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Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Macro photography

Macro photography

I needed to a way to take some very detailed shots of some of my glue test results. My old Canon Pro1 has a "super macro mode", but I found that even this macro mode couldn't capture the kind of detail I could see by holding an old camera lens up to the subject. So I had the idea of trying to put the old camera lens in front of my digital camera as a magnifier.

I had some success with holding the camera lens in front of the lens of a small digital camera, but it was really hard to keep it all lined up and focused. So I built this little jig to hold the lens in front of the camera.

It consists of a small piece of plywood, screwed to the tripod mount of the camera. On the front is a block of wood with a 1" hole to fit a f/2.8 38 mm lens from an old non-zoom point-and-shoot 35 mm camera. I wrapped a bit of electrical tape around this lens to make it fit snugly in a 1" hole.

The block it's in is attached to the plywood base with just one screw from the bottom. That way I can swivel the lens side-to-side to help align it. There is a wood shim under the block, which I used to get the vertical alignment with my camera's lens barrel just right. Without proper alignment, it's impossible to get the whole frame into focus.

The lens doesn't move with the zoom of the camera. I mounted it far enough away from the camera so that the extending zoom lens wouldn't hit it. I have to zoom in by about 2.5x to get the full frame covered without vignetting in the corners.

I mounted the lens "backwards" so that what used to be the film side faces the subject. The reason for doing this is that the lens is optimized for the near field on the film side, and for far field on the subject side. When used for macro photography like this, the subject is the near field and the far field is what is then projected into the camera's lens. The digital camera is also optimized for far field on the subject side, so it all works out.

It's common to flip the lens this way when doing macro photography. I used to think this was hocus-pocus, but flipping the lens to make the film side face the subject really did improve edge to edge sharpness - that is, as long as my subject is flat.


See also:

Nightttime photography Slide photographing jig Home made wooden
Photographing wood grain
through a microscope lens

Back to my Woodworking website

Pretty cool idea and great Work!:)


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