When we talk about composition, we usually talk about “Rule of Thirds” and foreground/ background, diagonal lines, leading lines, repeating elements and so forth. Have you ever considered the composition effect that changing lenses would have on how your subject relates to its surroundings?
I started doing Closeup Wide Angle images at least 15 years ago and used a small 8mm extension tube with my 17-35 wide angle lens to great effect. Instead of an intimate portrait of a flower, you now get a portrait but in a setting of the flowers surroundings. This gives the flower and home to live in as opposed to a setup that could be anywhere. I think it tells more of an environmental story to have more of the home surroundings of a subject. We are so concerned about the environment and where things are going, it is nice to show the environment even when you are doing a close up portrait.
Well, the 8mm extension tube doesn’t work on the 17-35 with digital cameras. Even the full frame Nikon D4 just wouldn’t focus. I tried and I can share some images, but it wasn’t pretty. Alternatives are to use a diopter (big glass filter than screws in front of your lens). I use a Canon 500D diopter filter. Yes, Canon filters will work on Nikon glass. Why use Canon diopter? Because I can? Well, yes, but better answer is that Nikon doesn’t make a diopter in 77mm size. I also use the Nikon 5T and 6T diopters on my Nikon 200 micro when I want to get closer than 1:1. (This is full life size, meaning the image area you are capturing is the same size as the sensor area).
Yesterday, I was trying hard to make the 8mm extension tube and 17-35 Wide Angle thing work and wasn’t happy. I guess I thought I would get lucky and it would start working on the D4 where it hadn’t worked on the D2x or D3s or D3x.. Wrong. Then I remembered.. I’ve got a 24mm PCE (tilt shift) lens in my bag. The cool thing is that it is a Micro lens. So I got it out and started playing. It doesn’t give me quite the background area that the 17mm did, but it works.
So here are a few images, first shoot with 200 Micro then with 24 Micro. See the difference..
Later this weekend, I will show some images put together using Helicon Focus Stacking. Creates a different image than trying to get everything sharp by using a large DOF when doing macro work..