Transition from Macro to Microphotography


Beyond Macro Photography: Into the Microscopic World


Lesson Info

Transition from Macro to Microphotography

An area photographer where you can just walk into the camera store and say, hey, you know, I want to take some pictures at ten x and twenty x twenty times life sized, you can't do that, you have to they're going to look at you and not not not even know what to our few typically, okay, but there is a transition zone, and I like to talk about this sort of transition because what I'm going to talk about primarily today now are the microscope optics, and I say objectives and objective not as a goal lands of microscope blinds is typically called an objective, so hear me say, microscope objective it's not like my objective is to get a microscope. We're talking about the landis themselves, but I want to go over them and we will go over them in detail because there's thousands, thousands, thousands. You know, I remember a conversation I had with someone. I'm going to get myself a night content x because I want to do pictures like you have, you know, I said well, and at the time, I look just ou...

t of curiosity had a little spare time, and I just went through nikon, just nikon looked at their catalogues, industrial microscopes, the biological microscopes, I think they were, like, seventy ten x microscope objectives that you could choose him and that's just the current thing two years ago, three years ago they had another one and then there's like in his ice and then there's olympus you know, so it's, if you're starting out with this the microscope objectives themselves the lenses are a little bit cryptic because they're not they're not marked in the usual way that we see out of out of that seventy for example that was in that current nikon catalog of the year to ago there are maybe only two or three that would be good for maybe more for a tabletop set up now you get into heavy duty microscopes biological microscope industrial max they all have a specific purpose. They will have a reason for existence but they're all they're all a little bit different and I won't try to come up with a percentage but many, many, many people that get involved this wind up buying a couple of paper weights before they get an optic that they can use. Okay, in other words, they get it. Hey, I just got this and I say, well, yeah, you know, you're working distances, you know, point two millimeters good luck with that lighting, lighting something with that so we're goingto, uh we're going to talk a little bit about that transition here thea macro lenses again I say they focused tickly under point five or half life sized toe life size between just touch upon some of the methods that we use between one action five x because this is sort of the transition zone if our macro lens ends at one and I really wantto the thrust of this course is really to talk about five exit up would say, well, how what how do I work in between? Well well, look there's a there's a there's a few options and we're going to go over those briefly couple things t understand as you're magnification increases as we get into the microscopic world uh the difficulty that you cannot close to retire to the shallow depth of field vibration they increase exponentially it's we're going to look at some of this and it's just it's almost friday if you look at it, you think how how can I how can I even possibly do this? The optics, the optics we want to use are going to be different then you're familiar with so we're going to talk about that digital has allowed us now to use focus stacking techniques and that this is the key I don't think there's one picture you're going to see today of mine that has not had focused stacking don't do it this is where we'll get into this and we'll actually have a demo where we take a series of pictures and combined them to get effectively increased depth of field at a certain point the tabletop set ups the stacking rigs the focus can't really cut it and you need to go to aa full fledged microscope that has a lot more precision a lot more control and you know we'll get into that first let's get some sort of the sort of basics at away I keep saying one x five x ten next twenty six and that really realize that could be a little bit ambiguous so this next slide and this is something you're gonna want to do and have is uh get a ruler uh that's graduated millimeters okay you know what your camera's going to be my camera is a cannon I used the psc eh colette absence see sensor size and there's a reason why choose that sensor size and we'll talk about that but the first thing I do now here I set up one of my magnification and I took a picture of the ruler and I've got one through three four five six about six and a half millimeters that's how big the field is left to right there taking a picture of knowing that having a ruling we can now come up with what's my mat you say well what's my magnification I got this funky set up here I did what you did and I have no idea what my magnification okay, this is a white red ical that I photographed on a black background with the set up and I've got one, two, three, four about four and a half millimeters in the picture so not a lot of formulas relationships you need to know but magnification is important so it's it's field size over object size when we're working this way you can think of the recorded with over the sensor with so I recorded a field four point four six I fudged because they know what the answer had to be but it's four point four six divided by twenty two point three which is my sensor size my sensor measures twenty two point three millimeters left to right cannon senses are pads smaller. The psc centers are a tad small the nikon pentax and sony and the other so you thought you can find out easily what it is. So I took this picture at a magnification of five x okay and uh in that space in between between one x five x there are right ways that you can accomplish that without going into the microscope objectives. And actually I recommend not considering the microscope objectives until you get above five x so we have supplementary close up lens is thies air things thes air things where there's a lot of information out there and you've probably seen it and maybe maybe even used them all they get you into that area between where your macro lens off and we might want to start looking at some of these other techniques stacked lenses, reverse mounted lenses and a really spiffy leads the cannon makes which is a one to five when extra five x macro lens okay this's kind of unique can it could be an audience to you sometimes but let's take a look real quick here the supplementary close up lenses they fit on the front of your lens here we have ah reinach switches my khan used to make him everybody kind of made these and then for some reason my khan doesn't make him any more but there's a company called ray knocks in japan this is ray knocks one fifty it's about a two hundred millimeter lens you put it on the front and it allows you to focus closer. So here it is on my on my two hundred millimeter macro and which normally ends up at one times life size but this was going to take me down maybe to about one and a half one of three quarters so it just increases the range the other another method would be stacked lenses. Now this looks really bizarre this is a uh fifty to two hundred millimeter fifty five to twenty millimeter kit lens for my nikon and in front of that I've reversed method of older fifty millimeter nikon lens and it's, actually quite easy to do. All you need is something like this. This is a lens coupling ring. This has a fifty two millimeter thread on each side. Screw it on the lens, screw the other lands on backwards and this is, in effect, a very high powered, supplementary close up lens, but you want to use the aperture, so you have to keep in mind with a lot of not a lot some cat cannon lenses he f lines is a lot of the new nikon lenses. You no longer have emanuel aperture control on the front and that's where you want to control the appetite. So this is a technique you use. It works well, but it has its advantages and disadvantages. Now the other is reversing the lands and just putting it on. Um, extension tube's. Very economical way. I've gotta revert. Lance reversal ring on a set of chinese inexpensive chinese extension tube's eight bucks with extension tube's, maybe ten bucks for the reversing ring. The lens I already had. And I'm kind of in business by varying the extension tube amount. I can change the magnification, okay? And this last method, I'm going to show you here, not the show, I'll show you the cannon isn't the method I I tend to use in that interim space between one x and five x and this is the bellows and I use enlarging lenses reversed mounted enlarging lands they madam in reverse because that keeps the optical parameters close to where the designer intended here you see an eighty millimeter on the fellows lower left is a sixty three millimeter nikon and the lower right is a forty millimeter april competent hmm very good lenses and this is what I use and this was what fills the gap now for me on dh fifty five the cannon lens I referred to um it's more of an outdoor lindstrom field lines obviously some of these things I don't wantto bellows of things I'm not interested in having them out in the field the canyonlands no problem. So what type of images you're going to get in this in this interim range here between one exit five x what? You're going to get shots like this? Yeah, you have ah, honeybee on the right um um image on the left and again these are beyond the macro lens but not quite where I'm going dig up the real high magnification america work this is ah water boatman is it's kind of let it to look a little bit like darth vader you know, so uh fascinating I think grasshopper wing this has done with that eighty millimeter lens on the bellows as I showed you earlier this is a yellow jacket um done with a thirty five millimeter lands on a bellows okay, uh jewel beetle I loved I loved the jewel beetles they said I like the structural color um and lastly, sort of the range on the left we have another jewel beetle on the right we have the interior of a flower and that this is sort of in that range of one to five but these could be anything you really don't know how big this subject is, so I'm going to give you a the penny you see here is photographed with with a one to one macro lens on an a p s c sized sensor the boxes that you see the red box the blue box in the green box indicate the red box indicates a five x magnification the blue box indicates ten x on the the green box indicates a twenty acts so just to give you some sort of an idea everybody has a sense of how big a penny is. Okay, so we have five x right ten x that's the year two thousand we have a twenty x and I took it even one step further. Uh this is a fifty x that's just the lower edge of the two I'm going to go forward here. This is that penny again if you looked at just the lower left corner of the two that's what we have there

