Macro gear (insect photography), suggestions needed

Have questions about the equipment used for macro- or micro- photography? Post those questions in this forum.

Moderators: ChrisR, Chris S., Pau, rjlittlefield

cadman342001
Posts: 89
Joined: Wed Nov 28, 2007 5:35 pm
Location: Cairns, FNQ, Australia

Post by cadman342001 »

HAND HELD !!!

With a shutter speed of 1/250 and flash you'll be fine, I have never thought using/setting up a tripod practical but some people use a staff/stick/monopod as a steadying device.

Check my macro stuff, all hand held

https://www.flickr.com/photos/cadmonkey ... 100562715/

pontop
Posts: 83
Joined: Wed Dec 18, 2013 4:00 am
Location: Uppsala, Sweden

Post by pontop »

all hand held
I am sure there are some non-hand-held pictures in there. If not you need to let us know how you did the fly portrait and the wing scale pictures hand held. :?

/Bo

Chris S.
Site Admin
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Location: Ohio, USA

Post by Chris S. »

Rawsons wrote:A random question to all of you who shoots macro. Tripod or hand held?
Apparently, many bug people shoot hand-held. As a plant-person, I tend to use a tripod. If I can't make a tripod work, I use a monopod. If forced to hand-hold, I use flash (but prefer to work with sunlight modified with diffusers and reflectors, which requires camera support for best results).

Admittedly, I have logged my share of early mornings photographing things like dragonflies with a tripod. These have been cool mornings, and the insects have been coming out of torpor, and therefore very slow to move.

--Chris

ChrisR
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Post by ChrisR »

wing scale pictures hand held
:D

Perhaps "macro shots" should have been "field macro shots"! Then I'd guess hand-held with flash is probably most popular. There always seems to be a little wind.

cadman342001
Posts: 89
Joined: Wed Nov 28, 2007 5:35 pm
Location: Cairns, FNQ, Australia

Post by cadman342001 »

pontop wrote:
all hand held
I am sure there are some non-hand-held pictures in there. If not you need to let us know how you did the fly portrait and the wing scale pictures hand held. :?

/Bo
Ya got me Bo :D yeah, all field macro shots.

Rawsons
Posts: 30
Joined: Tue Apr 07, 2015 11:38 am

Post by Rawsons »

My DCR-250 arrived during the weekend, and I have placed an order on Ebay for the 105mm non-VR Nikon, the price was really good actually. Due to some cashflow issues I will have to wait 1 month for the Kenko tubes and the flash, but luckily summers here go until early December so I have all the time needed to test the gear :)

For you guys who use the Nikon 105mm, what is the recommended settings? For example F stop? I have heard so many different variations of how to shoot the "perfect" macro, all from wide open to F/32.

Also, anyone using or have tested this flash:

"NIKON TTL FIT YONGNUO YN465 SPEEDLITE FLASH"

Chris S.
Site Admin
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Post by Chris S. »

Rawsons wrote:For you guys who use the Nikon 105mm, what is the recommended settings? For example F stop? I have heard so many different variations of how to shoot the "perfect" macro, all from wide open to F/32.
Rawson, having used this lens for 19 years, I'm sure I've shot it at every available f/stop and partial f/stop. There isn't any f/stop to avoid, so long as you understand what each portion of the aperture range gives you.

This lens is nice and sharp wide open, though like most lenses, gets a bit better stopped down slightly. Balancing this--and true of all lenses--depth of field becomes shallower as the lens is opened up. At 105mm and close to 1x, DOF is very shallow anywhere near wide open. As you stop down, you gain depth of field, but lose resolution due to diffraction blur--the classic trade-off in macro photography. So in any given shooting situation, you want to pick the aperture that gives the best balance of DOF and diffraction for the need at hand.

