close-up

Tulips in B&W

I really love how these tulips look like in B&W. And high-contrast B&W is even better. Beautiful metallic shine combined with a coarse looks makes it. Why to always shoot flowers in colors?

Beautiful tulips
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Frost with Ricoh GRD IV

I love the fact that the minimum focus distance is only 1 cm with Ricoh GRD IV. That makes this camera very cool device for close-ups. By shooting so close to your subject you can achieve nice background bokeh and the small sensor still allows enough DoF to get sharp shots.

Frost Frost again

The beauty of a lovely watch does not vanish into the grain

My lovely Mido watch. Shines through the grain. Photographed with Ricoh GRD IV.

Mido

Close-up with Ricoh GRD IV

I have had my Ricoh GRD IV camera now only few hours but I can already say that I really love its close-up capabilities. You can go as close as 1 cm to your subject and this camera will autofocus! Wow. And you can have some decent bokeh with this camera in this kind of a close-ups as can be seen in the shot below. More about other things later.

Close-up with Ricoh GRD IV

Fall fun

Fall colors are appearing everywhere. I decided to go at our yard and shoot some autumn leaves. And guess what? I took my oldest digital camera with me. Leica Digilux 2. I did so even if the weather was cloudy and it was raining lightly. But this camera shoots so nice close-ups. Well, they are nice if you’ll get the focus right and it is not so easy with this camera. Autofocus is very slow and it does not have focus peaking assisting manual focusing. After all I managed to get some decent shots. Fall colors are so beautiful even if I am longing for the summer quite much. Soon we will have snow…

An autumnal leaf Not yet fallen

Close-ups with Leica Digilux 2

I have been testing my Digilux 2 and today I shot especially close-ups with it. It is certainly not any macro-capable camera but it delivers nice close-ups. If you want blurred background and some bokeh with this camera it is best to use 90mm focal length and the widest aperture (f/2.4). I'm quite pleased and actually surprised how nice background blur I got (remember that this camera has a 2/3″ sensor).

All shots below are not cropped at all and present about the maximum close-up magnification you can get from it. I've noticed that it is better to put camera's sharpness adjustment to “low” to prevent over-sharpening (I've kept contrast and saturation adjustments in “standard”). The key is to use mild selective sharpening in post-processing (I used adjustment brush in LR). Another important and handy feature is camera's ability to shoot three-shot series (3 shots in about 1.5 seconds). This is very useful especially if you shoot handheld as I've done here. Shooting series minimizes the motion blur in handheld shots and usually at least one of the three will be reasonably sharp. Series shooting is very nice feature also for shooting indoor portraits without a flash. Blur is minimized and there is also an additional bonus – you'll get different facial expressions to choose from during that 1.5 second period. I used mainly “AF-Macro” but tested also manual focusing which was actually nice and I will test it more later on.

All in all I can say that Leica Digilux 2 surprised me very positively by its close-up properties.

 

A red berry

A red berry, originally uploaded by Jonne Naarala.

Autumn has arrived in its full power. It is quite chilly and rainy now. But autumn provides nice photo opportunities with all fall colors, mushrooms etc.

I am very pleased on Fuji X100’s close-up capabilities. Macro mode works well and it is possible to use back button to focus if using MF focusing (the focus ring in the lens is totally unusable). Above pic is shot using available light but if you need fill flash the X100 is very handy to provide some additional light automatically. Flash shots are very natural looking. I think X100’s flash is the best in-camera flash I have encountered.

Common wood sorrels

Common wood sorrels, originally uploaded by Jonne Naarala.

These beautiful little flowers gave me such great spring or early summer feeling! They grow in shade of big spruces but they really lit up their surroundings.

They were so wonderful that I decided to shoot plants more from now on. I have two wonderful Voigtländer lenses for close-up work. CV40 (40mm/f2.0) is really great when you want to include some more background and habitat in plant close-ups. CV90 (90mm/f3.5), which I used for the above shot, is sweet for tighter close-ups. Both of these lenses have also special close-up lenses which you can attach to them and get greater magnification ratios, 1:4 for CV40 and 1:1.8 for CV90.