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Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Little Big Shot Close Up Camera Lens

I recently bought an amazing little lens from an Artfire seller, David, called the Little Big Shot.
This is what arrived
I had told David which camera I have and the measurement of the lens area.   Two lenses are in the case but the smaller one fits best onto my camera.  It's very easy to set up, there are precise instructions via videos on David's blog.
The lens goes onto the camera using a piece of click lock tape (a bit like velcro but it snaps together rather than having hooks and loops).  You get a good sized piece so if you need to replace it you have plenty.
I watched the videos on the blog and went out to try it out.  The first attempt was a dismal failure. I couldn't get the camera to focus at all.  I've no idea what I did wrong, I thought I'd made the alterations to my camera settings that are recommended but in the process I must have done something wrong.
I was feeling very unwell at the time (regular readers or FB likers will know I had a wisdom tooth removed) so decided to put it all away for a while and try again another day.

In the meantime a friend took me to Southport flower show (see the earlier blog entry) where all my photos came out with a dreadful red cast.  I reset the white balance (don't remember setting it wrongly but I must have!) and my camera now functions normally again.

I duly watched the video with the operating instructions again.  David recommends using the 'P' setting on the camera which I'm familiar with from my previous Canon camera.  My Ricoh doesn't have this setting but on reading through the camera manual I found I can indeed change the ISO.  
so having got the settings right - it's really simple, right, so how did I manage to mess up the white balance and render the camera unable to focus???
My problem now was purely physical.  The camera needs to be held really steady, more so than in my usual macro mode, which is challenging for me.  I don't have a tripod and it isn't always practical to use one to get to what I want to photograph anyway.
My next set of photos were all blurred.
Third time lucky, I have some rather fuzzy and some reasonably in focus shots so I've decided to share them.
Red lobelia, not perfectly focused but I like it, the colour is amazing and shows better in the next photo
This was the best of the lobelia photos, all the rest were very blurred, but as I had to hold the camera quite high (they are really tall) I'm pleased I got this one.
The first of the alchemilla (ladies mantle) photos.  This is a very old scruffy leaf but the idea was to get the water droplets. I've had fairly good macro shots of alchemilla before but was hoping for something better.
Here I've got in closer using the zoom with the lens, a bit fuzzy though.
This is looking more like it but still not good enough, I'm still not holding the camera steadily enough to hold the point of focus as I click the shutter.

Finally this is the sort of shot I've been hoping for, getting the little hairs at the edge of the leaf and the reflections in the water droplets. 
Well 'they' say practice makes perfect, so I know I've a lot of practicing to do, but I will enjoy it and am confident I'll get better.  My wrists aren't going to get any stronger but I'll find ways to keep the camera steady and just keep clicking away until I get what I want.  Fortunately plants don't move much if it isn't too windy, getting insects etc will be more challenging as they don't tend to keep still and pose for the camera!


UniquelyYours said...

Tghose pic look great. Hope you are feeling better now.

Vic at Careford Creations said...

I think these are lovely attempts! Like you say, practise makes perfect, but these are great anyway:) Love the colour of the Red Lobelia. Vic x

LittleBigShot said...

thank you for the blog entry, Pam!

for raindrops and wildflowers, if i can, i rest the camera on tehe first of my left hand and clasp the stem with my left thumb and index finger to steady them in the wind. i operate the shutter button and stabilize the camera with my right hand.

looks like you're making progress.

hang in there!

Rohan said...

Hello a friend directed me to your blog so I don't really know the level of your photography but some comments if you don't mind.If you haven't got a tripod (and I would really recommend getting one), try a bean bag or even use ziplock bag filled with lentils for a cheap alternative to keep ypur camera steady. NB you can be even more creative if you move off "P" and onto manual settings to get the background blur effect, take slow exposures of moving water, clouds etc. Even blur of flower movements. The geat thing about digital is that you can experiment to your hearts content(time permitting)and dump the rubbish!

ShinyAdornments said...

Oy! Photography, the bane of my online selling existence!

It looks like to me you are making progress, and it does seem to get easier over time. It took me forever to figure out the camera settings and distance and white balance and all that stuff.


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Simply Shiny Blog

Silver Moss Jewellery said...

Loved seeing the photos as you experimented, including the ones that you weren't so heppy with. The last photo, with the 'hairs' of the alchemilla, is wonderful.

averilpam said...

Thanks everyone for the comments and advice. The weather has been lousy and I've not managed any more shots yet but will be taking my lens with me when I go to the USA. I've been promised a trip to a botanical garden so hope to get some good pics!

Baban Cat said...

I hope you're feeling better. I know from experience how miserable that can be.
Great that you are getting used to the new lens. The bottom shot of the alchemilla is so sharp.

Giftbearer said...

This is a really clever little lens!

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