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Author Topic: sony macro lens  (Read 7051 times)
mattpallante
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« on: December 05, 2008, 03:31:42 PM »
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Does anyone have the Sony sal-100m28 macro lens? I'm looking for a macro/portrait for my a900. Thanks for any comments/advice.

                     Matt
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douglasf13
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« Reply #1 on: December 05, 2008, 06:08:28 PM »
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Quote from: mattpallante
Does anyone have the Sony sal-100m28 macro lens? I'm looking for a macro/portrait for my a900. Thanks for any comments/advice.

                     Matt

  I don't own it, but I've used it.  The 100 macro is one of the sharpest Sony lenses, and is one of the best macros around.  Good for portraits, although it may be too sharp for some.  Autofocus isn't all that fast.  50mm is also good, and nearly as sharp.
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barryfitzgerald
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« Reply #2 on: December 05, 2008, 06:10:49 PM »
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The Tamron 90mm is another good choice..


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Fine_Art
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« Reply #3 on: December 06, 2008, 01:46:29 AM »
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A fine lens. Here are a few shots with it.





The focus is slow for normal shooting. It can still give good results. Screen capture to MS Paint. Mosquito noise is from Paint- you can see it in the icons too.
Panning shot


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JohnKoerner
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« Reply #4 on: December 08, 2008, 11:42:37 PM »
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I am sorry, but those are rather underwhelming macro shots for a dedicated lens.

I took this at midnight with a simple point-n-shoot camera in auto-mode.
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Farmer
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« Reply #5 on: December 09, 2008, 12:28:14 AM »
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Quote from: JohnKoerner
I am sorry, but those are rather underwhelming macro shots for a dedicated lens.

I took this at midnight with a simple point-n-shoot camera in auto-mode.

So post a shot taken in daylight with a background to see how the bokeh is rendered and then it's perhaps a reasonable comparison.
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JohnKoerner
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« Reply #6 on: December 09, 2008, 10:36:00 AM »
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Quote from: Farmer
So post a shot taken in daylight with a background to see how the bokeh is rendered and then it's perhaps a reasonable comparison.


We could also see how well that dedicated macro lens does, hand-held, no tripod, and no ringlights, in the middle of the night

But here are a couple of shots I took in broad daylight, also hand-held. Again, maybe I am missing something, but I think my little $450 G9 blows those lenses away ... costs less ... and is ten times easier to carry around and use  

Jack




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Farmer
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« Reply #7 on: December 09, 2008, 02:36:40 PM »
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Quote from: JohnKoerner
We could also see how well that dedicated macro lens does, hand-held, no tripod, and no ringlights, in the middle of the night

But here are a couple of shots I took in broad daylight, also hand-held. Again, maybe I am missing something, but I think my little $450 G9 blows those lenses away ... costs less ... and is ten times easier to carry around and use

Then enjoy your camera, John.

Your shots are nice.  The bokeh is grainy, though, and lacks the smooth, creaminess of more typical of the Sony/Minolta macro lenses on a DSLR, but that is a matter of taste.  For mine, the G9 performs less well.

Both are capable of taking the shots and your insistence that yours "blows away" is just frankly quite ridiculous.  None of the shots posted indicate any real technical difficulty in terms of macro.

But, having been away from these forums for many months I now remember your odd desire to prove that your G9 is better than any other camera in the world, so I'll bid you good day and leave you to your own devices again.
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JohnKoerner
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« Reply #8 on: December 09, 2008, 04:24:32 PM »
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Quote from: EPd
I have (and use) both the G9 and Sony A900 with 100mm Minolta macro lens. Completely different tools, mostly due to different DOF, CA and bokeh. Horses for courses. When your G9 is the tool that makes you happy under all circumstances, live happily ever after with it. Ignorance is bliss.


>sniffle<

It sounds like I hurt someone's feelings. I did not say the G9 made me happy under all circumstances; I said it took far better macro photos than the ones shown here. The tendency to exaggerate and overstate is usually the sign of a weak argument.

Do you have any good photos that you've taken with the 100mm Minolta macro? Those were pretty ordinary IMO. I am not being disrespectful, just honest.



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Quote from: Farmer
Then enjoy your camera, John.

I enjoy it very much, thank you  




Quote from: Farmer
Your shots are nice.  The bokeh is grainy, though, and lacks the smooth, creaminess of more typical of the Sony/Minolta macro lenses on a DSLR, but that is a matter of taste.  For mine, the G9 performs less well.

