BTW, I thought you said you were a poor photographer? These images (and the ones of the milled Tula LHGR) are excellent. I think it's just the lighting. When I have good lighting my images come out good, but if I have poor lighting, or have to depend on a flash, then forget about it. It's like two different peiople using two different grades of camera took them. IMO these modern digitals go a long ways towards helping even a novice photographer take close to professional looking images, as long as the lighting is up to standards. I'm not talking about the cheapest camera phones, though. Those don't seem to have lenses large enough to let in enough light, unless things are very well lit.
I actually bought a $1500 Nikon two years ago to do magazine article images, but I rely on a $200 Canon pocket camera for most parts shots as it does a better job on macro settings due to the lens, and it's more convenient and faster to drag out than that big Nikon. Plus, I just can't afford to spend another $1K+ on a Nikon macro lens I'd need to upgrade.