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Are you sure that you want autofocus for these small scale work ?
Part of my work involves taking macro photos for surgical specimens. I used to use Minolta SLR. Its 100mm macro lens has autofocus but I never use it, only because the autofocus system never get the point I wish to focus at. I have used many autofocus cameras but I never use their autofocus for the same reason.
I find the easiest way to focus is to fix the focusing barrel at one point and focus by moving the camera to and fro. Life is easier for me as I always use studio flash. Same applies for my M system. I use the focusing barrel when I am using tripod.
, but I'll post one of the images here later. Because the bees in particular were in rapid motion, AF was the only way I could get them. I tried using my R6 and
Leitz 100/2.8 but it just didn't work.
Almost all my work is outdoors. At the moment I'm shooting wild flowers; Orchids are in season. The problem there is that the flowers vibrate in the slightest breeze. Yet a speed that takes movement into account also brings DOF problems.
I agree with you that autofocus has a role in focusing moving subjects.
I am just those kind of people who rarely uses autofocus even the camera has it. I saw your photos with bees and butterflies.
There is one with the bee in largest magnification. The compound eye of the bee is in focus. I find it hard to trust the autofocus system. I just can't see if an autofocus system exist that is intelligent enough to focus on the eye only instead of the legs or the wing.
Perhaps what makes the difference in insect photography is not the choice between autofocus and manual focus. Anticipation of where it will go matters more.
Just a bit of personal taste, if I were photographing the bee I would use manual focus as well. I would lock the focus and move to and fro to focus. If I uses a tripod I would anticipate where it will go and use the barrel to focus.
>Tell me about it. My 83 year old eyes are my biggest Leica focusing problem. > With the 100 mm APO I find that a "micrometer" plat form that moves the camera forward and backward as well as side to side is a great help with focus and framing. In many cases the right angle viewer also make macro work easier. The Benbo tripod also is helful in placing the camera where you want it. Now I am eagar to try the 100 mm with my new DMR.
Bruce, I'm looking forward to hearing how you get on with the DMR. I had a very good report of it yesterday from my local Leica dealer who is using it with the 100/2.8.
I meant to say to Joseph, but the picture I wanted to upload wouldn't go through, that I'm not fanatical about sharpness. I also like a picture that's sharp where I want it to be, but there's softness that gives just a hint of the 'artistic' touch.
I have some experience with dragonflies. I tried to chase them but they are always faster than me and my camera. Waiting and focusing at the point where they will land seems to be more fruitful.
My work only allows me to take sharp photos, but at leisure I do use f2.8 and f4 to get the results described by Francis.
I saw a guy in the tele once that he put two flashes over his shoulders and he is an enthusaist in insect photography. The use of f8 and f11 might help as insects are so difficult to focus.
DMR seems to have a better dynamic range than the Canon bodies. I tend to go for Canon 5D as I always prefer full frame bodies. Apart from having R lenses, I have a lot of Zeiss lenses and going for Canon seemed to be a better choice for me.
In terms of resolutions, I find a simple camera like Sony 717 being absolutely sufficient for my work. At leisure, I prefer to shoot film with the great R and M lenses with excellent dynamic range. I tried digital for pleasure but I find digital workflow quite tiresome. I remember spending a few hours on just one shot to get the colour balance right. I would rather send everything to the shop and get them processed.
At the moment, I am thinking about 5D. I believe I might think about it for a long time.
Well, at least wild flowers stay still, sometimes! Wind being a real problem. There are quite a few reasons why I won't be getting the DMR, the question of full frame being one of them. The other main reason is that I would have to upgrade my R6, and the combination of DMR+R8 or R9 + 100/2.8 is just too heavy to carry all day in the field. Advancing age doesn't just affect eyesight!
My R6 is the first version. I think the R6 in both iterations has a classical simplicity that really appeals to me. It's light and compact, too. If I got the R8 or R9 because I 'had' to have the DMR I certainly wouldn't trade in my R6. I probably should have got a Canon D so that I could use my Leitz lenses, but got a Pentax *ist D instead; before I got my R6 I had a Spotmatic with some of those fine Pentax M42 lenses.
I have the *ist D, which was the first Pentax D Model. I haven't kept track of the newer iterations. I like the *ist D very well. It's 6MP, which I find quite adequate, light, easy to use and is backward compatible with Pentax and M42 lenses. Having said this, I don't think the results can quite compare, even with some of the wonderful Super and SMC Takumar lenses, to my R6 with Leitz 100/2.8 and Provia 100F slide. But D photography with my Pentax is a whole lot of fun; I particularly like seeing a histogram just after I've taken an exposure which gives me the opportunity to adjust settings. I'll post an ex&le when I've sent this email.