I appreciate the criticism. I personally do not use a macro lens for "creamy bokeh," but to get a super-close, crisp shot of the subject. 99.99% of the human population could give a hoot about "creamy bokeh" (and probably don't know what that is, LOL); what they are looking at is the subject of the photograph ... and my G9 took far closer, better, and more detailed shots of my subjects than the shots yall have presented above them. Again, I am not trying to be rude, just honest.



Quote from: Farmer
Both are capable of taking the shots and your insistence that yours "blows away" is just frankly quite ridiculous.  None of the shots posted indicate any real technical difficulty in terms of macro.

LOL, what "technical difficulty" was presented in taking a photo of a bug on a flower, or of the flower itself? Again, most people aren't looking for technical difficulty, but rather ease of use and crisp, clear shots of small subjects when they use a macro lens.

Who in their right mind would buy a macro lens that creates difficulities and takes lousy shots of small subjects? Oh, but it has a creamy bokeh!




Quote from: Farmer
But, having been away from these forums for many months I now remember your odd desire to prove that your G9 is better than any other camera in the world, so I'll bid you good day and leave you to your own devices again.

Again, the tendency to default to the extreme and overstated is the sign of a weak argument. I have never once claimed the G9 was the best camera in the world, just the best P&S. I also claim that the photos I have posted put the previous macro photos to shame and I truly think they do. I would not spend a penny on a dedicated lens if that was the best it could do. I am not being flippant, just brutally honest.

How about just posting some photos that show some kind of macrophotographic excellence, rather than ho-hum mediocrity?

As the saying goes, "A picture's worth a thousand words."  

Jack




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« Last Edit: December 09, 2008, 04:27:27 PM by JohnKoerner » Logged
Quentin
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« Reply #9 on: December 09, 2008, 05:10:34 PM »
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I use the 100mm macro on the A900 and posted a few initial shots with it here

http://luminous-landscape.com/forum/index....=40#entry242448

Its fine - not as robust or pleasing to use as a Zeiss lens, but it does the job well enough.

Quentin
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Quentin Bargate, ARPS, Author, photographer entrepreneur and senior partner of Bargate Murray, Law Firm of the Year 2013
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« Reply #10 on: December 09, 2008, 06:16:38 PM »
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Quote from: JohnKoerner
>I appreciate the criticism. I personally do not use a macro lens for "creamy bokeh," but to get a super-close, crisp shot of the subject. 99.99% of the human population could give a hoot about "creamy bokeh" (and probably don't know what that is, LOL); what they are looking at is the subject of the photograph ... and my G9 took far closer, better, and more detailed shots of my subjects than the shots yall have presented above them. Again, I am not trying to be rude, just honest.

How close someone can get usually depends on the situation.  The same "closeness" as your shots can be achieved with the 100mm macro, but it will also render a nicer background.  Although many won't know what bokeh is, the ability of that to enhance the overall image and allow the observer to concentrate and focus on the subject is quite real, regardless of the observer's technical knowledge or lack thereof.

You're suggesting that because your particular shots were closer and had a greater depth of field that 100mm dedicated lens can't take it.  Are you suggesting that thousands of brilliant macros taken over decades before digital were all poor compared to your G9?

You are being rude because you're being ridiculous in your comparison and enforcing your subjective view as being gospel.  As I said, your shots are nice and I would enjoy looking at them any time.  The other shots posted were done (as expressed by the posters) to exhibit certain qualities of the lens and sensor combination and this they did well.  You have no constructive criticism beyond "my G9 shots are better".  I think they're nice, but not better.



Quote from: JohnKoerner
LOL, what "technical difficulty" was presented in taking a photo of a bug on a flower, or of the flower itself? Again, most people aren't looking for technical difficulty, but rather ease of use and crisp, clear shots of small subjects when they use a macro lens.

Who in their right mind would buy a macro lens that creates difficulities and takes lousy shots of small subjects? Oh, but it has a creamy bokeh!

You don't understand what is being said.  NONE of the shots (yours or anyone elses) indicate any particular technical difficulties to obtain.  In determining which is the most capable lens or system, comparing average subjects and conditions is no real test.  Drive a car at the speed limit on a perfect road and compare it with another.  Does that really tell you which is safer or which performs better?  No.  It indicates a particular aspect of the vehicle just as the shots here from the 100mm indicate certain aspects that most people find very pleasing.  Your G9 shots also indicate certain capabilities, but neither set are really suitable to test the systems against each other.

