Inkwell Media, formerly Inkwell Design

Photography — Miscellaneous

The images below are various collections which don't obviously fit in the main categories. The subject matter varies widely, with no real connection between each collection.

I'll add some gear reviews here too. These are mainly for the benefit of my students who are beginning to extend their kit beyond the camera, lenses and tripod. To that end, the kit shown below will mainly be at the budget end of the scale.

The first reviews are concerned with shooting true macro. Despite many lenses being marketed as macro, true macro is defined as giving 1:1 magnification. That means that the image projected on the sensor is life-size (or larger).

Click the thumbnails below for expanded galleries.

vintage 01 vintage 02 vintage 03 vintage 04 vintage 05 vintage 06 vintage 07 vintage 08 vintage 09 vintage 10 vintage 11 vintage 12 vintage 13 vintage 14 vintage 15 vintage 16 vintage 17 vintage 18 vintage 19 vintage 20 vintage 21

Vintage & Classic Cars

A collection of classic and vintage cars as well as a few steam tractors, taken at various show days around Ireland.

The cars tend to be mainly British in origin (MG, Ford UK, Jaguar and Triumph most frequently) although some American, German and Italian models crop up from time to time. Some of these cars are surprisingly rare. Image 10 features a Gordon Keeble, of which only ninety-nine were made.

If anyone ever wants to buy me a nice present, I'll have the Jaguar Mk II in image 17. It's still a beautiful car 60 years on.

From a photographic point of view, using a Polarising Filter with shots like these is a must. They are best known for deepening blue skies, but they also cut out most of the reflections and intensify the colours. They are really useful when shooting around water too. Be aware that they block about a stop of light, so are not suitable for use with fast moving subjects.

Macro Bellows collapsed Macro Bellows extended Flower Magnified 1 Flower Magnified 2 Flower Magnified 3 Coin Magnified 3

Review: Andoer Macro bellows

I picked up a cheap Bellows kit from Amazon, more in hope than expectation. The kit is listed at £19.99 and at that price is practically disposable. I chose this one over the others listed because the base looked more solid and had a tripod mount.

The build quality isn't great. What looks like cast iron or machined metal is actually a hard resin. Both the camera mount and lens mount are off the vertical. That said, with a bit of fettling I think I can bring them to true. The bellows is extended by twisting the knurled knob and the action is reasonably smooth. on the reverse side is another screw which locks the bellows into place. The bellows itself feels like paper — I wouldn't trust it outside of the studio, and even then, it needs to be treated gently.

The shots here show increasing magnification as the bellows extends. Even at f8, the depth of field is minimal. For a cheap piece of kit, it opens up new avenues, but for any shots outside a studio, I'd recommend extension tubes insted.

Macro Extension tubes Macro Extension tubes combined Peppercorn - 21mm tube Peppercorn - all tubes combined

Review: Extension tubes

Like the bellows reviewed above, Macro extension tubes operate on the principle of increasing the distance between the lens and the sensor, thereby increasing the magnification. Extension tubes come in sets of three — 13mm, 21mm and 31mm are typical. These can be used singly or combined to increase the distance. The maximum extension is 55mm with all tubes combined. Take a look at the peppercorn in image 4 to get an idea of the magnification you can expect.

The macro effect won't be as pronounced as with the bellows, as it extends over twice that distance, but the tubes are more robust. The tubes and mounts are aluminium and the locks appear to be steel. They also feature gold coated electronic connections so autofocus and communication with the camera is maintained, unlike the Bellows.

This set is sold under a number of different brands on Amazon. As far as I can make out, they're all coming from the same factory, regardless of the name on the pack. They're not as solidly machined as the Canon version, but do exactly the same job for a fraction of the cost. I've had this set for a few years now with no issues.

reversing ring 01 reversing ring 02 macro shot using reversing ring wide shot showing context macro slider rail

Review: Reversing ring and slider rail

A popular method of shooting true macro is by using a reversing ring. These mount to your camera and allow your lenses to be mounted back-to-front. Please note that these rings are not generic — you must use a ring with the correct mount for your camera and the correct diameter for your lens. The ring I use is 77mm which means I can use it with the 24-104mm, 70-200mm and 100-400mm lenses, which all share the same front element diameter.

While this method greatly increases magnification, it also completely disconnects the lens connection to the camera. Unless you are using a lens with a manual aperture, you will need to set the aperture with the lens connected directly to the camera, before using the reversing ring. Depth of field is extremely shallow — I recommend using an aperture of f16.

I made use of the focus slider rail seen in pic 5. This is a useful extra, as it allows you to move the camera incremnentally forwards and backwards, left and right. This is a much easier way to achieve focus.

I've also included a wider shot of the bowl of flowers to give an indication of scale. The macro shots are of the cluster second from the left.