Macro lens?

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    Hi all! I’m using a Canon A700 point-and-shoot at the moment and I have a couple of questions for you pro’s out there:

    1.) Anyone have any tips for setting up a night shot with a point-and-shoot? The A700 has a whole lot of manual settings (including an ISO setting of 800) and I’m struggling to get the right combinations. The auto modes just don’t do it.

    2.) I’m a macro nut (see the link to my flickr page in my profile) and I’m considering purchasing a 58mm macro 250D lens but it’s bloody expensive and I can’t find much info on the interwebs. Anyone have any experience adding lenses to point-and-shoots or any advice at all?

    Thanks very much for any help anyone can offer!


    Hey millera9 🙂 I don’t have any experience with add-on lenses with my point and shoot, but as for night shots, here are some tips:

    –Use a tripod (obviously)

    –Keep your ISO low, or you’ll get a lot of noise. With a p&s, you’re going to start getting noise at ISO 200, so I wouldn’t go over 100-200.

    –You’ll definitely need to use manual mode, and expect your camera to complain and flash the underexposure warning at you over the settings you choose. The in-camera meter is designed to choose an exposure that will yield middle gray (18% gray on a gray card), but for a night shot, that will be waaaaay overexposed. You may need to experiment to find the perfect exposure that’s dark but not too-dark, but start with whatever gives you a -2 underexposure.

    –It may be difficult to autofocus, depending on how dark it is and what you’re focusing on, but to help make sure you nail focus, you may want to choose a small aperture (big numbers). On your camera, the smallest aperture is probably f/8 or f/11, and that should render pretty much anything in focus.

    I’ve only done a couple night shoots, so hopefully someone else will have some more tips for you there, and maybe some tips on add-on lenses.


    Thanks so much for the help Elsinore. A cheap tripod is on my list of things to acquire this week. I’m gonna try to put together a night-shot HDR for that contest and this will help immensely for getting all the different exposures I’ll need. Again, thanks so much! 😀

    Also, is the Flickr pro account worth it?


    The A700 should have crazy macro ability on its own, I don’t think a macro lens on top of it would help much. In fact, you’d probably be able to focus closer than the macro lens would sit at the wide end.
    I have an A620 with the lil 58mm filter adapter and even +1 diopter macro lenses are too strong to use unless I’ve zoomed in all the way, and even then it’s a pain in the ass to get the autofocus to work. It might work better on the A700, I don’t know.

    If you want to take macro shots without bumping into whatever you’re shooting you could use a teleconverter (I’ve never used one, so I can’t say how well they work with your camera).

    for night shots
    If your tripod is really cheap and wobbly, use the time so you don’t get the wobble from the button push messing up your shot.
    That, and just fool around with it. The LCD should give you a rough idea of what your exposure will look like, so start from there and fool around.


    d’oh! staplermofo mentioned the one thing I forgot to–I also have an A620, and its macro mode is awesome. Are you just wanting to get closer than the A700 lets you? You could also do a little “digital zooming” by cropping a bit in post-processing (don’t digital zoom in-camera), which will get you closer to your subject.

    As for Flickr pro, I actually won 3 months of it when they had technical problems one night. They put up a sign saying to print off this page and color it while we were waiting for them to fix things and someone would win a year of pro. Well several thousand of us did it, and they ended up giving away 10 or 15 year-long subscriptions and everyone else got 3 months of it, which was a nice bonus. Of course, the bastards had to know it would just addict us and make us pay for it after our subscription runs out. At this point, I’m uploading enough pictures, it’s nice not to worry about bandwidth. And I love organizing things into sets, so having more than 3 is nice. Just depends on what you’re doing with your account.


    staplermofo and Elsinore

    The macro mode on my A700 is indeed spectacular. It’s so good, in fact, that I was considering ways to get even closer to stuff and get more crazy detail. For pictures of flowers and things like that, I don’t mind being 0.2 inches away from the subject but I had an experience taking some shots of a very large spider yesterday that made me consider doing things a little differently… I definitely have no complaints about my camera, I’m just considering my options. One thing I learned with my old camera is that digital zooming is the most frustrating feature ever and the same can be accomplished with a good crop so I’m trying to stay away from that. I’ve been playing around with cropping that’s probably gonna be my best option since it’s free!

    Thanks for the help and suggestions guys! Soon as the sun goes down I’m gonna experiment with some night shots.

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