Saturday, February 19, 2011

Super Macro

I'm a sucker for macro shots.

That might explain why I have a Canon 100mm f/2.8 Macro lens. And I do think it's a great lens over all and I do use it more than a little often, which justifies me buying the lens in the first place. But I felt the need for something dynamic again. I needed to get closer (macro wise) while keeping something more than just dust in my wallet. Thankfully, I found a macro coupler from the web and purchased it.

The macro coupler's concept is simple: It's a ring that has both male threads on both sides, and you screw it on where the filter or on top of the filter, and you do the same with the lens you're coupling it with. If done right, the two lenses should be facing each other.


That whole description just sounds like a damn manual of some sort. So here's a photo of what the "ingredients" are.

From the left, it's the 100mm Macro, the 58mm-to-58mm coupler, and my 50mm. Both lenses have 58mm threads. Although, wider lenses than the 50mm is normally used, but I didn't have any other lenses at my disposal. And once both lenses are mounted, it looks something like this.

You can see the 50mm is now upside down, hence, both lenses are facing each other. What this does to your photos.. well, it pretty much adds macro on reverse macro. The effect is quite insane, if I say so myself.

The first thing you'll notice is the depth of field. I get maybe a millimeter or two so I have to be careful with the focusing, which should be done on manual like most macro shots anyway. But this time, with the two lenses attached, you don't want to break the focusing motor if it is external focus. The magnification also defers on the combination of the lenses being coupled as well. Earlier this post, I vaguely mentioned staying on budget. Most of the couplers you come across on the web are $7-9. The price of the coupler is definitely a tempting feature. I also realized, how dusty my Canon gear has become. Since I don't use them as much compare to my other gears, they've been collecting more dust lately. As proof, you'll notice there are bunch of dust on my lenses and as well as in the super macro shots if you look closely. I should discipline myself to not only take care of the gears I'm using, but also the ones I'm not using from time to time.

Oh right, the subjects of the 3 shots above are as follows: 1) Parsley flakes, 2) Tooth brush 3) iPhone headphone speakers.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Weapon Film of Choice: XP2

I came across XP2 while I was on a search for something like B/W not long after I got my XG-A , but honestly didn't have the luxury of time or the equipment to process it on my own. And XP2 is just that. It's like B/W since it's still a C-41 type film. While it's not true B/W film, it gives me the luxury of convenience of time as I can simply drop it off at a near by photo-finishing lab. There is still a part of me that wants to shoot true B/W, but that part is just gonna have to wait and take what's available in the mean time.

I originally wanted to just shoot B/W because I thought I wouldn't have to worry about white balance since I do shoot a consider amount of photos indoors, which is covered in tungsten lighting. Yes, I'm that lazy. Against my originally path of being lazy however, it forced me to do some research on the whole B/W film topic and ended up making the choice of trying out some different rolls here and there and eventually came across Ilford XP2. Afterwards it forced me to go outside and take more shots than I would normally have. It was a dynamic situation since I was trying out something new. A good unintentional transition, I thought.

I have scanned some of the shots that I took (and they were printed on colour paper), so bare with me here as they aren't anything too special.

Prior to the XP2, I used the Kodak version of C-41 B/W, CN400, and when I looked at the results of both rolls, I was convinced that XP2 should be the one I'll be keep investing into instead of the Kodak.

The reasoning behind it was simple. XP2 is purple based. More neutral coloured closer to the actual B/W. Kodak on the other hand, I was looking at more orange, colour base negative. Now that I think about it, I think I liked the idea of just being closer to true B/W but now I think I made the right choice.

I will continue to shoot with XP2 as my main choice of film. I'm sure I'll make the leap to true B/W sooner or later, but until the time comes, I would like to stay static for a while, in a realm of good ol' XP2.