This blog is devoted to the application of optical fibers in photography. I have several homemade (DIY) flash adapters channeling the light from the flash close to the lens. The technique can be used mainly for macro photography, but I will show examples for wide angle close focus techniques as well. The recent version is called fiberstrobe V3, hence the name of the blog is "fiberstrobe".

Monday, May 16, 2016

Daphnia again

Today I wanted to post a tutorial about fast digitalizing old photo slides with a simple macro lens and a tablet or smartphone. However, I brought home some water fleas for filming them to my new video project. Afternoon I decided to take some new photos as well despite my tons of daphnia photos. Man y of them were nice but this one I really like:


I also tried to add a bit of blue by placing a piece of blue paper behind. It worked well:


If you're interested my video project you may check my vimeo channel:

https://vimeo.com/166555881




Sunday, February 7, 2016

Daphnia project 2016

This year I'm planning to focus more on video. Plan is to shoot a 15-20 mins underwater video including some super macro using small aquariums. As a first step I bought some daphnia in the zoo shop and filled my mini aquarium. After finishing the video session I couldn't resist to take some new photos. My new A6000 is just perfect for this purpose. The lighting set-up includes optical fibers to side-lit the water fleas, which brings out the details. You can check the rig in my previous post here:
http://fiberstrobe.blogspot.de/2013/03/fiber-maco-aquarium-project.html

After the focus and the exposure is set taking images is really easy. Few photos from the results:












Monday, January 25, 2016

Fiberstrobe vs Evil Dead



The films of Evil Dead trilogy were my favorite horror movies when I was a child. Despite the low budget they were really scary and were full with crazy cinematic shots, strange angles of views and fancy tricks. I was really happy when I heard that Ash was back with his chainsaw. I also liked a lot the poster created for this new Ash vs Evil Dead TV series:
You know that I’m a big fun of fisheye effects, so I decided to pay respect to the Evil Dead series and I took my own version of the poster. These are my pictures in portrait and landscape format:




The show the branches of the trees in an almost circular format the camera was placed almost on the ground on a joby tripod. My new camera is a sony A6000 that has a cool function. It can be remotely controlled by a smartphone, so it was possible to have a full control on the picture even when the LCR/EVF was almost touching the ground. The only problem was that the battery depleted in my smartphone during the photo shooting, so the rest was just try and error approach. I had two sets of charged batteries for my camera and the flash, but I haven’t checked my phone. It’s still not yet part of the checking list. There is no extra light on the original poster, but I decided to hold not just a camera (my old nex-5) but also a flashgun. Ash is holding a chainsaw and boomstick in (on) his hands. I used self-timer (10 seconds) and radio triggering for my flash (simple yongnuo flash).
After resizing and cropping I’ve just increased the contrast and altered a bit the colors to get the final image.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Cheese

I rarely ask people to say cheese when I take group photos, but today I did real cheese photography. I've tried recently a La Corona cheese that was new in the selection of our supermarket. It was really delicious and while eating I've also recognized its very interesting structure. Yesterday I bought a new piece and before eating it I took few photos. I found the rim lighting as the best way to bring out the surface structure of the cheese:


Here you can see a bit my DIY fiber optic rim light adapter, so you can imagine the lighting set-up:


The photo was taken with a sony nex-5 and the sel30M35 macro lens on a tripod. A radio-triggered external flash provided the light through the rim light adapter.

Guten Appetit!

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Freelensing versus 30mm macro with fisheye adapter

Just a quick try to compare the freelensing technique with the 30mm macro lens with the fisheye adapter attached. The first picture is the fisheye lens itself (SEL16F28 + VCL-ECF1). It's stopped down but the closest subject is still not sharp enough and the background dominates:


In the freelensing photo below the background is blurred and the closest subject is really sharp. The lens was set to infinity before it was detached from the camera.


f8

f22


Stopping down the lens doesn't make much difference. Setting the sharpness is easier around F8. The last picture is with the SEL30M35 lens combined with the fisheye adapter (VCL-ECF1).