You don't happen to like the shots posted by others, but I do.  You think you're right and I'm wrong whereas I understand that we are both right because "like" is subjective.





Quote from: JohnKoerner
Again, the tendency to default to the extreme and overstated is the sign of a weak argument. I have never once claimed the G9 was the best camera in the world, just the best P&S. I also claim that the photos I have posted put the previous macro photos to shame and I truly think they do. I would not spend a penny on a dedicated lens if that was the best it could do. I am not being flippant, just brutally honest.

How about just posting some photos that show some kind of macrophotographic excellence, rather than ho-hum mediocrity?

Whereas your default position is to go the extreme and claim that your G9 "blows away" a 100mm lens?  There's nothing weak about my argument - I'm stating facts - I quoted you.

Whether something is "macrophotographic excellence" - and in my opinion your shots are not - has little to do with the capability of the lens/system in question.  There's no doubt that equipment today exceeds that available to Adams in his time in terms of technical capacity, but does that make his shots poor?  Hardly.

The purpose of the shots posted (which I happen to find quite nice, including yours) was to demonstrate technical capacity and that is what they did.  Ironically, so did your shots.  The G9 is noisier, has a greater DoF at a given aperture (due to smaller sensor size, of course) but otherwise performs quite well.  I happen to like the G9, by the way, and have recommended it to a few people looking for a camera in that range.

But for you to interject in a thread (and it's a public forum, so that's fine in and of itself) to attempt to "trash" the 100mm macro with your G9 images that you claim "blow away" the dedicated system is for what purpose?  Do you really think that it proves that the shots you took can't be taken with the 100mm?  Of the literally tens of thousands of macro shots out there taken with dedicated systems do you really believe that your G9 is capable of things that they are not?

If your point is that, for a pleasingly low sum of money you can purchase a system that takes nice macro shots, then I think everyone would agree.  Beyond that, though, all you ever seem to do is spoil for a fight.

I know I said I was done, but I didn't want there to be any suggestion through my silence that I accepted your premise.  I don't.  Please post more images of the quality of these ones - I like them.  But please understand the purpose of what people are doing and consider that your method of comparison is invalid and uneccesary.
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JohnKoerner
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« Reply #11 on: December 09, 2008, 08:59:41 PM »
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Quentin;

Thank you for posting the link, but I tried to look, and for some reason none of the images would upload  



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Farmer;

Yours is a reasonable reply, but to cut to the chase, no, I was not looking for a fight. I merely stated my opinion that I was "underwhelmed" by the photos posted. Can a person give an honestly unfavorable view without necessarily "looking for a fight?"

I don't think any photo posted does anything noteworthy. Again, I say this honestly and not meanly. For instance, the photo of the spider on the flower does what? Could you look up that spider in a field guide and tell what kind it is? I think not.

To me (and this is my subjective view of macro lenses), the whole purpose of a macro lens is to make what you CAN'T see visible and clear. The shots I have taken of the spiders/robber flies augment and enlarge these tiny creatures up to a point where the intricacies of their bodies can be seen clearly and magnificently. I personally could give a hoot about the "bokeh" of the background, what I want to see are the up-close details of the animals that I canNOT see with my naked eye.

Therefore, and again I mean no disrespect, but the other photos really don't do anything for me. The photo of the flower is in the ballpark, but yet the colors and clarity leave alot to be desired IMO. Again, can't a person make these statements w/o people getting upset? They are simply the truth as I see it.

I am not upset that you don't like my bokeh  

But I am glad you like the clarity of my subjects

To me, the clarity of the subjects and the ability to really zoom-in and see the intricate details of tiny objects is the #1 purpose of a macro lens, and it is that way to 99.99999% of humanity. To marvel at the "bokeh" is essentially to miss the whole point of the photograph! Sure, if your subject is augmented to enough size so that you can see the intricacies of something you never would have been able to see otherwise, then you can worry about the bokeh. But if you haven't augmented something tiny up to a size and clarity that you can marvel at it to begin with, then who cares about the bokeh?

It is the same for a zoom or telephoto lens. To take a zoom photo of a bird, and yet only see a tiny speck on a branch that you can barely identify as a bird, and then to marvel at the surrounding "bokeh" (LOL) would be an insane and ludicrous way to judge a zoom or telephoto lens and the resulting picture. Absolutely silly. It's how close and how clear and detailed the zoom/telephoto can get in its picture-taking that defines the ability of these lenses also.

