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Old June 12th, 2006, 06:35 AM   #1
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Microcosmos

To all of you who have seen my bird-footage in another tread: You ain't seen nothing yet!

I put a macro-lense on my XL-2 and here are the result:
http://video-film.no/snutter/mikrokosmos.html

The shooting was ok, but I got a bit scared when I was viewing the footage afterwards and got all the details which was almost invisible to my eyes in the field. I think about going out in the field and shoot a lot more of these tiny creatures. It's gona be tough cause the lightest wind, blow the target out of my camcorderview. I also think that some of the details footage need to be shot inside a studio.

The french film Microcosmos by Claude Nuridsany and Marie Perennou was almost entirely shot in a studio I heard?
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Old June 12th, 2006, 05:53 PM   #2
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Really splendid Per Johan to see a bit of PR for some of my dearest allies, spiders and ladybirds. Strict vegetarians are the scourge of the gardener. I've been struggling with vine weevil for 20 years.
I must look at your set-ups to see how cumbersome that lens is. You're making me think that interchangeable lens is the best way to go. I wonder what you would use for telephoto footage at 100 metres + (say big birds at a nest)?
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Old June 13th, 2006, 06:18 AM   #3
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Brendan, doesn't look like the ladybird in the footage was to any help, the plant louse passed just an inch away without any trouble ;-)

Well, regarding your question about birds-footage from 100m +, I think you need some more telephoto than my 300mm lense if you want to capture the details. I tried to put a 2.0x converter to my 300mm without any luck, the picture became too soft. The 1.4 was a bit better but still a little soft. My advise would be to try a Canon 400 - 500mm lense, but they are real expensive and a lot more heavy than my Sigma 300mm.

Maybe some of the other members, Lauri Kettunen for instance could help us out if he read this tread?
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Old June 13th, 2006, 08:13 AM   #4
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http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/showthread.php?t=59695

here's another discussion on macro work with the XL2, along with fernanando's footage--some of the nicest i've seen, and shot with a 100-400mm zoom lens. you might find this of interest....i wish we could consolidate some of these wildlife threads. they get hard to find when you want them!
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Old June 14th, 2006, 03:21 AM   #5
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nice footage! as the birds one also...
as Meryem kindly says introducing my old thread, I film my macro work with the Canon 100-400. Now i work with the XLH1 and I continue using this lens with good results.
Per, what lens have you used in this microcosmos project? I think you have obteined more aproximation rate than with my 100-400 and quality seems very good.

I also have suffered the wind in the macro filming (and with my lens I usually film very distant to the insects) and I think that the key is to combine work in the field with some delicate shots in studio (but macro field work is always more fresh, nice and well documented...)

I think insects and bugs shot in Microcosmos film have been made in studio (this is noticeable in the film) and combined with nice landscape shots in location. They have a well equiped studio and use a very interesting "automatic hot head" for the camera movements. Have you seen his new film "Genesis"?. I like it very much, nature shots are very nice but i like specially the script and the work of the main actor, an african storyteller.

Excuse me for my bad english
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Old June 14th, 2006, 05:36 AM   #6
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Fernando,
I was looking at your video - Sistemas Naturales S.L. - it was excellent!
I have considered the 100-400mm lense some time and your video make me think it is worth a try. One question: the way you push-zoom with this lense are there any chance that dust can come into the lense, I've heard some rumors about this?

Here you got a link with information about my macrolense:
http://www.sigma-photo.co.jp/english...cro/150_28.htm
I measured the minimum focusing distance to be 25cm with the XL-2 and ef-adapter, giving you a DOF of just 2-3mm maybe a little more with good light and smaller aperture.

Regarding the film Genesis, I have not seen this yet.


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Old June 15th, 2006, 08:47 PM   #7
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per

Having followed the bird thread it doesn't surprise me that you have some great bug flicks as well. While i do not mind controlled video, I do plenty of it myself, I have a much greater appreciation for wild taken footage of anything.

i need to find a way to post some footage.
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Old June 16th, 2006, 04:40 AM   #8
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Some nice footage, Per, although I did find the shadow to the left of the Ladybird a little distracting, and some of the footage in the Macro shots (as well as some of the bird footage) does wave around a bit too much (due probably to slight camera movement and wind).

I've found that the best of my footage using long lenses such as the 300mm f/2.8 on the XL2 are better when the tripod head is locked down and then use the Canon wireless remote control to start and stop the tape so as not to touch the setup and induce vibrations.
I know that this makes it more difficult to slowly follow a wild bird or subject, but wildlife moving into and out of a "locked" framed shot (and then stop filming to reframe and lock-up again) is usually far better than trying to follow a subject with a high-powered telephoto on the XL2.

