High Res Macro Digital Camera Shots

Discussion in 'General Electronics Chat' started by Wendy, May 30, 2010.

  1. Wendy

    Thread Starter Moderator

    Mar 24, 2008
    OK, on this thread page tracecom posted some really nice images. The second is actually much better than the one I am displaying, it was much higher res. I shrunk it to fit the page, here is what I'm talking about...


    I asked him how he did this, and he gave a complete answer. Unfortunately for me photography is not my strong suit.

    I have a Kodak Easy Share DX4330. It has a macro feature, which will let me do close ups, but nothing as good as what is shown.

    Doing a Google search for extra lenses I found several. Would this do it?


    Amazon has a bad habit of truncating explanations, and clicking on the link only brings up a new page.
  2. SgtWookie


    Jul 17, 2007
    I dunno Bill, it seemed to work for me - perhaps your browser is truncating the page?

    Try looking at this page:
    Same vendor, same product, different website.

    It looks like it might do what you want it to, but $40 is mighty cheap for a set of lenses/filters. I wouldn't expect them to be particularly great quality. They should be OK for stuff to post on here though.
  3. Wendy

    Thread Starter Moderator

    Mar 24, 2008
    I may be misunderstanding you, but if you look at the second image by itself it as been shrunk to fit the page, you can't do this if you want to display the image as part of the post. The original image was 1,840px × 1,051px, I brought it down to 864px × 493px to make it fit the thread page.

    This is not a complaint, this is the kind of problem I like.

    The link you show is the same product at the same price. I'm just wondering if it will get similar results.

    He mentioned using a Carl Zeiss lens and a macro (closeup) setting. My Kodak has the macro, I'm looking for the lense. Pictures with this kind of resolution would be very nice.

    I am thinking strongly of buying one. Near as I can tell it is what I want.
  4. SgtWookie


    Jul 17, 2007
    Zeiss lenses are wonderful. They are also expensive.

    Don't expect your results with the cheap kit to be as nice as the Zeiss-assisted photos. However, it might be hard for you and I to tell them apart, as our eyesight isn't what it used to be.

    Senior Member

    May 26, 2009
    Depending on your camera, you might be able to get a macro lens and affix it to your camera.
  6. Markd77

    Senior Member

    Sep 7, 2009
    A method that might help with point and shoot cameras is to put it on a tripod and use the self timer to take the shot. A problem with point and shoot cameras is that there tends to be a delay between focusing and taking the shot so if the camera moves it will be out of focus, regardless of any camera shake.
    I use a DSLR myself and use extension rings or a bellows for macro shots but that isn't what everyone wants to spend their money on.
    The shield bugs are about 10mm long to give an idea of scale and I can go closer than that.
  7. tracecom

    AAC Fanatic!

    Apr 16, 2010

    I don't know much about your camera, but the specs say that on macro it will already focus down to 7 cm. That's pretty close. Before you buy anything, I would suggest you make sure you are getting all out of the camera.

    Your camera has an optical zoom and a digital zoom. If possible, turn the digital zoom off. If you can't turn it off, try to avoid using it; all digital zoom does is crop some of the pixels off and effectively reduce the resolution of your camera.

    You probably have to turn the macro feature on and off. Make sure it's on when you are taking small object close ups, but turn it off for general photos.

    My camera will still zoom while using the macro feature. Sometimes it's good to be able to physically back away from your subject (to allow as much light in as possible) while using the optical zoom to fill the frame. Using the zoom also increase the depth of field, which is good for table top photography.

    If your camera has a manual mode, try that. To set the focus, measure the distance from the camera to the subject and set the focus for that distance. To set the exposure, choose the highest number available (i.e. F16, F32, etc.) but be aware that the higher the F stop, the longer the exposure and therefore the more risk there is of camera shake while the lens is open.

    With all cameras, but especially an automatic focus camera, having plenty of light is critical to sharp images. Try to supply as much light as possible without using the flash. More light will cause the aperture to stop down, which increases your depth of field, which increases the overall sharpness of your images.

    As someone has already suggested, try using a tripod and the timer shutter release to avoid camera shake.

    As to the adapters you linked to, I don't think you need macro adapters until and unless you prove that your camera won't focus close enough for your purposes.

