Technical Mobile Photography Tutorial – Going Macro with Manfrotto and Olloclip!

Share

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!

 

media_1379086958387.png

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!!

media_1379086981757.png

 

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.

media_1379087001329.png

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.

 

media_1379087022290.png

Just for fun, I positioned Manfrotto’s light source directly behind the paintbrush. I do like what I captured! Very Hollywood!!

 

media_1379087052146.png

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!

 

media_1379087072168.png

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!

media_1379087098496.png

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.

media_1379087116855.png

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!!

17 thoughts on “Technical Mobile Photography Tutorial – Going Macro with Manfrotto and Olloclip!”

  1. Love this tutorial, thanks for posting it! The idea of moving the light source around with macro is fun! You probably could manage fiddling with light even outside if you bring things to make degrees of shade. That would be yet another group of “looks.” So many variations to play with!

    • Jennifer ~ Thanks! I’m looking forward to taking this rig outside soon to poke amongst dark nooks in the woods. What fun that will be!!

  2. Fascinating, Dave! The sharpness of the Olloclip is amazing and I love the idea of the moveable LED light source. Great photos, great tute.

  3. David, thanks for this series, very useful info. Now I will have to go out and buy a few of the Manfroto items.

    • I’m so glad you liked in Irene!! And I’m sure the folks at Manfroto will be pleased as well!! It’s good gear…enjoy!!

  4. Why didn’t you use the Olloclip case you somewhat ‘reviewed’ a few weeks ago? Still wondering about that case and its flip section shutter release.

    I have the Manfrotto rig. It’s fine until the thin edge breaks near the joint. Very fragile there. The LED is great for portrait work as well adding a desirable catchlight to the eyes.

    • Why didn’t you use the Olloclip case you somewhat ‘reviewed’ a few weeks ago? Still wondering about that case and its flip section shutter release.

      I have the Manfrotto rig. It’s fine until the thin edge breaks near the joint. Very fragile there. The LED is great for portrait work as well adding a desirable catchlight to the eyes.

      Another exciting thing for cellphone photography is the new Kickstarter product Muku Shuttr. It’s a small, wireless shutter release for iPhone and certain Android phones. It eliminates vibration blur as you don’t touch the screen to take a shot. I predct that It will soon become widely available. It’s just too good an idea.

    • Another exciting thing for cellphone photography is the new Kickstarter product Muku Shuttr. It’s a small, wireless shutter release for iPhone and certain Android phones. It eliminates vibration blur as you don’t touch the screen to take a shot. I predct that It will soon become widely available. It’s just too good an idea.

    • Well Mike. It’s like this. I could have used the Ōlliclip case…but elected to use the Manfrotto instead. But don’t worry, I’ll be using the ōlliclip case soon enough!! Sounds to me like you know your gear…would love to see the images you come up with whilst using it…might you have a photostream out there on Flickr, etc.?

      • Hi David. First let me apologize for the numerous repeat posts above. My iPad was not behaving the other night.

        I do have a site, MichaelOHara.net, but its currently down for redesign. I have various links I could supply but prefer not to list them here. Until their recent departure, I was frequently showcased on the curated site P1xels at an exhibition (P1xels). I take my iphonography quite seriously. I print and exhibit my work and am included in various private and public collections. The most recent acquisition was a large format print of an intentionally gorked out cellphone shot taken in 2005 with a Pre-smart LG flip phone. It was purchased by the Hawaii State Art Museum.

        I have the Manfrotto kit you reviewed and use it with an Olloclip. I shoot fisheye 1:1 B&W which produces a beautifully distorted effect without the fishbowl look as the square format crops the sides in the phone.

        I would like more detailed reviews from you and others regarding accessories available for iPhone. So far most seem rather light and superficial to me.

        • Thanks Mike. I’ll be on the look out for your images as I tend to be everywhere myself. Hope your site comes up soon!! You can find my images in all the usual places: Flickr, EyeEm, 500px, Facebook, IPA and like yourself, the occasional showcase on P1xels. I use the “handle” of Clearer Reflections in all of this places.

          • I’m usually HulaMike. I get into trouble everywhere!

            Back to your Olloclip case review. Could you tell me how the open flip part “feels” and acts as a shutter release? Substantial and sure or sloppy and wobbly?

            And what’s that perturbance, large bump, along side it when flipped open? A stop? Part of the shutter?

            The case seems to be translucent plastic. Does it seem brittle or easily broken?

            Thanks.

  5. Mike ~ well…it’s like this…

    The flip part opens/closely smoothly…that large bump you refer to seems to be just a stop. I couldn’t find any other use in olloclip’s materials.

    As a shutter release…I’ll have to admit that I don’t use my volume control as a shutter release as it doesn’t work on all camera apps as I’m sure you know. So…I’ve never gotten in the habit of using that. Now with that said, it does hit the volume button squarely and triggered the shutter release without any noticeable problems. A nice feature if you use the volume control.

    The case itself is translucent plastic and seems sturdy enough…pretty much like any of the other cases. It’s one piece and snaps around the edges of an iPhone. There is no front to the case other than the edges which does leave the front of an iPhone somewhat unprotected. The Pro-Photo adapter slips on/off easily and friction locks to the case snuggly. It only fits on the bottom of the iPhone so you only use the tripod and cold-foot points in certain positions…ideal for landscape orientation…not so much in portrait. It’s not really made to leave on the case full time but to slip on when needed.

    • Thank you. You’ve filled in some holes for me. As I shoot my iPhone on a handle at all angles, the temporary snug fit of the pro clip (?) tripod adapter wouldn’t work for me more than likey. I like my KLYP case well enough its just that it broke in my pocket when I had it removed for the Olloclip. A little superglue fixed it but I was interested in olloclips own case. They should have added a thumb screw or spring loaded clamp for security.

      Thanks again.

  6. Thanks for the informative tute! Manfrotto on the wish list- look forward to future experimenting.

Leave a comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

error: Content is protected !!