Different ways of shooting macro with Levi Sim

In Master Photography Roundtable by Brent BerghermLeave a Comment

Welcome to the Master Photography Roundtable part of the Master Photography Podcast Network!  You are joined by thousands of photographers listening to this show who are all on the same journey to master their photography.  I am Brent Bergherm, the host for this episode and I am joined by Levi Sim! What’s up Levi?

Levi: Spring is here and the weather is great and I’m hiking and hunting and photographing.

Brent: I did something fun today, and that’s partly why we’re here, to talk about this shoot.

Macro Photography

Brent: Today we’re interested in talking about macro photography. Levi, you wrote an article about using AF-C while doing a macro shoot. What’s going on there:


Brent: And today I just shot for the first time in too long. But I rented a lens from Lensrentals.com, the Sigma Cine 50mm T1.5. It’s a beast of a lens, coming in at about $3,500 US it’s not cheap.

I had a few goals with trying this lens. They are:

  1. Simply to try something new. Cine Lenses are made a bit differently and I wanted to see what it was all about.
  2. Cine lenses are supposed to be exhibiting less focus breathing than regular lenses. I am interested in doing some focus stacking and less focus breathing will help with that.
  3. Cine lenses are also supposed to have less vignetting across the field wide open. That would be interesting to have as well.
  4. I also simply wanted to try out the lenses to see if they are as sharp as a “normal” photography lens. For today’s shoot I was able to compare it to the Canon 24–70 f/4 IS. A well regarded lens for sure.

So today I wanted to talk through the setup and the basic experience of shooting and then we’ll also talk about the images a bit as I compare them. I’ve not had time to really compare them but much yet so we’ll just do it live here on the show as we are recording this. Levi, I’m sharing my screen, I hope you get all the sharpness and detail coming through on your end as well.

Today’s shoot: Kitchen Table

  1. Setup on kitchen table.
  2. Use tripod to hold the camera
  3. Printed a background on my Canon printer for the background. I used a pic from Hong Kong.
  4. Used a Canon 580 EX2 flash with radio triggers and a godox softbox.
  5. Used an HDMI capture card to record what happens on the camera screen so I can talk through the shoot for the YouTube video I’m also going to make based on this shoot.
  6. Bought flowers at Wal-Mart
  7. Used Kenko Extension Tubes for the macro effect on this lens.

Today’s shoot: Outdoors

  1. Did a sharpness test between the two lenses. Shot the Sigma wide open to also test vignetting.
  2. When set to T4 the camera registers it as F/4, it’ll be interesting to compare the histograms between the two lenses to see which is brighter, or if there’s any difference at all. 
  3. Also shot both lenses at f/8 so I could judge sharpness between the two lenses. The canon was set to about 50mm to be generally equal for this comparison.

Photo Contest

Let’s talk prizes first:

  • 30 minute mentoring session with Brent Bergherm
  • 30 minute mentoring session with Connor Hibbs
  • 30 minute mentoring session with Brian McGuckin
  • 30 minute photography business mentoring session with Erica Kay
  • 30 minute editing session with Jeff Harmon
  • A chance to have your image make the top ten of all entries.  The top ten will be shared to the Facebook group and in the show notes when we talk about them in a future episode.
  • A chance to have your image selected as the best entered and come on the show with us!

We will pick five random winners with each getting one of those prizes.  Everyone who shares an image in our Master Photography Photo Contest Flickr group will be entered to win.  You do have to create a Flickr account to enter, but we hope that is a little more accessible than Facebook.


  • You have to create the image between 3/19/2020 and 4/19/2020
  • You have to share the image to the Flickr group at https://www.flickr.com/groups/mpcontest/
  • Because the group is fully public and anyone can share an image, you have to tag the image #creativejuices.  We are only saying this on the episode and putting that in the show notes to prevent a random photographer who may find the group from being entered.  That tag is critical!
  • You can only share one image per day.  Flickr will restrict you to that, another reason we wanted to use Flickr here.
  • Keep the images safe for work.  You all know what that is, no further explanation necessary.


Brent:  The Plant Clamp by Wimberley, Made in USA! ($43 on Amazon)

Levi: platypod goosenecks. https://platypod.com/tripods/gooseneck

Lume cubes

Junk mailhttps://amzn.to/2RrbcaF

Lensbaby lenses: Edge series, Velvet series


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