Seeing as it's all the rage at the moment I thought I'd get the macro lens out and see what I could take with the DSLR camera I usually use out in the field. It's a bit geeky and probably a cure for insomnia (unless you've got a weird barrel fetish) but it's my last day off for a bit and it's horrid weather outside so I'm having a geek out. Firstly the camera kit. Using a canon EF 100mm f2.8 macro on a Canon 5dmk3 with a shutter release. The rest is mickey mouse, LED torches and the fibre optic cable Phil made an adaptor for to fit the Solitare LED torch. No flash. This is all finely balanced on a wobbly living room table. Images are shot in RAW, with significant highlight recovery & sharpening done in RAW post production, and some more final sharpening again in Photoshop. Images are cropped but not resized at all. First lesson learnt, vibration (and exposure to it) is the enemy. Shutter release is essential as is a firm base for the camera and subject. Using live view (if you have it) on the camera helps with the focus but it also helps you see just how much movement there is in your setup. So I'm now hunting for a good tripod that I can use with the subject on the floor. I need a setup I can pack away or use on rainy days so the concrete base floor of my living room where it's going to happen. If you don't have a shutter release, use the timer function on the camera, most have it. Allows everything to stop wobbling after you've pressed the shutter button. Mirror lockup helped with the vibration some more over shutter release. It's an option found on some DSLR cameras. The LED lighting I used was ok, but it was battery based, which as time went on meant they drained and eventually died. It also meant my lighting was gradually changing even when I left it alone... so at the very least I'm going to get some mains powered LED stuff, and I might splash on some photo quality lighting. The next trick was to find lighting that showed what I wanted to see and show. The fibre optic helped but it created it's own problems, and on review I'm likely to go back to where I started with the barrels angled and maybe not use the fibre optic at all. Will see next time. I've got some extension tubes for the lens that should allow me to focus closer, meaning the image will fill more of the camera's view. At the moment it's about 1/4 of the view meaning I'm losing lots of image to the background and not the subject. So shopping list is tripod & powered lighting. The subject is a Lothar Walther 16x600mm choked barrel, straight off the shelf, nothing done at all, just unwrapped. This is the crown end. (I think). Camera is set to F16. F8 I think is too shallow, and F32 diffuses the image too much. ISO 800 to try and reduce the time for vibration to make a difference. Once I get that sorted I'll drop the ISO so there's less noise. Long term I might look into stacking, but think we're a long way off that. Click on the images to see them full size.