When it comes to weird cameras, they were surely made during the film days. And if anything is to be believed, the Yashica Dental Eye series had to be one of the strangest and most specialized cameras out there. It was quite literally a fixed lens camera with macro capabilities and a built-in ring flash.
So why was it called the Dental Eye? Ring flashes were originally developed for dentists who needed to shoot photos of teeth and other ailments of the mouth and needed direct lighting. The ring flash was developed to solve this problem and worked for many years. But then photographers started to use them for macro shooting and eventually for portraits to get that signature ring in someone’s eyes.
According to the Analog photographer when talking about the first version:
“Almost everything is automatic, which is not necessarily a bad thing, as it turned out from my first tests: you can only select whether you activate the flash or use ambient light only (you can also set flash under/overexposure by 1 stop). But there is no flash TTL metering. Instead, it has a simple yet brilliant solution-the flash output remains constant while the aperture gets smaller as the reproduction ratio gets higher. Two problems are solved this way (may be even three, considering the high reflectance of teeth): the photos are always correctly exposed, regardless of shooting distance, and the compensation of the diminishing depth of field. Genial, isn’t it?”
This camera can shoot incredible images in the hands of a skilled photographer and with the right film, the original camera had a 55mm f4 lens while the later versions had a 100mm f4 offering.
Talk about weird, huh?
Samyang is the same company as Rokinon, and they’ve currently got a new teaser on their Facebook page. It seems like a new Macro lens may be coming from their statement.
“With immense focus and unparalleled features, #Samyangoptics will introduce the latest product. Stay tuned.”
It we didn’t know any better, we’d say that it’s a Macro lens and that since it’s bound to be fully manual focus the lens could be a true 1:1 Macro optic. Given that Samyang and Rokinon have both also worked on more premium versions of their lenses to ensure perfect color correction, this new lens may be a super premium optic of some sort.
However, we’re not sure what D-6 means. They wouldn’t tease a product coming in December starting this early. We’ll just have to wait and find out.
We’re going to do you some justice: we’re not going to give you a list of lenses that will give you better macro images; that’s far too simple. The truth is that when combined with modern cameras, most any lens can do an incredible job. Instead, we’re going to tell you how to make your images even better without spending the equivalent of another lens.
The key to better macro images and better photos overall has to do with one thing: light. Yes, you can use natural light but it won’t always give you what you need to create an image that simply pops off the screen and grabs your viewers. Instead, you need to be in control of your light.
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Image by Miguel Jalo. Used with permission.
Photographer Miguel Jalo captured an absolutely incredible image of a mosquito who landed on him and began to feast on his blood. The image was posted to the PhotoCritique Subreddit, where many also found it to be a great catch.
Miguel states that he used a Nikon 40mm lens at F16 and ISO 100 and was afraid to get closer to the subject lest it get scared off. While folks are critiquing the background and cutting off the legs, Miguel still caught the important parts of the image that otherwise make it incredible and while framing it quite well.
“I shot this at f16. Was afraind to go any further because that particular lens starts losing sharpness. Those light(s) are the result of the in camera flash not being able to (light) up the whole frame. It was one of the problems with that lens in particular, because if you wanted 1:1 magnification (true macro) you’d have to get really really close to your subject.” states Miguel.
For what it’s worth, the image is very detailed and shows us a moment that we rarely ever see and are too often too busy swatting the mosquito.
Though they’re usually better known for lots of their very premium grade lenses, Panasonic today announced two new lenses: the LUMIX G 42.5mm F1.7 ASPH. POWER O.I.S. and the LUMIX G Macro 30mm F2.8 ASPH. MEGA O.I.S. lenses.
The 42.5mm f1.7 is obviously being targeted at portrait shooters, and is a more affordable version than their 42.5mm f1.2 lens. At its heart, it houses 10 elements in 8 groups, a close focusing distance of 12.2 inches, a metal mount, multi-coated lens elements, and POWER O.I.S.
But on the other side of the spectrum is the 30mm f2.8 MEGA OIS lens which is targeted at macro shooters. Panasonic states that it’s got a 1x life-size magnification, a focusing distance starting at 4.13 inches, has a metal mount, and 9 lenses in 9 groups including an aspherical element.
The Panasonic 30mm Macro f2.8 will be available in April and the Panasonic 42.5mm f1.7 in May at $399.99 each.
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Earlier this year, Canon introduced their MR-14 EX II ring flash. As the successor to their aging offering, the new flash brought minor upgrades with it including new ergonomics, a new LED lamp to help with focusing, and new controls on the back. But otherwise, it’s a mostly unchanged flash. To begin with, it was very specialized and the world of macro photography has changed quite dramatically as the years have progressed. Many photographers tend to go for diffusion off of large panels instead of direct light from a harsh flash.
And while you should be excited about the ETTL capability improvement that this flash brings, you should also scratch your head a bit about how it fits into Canon’s ecosystem.
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