Monday, July 30, 2007

Color, contrast, and the MPE-65mm

If I could have only one lens in my camera bag it would be the MPE-65mm! Granted the working distance at life size is only four inches, and sometimes I find myself bumping the plant that the critter is on and scaring them off. But the color and contrast is so good that I can't make myself break out the 100mm, 500D diopter, and a 25mm tube for a twice life size shot like the one I've included with this post, even though the working distnace would be double (close to 5" with the 100mm rig instead of 2.5" with the MPE-65 set to 2x).

I didn't do a levels adjustment on that image cause it didn't need it...

I converted from RAW with some minor adjustments in exposure (actually decreased the contrast) and used Neat Image to remove sensor noise. Then I lightened shadows, darkened highlights, and increased mid-tone contrast by 5 percent. Then I rubbed out the dust spots with the spot healing brush after I used the auto sharpen option in Elements 5. Fixed some minor reflections with the clone stamp tool and saved it as a jpg file. I spent all of two minutes in post processing and the colors "pop".

I might be able to get the same results with the 100mm + tubes + diopter, but it wouldn't look as good nor would it be as sharp...

Check out this review at Juza Nature Photography. I agree with his results, and since I don't mind a little diffraction in my images I shoot with his "in case of emergency" settings (although I normally shoot at F14 from 1x to 2x instead of F16).

If you own a Canon camera and you shoot above life size then you owe it to yourself to check out the MPE-65mm...
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