I had a brief moment to set up the lightbox again tonight after getting my daughter off to bed. I wanted to try some macro work, but I was surprised to find that I wasn't able to get much of anything working my extension tubes. Serious blurring and razor-thin depth of field even at f/9 or narrower. So, I went back to the 50mm and shot with that.
A dedicated macro would be so nice... *sigh*
Anyhow, I tried an 'art' shot. This was a great learning experience. First the shot:
The setup here is straight forward. Two drops of food colouring in a crystal wine glass. I learned a lot here. First, the white balance on this shot is really, really off out of the camera. I have no idea why. I was able to correct to a degree in post processing, but there is still a distinct grayness to the 'white' background. Second, one sheet of tissue paper isn't going to cut it for diffusion, there are some real hotspots on the glass. I also couldn't fire the flash because the front of the glass would blow out from the reflection.
Plans to correct these issues include purchasing some proper diffusion material for the box, and purchasing a nice, powerful gooseneck style lamp to light from the top. Something in the 100w or more range to really pick up the light levels.
Here is the second shot of the night:
This is a baby Crested Gecko, one of the acquisitions from the Reptile Expo last weekend. The 50mm really, really shone on this shot. I would suggest following the link to my Flickr and looking at the scale detail in the large size shot. The 50mm is insanely sharp for the price, like, crazy sharp.
This shot came out better than the water shot, crisper and better exposed. I had to add a full +1EV in the water shot to brighten the background, and I didn't have to do it on this shot. I was able to fire the flash on this shot, so no doubt that was the difference.