In the film days (well-before focus stacking was practical), I tended to use f/stops like f/32, f/22, and f/16--because this was necessary to get enough DOF to tell the story. Now that we can focus stack, I tend to use the middle f/stops more--f/8-f/11. For an automated studio stack, where I have lots of time and want to pixel peep, I'd open up at bit more, and shoot at f/4-f/5.6. OTOH, if I'm shooting documentary pictures for Web posting at 1024 pixels wide, I happily shoot at f/22; I want the DOF, and any diffraction blur will make no difference at such a small reproduction size.

--Chris

Rawsons
Posts: 30
Joined: Tue Apr 07, 2015 11:38 am

Post by Rawsons »

Some feedback on this one?

Image

No stack, shot as it is. If I can achieve this with a 40mm, then the 105mm will be really awesome.


Image

NikonUser
Posts: 2622
Joined: Thu Sep 04, 2008 2:03 am
Location: southern New Brunswick, Canada

Post by NikonUser »

Hi,

You asked for "some feedback on this one"; with ref to your Scarabaeidae beetle.
I could see nothing in focus; nothing appears to be blurred so it appears that the lens is not producing a sharp image anywhere.

I feel I can criticize (you did ask!) as I have taken a field shot of a very similar beetle (I think mine is a Hoplia sp.) so I know the problems associated with such active beetles which need a flash and lots of depth of field.
I missed the focus on the beetle, but at least some of the flowers are sharp.
Mine with a 200mm Micro-Nikkor at f/22.
Image
NU.
student of entomology
Quote – Holmes on ‘Entomology’
” I suppose you are an entomologist ? “
” Not quite so ambitious as that, sir. I should like to put my eyes on the individual entitled to that name.
No man can be truly called an entomologist,
sir; the subject is too vast for any single human intelligence to grasp.”
Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr
The Poet at the Breakfast Table.

Nikon camera, lenses and objectives
Olympus microscope and objectives

Rawsons
Posts: 30
Joined: Tue Apr 07, 2015 11:38 am

Post by Rawsons »

Thanks! The pictures are bad I know, the reason I posted them was to show my limitations with the 40mm where I have to be basically on top of the subject to take a picture.

Will have my 105mm next week, hoping for much better results. :)

Thx!

Rawsons
Posts: 30
Joined: Tue Apr 07, 2015 11:38 am

Post by Rawsons »

Well as with everyting there are bad news and there are good news. The good news is that I bought the older lens (non-vr) quite cheap and it got here (international) in 2 days! The bad news is that the front and rear part of the lens is dirty. I have 0 idea how to clean it so will have to do some research, I surely hope it does not influence the function of the camera. Took a few test pics now and sharpness is OK.

NikonUser
Posts: 2622
Joined: Thu Sep 04, 2008 2:03 am
Location: southern New Brunswick, Canada

Post by NikonUser »

STOP!

Don't do anything. Send an image of the dirty surfaces and most likely someone will be able to give you good advice on how to/or how not to attempt to clean it.
NU.
student of entomology
Quote – Holmes on ‘Entomology’
” I suppose you are an entomologist ? “
” Not quite so ambitious as that, sir. I should like to put my eyes on the individual entitled to that name.
No man can be truly called an entomologist,
sir; the subject is too vast for any single human intelligence to grasp.”
Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr
The Poet at the Breakfast Table.

Nikon camera, lenses and objectives
Olympus microscope and objectives

Rawsons
Posts: 30
Joined: Tue Apr 07, 2015 11:38 am

Post by Rawsons »

I have only used a microfiber cloth to gently clean it a bit, but it was not 100% effective. Will post a few pictures in a bit.

Rawsons
Posts: 30
Joined: Tue Apr 07, 2015 11:38 am

Post by Rawsons »

Front and back:

Image

Image

Rawsons
Posts: 30
Joined: Tue Apr 07, 2015 11:38 am

Post by Rawsons »

I went to my local photo store this morning and bought a kit with a duster, airblower (or what you call it..), alcohol solution and a big microfiber cloth. Will give it a good go tonight.

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