Nikon d70--super macro lens?

MixedFruitBasket

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I am trying very hard to get some important photos for a biologist, but I can't seem to get photos that are close enough. Currently I am using an old Nikon D70. It's all I have for right now. I have a macro lens which I an also using, however, no matter how hard I try I can't seem to get the photos with the close up details he needs.
I have gotten right too the glass on some of them, but they still don't turn out clear enough.
Is it the low Mp that's causing this? Would a higher MP camera solve the issue? Or do I just need a better macro lens?
Or is it something else? I'd really appreciate any help on this. Thank you
 

Ron Reefman

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I get my best and sharpest photos when I use our Olympus Tough 1 camera. It's good to 30 or 40 feet deep. so I go inside the tank, actually in the water. It also has a macro setting so getting really close is pretty easy.

I think several manufacturers make these shallow waterproof cameras now and you can find them fairly cheap on Ebay. My wife uses one when we snorkel and I wanted one since I hardly collect much wildlife anymore (my tank is full). I got mine in 'like new' condition for $125.
 
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MixedFruitBasket

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I get my best and sharpest photos when I use our Olympus Tough 1 camera. It's good to 30 or 40 feet deep. so I go inside the tank, actually in the water. It also has a macro setting so getting really close is pretty easy.

I think several manufacturers make these shallow waterproof cameras now and you can find them fairly cheap on Ebay. My wife uses one when we snorkel and I wanted one since I hardly collect much wildlife anymore (my tank is full). I got mine in 'like new' condition for $125.


This isn't in the ocean it's in my tank.
 
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MixedFruitBasket

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What shutter speed/f-stop and are you using a tripod or handheld? I suspect you are getting motion blur if trying to use handheld.

I have done both. Hand held, a tripod, even bracing my arms on something. I admit, I have very bad tremors in my hands so yeah, tripod was the first thing on my list, but it didn't do much good.

I have the ISO set to 1000 right now, tried it as high as 1600, the person these are for said noise wasn't an issue, he can take that out. I've tried my aperture at anything from 5.6 (which is the lowest it goes) to 15 (it goes higher but that's not going to help me).
 
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MixedFruitBasket

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Side not here--it's my partner who knows cameras, not me. But he's not familiar with Nikon and has dealt mostly with auto cameras and even making his own. I'm telling you this because I'm sure you're going to ask me things I don't know about. Especially when he's not here and I can't ask for interpretation.

The subject is 1/2 the way raised off the substrate sitting on a frag rack. This is high enough for me to kneel and brace myself or use a tripod and not have to move around a lot. Some of the coral is actually pressed against the glass, which is how close it is. Close enough to count the spines on the polyp petals.
 
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MixedFruitBasket

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Keep in mind, he's having to blow this up significantly to get a close up view of the polyps and how they look. So what looks Okay at a normal viewing distance, isn't for what he's needing.
I'm thinking this is due to the age of the camera and lack of MP.
 
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NanoDJS

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you on the right track , your MP count is limiting his ability to zoom in with clarity , there should be settings on your camera most default to med size so you can take more pics , maybe you can jack up the pic quality on the camera you own max MP setting then you could zoom in better
 

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Nikon D70 is an excellent camera and is more than enough to do the job. A few years ago I updated my Nikon d40 to a d7200 and although the d7200 has higher pixels there isn't much of a difference except for large prints.
 

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You need to get a stand off for the lens, you could try with the hood on but I think your subject is too close.
My old camera focuses at 10 mm, by glass is 10 mm thick, have the lens or hood touching and square to the glass, hand held, quick example! :)

DSC09462 (1024x776).jpg
 

Crossfire

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you on the right track , your MP count is limiting his ability to zoom in with clarity , there should be settings on your camera most default to med size so you can take more pics , maybe you can jack up the pic quality on the camera you own max MP setting then you could zoom in better
This is incorrect. MP count has nothing to do with zoom on a DSLR. Unless you are talking about zooming into a photo in editing software like photoshop or Lightroom.
 