So again I say, the photos presented don't show me anything worth investing in, from a true macro perspective. They show me nothing I couldn't do (and do better) with the P&S camera I have. This was not to be rude, not to be mean, but it is my honest opinion based on the photos presented thus far.

Now if someone wants to show me a true macro shot of a subject brought to stunning size and clarity, then I would love to see it. But to show a photo of (what looks to be) a spider on a flower isn't a true macro shot; nor is a ho-hum shot of a bug on a leaf; I could do that with almost any camera.

A true macro shot should show amazing detail of things we simply can't see with our eyes.

That is my honest opinion,

jack



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« Last Edit: December 09, 2008, 09:05:12 PM by JohnKoerner » Logged
Fine_Art
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« Reply #12 on: December 09, 2008, 09:34:35 PM »
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Quote from: JohnKoerner
We could also see how well that dedicated macro lens does, hand-held, no tripod, and no ringlights, in the middle of the night

But here are a couple of shots I took in broad daylight, also hand-held. Again, maybe I am missing something, but I think my little $450 G9 blows those lenses away ... costs less ... and is ten times easier to carry around and use  

Jack




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The only thing a P&S has going for it is that the tiny lens has good DOF in macro situations.
Your subject is sharp. the rest of the image is very poor due to the hardware. The rest of the image has terrible rendering, posterized tones and noise.

The fact you can hold it close to bugs at arms length without scaring them away is now a feature of any camera with liveview. Might as well get a good lens.

A spider with smooth rendering


Frost crystals from the tread of a shoe
« Last Edit: December 09, 2008, 09:36:11 PM by Fine_Art » Logged
JohnKoerner
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« Reply #13 on: December 09, 2008, 11:22:10 PM »
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Quote from: Fine_Art
The only thing a P&S has going for it is that the tiny lens has good DOF in macro situations.

The G9 offers superior DOF, light weight and mobility, plus crystal-clear shots that have yet to be shown in the subject lens of this thread.




Quote from: Fine_Art
Your subject is sharp. the rest of the image is very poor due to the hardware. The rest of the image has terrible rendering, posterized tones and noise.

Thank you. Your photos show a much smoother overall effect, but your true subject is not anywhere near as sharp as my subjects. So which is better? Is having a smoother overall "look," but a blurry subject the true goal of a macro shot? Or is having a sharp and crystal-clear subject the true goal?

Are we taking photos of "backgrounds" or of arthropods?




Quote from: Fine_Art
The fact you can hold it close to bugs at arms length without scaring them away is now a feature of any camera with liveview. Might as well get a good lens.

I agree, I am looking to get a good lens. I just haven't seen anything from the Sony to consider it "good" at this point.




Quote from: Fine_Art
A spider with smooth rendering

Yes, but your image is tiny. It is easy to have a smooth image from a small .jpg. I had my images blown up huge. I think my spiders look sharper and clearer when downsized too:





Quote from: Fine_Art
Frost crystals from the tread of a shoe

That is kind of a nice shot, but again is it something remarkable over and above what other lenses could do? I don't have anything taken to compare to this, but although yours is a pleasant shot, I see nothing about it that is compelling me to buy the lens that took it. I think I could make the same thing with what I am working with now.

Again, no disrespect, just voicing my honest opinion.

Jack




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Quentin
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« Reply #14 on: December 10, 2008, 05:08:22 AM »
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Quote from: JohnKoerner
Quentin;

Thank you for posting the link, but I tried to look, and for some reason none of the images would upload  

.

Drat!  Try here

http://forum.getdpi.com/forum/showthread.php?t=4421

For me the purpose of a macro lens is not to reveal that which an "ordinary" lens can't reproduce, but to offer superior close up performance.  The point of a macro lens is it is optimized for close-up photography, and in the case of my Sony 100mm macro, it will be used for studio shots such as food and objects, as well as being useful "in the field" for nature shots.  I may never use 1:1 macro at all.  Shallow DOF is an advantage in many situations.

Quentin
« Last Edit: December 10, 2008, 05:18:07 AM by Quentin » Logged

Quentin Bargate, ARPS, Author, photographer entrepreneur and senior partner of Bargate Murray, Law Firm of the Year 2013
Slough
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« Reply #15 on: December 10, 2008, 07:29:27 AM »
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Quote from: JohnKoerner
We could also see how well that dedicated macro lens does, hand-held, no tripod, and no ringlights, in the middle of the night

But here are a couple of shots I took in broad daylight, also hand-held. Again, maybe I am missing something, but I think my little $450 G9 blows those lenses away ... costs less ... and is ten times easier to carry around and use  

Jack

I don't doubt the convenience of your camera, and the decent quality of the results. But with respect, they are not up to the standards possible from a good 35mm macro lens. The field of view is wide so you get no subject isolation and the Bokeh is messy. You won't be able to shoot in a dim forest, or on a misty day without using flash. So yes I think you are missing something. Then again, you are getting better results than many people with the bigger heavier more expensive equipment, but that's a side issue.

