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.
The Cicada’s are coming out of their long hibernation in force and they are just about everywhere. The buzzing has started and as soon as you step outside, you’ll see them. I wanted to get a closer look at a few, so I clipped my Raynox Macro lens adapter to my 18-135mm lens, grabbed a flash and small softbox with TTL cable and mounted the camera on a small tabletop tripod to go in the backyard.
I didn’t get into focus stacking or anything like that. Shutter speed was 1/180, Aperture at f/13, ISO 400 and the flash was firing via a TTL cable into a small Rogue FlashBender softbox about 4 inches from the bug. Since the tabletop tripod sits 6″ off the ground, it was the perfect height.
On walking out of the backdoor of my house this afternoon, I noticed a Praying Mantis clinging to the bottom of the screen door. I quickly went back inside, grabbed my camera, lens, flash, TTL cable, tripod and a pair of macro extension tubes and set out to capture the little guy. Thankfully, he sat still while I got set up and eventually was shooting. It was difficult to get the focus just right, since I was very close to the bug and the depth of field was very thin, even at f/22. Since I haven’t yet ventured into focus stacking multiple shots yet, I’ve had to go with a very small aperture, at the risk of diffraction.
The Macro extension tubes I used were a cheap no-name brand I purchased on eBay. They are made just for the Fuji X mount and have pass through AF contacts. Considering the price, the build quality is alright and they work pretty well. To get into macro photography more though, I’ll need to learn a bit more about technique.
While the family was out in the backyard, I noticed this little guy crawling up the deck post. It seemed like a good time to try out the Macro function on the X-E1 with the 18-55mm. While I would have liked to get closer, it worked out surprisingly well.