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New Tamron Macro

It's been a while since I've even been near a computer, much less got to do a blog post.  We put new flooring down at home and I had to move everything out of the house for a few days, then work up the nerve to move it back in.  I'm still tired...

I did get my hands on the newest Tamron 90mm Macro lens.  I got a quick second to try it out yesterday evening.

This thing is sharp!  Every macro lens I've gotten from Tamron has been incredibly sharp.  This one is no exception.  

I shot this coneflower image with my Sony A7R II and Metabones Adapter.  The Metabones doesn't allow me to control the electronic aperture of this Canon mount lens, which pretty much means I have to shoot wide open, at F/2.8.  I was ok with that for this image, because I wanted the background to disappear anyways.

I mentioned I took this really quickly yesterday evening.  Maybe next time I'll have time to wait on the bumble bee or ladybug to show up. :)

Sony A7R II, Metabones Adapter, Tamron 90mm Macro, Sirui W-2004 and K-20 Ballhead

Aperture Priority, F/2.8, 1/80th second, ISO 100

 

Showy Orchis

While in The Great Smoky Mountains last month, we were on the lookout for various wildflowers in the area.  One of my favorites is The Showy Orchis.  According to the US Forrest Service website, the showy orchis only gets between 4-8 inches tall.  The showy orchis also has to maintain a relationship with a certain type of fungi in order to grow.  They also prefer moist soil, like somewhere near streams...The Great Smoky Mountains is a prime spot for them.

Here's an image a I made using my Sony A7R II, Metabones Lens Adapter and Tamron 90mm Macro Lens.  I shot this in Aperture Priority at F/4.  I wanted a very shallow depth of field so the background would fall off quickly.  Macro photography is much easier with a tripod.  I used my Sirui W-2204 and K-20 Ballhead for this image.

Here's all the EXIF info:  Aperture Priority, F/4, ISO 100, 1/50th second, 90mm, Exposure Compensation 0. 

Pink Lady Slippers

I returned home yesterday from our Spring workshop in The Great Smoky Mountains.  We had such an incredible group!  From the images I saw when working with some of them on processing, they got incredible shots, too!  I'm already looking forward to next year's workshop!

One area of focus when we visit the smokies in the spring is always the wildflowers.  There are so many lovely wildflowers there, but the "holy grail" of those is always The Pink Lady Slippers.  We've been fortunate enough to find a fairly large group of them the last few years and everyone has gotten great images of them.  This year was no exception.

Here's an image I took with the Tamron 90mm Macro Lens.  We counted over a hundred of these flowers in this area.  They usually grow in bunches, or groups of 4 or 5 in one spot, but I like singling one out when making images of them.  When photographing with a macro lens your depth of field is very shallow.  This usually results in you having to stop down your aperture in order to get everything you want in focus...and sometimes that isn't even enough!  However, this time I went with an aperture of F/2.8 because I wanted to make sure the background was a total blur.

Sony A7R II, Metabones Lens Adapter, Tamron 90mm Macro Lens, SIrui W-2004 Tripod and G-20 Ballhead.

 

Another Daisy Macro

Here's another macro shot of the same daisy as yesterday.  This time without a "dew drop" and in color.

ISO 400, 90mm, F/16 @ 0.8 seonds

Nothing real fancy here.  I did add an extension tube to my setup this time, however.  I sometimes add an extension tube to my macro lens just to give me a ratio that is greater than 1:1, or bigger than life size.  Extension tubes merely let your camera focus closer to your subject by moving the lens further away from the sensor.  Some people add extension tubes to regular lenses to give them a "poor man's" macro lens.  I use mine on a dedicated macro lens just to be able to get closer to my subject and allow it to look bigger.  

This image was made with my Sony A7R II, Metabones Adapter, Canon EF25 II Extension Tube and Tamron 90mm Macro Lens.  All held up by the Sirui W-2204 Tripod and K-20 Ballhead.

SAHM

SAHM, that's what my wife calls herself, a Stay At Home Mom.  SAHM, that's what I call Stay At Home Macro.

From time to time I will purchase some flowers, my wife thinks they are for her, but no, they are for my SAHM.  See what I did there? ;)

I setup the flowers in a vase on the dining room table next to a window.  I will use the available window light and if I need more, I will use one of the little LED lights that are designed for on camera video lights.  They work great for adding a little light to a macro subject.  In this case, a daisy.

ISO 400, 90mm, F/16 @ 1/4 second

Hover over the image to see the camera settings used.  Click the image to view it larger.

The angle of light plays a very important role in the final image.  Holding it an angle that will accentuate details you want is important, especially if you plan to process the image as a black & white, as I have here.

Another tip...Glycerin.  If you mix a 50/50 water glycerin mix you will have a liquid that will not evaporate.  For the most part, it will stay where you put it, too.  This single drop remained here during and after my entire shooting session.

This image was made with my Sony A7R II, Metabones Adapter and Tamron 90mm Macro Lens.  This setup was mounted on my Sirui W-2204 Tripos and K-20 Ballhead.  THe image was process in Lightroom and converted to black & white using On1 Perfect B&W.

Gibbs Gardens

Last Thursday was our workshop at GIbbs Gardens in Ball Ground, GA.  We had a  fantastic group of photographers!  The waterlilies were amazing!  I was on the hunt for a frog, though.  Maybe one by a waterlily...maybe.  One lady in our group, whom her husband says was blind, was the first one to spot the hidden frogs.  Once I learned of her skill, I followed her around until I got my frog shot.

ISO 100, 600mm , F/11 @ 1/80th second

I was using my trusty Tamron 150-600mm Lens to pull these waterlilies in close.  Well, waterlilies and frogs, too.  I also had my Sirui beast tripod, the R-5214X.  That thing could hold 40 of those lenses and not miss a beat.

I shot this at my camera's lowest native ISO of 100.   I also shot this on the longest end of my lens at 600mm.  Depth of field is a lot more shallow on longer focal length lenses, so I went with F/11.  You can see what I mean by looking at the waterlily right behind the frog.  It is out of focus.  These settings yielded a shutter speed of 1/80th second. I know that seems like a slow shutter speed for 600mm, but I was on a very sturdy tripod and my subject wasn't moving.  Those two factors allowed me to pull this off and still have a sharp image.  

Oh yeah....rib-bit!