was a Canon D250!
They do make bellows for todays cameras, complete with the eletronic connections for the lens, as the lens aperatures are all electronically controlled these days. However, these are very expensive. Probably the cost of quite a few extension tubes.


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8/30/2006 2:00:50 PM

 
Samuel Smith
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/21/2004
  my guess is they call them filters because they screw into a lens?
but yeah,kind of an oxy moron.


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8/30/2006 7:26:14 PM

 
anonymous A.    If it helps (or if your curious) the first 2 pages of my Gallery contains quite a few macro images, some shot with the macro setting on a digital compact camera, some using a dedicated 90mm macro lens on a dslr, others with a zoom lens with a close-up lens attached to a dslr or a film slr. The descriptions tell you which is which, but even in enlargements up to 10x8 it's hard to be sure from a visual inspection. Sorry...none of my bellows photos have survived the years!


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8/30/2006 8:30:55 PM

 
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