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  1. #1
    Junior Member

    Some questions about macro with the D850

    Hello everyone,
    This is my first post here so I'd like to say hi and give you some very short background info on myself.
    I've spent the past 7 years with an APS-C and a 100mm Macro, taking very close up images of objects 5-10mm across. I've learned a lot during this time and I know the subject matter very well so I thought it's time to upgrade to a newer camera which will hopefully also be relatively future-proof.

    I've shortlisted the D850 on my list of stuff that could work on me based on 3 things that I need out of any DSLR:

    1) Close up images of tiny (usually 4-6 mm) objects, taken on tripods as well as handheld (which is counterintuitive, I know, but still important). Focus stacked to achieve the maximum sharpness in the final image but I need them to be sharp and clear out of the camera as well.

    2) Sharp close up videos with a very good autofocus system which will be able to track movements under a macro lens while the objects are handheld and moving slightly within the frame itself.
    3) Relatively good color accuracy. I have the grey cards, the calibrators and the color cards, but I do appreciate it when camera defaults don't make reds look orange, oranges look red, blues look oversaturated, greens undersaturated etc.

    The D850 seems to do all of this and do it well, but I've run into a real issue - subject size in the frame.

    Namely, I was going to buy the Nikon 200mm macro for use with the D850 until I realized that autofocus (and by extension autofocused videos, as well as in-camera focus stack creation) won't be a possibility with this lens. That threw a pretty large wrench into what otherwise seemed by far the best solution for me. I wanted the 200mm because it'd give me subjects a bit larger in the frame than the 100mm on a 1.5 factor crop sensor that I was used to, which would have been perfect (even more 'zoom' at a vastly higher resolution and a massively improved sensor over my old camera).

    I've checked and it doesn't even seem that I could maintain AF/stacking if I were to buy a teleconverter and mount a 105 mm macro on it either.

    What I'd like to know is this:

    Is there any solution at all to make the D850 retain its video focusing capabilities and its image focus stacking option, while retaining the subject size (in-frame) that I'd normally pull out of a 1.5 crop APS-C with a 100mm macro, or thereabout?

    AF is an absolute must, but so is subject size; I can't justify buying the better sensor and a 200mm macro if I need to crop it even more than I already did the 100mm on an APS-C.

    Any suggestions and/or solutions for this would be greatly appreciated!

    Thank you,

    S



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  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Bikerbrent's Avatar

    Re: Some questions about macro with the D850

    Welcome aboard. Enjoy the ride.
    We look forward to seeing more posts and samples of your work.

    I don't do much macro, so can't help you out with your questions, but I am sure someone will be along shortly to help you out.
    Brent: Poway, CA
    D7200, D200, F100
    Tokina 12-24mm
    Nikon 18-200mm
    Tokina 28-70mm f2.6-2.8
    Nikon 80-200mm f2.8
    Sigma 150-600mm
    Nikon 50 AF f1.8
    Tokina 100mm f2.8 Macro
    Nikon SB800

  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Ironwood's Avatar

    Re: Some questions about macro with the D850

    I think going to a bigger sensor might not be the best thing to do here. It may be possible to achieve what you want using something like a Raynox DCR-250 Super Macro conversion lens for D-SLR cameras, 4K and HDV Camcorders . It will help put more pixels on your subject. As far as lenses go, have a look at the Sigma 150 & 180mm macro lenses. One thing to note is , they will only get you to 1:1, the same as your Tokina, or the Nikon 200mm. What this means is, at the closest focus distance, your 5mm subject will take up 5mm of your sensor. So the longer lenses won’t make the subject look bigger, this is where the Raynox will help you.
    Another option, which may be your best one, is to go the other way, and get a smaller sensor camera, with M4/3 the subject will take up a lot more of the frame, the depth of field will look like more of your subject is in focus.
    check out this Guy, he uses a M4/3 sensor camera, uses AF for all his shots. It’s a long read, but worth it.
    https://beingmark.com/macro-illustrated/ He’s a helpful Guy and will answer questions if you ask them.

    How will your images be viewed, printed out, or on a screen?
    Thanks/Like SpectrumK Thanks/liked this post
     
    Brad


    Every Day might not be a good Day,
    ​ but there is something good in every Day.

  4. #4
    Senior Member
    FredKingston's Avatar

    Re: Some questions about macro with the D850

    Is there any solution at all to make the D850 retain its video focusing capabilities and its image focus stacking option, while retaining the subject size (in-frame) that I'd normally pull out of a 1.5 crop APS-C with a 100mm macro, or thereabout?
    I'm not sure I understand your question with regard to this one aspect. Have you looked at the D850's "focus stacking" in actual use. Once you set it up with whatever lens you chose, the frame size won't change. Only the focus points within the frame (from front to back) will change for each shot based on the parameters you set in the menu... It doesn't move/reduce/increase the image within the frame... that would defeat the basic premise of "focus stacking"... And, of course, you understand that the D850 really doesn't do "focus stacking" in the camera... it simply is an auto mode for producing multiple images to be actually stacked in an external software package.

  5. #5
    Junior Member

    Re: Some questions about macro with the D850

    EDIT: Second-posting this in shorter form because my previous long answer didn't seem to pass the filters for some reason.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bikerbrent View Post
    Welcome aboard. Enjoy the ride.
    We look forward to seeing more posts and samples of your work.

