The weekly newsletter on the art of photography from
 
Monday, June 13, 2011
IN THIS ISSUE
Featured Gallery
Welcome Note
This Week's Tip
Updates From BetterPhoto
Q&A 1: Prime Lens with...


TESTIMONIAL OF THE WEEK
"I have learned SO much!! Vik Orenstein was very patient and yet her constructive critiques were extremely helpful. I loved her humor and wit as well as her quick feedback. I would recommend this class to ANYONE who wants to learn more about studio lighting!! Absolutely wonderful!!" - Juventa E. Vezzani, student in Studio Portrait Lighting



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THIS WEEK'S TIP
Macro Photography: Get Sharper Images!
By Jim Zuckerman
Two tips on making sure your macro shots are crisp and clear:
- Don't do macro photography without a tripod. Your pictures will not be sharp and/or your depth of field will be so limited that you won't like the images.
- Wind is the enemy of macro photographers. If you shoot close-up to small subjects when there is even a slight breeze, your efforts will be in vain. You won't be able to get sharp pictures. If there is a very slight breeze, your only hope is to wait for a lull in the wind before you shoot.
In fact, the lack of wind is why I love shooting in greenhouses. Outdoors, I like to shoot macro subjects before sunrise and after the sun goes down because often if there was any wind during the day, it dies down. There are many days where the air is very still, of course, but if you try doing macro work in the wind, you'll make yourself crazy.


   
Featured Gallery

Welcome to the 529th issue of SnapShot!
Hello,

Modern digital cameras are so sophisticated that many photographers simply set their cameras on all-automatic. Nonetheless, there are times in which the camera can be "fooled." Now this doesn't mean you have to run everything on manual mode, but a good part of mastering the craft of photography is to avoid letting the camera make all the decisions for you! Check this BetterPhotoJim photo blog: White Balance: Why You Should Go Off Auto-Pilot! ... In this issue of SnapShot, be sure to check out Jim Zuckerman's Photo Tip ("Macro Photography: Get Sharper Images!"). ... That's it for this week, and for all the dads out there, have a tremendous Father's Day! Kerry Drager Newsletter Editor

Jim Miotke
Where Is Jim?

Updates From BetterPhoto

Give the photographer in your lift something special this year. A BetterPhoto Gift Card is perfect for any occasion! We are very proud of our virtual classroom, which is very interactive and very convenient.

Photo Q&A

1: Prime Lens with Teleconverter or Telephoto-Zoom

I'm wanting better telephoto capabilities. I'm debating between the Canon 300mm f/4 and using with a 2x teleconverter or the Sigma 50-500mm f/4.5-6.3. What would a teleconverter do to the aperture on the 300mm lens?
My camera is a Canon 30D.
- Pamela K. Barrett

ANSWER 1:
First, I would not recommend the 2x on either lens. On the Sigma 50-500, you would lose autofocus and have an f/stop of 12.6. Also the Sigma, although a good lens, is very heavy. With the lighter 300mm lens, the 2X TC will also lose autofocus abilities on your camera, plus the subject will be rather soft. However, if you have the big bucks $$$$, then the 300 f2.8L IS vII with the 2x mark III, and everything will be usable with a sharp image to boot. This combo is EXPENSIVE!
I have used the 300mm f4L IS on both a Canon 20D and a 5D. I have also used it with a 1.4X TC on both cameras. With the 5D, it is a good 300mm lens. On a cropped camera - such as 20D/30D/40D/50D/60D/7D and all Rebels - the field of view is that of a 480mm lens as soon as you attach it. It will still be an f4. When adding a 1.4X, your efective f/stop becomes f5.6 which allows autofocus. With your 30D, and this combo, the crop factor gives an effective field of view of 672mm at f5.6. The only downside is that the focusing is a tad slower. It does balance better, quite well actually, without the TC but even with it on the balance is better than the 100-400mm lens.
When hand-holding, insure that shutter speed is at least 1/500" and with the TC, not recommended, 1/1000" and that is even with the IS turned on. For shorter times, a STURDY tripod is highly recommended.
I have shot birds in flight with the 5D without the TC and taken photos of the tufa at Mono Lake as well as climbers on high walls with the 1.4x TC. I have also used the 20D and the lens alone to take photos of whales 1/4 mile away with the IS turned on (the boat rocks).:=)
IMO, the 300mm f4L IS is one great lens.

- Lynn R. Powers

ANSWER 2:
How about the Canon 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM in comparison to the Canon 300mm f/4L IS? I'm just trying to get a good telephoto but with sharpest possible image as well as being within my reasonable budget. (That's too bad about the 2X converter. I bought it for my TAMRON 100-300, then later found out it was not good for that either. If I decide on the 300mm, I will just have to buy the 1.4X and sell the 2X.)

- Pamela K. Barrett

ANSWER 3:
Hi Pamela,
I have the 100-400mm lens (it's one of my very favorites) and it too loses autofocus with a 1.4 extender of my 40D and 5D Mk II. It works OK using manual focus and I have some very sharp moon shots with this combo when I can set up with a tripod and take my time. The 100-400 is fast enough and very sharp without an extender.
I like shooting at f/7.1 with the background 8-10 feet behind the subject, the subject is so sharp with a beautiful background.
Cheers,
Carlton

- Carlton WardSee Sample Photo - Parrot
http://www.betterphoto.com/gallery/dynoGallDetail.asp?photoID=10990239


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