    My Sony isn't all that great a camera. It does have some nice features and a good lens for a relatively inexpensive camera, but in the end, it's as much technique as it is the camera. I have been taking photos of small parts for catalogs for a long time (since waaay before digital cameras). That being said, it's not that hard to do if you follow the tips above and see what works for you. The great thing is that you can have immediate feedback and avoid the hassle and expense of film.
  8. someonesdad

    Senior Member

    Jul 7, 2009
    Assuming you're interested in photos of things like circuit boards and other "still life" that you can arrange, I'd suggest you forget spending money on more camera or lenses until you know you need them because of measurements you've made. One of the "secrets" to macro photography is light, light, and more light. The more light you have, the shorter the shutter speeds and the more you can stop down the lens. The stopping down is important to good depth of field. If you stop down, you increase the shutter speed, so holding the camera without vibration becomes more important (i.e., use a tripod). You like tracecom's image you posted because it's well-lit and the interesting stuff is in focus. Not much more to it, actually.

    With most cameras, getting good lighting means turning the camera's flash off. Most flashes suck for closeup work, especially on the smaller digital cameras. Besides, the flash is too close to the lens axis and is too harsh. If you just have to use a flash, get it from one or two auxiliary flashes off the camera (and use an umbrella or other diffuser or bounce it off the ceiling or walls).

    With the ability of digital cameras to let you do color balancing, you can use regular incandescent lights for lighting without the effort you needed for film. You can get cheap aluminum reflectors that clamp onto things to hold them in place. Or make your own setups. Also use diffusers (frosted glass, frosted drawing Mylar, an old sheet, all kinds of things) and reflectors (I like that 1/4" white foam construction board) to put light where you want it. Years ago when my oldest daughter got married, I made a cheap reflector by taking one of those circular fold-up sun blockers and spraying it with gold paint -- it made a great "warm" reflector and my wife and I got one of our best photography shots ever with it.

    When I need a quickie macro shot, I step outside my door onto our north-facing deck and put the object on a table, usually on a long chunk of white plastic sheet that I hang from the wall; it curls down and then sits horizontally on the table and the curving means there's no distracting background (here's a similar setup -- but the pictures on the web page would be even better if the guy had used one or two lights with diffusers or reflectors for the shot in the sun). The deck has a 4' by 12' chunk of diffusing sun shade over it, so I get good, even, diffuse illumination with no color cast. Works well even on cloudy days (you'll find you can get some of your best shots outdoors on cloudy days because of the diffuse illumination). The wife found the plastic sheet for a buck at the local thrift store (it was some pad someone put on the ground to do aerobics on).

    Spend your effort learning about lighting, lights, diffusers, reflectors, light boxes, light tents, etc. (lots of good references on the web and at the library). Learn how to make your lighting diffuse -- harsh lighting can create harsh shadows. It will pay off far more handsomely than a camera or lens investment. Later, you may add to your camera/lens inventory -- but you'll know why you want that new equipment and exactly how you'll benefit from it.
  9. retched

    AAC Fanatic!

    Dec 5, 2009
    I use a desk lamp with a 5 inch magnifier in it, and for the bulb, I replaced the standard super HOT incandescent with a CFL 100w equivalent that is "sunlight matched"

    I use this as my desk studio light and I take a piece of non-lined paper..basically printer paper.. over the bottom of the light. This helps with diffusing the light.

    I use the macro-mode with digital zoom turned OFF and flash turned off.

    The auto mode does pretty good hand held, but if you want a deeper depth of field, a tripod is super helpful. In your Aperture Priority mode (usually marked as "A") allows you to set the aperture, therefore the depth of field, and the camera will select the proper shutter speed for proper exposure.

    As mentioned earlier, using the self-timer will keep your images sharper by removing the "camera shake" while pressing the shutter button.

    Many point and shoot cameras used to make the wrist strap the proper length for your macro distance.

    So, if you use your wrist strap as a gauge, you can tell the closest you can get to the subject. I dont know if this is still used with digital cameras. You can see the image on the camera so you know if you are out of focus.

    Here is a shot using my desk setup..The photo may look familar to some of you.

    You can see I use a fast aperture, hence the shallow depth of field. Part of my thumb is out of focus with only the subject in focus. If I wanted everything in focus, I would have had to shrink the aperture (larger aperture number, smaller the aperture) which reduces the amount of light that can hit the cameras image sensor thereby requiring a longer shutter time.

    This is SHARP. You can see the little specks of dirt on my pants and the grooves in my fingernails. You can also see where the "employee" who ground the resistor accidentually touched the POT pins leaving small scratches.

    The camera is a Sanyo Xacti DUAL. HD Video and 10MP still camera.