    I don't do much macro, so can't help you out with your questions, but I am sure someone will be along shortly to help you out.
    Thanks Brent! Good to be here.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ironwood View Post
    I think going to a bigger sensor might not be the best thing to do here. It may be possible to achieve what you want using something like a Raynox. It will help put more pixels on your subject. As far as lenses go, have a look at the Sigma 150 & 180mm macro lenses. One thing to note is , they will only get you to 1:1, the same as your Tokina, or the Nikon 200mm. What this means is, at the closest focus distance, your 5mm subject will take up 5mm of your sensor. So the longer lenses won’t make the subject look bigger, this is where the Raynox will help you.
    Another option, which may be your best one, is to go the other way, and get a smaller sensor camera, with M4/3 the subject will take up a lot more of the frame, the depth of field will look like more of your subject is in focus.
    check out this Guy, he uses a M4/3 sensor camera, uses AF for all his shots. It’s a long read, but worth it. He’s a helpful Guy and will answer questions if you ask them.

    How will your images be viewed, printed out, or on a screen?
    Thanks a lot Brad, some really thoughtful suggestions there!

    I have been considering the GH5 with a 60mm Olympus for the past few weeks as well, but the problem I have with is is minimal focus distance. I currently work at around 30cm to get the 1:1 with the 100mm macro lens that I used and even that is kind of too close. The subjects need tons of light and the camera does tend to get in the way of that in both studio and handheld daylight scenarios (in daylight they usually look the best with the sun at my back, hence the shadow problems). Light is of paramount importance so the camera always plays second fiddle to that - and this is where a greater working distance comes in useful.

    Wouldn't the 60mm lens (effectively 120mm on a 4/3) have an even lesser working distance than what I use currently?

    Vis-a-vis 1:1, I can't post links due to the filter for new accounts, but what I meant by bigger subject was simply this:

    If you enter a 105mm lens with a say, D7000 series body into Nikon's lens simulator and screenshot the result, then enter a 200mm lens with a D800 body and do the same, the FF/200mm image seems to have that lighthouse portion fill up equally much (or more) of the frame as the APS-C/105mm. In other words, you get the same subject size in the frame but with the benefit of higher resolution and a newer sensor, allowing you to crop more freely. Am I wrong in this assumption?

    Also, thanks a lot for the Raynox idea! One small concern is that it would probably be overkill for me at the 2.5x magnification with a 180mm Sigma. A 105mm Nikon + the Raynox would most likely be closer to what I need.

    Lastly, thank you for the link! It's the best macro insect photography I've ever seen, anywhere. I'll probably go and ask him about how to solve the working distance problem with the 4/3 (for me around 40-50cm would be ideal). His subjects are a bit too large in the frame for my needs, but he does seem to have full insects in the frame too so obviously there's a solution for it.

    Quote Originally Posted by FredKingston View Post
    I'm not sure I understand your question with regard to this one aspect. Have you looked at the D850's "focus stacking" in actual use. Once you set it up with whatever lens you chose, the frame size won't change. Only the focus points within the frame (from front to back) will change for each shot based on the parameters you set in the menu... It doesn't move/reduce/increase the image within the frame... that would defeat the basic premise of "focus stacking"... And, of course, you understand that the D850 really doesn't do "focus stacking" in the camera... it simply is an auto mode for producing multiple images to be actually stacked in an external software package.
    Hi Fred,

    I understand focus stacking itself, it's not an issue - I've been using Helicon to do it all this time. I know that the D850's taking of focus stacks is a gimmick compared to a dedicated program, but it's a useful thing to have and for sure a lot better than me moving the lens around and taking it by hand. It's not a necessity, of course, but it's a pretty nice feature. An external program is still needed to add them all up in the end anyway.
    Last edited by SpectrumK; 10-20-2018 at 08:43 AM. Reason: Previous answers didn't get posted

  6. #6
    Junior Member

    Re: Some questions about macro with the D850

    Another small thing people - could anyone with the D850 please confirm whether:
    1) the Sigma 180mm 2.8 autofocuses well on videos,
    2) whether this lens will support taking focus stacks through the D850's inbuilt feature?

    I'm asking because video focus is pretty important - though my videos aren't very demanding at all - and for focus stacking, well, if I can get away with the camera doing it by itself I don't need an external application to do it.

  7. #7
    Senior Member

    Re: Some questions about macro with the D850

    My biggest gripe with any DSLR (including the D850) is that they do NOT autofocus well on video. Too much hunting, too much noise, too slow, etc. Smaller cameras or dedicated video cameras always do this better.

  8. #8
    Senior Member
    FredKingston's Avatar

    Re: Some questions about macro with the D850

    I agree... I've long contended that the DSLR makers added video as a marketing ploy for the non-cinematically inclined... If you want to shoot quality video, a DSLR is not the proper tool to use... I've always wondered what Nikon could have accomplished if they had made a DSLR without any of the video components and devoted those engineering efforts into the basic DSLR itself...

  9. #9
    Senior Member

    Re: Some questions about macro with the D850

    The D800 was actually used as a second video camera on shows like "Dexter." The video quality is good, it's the autofocus part that is horrible. Those professionals use cinematic lenses (very quiet even when changing the aperture manually) and focus pullers (preset focus points changed manually).

  10. #10
    Senior Member
    FredKingston's Avatar

    Re: Some questions about macro with the D850

    That's exactly my point... the Pros have to add/use all kinds of real video components to get an acceptable result.





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