For people who have digital slr cameras, did you get a separate macro lens for taking pictures of your work, or is there a macro setting that works well? I found the macro lenses to be almost as expensive as the camera body.
I remember buying a separate macro lens for my old Olympus OM-1. It was the only lens I had, but it worked well for most photos and was wonderful for pictures of artwork.
Also, have you found the focus easy to use? I seem to have trouble using the little focuses and telling when objects are truly in focus. (My old eyes ...)
We have an Olympus E-500 and it has a macro setting on it that my DH uses to take pictures. I find the focus on the camera very difficult to use. I think the photo is in focus but after snapping the picture it is blurry. DH doesn't have any trouble with it at all.
I've just received as a gift a Sony Cybershot which also has a macro setting on it. I haven't used it yet.
I have found that If I use a tripod I have better luck trying to photograph the little bears with the macro, I have four different cameras. Olympus, a new GE that is really easy to use, Plus a kodak and my Samsung dv with camera combo still takes the best little shots. The tripod really helps to the pictures are less likely to be blurry from my unsteady hands.
With our previous SLRs I used both a separate macro lens as well as that series of 3, thin, screw-on lenses (using 1, 2 or 3 as needed) at different times. A tripod was absolutely necessary, but it's not been pointed out yet that, with the macro, after focusing on the subject (to stay within its depth-of-field [how much is in focus from back to front of the subject]) it was necessary to physically move the either the camera/tripod or the bear back-and-forth to 'fill the frame'.
This was needed for miniatures, in wishing to get the whole object into the frame, rather than when focusing on one part of a larger bear, where you want a macro shot of an eye treatment or claw detail and not caring that the rest of the bear trails off the edge of the frame.
I found this very problematic - moving forward and back - as the legs of the tripod just didn't let me get in close enough past the edge of the table. There were many times that I held my breath (Take the pic just after exhaling when you're at your steadiest.) and tilted the tripod forward on 2 legs.....
The first digital, Olympus ES1000, weighed more and was larger than the SLRs we've owned.
I have a digi now, a Cascio Exilim Series 8something w/8.1 mp. It was rated (18 months ago years ago) at better image in close-ups than the then-new 10 mp. And it was $100 less expensive.
The best thing is that I no longer use a tripod, so I can get just the image I want. Sometimes being able to move yourself or the camera over my as little as 1/2" can make a huge difference in getting all 4 legs to show (a bear on all 4s) or in getting the light to reflect in a faceted eye. Even with a Universal ball joint to mount the camera, it's not always possible to move that fraction of an inch w/o readjusting the subject & the camera mount.
I can focus with the camera as little as 4" away from the subject and the menu of choices appears at the touch of a button, allowing each image to be made slightly differently, as the need arises.
I doubt I'll ever go back to a 35 mm SLR or the Oly digi again, as they're too bulky/unwieldy/time-consuming to set up and take down.
I go downstairs to my set-up tabletop (mounted tummy/chest high, as I have back problems) flip on one switch for 4 lights, take several dozen images and am uploading them onto the desktop in 5 minutes. It's no longer a chore that I put off as long as possible!
And Don now uses 'my' camera instead of getting out the Oly, with all of the macro, wide angle and long range lenses.... that camera bag weighs at least 10 - 12 bs where mine is 5 or 6 ounces, has a 2.5" screen, is the size of a deck of cards and fits into any pocket.
We photographed over 200 teddy bears using the Nikon D-80 without additional macro lense at 10 mega pixels for top quality pictures.
Take a look at these latest photos of our new teddy bears with a close-up of the face:
http://www.cuddleworks.com/New_Teddy_Be … s_s/51.htm
Macro lenses and macro setting are only useful if your focusing range is less than 3 feet. Instead, I suggest you try using a larger telephoto lens, such as a 100mm (for digital, this'll let you zoom in super-close from about 7 feet away).
If you're serious about your pictures, I also recommend using a fixed focus lens, not a zoom lens.