Class Description

Photomicrography (photography through a microscope) and photomacrography (using a hybrid combination of microscope optics and conventional camera equipment), opens up vast new areas for exploration. Learn about the tools and techniques essential for exploring these fascinating approaches in Beyond Macro Photography: Into the Microscopic World with Charles Krebs.

In this class, you’ll learn about the most common equipment and techniques used in photomicrography and photomacrography and the difficulties photographers face when shooting such technically challenging images.

Charles will discuss the imaging characteristics and complications that arise while working at high magnifications and he’ll offer solutions for dealing with diffraction effects, severely limited depth-of-field, and vibration problems.

The world around us filled with fascinating subjects too small to seen with the unaided eye. Macro photography provides a peek into this world, but to fully appreciate many smaller subjects it is necessary to experiment with specialized techniques – find out how it is done in Beyond Macro Photography: Into the Microscopic World with Charles Krebs.


a Creativelive Student

Like the other reviewers I enjoyed this class but would like a very in-depth part 2. He just mention lighting, a ping pong ball and a white dome. I'd like to learn how those are used. Where do you get the dome, what material is it, etc. I'd also like to learn about his specimens. While he mentions what they are, how do you use the water from your bird bath? Does it go on a slide? Please do a part 2. Thanks!


I found this course very interesting. I, like other reviewers, would have enjoyed a longer presentation with more hands on instruction. I'd like something that goes from A-Z, everything from acquiring your subjects (Are they purchased, caught, frozen, pinned, etc) to the photographing of the subject (lighting, etc.), to the end result. The focus stacking was the most hands on portion while other sections were just informative. I really enjoyed the class and Mr. Krebs knows his stuff but I would pay to have another more in depth and hands-on kind of class with Mr. Krebs,