An Introduction to High-Magnification Macro Photography

thnks to dear friend and photographer Harshal Thakkar to have shared a video on spiders by Photographer par excellence Thomas Shanan and when i saw that amazing video .. was zapped to see the spiders shot by Mr, Shanan .. after 8mnts of viewing it .. i decided i should research, learn and explore this wonderful world of ‘SUPER MACRO”. thnks so much Harshal …

Earlier when i explored 50mm with reverse ring .. reverse ring locks the aperture/shutter and one had to literally light the subject with torch and shoot a subject … this was my knowledge of 50mm @ reverse ring … but what a fabulous photographer and teacher he is .. he made shooting super macro with a 50 / 28mm @ reverse ring look so easy .. i was zapped and amazed by his work on spiders and insects ..  in the 8 mnt footage he shared many things .. showed the entire assembling which he used to shoot .. but what he unfortunately could not share was how he keeps the aperture and shutter alive and focus ths subject to attain tht magical results with 28mm attached on a reverse ring and extension tubes … alsoif he could hv shared share as to which extention tubes he used .. 12 ? 20? or 36mm? or all together .. if one sees the video it seems he uses 2 but which ones we cant make out ..

I had long chat with Harshal on the same … we discussed how he shoot insects and how close he can go in shooting insects and spiders … after speaking to him i spoke to Saritha and she shared treasure of knowledge to me on this subject ..

after speaking to them i got into my exploring … learning and researching mode … and i learnt many a things which i did not knew … most important being that when u use 50mm on a reverse ring u hv to unlock the aperture ring and keep it unlocked … this avails u to use ur camera with the aperture and shutter working as normal … which when two years back when i did some series of shots on reverse ring .. i did not knew .. my shots r in that series r nice but it took me so much time shooting them

also one can focus stack insects and spiders by moving .. ie one can focus the eyes of the spider in one shot and the nose in the other and thn merge them to get a balanced focus pic of the spider .. as the movement is not large FS is very possible 

So went to VT .. the central camera lane bought these important stuff from 

Umbrella Stand 

Umbrella Stand

Umbrella Stand

TTL Cord for Nikon

TTL Cord for Nikon

TTL Cord for Nikon

Flash Soft box 

Flash Soft box

Flash Soft box

I have SB900 .. 50mm and a reverse ring .. with these things bought i was all set to shoot and experiment @ NIkon D90 .. 50mm .. reverse ring of 50mm … 100mm macro … extension tubes of 12 .. 24mm and 36mm

Kenko Extension Tube set

Kenko Extension Tube set

and started shooting on ttl mode .. got hold of a 50 paise coin and shot with just 50mm attached with reverse ring

50mm attached with reverse ring

50mm attached with reverse ring

thn shot with 50mm with reverse ring attached with extention tubes of 12 .. 20 and 36mm 

50mm with reverse ring attached with extension tubes of 12 .. 20 .. 36mm

50mm with reverse ring attached with extension tubes of 12 .. 20 .. 36mm

thn i shot with plain 100mm lens .. dont have a reverse ring for that and i dont i will use 100mm lens with a reverse ring as its too costly to risk it

Shot with 100mm lens

Shot with 100mm lens


was not at all happy with the results .. these were macro shots .. i wanted to do super macro which Mr. Thomas Shanan did and that was super macro .. he used 28mm with a reverse ring attached with extension tubes … 

anyways .. the next day with Shabir bhai and Yash (photographer from Poona) went to flora fountain garden to shoot some flowers and bees with the same arrangement .. ie NIkon D90 .. 50mm .. reverse ring of 50mm … 100mm macro … extension tubes of 12 .. 24mm and 36mm .. and started shooting on ttl mode .. 

waiting for the wind to stop and flower to stop moving is asking tooooooooooooooo mch from the nature … HAHAHAHAHAHAHA 

also na mujhe koi fly dikhi nahi koi bee … so the trip and the results were disastrous … was dejected …. 

but before taking the exit from the place .. we had sugarcane juice .. i knew this juice wala as i have been wanting to do a bee shot with a honey bottle from a long time … infact i had shot tht layout for my 365 but did not come out nice so scrapped it .. 

so coming back to ganne wala ..from past 6 months i hv been visiting and asking him ki Bee kab aayegi aapke ganne ka ras chune ke liye .. now ye bhi seasonal hota hai .. so when he saw me coming he said “Saab mast bees aai hui hai .. pack kar doon” …hahahahahahaha and he caught 2 bees and one fly in a match box and gave to me …. 

after that in Shabir bhai office I had a lenghty chat Shabir bhai on Super macro and we both decided that i should buy a second hand 28mm … we bought tokina 28mm .. also bought a separate reverse ring spefically for it and with 2 bees and one fly in my bag .. i was a happy man returning home .. 