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NanoDJS

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so that camera wont shoot in diff MP modes ? 3008x 2000 is every shot ? and you saying If I zoom on a 14mp dlsr and a 6 mp I will get the same clarity even though the pixels cannot be represented ? This is quite intriguing please explain.
 
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Here is what you need to do. Set your camera in aperture priory mode and set the aperture for as wide as you can (lowest number possible). Usually around 3-4 for most decent lenses, around 2 for high end lenses. Now you will have a wide depth of field with a lot of light coming into the sensor meaning your camera will take the photo at a higher shutter speed which will eliminate motion blur. A tripod will help a lot. Most of your blur is likely coming from a slow shutter speed because your aperture is too high. Drop it as low as possible and you should be able to get it right.

If you have trouble you can bump the iso up to 400-600 to give you a quicker shutter speed. The d70 doesn't have great quality above 800 iso, so dont go too high.

I've used every camera available. Your d70 is still excellent- that sensor is high quality. Don't fall into the mega pixel marketing scheme. My iPhone has 12 mp and can get nowhere near the quality of a d70 which is half of that. The lens is the most important part, not the MPs. What lens model are you using?
 

Crossfire

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I have done both. Hand held, a tripod, even bracing my arms on something. I admit, I have very bad tremors in my hands so yeah, tripod was the first thing on my list, but it didn't do much good.

I have the ISO set to 1000 right now, tried it as high as 1600, the person these are for said noise wasn't an issue, he can take that out. I've tried my aperture at anything from 5.6 (which is the lowest it goes) to 15 (it goes higher but that's not going to help me).
I just read this. Your iso would be around 200 with the d70. That sensor looks very blurry with any iso above 800. Any good photographer wouldn't use a high iso anywhere unless they have too. Turn your lights higher in the tank and keep at a lower iso for quality. If your hands have some tremors, you can easily get around this by setting the camera to take a photo 3-5 seconds after you press the button.

Post some of the photos here, I'll be glad to help. You can set your camera to shoot raw .nef files which are much clearer. I'd be happy to edit them in Lightroom for you to the highest quality you can get. I'm more than happy to help.
 
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Crossfire

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Here is a sample:

MacroshotCoratake2.jpg
This photo is great. I don't see the problem unless you wanted everything in focus. If you do not like the blur in the back and front, that is your wide depth of field causing that. If you want the entire image in focus, you have to do the opposite of what I posted earlier. Higher aperture around 10-16 will keep everything in focus. This will make it much harder to take as there is much less light and will require a higher iso and slower shutter. You need a trip pod if you want a high iso with a narrow depth of field.

I think the wrong terms are being used here. The image you posted isn't "blur", it is a wide depth of field. This is what happens if your lens aperture is low. If you want the entire image in clear, I wouldn't even use a macro lens. Try a prime lens like a 35mm or the kit lens of 18-55mm. The macro lens is supposed to give a high depth of filed on close shots.
 
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MixedFruitBasket

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you on the right track , your MP count is limiting his ability to zoom in with clarity , there should be settings on your camera most default to med size so you can take more pics , maybe you can jack up the pic quality on the camera you own max MP setting then you could zoom in better

Yes, I have it set for max mega pixels. Remember, this is a Nikon D70 it's about 15 years old and has 4mp.
 
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MixedFruitBasket

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This photo is great. I don't see the problem unless you wanted everything in focus. If you do not like the blur in the back and front, that is your wide depth of field causing that. If you want the entire image in focus, you have to do the opposite of what I posted earlier. Higher aperture around 10-16 will keep everything in focus. This will make it mush harder to take as there is much less light and will require a higher iso and slower shutter. You need a trip pod if you want a high iso with a narrow depth of field.

The problem is clarity when you zoom in. Like I said, I think this is going to be a limit because of the age of my camera. I'm going to try a different Nikon that's newer but it's not as versatile as the D70. However if it can take macro pictures I guess it doesn't matter.
 

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