We’re delighted to publish our latest Technical Tutorial by our wonderful Head of Technical Tutorials, David Hayes. This time, David takes a look at some mobile Manfrotto kit with the uber popular Olloclip lens system, don’t miss this. (Foreword by Joanne Carter).
I have long enjoying macro photography and have invested in many a close-up and macro lenses and set-ups for my SLR cameras over the years. So when third party developers started coming out with the equipment one would need to take macro shots with an iPhone camera, I was overjoyed! Two of these developers, Manfrotto and Olloclip, have just what you need to take some great close-ups!
I recently put together this set-up and put it through its paces taking a series of macro images. Let’s run down what’s here.
I started with Manfrotto’s KLYP case.(A) This great little case is designed to easily slip on and off your iPhone and has attachment points for a tripod and light unit. What makes it perfect for macro work is that it is a two part case…the top part can be left off allowing you to slip on any of Olloclip’s lenses, including their macro combo.
One of the key elements of great macro photography is having a steady base for your camera as any movement is heightened when working close. Manfrotto’s PIXI mini tripod (B) filled this bill perfectly allowing me to have a rock solid base for my iPhone that attached to the bottom half of the KLYP case.
Next to having a rock solid base, a workable light source is essential for macro photography…particularly one that can get the light to where you need it. Too often your equipment shadows your source or its heat is detrimental to your subject. Manfrotto’s 24 LED light source proved to be the perfect answer. It’s 220 Lux/5600 K light gave me all the light I needed…and its LED lights remained cool through the shoot. What really excited me was the fact that I could “free hand” the light, moving it around my subjects giving different perspectives to the same subject.
Last but most essential was Olloclip’s macro lens combo that contains not only a macro lens, but a fish eye and wide angle lens. Its super sharp optics and sturdy construction made this combo a dream!
I also used several different bases and supports for my shoots…improvising is always so much fun!!
So…I put all of this together and went to work! What I’d like to show you in the rest of this article is the series of shoots I captured working with different subjects. In each of these series, I moved the light source around while keeping the subject matter and iPhone stationary. Sometimes the differences are subtle so you’ll have to give each a study before moving on…and other times there not! In this first series, my subject was a plastic roller I use for almost everything. I like how different scratches and cracks show up as I moved the light around.
This series is of a watercolor brush that I also use regularly. The top image is the brush taken with only ambient light…the last three are with the LED light source in different positions. Again, I like the different feel each one gives depending on the light’s position.
Just for fun, I positioned Manfrotto’s light source directly behind the paintbrush. I do like what I captured! Very Hollywood!!
When most folks think of macro photography, images of flowers and/or insects come to mind. I didn’t have any bugs handy but I could get flowers! This two-some shows two different perspectives of a spider mum. The light source allowed me to get in close for these images without wilting the petals!
In this series, I again kept my iPhone and spider mum stationary and moved the light source to different positions. Each time, I was able to capture a different feel of the same subject…and I like them all!
It’s sunflower season where I live, so naturally I wanted to work with these flowers. As with the last series, I kept both camera and subject stationary. The different “looks” are pretty dramatic as I moved the light source down and around.
For this last series, I focused on a set of petals. I don’t know which of these four I like best… they are all pretty special. I was certainly impressed with the sharpness of detail that the olloclip macro lens captured in each of these!
There you have it! I was quite pleased with the ease of use and the results I was able to obtain using this macro “rig”. When the weather cools off a bit, I plan to take this outside to do some on location macro photography. I have a feeling that Manfrotto’s 24 LED light source will come in handy when I focus on those subjects that like to hide in the dark!!