Category Archives: Extreme Macro

Checking Microscope Objective Chromatic Aberration

What is chromatic aberration for an optical system? Well, according to Wiki, it is the failure of a lens to focus all colors to the same convergence point. You usually see this effect when you have high contrast edges in your image. Well, it happens not just with microscope objectives, you will also see this effect with normal photographic lenses, for example along the edges of a mountain and the sky. But I will focus on this for microscope objectives as it is rather important.

CACheckMitutoyo QV 2.5x 0.14, a 5x 0.15 “APO”, and a generic 4x PLAN objective. read more

A Nice Microscopy Setup

Be honest to you, I have neither owned a microscope, nor have I used one extensively. However a recent quest to shoot some butterfly scales at 50x magnification made me build a nice setup capable of doing 50x work using a cheap digital microscope stand. Before this, I have had hard time shooting butterfly scales at high magnification and I was using horizontal setup. First problem is mounting the butterfly vertically, fiddling with specimen holder so that the butterfly is parallel with the objective’s front element, then moving camera back and forth to pre-focus it. Believe me, all of these sound easy to over come, but they are really not. After building the setup discussed here, it is a lot easy and here is one example of it:

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The above image was captured using this setup at 30x magnification  read 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…