Do you know what surgical forcep is? According to Wikipedia: “Forceps are used when fingers are too large to grasp small objects or when many objects need to be held at one time while the hands are used to perform a task.” In case if the object is a tiny piece of human body needed for biopsy, something very internal, surgeons pin a hole in human’s body and use 1.5 mm in diameter micro jaws to bite a piece of the liver, for example…
Scary enough? Do not worry, I won’t go further:-)
I was lucky to feel these things in my hands, not inside of me. One of our good long-term customers, medical supplier EndoChoice sells such devices and my duty is to produce outstanding images of these little gremlins.
For this task I use the most unusual lens in our collection, Canon MP-E 65mm F2.8 1-5x macro.
The lens is unusual because:
- It has a smallest diameter front element I ever seen on lens for 35mm cameras.
- It does not have auto-focus… It does not have focus at all! No focusing ring, just a zoom grip.
- This is a longest (compared to collapsed size) zoom expansion I know: the lens extends almost 3 times in length.
- Has magnification ratio from life-size (1x) to 5x, which makes it microscope-like tool for photographer.
Here it she is:
Now, the forceps shoot setup.
For such small objects I need to use relatively narrow light beams, so no softboxes here:-) Total 4 Paul C. Buff lights: two on the forcep, two on the table to highlight the background where lens is aimed. Because of a small front element and because I need DOF to be as deep as possible (aperture was set to a maximum value for the lens F16), setup was required a good amount of light. Total 1200WS through 20° honeycombs to a background from 2 feet away and total power of 2400WS on the forcep through 10° honeycombs were used.
I use Manfrotto modified arm (see details below) to hold a wire the way I need, arm connected to a Manfrotto shooting table frame. What was really missing in my setup is a geared focusing rails for macro photography. Because a focusing can be done only by changing the distance between the lens and the object, it was really hard to move camera precisely toward the object. The head I used, Manfrotto 405 geared head, did not help a lot (BTW, great head for product photography), as it does not allow frontal movements. I’ll need something like this on top of my Bogen.
Now few of the results, all done on 2x magnification:
Equipment and shooting spec:
- Canon EOS 1Ds Mark III DSLR
- Bogen 055 XPROB Tripod with 405 geared head
- Canon RS-80N3 Remote Switch
- Canon MP-E 65mm F2.8 1-5X macro lens
Lighting, light modifiers and accessories:
- Paul C. Buff Lighting: 1×1600WS, 2×800WS, 1×400WS
- 1x Paul C.Buff Silver 64” 16 Rib Parabolic Umbrella
- 2x 20°, 2×10° honeycomb grid mounted on standard Paul C. Buff reflector
- LG4X 4 channel remote control for flash units
- CyberSync™ CST Trigger Transmitter and CyberSync™ AC Powered Trigger Receiver
- Adobe Lightroom 3 Beta 2 as a remote capture solution for tethered shooting
- Manfrotto 196B-2 143BKT 2-Section Single Articulated Arm with Manfrotto 035RL Super Clamp with 2908 Standard Stud
All shots were done with: shutter speed 1/250 sec, F16, ISO 100, Custom WB 5600K
As usual, your feedback highly appreciated!