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 Post subject: Makro Photography Tips
Unread postPosted: Thu Nov 02, 2006 5:27 am 
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Virtual Ranger
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It's been ages since I had time to write an article so I think I'll break back in with something not-to-technical.

Photographing the little things in the SANParks is a unique challenge, mainly due to being vehicle bound. Getting up close and personal can be next to impossible, and often a telephoto is needed for that "macro" shot rather than a 1:1 macro lens (in which case it isn't really a true macro ;) ).

This is one of the few times when it also pays for the photographer to be the vehicle driver. There's nothing more frustrating for an innocent non-photog driver than having the passenger behaving like a back seat driver. Trying to get the car into the perfect position to photograph a dung beetle before it scuttles off into the grass when you can't actually see it is near impossible. Not to mention the high fatality risk for the dung beetle.

Back to the lenses for another rule turned on it's head. I have a pretty horrible Sigma 70-300mm lens, which doubles up as a "macro" lens from 200mm-300mm. Horrible it may be, but it's perfect in such situations. Imagine a hot sand road in KNP with loads of little butterflies flitting about it, mercilessly teasing the carbound photographer. Instead of breaking the rules (tempting as this may be) and ending up in a lions belly, the telephoto lens allows you to rest your camera on a support on the window sill and capture the tricksy little lepidoptera's image before it realises what has happened.

Good support is essential for these types of shots - and I don't mean from other humans sharing your vehicle, although that is helpful too. Some people swear by beanbags, others by window tripods. I've not tried one of the beanbags with a tripod screw yet, but do find that homemade ones are very effective. If you are on a tight budget and don't have any of these luxuries, grabbing a pillow from your tent before heading out in the morning can save you much heartache and nab you a crisp shot of a tortoise eye just before it retreats back into it's shell.

Happy shooting!

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Unread postPosted: Thu Nov 02, 2006 12:47 pm 
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Senior Virtual Ranger
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Nice article Meg .

I have the sigma 70-300 with the semi macro facility also .
However I took the normal 1 back after rubbish clarity , and traded it in for the apo version for R800 more , what a difference .
Its still slowish and noisy , but makes pretty nice macro shots , and I would consider it an ideal "jack of all trades , master of none" lens .

Great for bush walks etc .


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Unread postPosted: Thu Nov 02, 2006 1:22 pm 
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Location: Red sand, why do I keep thinking of red sand?
Maybe a nice thing to consider, especially for walks: the Canon 500D (not the EOS 500D, that's a future camera).

This is a close-up lens which you screw onto your favorite lens, just like an UV-filter. A closeup filter basically brings down the minimum focus distance of a lens. You can buy it in several sizes, mine is a 77mm to fit the 100-400, and I can focus to something like 40cm from the front of my lens.

It does not cost you any stops, and Nikonians: It will fit your lens as well!
And the nicest thing is of course that you can run around with your normal lens and take all your normal photo's. Than you see something you want to shoot from real close, just take the lens out, screw it on, and ready! No chance of dust getting on your sensor at all! And it weighs only little bit.

A nice link. (The 500D coupled to a Nikon 70-200 VR.)

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Unread postPosted: Fri Nov 03, 2006 10:34 am 
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Virtual Ranger
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Fantastic tip, DQ! :thumbs_up:

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Unread postPosted: Sat Nov 04, 2006 6:52 am 
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That's really interesting DQ, I'm going to see if I can find a sample to try out in one of the camera shops around here, thanks.

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Unread postPosted: Sat Nov 04, 2006 5:36 pm 
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Seems they have stopped making it! Anyone day of any stocks anywhere?

Richard


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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Sat Nov 04, 2006 8:50 pm 
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I would still prefer to use a dedicated Macro lens ie Tamron 90mm or the new Nikon 105 micro

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Unread postPosted: Sun Nov 05, 2006 4:39 am 
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Hi Boulder,

I agree completely - I think we were all refering more to times when you're trapped in the drivers seat of your car and can't get close enough to use one.

BTW, I see you're on the Sunshine Coast - I assume you mean of QLD? Maybe one day we'll have enough people here to give the Dutchies a run for their money and have a mini-meet here 8)

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Unread postPosted: Sun Nov 05, 2006 7:23 am 
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Hi Meg,

No I'm actually on the East Cape coast here in the Windy City, but who knows my kids are probably going to grow up somewhere there???? You must be an ex S African who moved??
I love good lenses and i feel that the less you put on the end the better.

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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Sun Nov 05, 2006 12:45 pm 
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Meg wrote:


BTW, I see you're on the Sunshine Coast - I assume you mean of QLD? Maybe one day we'll have enough people here to give the Dutchies a run for their money and have a mini-meet here 8)


Why not invite us all over to your place Meg :wink:

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Unread postPosted: Mon Nov 06, 2006 12:04 am 
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Thanks for the link DQ -- very interesting

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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Thu Nov 09, 2006 5:36 am 
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Virtual Ranger
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bert wrote:
Meg wrote:


BTW, I see you're on the Sunshine Coast - I assume you mean of QLD? Maybe one day we'll have enough people here to give the Dutchies a run for their money and have a mini-meet here 8)


Why not invite us all over to your place Meg :wink:


Consider yourselves invited! All of you :lol: :lol:

@Boulder, yes, I'm a Lowvelder living in Aussieland. Sorry for the confusion - the Sunshine Coast is north of us (Brisbane) and the Gold Coast south of us.

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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Fri Nov 10, 2006 8:32 am 
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Meg wrote:
@Boulder, yes, I'm a Lowvelder living in Aussieland. Sorry for the confusion - the Sunshine Coast is north of us (Brisbane) and the Gold Coast south of us.


Oh is that why you disappeared off the forum. You relocated from the UK to Aussie ...
That explains it.

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KNP Spokesman

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Unread postPosted: Sun Nov 12, 2006 10:45 am 
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Hi KNPS,

Yes, had a baby and moved - again. It's a fun and busy life, but someone's gotta live it :wink:

I was just thinking the other day that it's a shame you and Danie aren't on the forums as much as you used to be, it was great having a sort of window on the day to day life in the Park. I hope you've had a good year!

Your sig is intriguing btw - can't wait to check out Orpen on our next visit home.

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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Sun Nov 12, 2006 12:24 pm 
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Meg wrote:
Hi KNPS, <...> it's a shame you and Danie aren't on the forums as much as you used to be<...>

G'day mate! :wink:
As for Danie, Meg, you have a point, but then again he's probably doing what he's supposed to during the day... it's something called "w**k"
But you can't be serious about KNPSM... the guy has been having a serious go at Laine's Award for quite some time now!! :lol: :twisted:


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