Back home i couldn’t resist myself in testing the 28mm and i shot the coin shot with 28mm @ reverse ring @ 2 extention tubes ie 12 .. 20 and  36mm

 shot with 28mm @ reverse ring @ 2 extention tubes ie 12 .. 20 and  36mm

shot with 28mm @ reverse ring @ 2 extention tubes ie 12 .. 20 and 36mm

Next morning .. apart from the Umbrella stands, TTL Cord, Flash Soft box, Kenko Extension tubes  .. i now had a

Tokina 28mm

Tokina 28mm

Tokina 28mm

Tokina 28mm

Tokina 28mm

Reverse ring for 28mm

Reverse ring for 28mm

Reverse ring for 28mm

Reverse ring attached with 28mm

Reverse ring attached with 28mm

28mm @ Reverse ring attached with Nikon D90

28mm @ Reverse ring attached with Nikon D90

28mm @ Reverse ring attached with Nikon D90

28mm @ Reverse ring @ extension tubes attached with Nikon D90

28mm @ Reverse ring @ extension tubes attached with Nikon D90

in the pic below u can view

entire assembling ... Nikon D90 .. 28mm .. reverse ring and SB900 .. u can see TTL Cord .. Flash Soft box .. Umbrella Stand

entire assembling … Nikon D90 .. 28mm .. reverse ring and SB900 .. u can see TTL Cord .. Flash Soft box .. Umbrella Stand

the front

the front look

the back

the back

 I now had everything at my disposal and was all set to repeat the entire ‘coin’ exercise which i did ie to shoot fly with

50mm @ reverse ring

Shot with Nikon D90 @ 50mm @ reverse ring

Shot with Nikon D90 @ 50mm @ reverse ring

50mm @ reverse and with extension tubes

Shot with Nikon D90 @ 50mm @ reverse ring + extension tubes ie all 3 - 12 .. 24 .. 36mm

Shot with Nikon D90 @ 50mm @ reverse ring + extension tubes ie all 3 – 12 .. 24 .. 36mm

100mm without extension tubes

Shot with Nikon D90 @ 100mm @ aperture being 5.6 .. shutter 200

Shot with Nikon D90 @ 100mm @ aperture being 5.6 .. shutter 200

100mm with extension tubes

Shot with Nikon D90 @ 100mm + extension tubes ie all 3 - 12 .. 24 .. 36mm @ aperture being 5.6 .. shutter 200

Shot with Nikon D90 @ 100mm + extension tubes ie all 3 – 12 .. 24 .. 36mm @ aperture being 5.6 .. shutter 200

28mm + extension tube of just one ie 36mm

Shot with Nikon D90 @ 28mm + extension tube of just one ie 36mm

Shot with Nikon D90 @ 28mm + extension tube of just one ie 36mm

and finally 28mm … the processed pic of the same … shot with Nikon D90 @ 28mm with reverse  ring + with all 3 extension tube ie 12 .. 20 and 36mm

 this is raw .. no cropping .. stretching .. straight from the cam .. Nikon D90 @ 28mm + with all 3 extension tube ie 12 .. 20 and 36mm

the processed pic of the same … shot with Nikon D90 @ 28mm with reverse ring + with all 3 extension tube ie 12 .. 20 and 36mm

the final processed pic which i uploaded on flickr nd FB

the final processed pic which i uploaded on flickr nd FB

i got what i wanted .. 6 days of learning .. researching .. exploring this beautiful subject and world of ‘Super Macro’ .

Still many more things to explore and execute in this genre .. need to learn how to do focus stacking on fly .. spiders etc .. this is just a small start .. this info still and yet incomplete .. still more info and knowledge to shared over here .. 

==============================================================

29th September 2012 – some more shots .. 

Food for many – Quit Smoking

Cigarette @ High-Magnification Macro Photography 

Shot with Nikon D90 @ 28mm @ reverse ring @ extension tube of 20mm attached to it @ SB 900 @ TTL cord @ hitting the cig straight ..Aperture 16 .. Shutter 60

Shot with Nikon D90 @ 28mm @ reverse ring @ extension tube of 20mm attached to it @ SB 900 @ TTL cord @ hitting the cig straight

Shot with Nikon D90 @ 28mm @ reverse ring @ extension tube of 20mm attached to it @ SB 900 @ TTL cord @ hitting the cig straight

Below is a close shot of the tobacco .. Nikon D90 @ 28mm @ reverse ring @ all 3 extension tubes of 12 .. 20mm and 36mm attached to it @ SB 900 @ TTL cord @ hitting the cig straight

Aperture 11 .. Shutter 60

Shot with Nikon D90 @ 28mm @ reverse ring @ all 3 extension tubes of 12 .. 20mm and 36mm attached to it @ SB 900 @ TTL cord @ hitting the cig straight ..  Aperture 11 .. Shutter 60

Shot with Nikon D90 @ 28mm @ reverse ring @ all 3 extension tubes of 12 .. 20mm and 36mm attached to it @ SB 900 @ TTL cord @ hitting the cig straight ..
Aperture 11 .. Shutter 60

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Thnks a ton Mr. Thomas Shanan .. thnks so much for being so generous in making the video and sharing all the info which u can .. lots and lots of regards and thnks

thnks to Saritha Dattatreya for all the info and knowledge which she shared

thnks to Harshal Thakkar for sharing MR. Thomas Shanan’s video on his FB wall and for sharing lots of info on this genre of photography

thnks once again to Shabir Ali Patel Bhai for always supporting and inspiring me ..

I hope this note is useful for all of us … (to be continued) 

Corrections and inputs from the masters of this genre of SUPER MACRO  is welcome … 

One comment

  1. Rahul · October 13, 2012

    Hi , I want to bye extension tube and reverse ring for my canon eos . from were i can get those in mumbai

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