Here's an example of something your camera could never do:

http://www.leifgoodwin.co.uk/Butterflies/_...0Butterfly.html
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JohnKoerner
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« Reply #16 on: December 10, 2008, 10:28:51 AM »
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Quote from: Quentin

I did like some of those photos, the pink rose in particular. Also, the other fellow's photo of the clothes pins was very clear. It is not the kind of photo I would take myself, but it did look nice and clear.




Quote from: Quentin
For me the purpose of a macro lens is not to reveal that which an "ordinary" lens can't reproduce, but to offer superior close up performance.  The point of a macro lens is it is optimized for close-up photography, and in the case of my Sony 100mm macro, it will be used for studio shots such as food and objects, as well as being useful "in the field" for nature shots.  I may never use 1:1 macro at all.  Shallow DOF is an advantage in many situations.
Quentin

I see your point, and I see the effect you are after, but this is just part of superior up-close performance. The other part is magnification and clarity of subject once magnified. I do like the effect of the shallow DOF in some of those shots, though, but I also like the affect of an exaggerated DOF too. Each has its uses and limitations I suppose.



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Quote from: Slough
I don't doubt the convenience of your camera, and the decent quality of the results. But with respect, they are not up to the standards possible from a good 35mm macro lens.

I agree, not a good one. My original point was that the photos from the Sony lens didn't appear to be up to the job of my little P&S camera, not to suggest my P&S could rival the very best macros. I was simply underwhelmed by the Sony 100mm (or at least the shots taken up till now). I do like some of the ones posted by Quentin, and even the harvetsman spider posted by Fine Art was nice, but again not spectacular. I do see the smoother "look" to the shots, but I also see no detail and no real magnification worth talking about either.




Quote from: Slough
The field of view is wide so you get no subject isolation and the Bokeh is messy. You won't be able to shoot in a dim forest, or on a misty day without using flash. So yes I think you are missing something.

I would just use a flash then. I shot that spider in pitch darkness, just by holding a flashlight on the subject (so my camera could focus) and I just used a weak flash, and it came out pretty good. Regarding bokeh, this is something I don't really care about as much as the up-close fine detail of the subject. Where my camera really stinks is long-end telephoto. Just looks terrible.




Quote from: Slough
Here's an example of something your camera could never do:
http://www.leifgoodwin.co.uk/Butterflies/_...0Butterfly.html

That is interesting, with no background whatsoever. Honestly though, I find the color kind of weak and nauseating. I understand it's a white butterfly that has no color, but the background is a rather puke-green, and even the wheat stalk is a bit under-saturated IMO.

Here is a photo I took on a rather overcast morning a few months ago. You said I couldn't take a photo in low light, but I took this with no flash. To me, the DOF makes the shot, and would not have had quite the same effect w/ none at all:





Jack




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DarkPenguin
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« Reply #17 on: December 10, 2008, 10:45:18 AM »
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But the background is horrible and kills what is a great foreground.
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JohnKoerner
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« Reply #18 on: December 10, 2008, 12:27:36 PM »
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Quote from: DarkPenguin
But the background is horrible and kills what is a great foreground.


I do see that now, actually, so thanks.

If my P&S would have had the very shallow DOF, then the whole backdrop would have been a blur and therefore 100% of the focus would have been on the butterfly on the lily.

Thanks for pointing that out  

Jack



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Slough
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« Reply #19 on: December 10, 2008, 02:13:42 PM »
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Quote from: JohnKoerner
I do see that now, actually, so thanks.

If my P&S would have had the very shallow DOF, then the whole backdrop would have been a blur and therefore 100% of the focus would have been on the butterfly on the lily.

Thanks for pointing that out  

Jack



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FYI it's not really DOF but FOV (field of view) which allows subject isolation. BTW I sometimes use the Nikon 14-24mm lens for wide angle close ups. The reason is that the wide FOV allows the background to be seen i.e. the opposite of subject isolation. I like both depending on the subject.
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