Category Archives: Extreme Macro

Making A Focus Assist LED Ring Light For Manual Macro Lens

When taking pictures using a macro lens, shallow depth of field usually mandates a rather small aperture to gain sharpness. With automatic lenses, stopping down is not a problem because the camera keeps the aperture wide open during view finding, unless you press the depth of field preview button. Only when camera is taking a picture, does it set the true aperture to whatever you set it to for exposure. However, if you ever used a manual macro lens, stopping down the lens cuts the light significantly, making it really hard to see through the view finder and focus.  This is particularly hard for higher magnification macro lenses such as Canon MP-E 65mm f/2.8, Laowa 60mm f/2.8 2x and lenses on extension, etc, where it is almost impossible to focus even at f/11.

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Good news is that there is a simple and easy to do DIY solution to this problem as shown above and the difference can be day and night.  more …

Venus Optics (Laowa) 60mm F/2.8 2x Macro Lens

When I first started doing macro photography back in late 2015, I have heard a lot of macro lenses, such as Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 macro lens, Canon EF 60mm f/2.8 macro lens, Nikon 105mm f/2.8 macro lens, and some third party macro lenses, such as Tamron 90mm f/2.8 macro lenses. However, these have maximum 1:1 magnification and because their focal length is fairly long, it is hard to get to, say 2:1. However around the same time, there is this lens, named Laowa (老蛙, old frog, in Chinese) 60mm f/2.8 with 2:1 magnification.

laowa_2Laowa (老蛙, old frog) 60mm f/2.8 2:1 Macro Lens

I was a little skeptical as it is a Chinese lens and it sounded just too good to be true. Then again, being in China, I have seen enough of images taken with this lens and my curiosity grew and eventually bit the bullet last Feburary (2016). more …

Cleaning Up In Post After Stacking

Why is your insect subject so clean? This question comes up very often when I post a stacked image on Facebook or Flickr. The reason for this question is probably due to the fact that most insect subjects are “dirty” – pollen, dusts, or other little things that are part of insects’ life, so it is hard to get “clean” look when they are photographed.

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So how do I get them to have a clean look? more…

How To Determine Magnification Level

When doing extreme macro photography, one of the most frequently asked question is: What Is My Magnification Level? This question arises when there is no marking on a lens or in many situations that it is just very difficult to determine magnification. For example, a DIY’ed setup, a reversed zoom lens, a lens from garage sale, etc. I have been asked with this questions so many times that I think it is time to write this blog. more…

Selecting Microscope Objectives For Beginners

Isn’t it cool to use a microscope objective for macro photography? I mean, just by looking at it, it is cool. But when I first started using microscope objectives on my Canon 550D, I made quite a few mistakes. That was largely due to the fact that I did not understand what microscope objectives are and how they should be used to achieve the result I wanted.

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It is very cool to have an objective mounted in front of a telephoto lens, just by looking at it. This objective is an achromatic 4x infinite one with NA of 0.1. It is mounted on a 70-300 mm telephoto lens

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