Monthly Archives: March 2009

Old school, very old school. As in 25 years old. I have been scanning my old negatives and I have almost finished. (15 years of analog photography, including my years at the academy. In total up to 16000 negatives.) It brings back old memories. When I was twelve years old, my neighbor introduced me to photography. His main subject was trains and trams, and for me as a young boy that was an interesting subject. He also taught me everything about processing film and developing prints. But my first official encounter with a SLR (Praktica B100) and home developed film was when the pope visited my home country. I actually never had the change to take a picture of the pope but it was a great adventure, and I was caught by the magic that happened in the darkroom and got infected with the photo-virus. Click on the years to see the galleries (I have added 1984 and 1985)

After reading many articles on the internet I decided to buy an Infrared filter. Based on my camera I had two options; the expensive Hoya 072, or the cheaper Cokin P-007 (89B). Because I was not sure if I would like the whole IR thing I decided to go for the cheaper option only 1/8 of the price of a Hoya filter. (Hoya 77mm costs 200,- Euros, and the Cokin only 25,- Euros (if you already own the filter holder and adapter rings)). The first try outs were not as expected; it took me a day to figure out that I did not use the correct white balance. So the next day I took some outside shots and I am not really sure if I like the results. The problem is that I am not sure if I am doing something wrong. Or if the cheaper filter is not providing the expected result, or that maybe my camera body is not capable to shoot IR. According to articles found on the internet, I should be able to get some good results with my canon 300D body. So that should rule out that possibility. Unfortunately I have not been able to found any articles that describe the 300D in combination with the Cokin P-007 (89B) filter. I did found a Dutch website with examples of what I am trying to achive. Cklck here to go to this website and click on ‘infrarood’

Sunday I took the car and went for a drive to the IJsselmeer. It was a beautiful day, clouds and a bright sun. So the right situation for a HDRi. Actually I was going to test my new Cokin P-007 (89B) Infrared filter, but more on that in a later article. While I was driving through the flatlands of Holland I noticed this church in Nibbixwoud. A nice scenery for both IR and HDRi. Unfortunately there were also moments when it was raining. I did not notice this in time, so my lens got hit by a raindrop. But I still think the photos are worth showing you. Later I arrived in Ursum where this lighthouse is located, again a nice setting for IR and HDRi. On my way back home I encountered a flower field with only white flowers. I was curious how this would work on HDR so again I parked my car. Click here to go to the gallery and see the results.

Last weekend here in Holland we had a careful start of the spring, so I decided to get some field work done (in the garden). Grabbed my Canon 5D body, macro ring flash, and my new MP-E 65mm lens. The hunt for insects has started. Again, I am telling you that it is not an easy job to work with the MP-E 65mm lens, but damn, I love it. Focusing is hell, DOF is less than nothing, and visibility is zero, when light gets blocked by lens and the flash mounted on front of lens. But hey you need a challenge. I managed to get a few good shots in the pocket of a rain worm, a woodlouse, and an unidentified insect that was caught in a spider web (spider also included). So I think I need to get myself an insect encyclopedia, due to the fact that there will be a lot of unidentified insects passing my lens.

Today we had a beautiful sunny day, so time to go outside and try my new MPE 65mm. And it was hard work. First I thought that all the reviews on the internet were a bit exaggerated, when the spoke of a difficult lens, but it was all true. And I loved it. I can’t say that I have a great result from the beginning, but hey it’s a start. And it looks very promising. I can’t wait to start this journey. I tried some insects but I’m not experienced enough with this lens at the moment to get the results I’m aiming for. So I tried this little screw which is only 10mm long, and I was surprised by the result. This is only a 1x magnification. I also tried the larger magnifications but they were out of focus. Next was this violet. The photo shown here is a stack of 7 photos. (DOF Stack, I will explain more about that in a later article.) I stacked the image with a program CombineZP. In short; what such a program does is combine several images with a different focus point so that the final image has a wider DOF. With this lens set on 5x magnification you only have a DOF of 0.048mm at f/2.8 and 0.269mm at f/16. So that is not a lot. So you take several shots in which the focus point shifts by 0.25mm (if lens is set at 5x f/16) and CombineZP merges these images into one. The last pictures show a Woodlouse. The picture on the left is a handmade stack (I used Adobe Photoshop) out of the two photos on the right. When I shot these I did not had the intension to make stack, so I had to pull some tricks out […]

Just came back from the shop and bought a MP-E 65mm f/2.8 1-5x Macro lens from Canon. The ultimate macro or close up lens that is able to magnify from 1x (real life size) to 5x. Features Focal length and maximum aperture: 65 mm f2.8 Lens construction: 10 elements in 8 groups Diagonal angle of view: 18°14” Focus adjustment: Manual Closest focusing distance: 0.243m 5X Filter size: 58mm What Canon says about the MP-E 65mm: A unique manual-focus lens designed exclusively for macro shooting This is the first macro photo lens designed to achieve a high magnification greater than 1x without additional accessories. It is ideal for small subjects. The newly designed optical formula and UD-glass elements suppress chromatic aberrations which become apparent at high magnifications. For flash photography, Macro Ring Lite ML-3 can be attached to the lens.   First try outs were difficult, but I was warned that this would not be an easy lens. So I need a lot of time to practise and do test shoots. As soon as I have some results I will share them here   On the left you see a picture of the lens in 1x and 5x magnification setting. In both extremes the lens acts completely different. So a new big adventure lies ahead.