I have tried using 1.4X and 1.6X converters on the 300mm lens, but I've acheived by far better footage using a prime 600mm lens on the XL2 (and picking windless weather or only shooting between gusts).

I've also found that it is better to not use the extending hoods or extra 2nd hood on either my 300mm or 600mm ED lenses during wind, as the longer the lens is the more the wind can buffer the set-up.

The heavier and more solid the tripod legs and tripod head, the better it is to handle vibration with the bigger lenses. Also I find that low level filming and non-extended legs are best. Bean bags draped over the lens barrel and hanging under the tripod legs can sometimes also help to avoid vibrations during wind.
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Old June 16th, 2006, 04:52 AM   #9
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Super tips, Tony.

Where can we see more of your footage?
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Old June 16th, 2006, 09:53 AM   #10
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draping beanbags to add weight to steady big lenses is a good suggestion. i'll have to give it a go....

tony, when i posted my pic of the sigma 300-800mm, you advised me that "the 300mm f2.8 prime in my opinion more often has enough pulling power for most wildlife subjects"--did something change for you, that you're mounting up the 600mm (for bulk and lack of maneuverability on an XL body, that's pretty much on the same scale as the sigma 300-800mm lens....)? just curious. if anything, the 300-800mm zoom lens probably has a bit more flexibility in terms of the available range for focusing on the subject. i still like that big lens for the still shots and footage it takes, even if it is a big pain to lug around....
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Old June 16th, 2006, 05:21 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Meryem Ersoz
draping beanbags to add weight to steady big lenses is a good suggestion. i'll have to give it a go....

tony, when i posted my pic of the sigma 300-800mm, you advised me that "the 300mm f2.8 prime in my opinion more often has enough pulling power for most wildlife subjects"--did something change for you, that you're mounting up the 600mm....
Yes, Meryem, I still prefer to use the 300mm whenever possible, but as you know, sometimes the subject is small and too far away to get a good full frame, so that is when the 600mm comes out of the bag. The biggest problem, as always, is the added amount of wobble/judder, due mainly to wind buffeting the side of the lens. The Nikkor 600mm f/5.6 ED-IF lens that I use is far lighter than the 600mmf/4 (but equal in sharpness), although to be honest, a heavier lens is more often an advantage on top of a good tripod.

I agree that the Sigma 300-800mm (and superb Nikkor 200-400 ED and Nikkor 180-600mm ED) have a big advantage for pre-framing a subject at the widest angle and then zooming in to a tighter frame. Daylight subjects are not too difficult to find and lock-on using the 600mm prime fixed lens, but sometimes when I try to frame the moon in a total backdrop of black, it can be difficult to find the craters!

Brendan - regarding the footage. I only have the websites set up for still shots at the moment, but hopefully later in the year when I have completed the projects that I'm working on, I'll be able to put time aside to re-work the websites to handle video footage. The only thing that I don't like about video footage shown online is the drastic lowering of quality and the extra compression needed.
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Old June 20th, 2006, 02:12 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tony Davies-Patrick
Some nice footage, Per, although I did find the shadow to the left of the Ladybird a little distracting, and some of the footage in the Macro shots (as well as some of the bird footage) does wave around a bit too much (due probably to slight camera movement and wind).

I've found that the best of my footage using long lenses such as the 300mm f/2.8 on the XL2 are better when the tripod head is locked down and then use the Canon wireless remote control to start and stop the tape so as not to touch the setup and induce vibrations.
I know that this makes it more difficult to slowly follow a wild bird or subject, but wildlife moving into and out of a "locked" framed shot (and then stop filming to reframe and lock-up again) is usually far better than trying to follow a subject with a high-powered telephoto on the XL2.
Tony, I appreciate very much your comments. I totally agree and this shows me how hard it will be to get good footage in the macro segment. As Dale commented: "I have a much greater appreciation for wild taken footage", I will continue to take macro-footage in the wild.
Good tips also not using the extra hood on the lenses in wind conditions, though you have to be aware the change of getting lense flare.

I have got some comments of DOF in macro-footage. Whats your opinion? I think its best with a narrow DOF isolating the subject. Also a wider DOF requires more light, which can be difficult without external light sources.
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Old June 22nd, 2006, 12:15 AM   #13
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suggestions:

per johan, others,

I do not have a pile of money to spend at this time (just bought a second stand alone computer), but I was considering getting a non lens adapter (129 bucks) for the older canon lenses and then buying a macro for the micro filming and a zoom for more static distance work. I have the 20x and the 1.6x but the distance work is not good enough. I can build a rail myself. I thought if I tried this less expensive route i could learn some sklills using this stuff before making any large outlays.
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