Considering the close-up distance the field of view is really nice but not as dramatic as in case of the freelensing technique. Which one to choose is really a matter of taste. I will use both techniques in the future.

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Freelensing

Few days ago I’ve visited Sweden for a short business trip. Between two events I had a bit of time for sightseeing and photography. I also went to a botanical garden in Lund that was full with fantastic flowers and absolutely not shy butterflies. Unfortunately I had only the kit lens and the 16mm+fisheye lens with me, so I had to improvise for macro photography. My previous post was about a kind of freelensing, so it was just the perfect time to try again. Stunning results, considering the simple set up, in my opinion. However, it’s not for people who are always afraid of dust spots on the sensor. I had some, maybe partly due to this freelensing but I’ve also changed the lenses a lot. After I got home, I cured the sensor with DUST-AID Platinum Kit. Now, few selected photos from the botanical garden:









The lights were perfects so there was no need for artificial lights. It was enough to take care of the lens and not to drop it onto the ground.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Can we get a bit closer

Wide angle macro photography is my favourite phototechnique. Modern fisheye lenses have relatively good close-focus abilities; therefore they’re excellent tools for this kind of photography. Sigma 15mm fisheye is excellent regarding this and the sony fisheye converter (VCL-ECF1) on the 16mm macro is also quite good if you want to go close to your subject. However, going even closer would be nice sometimes. Since you can’t add close-up lenses to a fisheye lens, the only solution is extension tube. I’ve quickly tested a 10mm tube on my sony nex with the 16mm+ VCL-ECF1 combo, but the effect was too strong. However, I’ve seen recently an excellent photo from Nikola Rahm√©, who is one of the best macro photographers. Check his photo here:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/eurythyrea/19565832992/in/dateposted/

He used a custom made 8 mm long extension tube with sigma fisheye. I really like the effect on his picture, so I kept experimenting with the idea. I’ve simply detached the lens from the camera and held simply in front of the camera to mimic the effect of an extension tube. Pushing it to the mount gives you 6-7mm distance and it worked. These photos were taken with the closest focus distance, when the lens attached correctly (stopped down and opened iris):




This one is taken by handholding the lens few mm away from the camera. The flower is relatively small (around 30 mm in diameter):


I've also tried it with a gooseberry (check my arm):


Some suggestions for this technique:
  • · Focus manually the lens to infinity (set focus mode to manual) otherwise the subject will be just too close and it will practically touch the lens.
  • · You can set the aperture before you detach the lens (when the camera is on) and the lens will keep the set values.
  • · Lighting the subject will be necessary most of the case, which is quite challenging due to the close focus distance, but not impossible if you use optical fibres to direct the light from the main flash to the subject.
  • · This technique, of course, requires a tripod and subjects stay still.
It’s most probably easier to do it with a samyang/rokinon manual fisheye lens, where you can easily alter focus and iris even when the lens is detached. I quickly tried with the sigma 15mm fisheye on an adapter and it worked also fine. Fine tuning of the focus was also possible. Sorry to photograph my orchids again. Some photos below with the sigma fisheye that was designed for full-frame cameras, so the nex-5, I used actually cropped the field of view.



Here the photo when the lens attached normally:



At the end, the best approach would be for this technique a sigma 15mm lens attached to a helicoids adapter and used on a full-frame camera (A7 series). Such helicoids adapters work as variable extension tubes, so the effect can be modified easily. For example on this quenoX adapter the distance rack out from 0 to 6 mm.
http://www.enjoyyourcamera.com/Objektivadapter/Adapter-an-Sony-NEX/Alpha-E-Mount/Ausfahrbarer-Helicoid-Objektivadapter-Canon-EOS-Sony-Alpha-NEX-E-Mount-wie-Zwischenring::7201.html

No need for awkward handholding, so I can imagine that the technique could be even used without a tripod with such set-up.