Barrel macro photography

Discussion in 'General Airgun Chat' started by RobF, Jan 1, 2018.

  1. RobF

    RobF Administrator Staff Member

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    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.









     
    SteveC200 and cloverleaf like this.
  2. JamesO

    JamesO Active Member

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    If you take the picture looking straight down the barrel can you see James Bond?
     
    EV2UK, Neale M, Darron and 6 others like this.
  3. Rich3344

    Rich3344 Member

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    Depth of field seems to be the hard part... Lighting looks great though.

    I assume the rough and ready 'crown' is just to project the rifling a bit prior to proper machining?
     
  4. Deleted member 4175

    Deleted member 4175 Non member

    i used to use tubes and they did help loads with macro pictures
    i do sometimes regret getting rid of mine.
     
  5. Ceathreamhnan

    Ceathreamhnan WHFTA Champion 2013

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    Next to zero depth of field is your enemy with macro :(
     
  6. what barn door

    what barn door Now them tin chickens are going to get it....

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    Not sure what your on about with stacking but good photos IMHO, think teh crown needs a little fettle though!
     
  7. Deleted member 4175

    Deleted member 4175 Non member

    basically stacking is where you take multiple pictures with different focus points then merge the pictures together to give greater depth of field.
    probably a bit more commonly used in landscape photography etc.
     
  8. hmangphilly

    hmangphilly Floppy Quick Phil

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    Those shots are of an un machined blank ......that's how they come .

    they look ok to the eye but mag will show up the flaws .
    believe it or not Rob shot his steyr for a season with an unmachined crown like that , it's still on the gun as far as i know
     
  9. hmangphilly

    hmangphilly Floppy Quick Phil

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    Great pics Mate .

    Gonna have to get our machining up to scratch to withstand this level of scrutiny .
     
  10. Yorkshiretea

    Yorkshiretea B Grade Bandit

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    You can get good DOF if you take the F numbers up and play with the exposure, it’s not like you need that much anyway.

    I fear Rob may have started a new item to the list of Field Target Man Problems
     
  11. hmangphilly

    hmangphilly Floppy Quick Phil

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    Rob .

    can you mess with our heads even more with some close up shots of pellets before and after they've been through a barrel .

    oh , and please do a snap of the crown of the barrel on your steyr ......betcha it looks just like these ....


    Oh yeah need to see that shrapnel in the back of them dirty pellets too
     
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2018
  12. johnnyboy

    johnnyboy Active Member

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    Oh no I need more gear......
     
  13. nemesis

    nemesis 55yrd standing expert, or was it 8 or 9?

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    I can soon see a helicopter up for sale.:D
     
  14. RobF

    RobF Administrator Staff Member

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    We're at F16 already and going any higher makes the image less sharp due to diffusion. You need a lot for macro, sling the numbers into a DOF calculator ;)
     
  15. Yorkshiretea

    Yorkshiretea B Grade Bandit

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    Sure, I've been doing a lot of macro work (Tamron SP90) with very high F stops (20-64) on a gorilla with a remote, sometimes stacking afterwards, near and far seem to average at 2cm giving -0.04 cm but I've also just added some tubes which give even less but results are interesting, I'm getting close to needing something fully automated so I've pulled back a bit because of the £££ but it's something I love to get really into. Looking at my pictures, the average seem to be F20 Rob.

    This is F40
     
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2018
  16. RobF

    RobF Administrator Staff Member

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    Yeh, unfortunately I can't stand the softness, after 16 it just goes the wrong way... 32 is as far as I can go anyway, so i think we're into stacking if I need to go deeper.
     
  17. Yorkshiretea

    Yorkshiretea B Grade Bandit

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    That shouldn't be too hard, at least it's not going to move :) PS is pretty good at stacking as well. I think I may still have an old EV2 barrel somewhere so may give it a go.
     
  18. RobF

    RobF Administrator Staff Member

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    Tubes just landed on my desk. I'll see if I get some play time tonight, even just to see what their effect on magnifcation is.
     
  19. what barn door

    what barn door Now them tin chickens are going to get it....

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    Ahh thanks for that, clever.

    And I believe he gets pretty good results with it to, sometimes life just doesn't play fair. Thanks Phil.
     
  20. Yorkshiretea

    Yorkshiretea B Grade Bandit

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    They are pretty cool, I made the mistake of going outside with a 50mm one, handheld it was a nightmare but stick with it, it just takes more work and practice. I've just sent Andy a message, he's got 4 FTP900 barrels I could try this on. I think I'll just run a fibre optic up it with a torch at the other end.
     

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