Yesterday a blog post was published on FStoppers, Petapixel and DPreview with a link to a Youtube video with 10 tipps for macro beginners. The fact that 3 larger website published or mentioned the same article and video caught my attention.
At DPreview a complete republish of the originla article was posted, FStoppers only published a sort of summary and Petapixel posts the original article too. On blog posts about new cameras, lenses or leaks of it you have to trust your source or you have to take the official press release and this is ok too me. Because DPreview and Petapixel republished the original article or the Original author functed as a geust author the Original author is responsible for the content of the posted article. FStoppers just does a summary of the video and the article without any critical question to the content or the tipps given to macro beginners is highly questionable.
The advice of the author in tip 1 to get yourself a macro lens with arround 90-105mm focal length is very consequent sice all manufacturers are very close together in terms of image quality so you can’t do anything wrong. Talking about the price it is only a matter of getting the macro lens from the camera manufacturer or other feathers like an image stabalization system. But maybe it would have benn better to advice a complete beginner in close-upo and macro photograpyh to start with a high quality close-up lens like the Canon 500D and a medium telephoto zoom lens.
The advice to mount a lens with a reverse adapter on extension tubes is highly questionable. This is a method that works but you loose the connection to the camera body and this means you’ll loose the aparture control and focusing can be done at working aparture only. Therefor it is not recommend for mobile operations.
We’re still talking about top no. 1 and there is very crtical error. Almost every macro lens offers a magnification ratio of 1:1 and now the author states that this magnification ratio can be increased by using an APS-C or mFT camera. Obviously the author mixes reproduction scale and image section. A magnification ratio 1:1 is 1:1 regardless of the sensor size used for the capture.
And i doubt that the advice in tip No. 2 to start in warm weather with insects or butterflies is the right one for a beginner. In warm weather small insects and butterflies are so fast that a format filling shot of a butterfly with a 100mm Macro is pure luck. As starting point in close-up and macro photography my advice would be flowers or especially in this time of the year mushrooms are the choice for a beginner, because they don’t move and you coould try out your equipment.
In tip No. 3 the author recommends the use of a flashlight and in combination with tip No. 4 to use a diffusor this will lead to very nice close-up captures. But the recommendation to close down the aparture to at least will lead into difractions blurs. Of course spezialised macro lenses run into diffractions blurs at more closed apartures compared to a regular zoom lens but F16. And diffraction blur occurs earlier on a smaller sensor. If depth of field is not great enuogh to keep the subject in focus the solution might be stacking.
And even with a small sensor like a mFT camera you shouldn’t be scary about using higher ISO settings to compensate for low-light situations in close-up and macro photography.
I don’t knowe the author , but i would keep away from those kind of tips because they are not helpful and mislead a beginner.