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Categorized | Articles, Don Komarechka

Pushing Limits — Delving into Another World (preview)

©Don Komarechka
Butterfly eye
Settings: ƒ5@1/200 sec., ISO 1600, (light source: ring flash)

Story and photography by Don Komarechka

Macro photographers know that once you get a glimpse of the detail in an insect’s eye or the inside of a flower, you want to get even closer.

Some subjects have unending detail and no matter how close you get, there’s still more to see. A surprising number of people have been asking me lately how to push to these extremes, and the answer is with microscope objectives.

It might have never crossed your radar but a good microscope objective can cost a few hundred dollars in the used market (eBay is a great source) and are available in 2X, 5X, 10X, 20X and higher magnifications. It’s cheaper than a new ultra-powerful macro lens, and the gear to mount it on your camera is incredibly inexpensive.

Look for an infinity-corrected objective, and one that pairs with a 200mm focal length (in the microscope world, this is often written as f=200). There are a lot of options from manufacturers like Mitutoyo and Nikon and a wide variety of focal lengths. For this article, I used a Mitutoyo Plan APO 20X objective … but how the heck do you get it to work with your camera?

The first thing you’ll need is a lens that covers a 200mm focal length. Across different camera systems I have used a 100-400mm lens set to 200mm and it does the trick. You’ll need to set your lens focus to infinity, but first we need a little bit of hardware to fit the two lenses together.

To read about Don’s Delving into Another World column, and to read more of this not-to-miss issue please pick up the Fall/Winter 2018 issue today online or at your local newsstand. To never miss an issue you can subscribe here

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