Extreme Macro work

I have a MPE 65 macro lens which if one is aware of they will know that it is capable of 5 times magnification.  However that does have some drawbacks.  The MPE 65 has no controls and a very shallow depth of field.  And I do mean no controls other than selecting the magnification one wants.  Focus is by moving the camera closer or further away.  No auto focus.  Aperture is still via the normal process.  The need to move the camera makes this lens a difficult beast to use.  One needs either a tripod and macro rail ( a neat tool where one can move the whole camera on a slider), or a very good flash and a steady hand.  Normally I would use the MTX 24 with this lens as it is optimised for it.  If using the flash one must go to 1/200th with synchronisation.

 

Despite these difficulties one can take shots that are not possible with any other lens, at least in my experience.  One can get just the eye of insects or indeed magnify one grain of rice so that it fills the entire viewfinder.  I have done the rice image but it is not very interesting.

 

Now some time ago I saw a shot taken with this lens of bubbles with the label of a beverage showing in the bubbles.  I have on numerous times tried to do the same, more so in an attempt to understand just what was required to get a half decent shot of such a tricky image.

Today I decided that I would have another attempt.  In the past I have used champagne, soft drink and beer bubbles all to no avail.  Today I decided to use a small amount of vinegar and Bi -Carb and let the water stand until the bubbles were a reasonable size, in this case about pin head size.  Why, because all other attempts resulted in too small a bubble and often the desire to finish my champagne overcame the desire to wait for larger bubbles.

The next consideration was placement and then light.  I first tried backlight through the window but that allowed to much of the world into the picture.  So I blanked the windows and lit the bottle with strip florescent.  Success.  the bottle was clear, the colours were ok and there was not much else to distract.  Then it was just down to adjusting focus using the macro rail, adjusting the glass and bottle until I had some bubbles where I could clearly see the label.

 

This is the resulting image, a bit christmasy but I have achieved what I wanted.  Hope you like it.  Oh and if you are wondering what the beverage is it is Moet Champagne,  not opened though, pity.  you can read part of the word in some of the bubbles.

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