With few days of testing Lester A Dine 105mm f/2.8 Dental Macro closer to 1:1 focusing distance, I am convinced that my skills and equipment can't match what are required in 1:1 Macro photography. There are several factors that make 1:1 macro very difficult to do without tripod and external flash.
Impressions & Notes:
- Closer to 1:1 at about 1.45 feet minimum focusing distance, the DOF is extremely thin. This is not new to me but I find myself making more errors than I would like to admit
- Wind is another factor that kills all photos made below 1/100th of a second.
- Without tripod, I find my photos soft with blur due to user errors
- Trying tripod is another nightmare as I find tripod getting in a way to framing a shot. Some friends suggest me with monopod and others suggest to try using my tripod like a monopod. I am yet to explore the monopod idea.
- I am still hopeful that with the Dine Macro ring flash or with an external flash and diffuser, I can achieve better shutter speed and I can use smaller apertures as in f/11 and f/16.
- In most of my test shots in 1:1 focusing, I find myself struggling in trading shutter speed with smaller apertures. In ISO 400, I find myself needing to go to f/5.6 with 1/100th seconds. And when I go bigger apertures in f/2.8, f/3.2, I can't tell if the soft images come from my hand-holding errors or the lens itself. It is more likely my mistakes as I do see sharper pictures made wide open in f/2.8.
- With disappointment on my 1:1 shots, I went with some 1:2 test shots and my confidence with the lens improve as I see myself making cleaner shots with the lens
All shots in 1:2 instead of 1:1