Looking back through the year of photography is always a good experience in both remembering the fun times and trying to think about the things that I got better at this year. In the early part of the year, I splurged and bought an open box Fuji X-Pro2. I had my eye on this camera since it was announced and was not disappointed once it was in my hands. The optical viewfinder with primes lenses works extremely well and made me want to slow down and just watch for specific moments to capture. Toward the end of the year, I picked up a Mitakon 35mm f/0.95 manual focus lens and since I first put it on the camera, it has barely come off. The optical viewfinder combined with a lens like this just makes shooting such a joy. I am very excited to see what 2018 brings and what else I can get in front of my camera.
After posting some of my macro shots of the spider’s and insects, I’ve been asked about what kind of gear I use to create those images. Instead of buying an expensive macro lens, I’ve been able to piece together a rather inexpensive setup that lets me get close to 1 to 1 ratio. Below are some pictures and a list of the gear I use.
After reading some other blogs recently espousing the fun that can be had with some macro photography tools, I jumped on-board and ordered a few cheap accessories to have some fun. With just the basics, wandering around your back yard can open up many new opportunities in photography.
These were the first shots that I’ve taken with my basic setup. I ordered a $30 set of Meike Macro Extension tubes for my X-Pro2 and used with my 56mm f/1.2 or 18-135mm Fuji lenses. On the front the lens, I added a Raynox 150 macro lens that I had from previous dabbles in macro photography. To get the depth of field I needed, I had to stop down the lens to either f/16 or f/18. Due to the extremely small aperture, I attached a flash via a TTL cord to illuminate the subject and keep ISO down. All of these shots were handheld and the working distance was between 2 and 3 inches of the lens. It was challenging and I’m sure there are better setups for this, but for the minimal cost involving, I’m very happy with the results.