Pholcus phalangioides

Images of undisturbed subjects in their natural environment. All subject types.

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Troels
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Pholcus phalangioides

Post by Troels »

At last one of theese spiders chose to place itself in a position where it was possible to reach it with a camera on tripod.
The animal is almost udisturbed, apart form the light.
70 shots with an Olympus 50mm macro lens and a manual Manfrotto focus rail on tripod. Light from one diffused Jansjö lamp. Zerene stacked using PMax.

Image
Full size on Flickr

This is a very common spider in houses in my part of the world. Usually they have a slender, elongated abdomen. But this female is pregnant with eggs.

And a second shot with a little different lightning:
Image
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Yes, I know they eare not perfect. There are blurred details, because of small movements by the animal and the flexible web.
Troels Holm, biologist (retired), environmentalist, amateur photographer.
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Olympusman
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Basement spider

Post by Olympusman »

Remarkable images.

Mike
Michael Reese Much FRMS EMS Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, USA

MarkSturtevant
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Post by MarkSturtevant »

I like these! And you have solved to problem of getting good pictures of these super long-legged spiders.
One thing to look for are the females carrying an egg sac, especially when the spiderlings start to hatch. Then, dozens of tiny spider legs start to protrude from the sac, and it is a strange sight not to be missed.
Mark Sturtevant
Dept. of Still Waters

Troels
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Post by Troels »

Thanks for commenting, Mark and Mike.

The bunch of long legs cries for a 3D interpretation. So here comes a cross-eyed stereo version as a bonus:
Image
Troels Holm, biologist (retired), environmentalist, amateur photographer.
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Pau
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Post by Pau »

The bunch of long legs cries for a 3D interpretation.
You're right, great stereo!
Pau

Beatsy
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Post by Beatsy »

Brilliant!

Rudi
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Post by Rudi »

Very nice Troels.
Is that the Manfrotto 454 you are using? Lately I have been 'playing around' with that slider myself, and to my surprise, for my purpose up to now, it works remarkably well. With a home made dial and hand I am able to make steps off about 0.01 mm, all by hand off course .... :wink:
I wonder what your experience is....??
Always looking at the bright side of life,
Kr, Rudi

Troels
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Post by Troels »

Thanks for your comments! I appreciate it.

Rudi,
Yes, I use the Manfrotto 454 for field work. Not because I love it. But because I have it :-)
It is inded not a high-precision instrument, but when you learn how to handle its limitations it is quite usefull. Many of my pictures on this forum are made with this.

I have found that the most important thing is to tighten the locking screw just to the point where you can feel a slight resistance on the sliding movement. That gives the least possible sideways error.

Secondly: when capturing photos always turn the knob the same way to prevent backlash. And give it a few turns before starting taking pictures.

Thirdly: After turning the knob between captures always give it a very slight push perpendicular to the moving direction, I push it slightly away from my body. I find this gives the best alignment of pictures.

I only use it for field work, most often between 1:3 and 1:1. And since one full turn gives a forward movement of 1.2 mm it is indeed possible to make steps of 0.01mm or smaller, as you mention. Steps of this size are not precise in any way, but small enough to make Zerene Stacker happy.

Some would disqualify it for lacking the Swiss-Arca Quick Change couplings built into some other brands. But I prefer the low profile making it possible to go very low on the ground, though you have to mess with tightening and loosing screews.

Lastly it takes up very little space in my backpack.

When making pictures with higher magnifications I always work in my studio with a fixed precision sliding table.

For us blessed with more time than money it is important to learn how to use what we have in the best possible ways. If you don't need to go to extremes the results can be as astonishing as the money-no-problem solutions.
Troels Holm, biologist (retired), environmentalist, amateur photographer.
Visit my Flickr albums

Rudi
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Post by Rudi »

Thanks for your detailed explanation Troels, really appreciated.

I should have asked on forehand iff anyone had some experience with the Manfrotto slider, before starting to experiment, but it was fun anyway, and a learning experience off course.

For now I use it indoors and outdoors, I have not (yet) any high precision
sliding table...
Always looking at the bright side of life,
Kr, Rudi

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