Friday, March 6, 2009

Macro - it's not all about magnification!

Since adding the MP-E65 into my arsenal, I've been pampered with the flexibility of going from 1x to 5x at just a twist of the barrel. How sweet is that?

Let's face it, most viewers are into magnification more than anything else. As long as the subject is huge in the frame, in-your-face, they'll be wowed, regardless if the image was properly composed, exposed etc.

My all time highest viewed image on my Flickr is this jumper. No prize for guessing it was shot with the MP-E65

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I do like that one, but there are many more smaller than life-size images that I adore too. In fact, most of the macro shots I like are those with less than 1X magnification.

A beautiful butterfly, shot with my Tamron SP90. I miss that lens.
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A female Gee Wee (Lordmint's abbreviation for giraffe weevil :D).
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A giant tropical ant (Camponotus Gigas) being attacked by a phoridae (parasitoid fly). For more info, click here.
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A hoverfly perching on a stem

A lovely looking yellow ladybird
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Another lovely ladybird. If it looks familiar to you, it's because it's on some Rapid Buses, LRT and monorail :)
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Why am I showing you these? I am telling you macro needs not to be all about magnification, although it can be used as another compositional tool. So pick up your 1X macro lens and go shoot something now!

All macro images shot with a 40D, Canon MP-E65 1X-5X Macro Lens and Canon MT-24EX Twin Flash

It is always good to take full body shots of your macro subjects and perhaps shows a bit of the environment as well, before zooming in for higher magnification shots. It is all about balance!

Of course, I can totally understand that when you get really comfortable with 1:1, you will want to go into higher magnification. In that case, check out options like Extension tubes, diopter lens like the Raynox DCR250, reversing ring, DMF Supermacro, Novoflex EOS Retro Reverse Adapter etc.


  1. Lol I love 1:1 shots or even lesser than 1:1. Magnification is over rated! :P

  2. Thanks for the comment, Nick :). Magnification is good to have though...coz some bugs are just not big enough:D. Besides, most viewers are easily wow'ed by high mag shots :)

  3. Nice sets of macro man... :)

  4. MPE gives the opportunity for you to bring up the bugs size up to a comfortable size for you to compose without having you to swap lenses or stack closeup filters. :D

    But of course, sometimes, it's fun to shoot those "in-your-face" shots @ 3:1 or even 5:1! :P

  5. Thanks for the comment, LM:). That's the pros, and we seem to see some nice rare big bugs when the MPE is on the body:D

    Love the in-your-face shots.

  6. *mors* OM... these were shot minus a flash?

  7. Hi Bunny...all these were shot with full flash :D

  8. this is great stuff man. Especially for newbies like me

  9. Thanks for the visit and comment, Izso!



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