Aphids

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

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rjlittlefield
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Aphids

Post by rjlittlefield »

Image

This one's really for sagarmatha.

It's not a particularly interesting image, but it's not cropped and the subject frame is 6 mm wide (6X in 35 mm equivalent).

Shot this afternoon with an SMC Pentax-A f/1.7 50 mm lens salvaged from an old film camera, set at f/11, reversed on the front of the 55-200 zoom kit lens that came with my Canon 300D five years ago. Illumination was from a single Pentax AF200T flash (about 25 years old) in manual mode at 1/4 power, diffused with paper towel, held by hand at the end of the lens. The top of the frame is dark because it was shadowed by a leaf.

Despite all the difficulties you might imagine with such a lashed-together apparatus, the big problems were simply framing and focus. With a 6 mm field width and under 0.5 mm DOF even at this 800-pixels size, things were bouncing around all over the place.

I hope this helps, somehow or other. :?

--Rik

sagarmatha
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Post by sagarmatha »

Thanks Rik. This shows who is the teacher and who is the student. Just putting together different stuff like that is not my way. I have always gone the streamlined way! If I buy the new G1 I will of course buy Panasonic lenses as well not fiddling around with some old stuff. The only side branch I can think of is: buying a Canon adapter in order to put on the MP-E65 :D . Panasonic hasn't released any macro twin flash yet. Maybe the one from Olympus work flawless. Don't know. But mixing Panny, Oly and Canon? Hmmm... That's a hard one for me.

6X gives respect!
Googling at SMC-Pentax A makes me wonder why I didn't save my Olympus OM2/OM4 with macro twin flash, bought in 1985. Just 24 years ago :D
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Post by rjlittlefield »

You're welcome. It was an interesting test for me also. I do not usually use reversed combos like this.

A question often arises with combos: "Should I stop down the front reversed lens, or the rear one mounted on the camera?"

It is much more convenient to stop down the one mounted on the camera, because that lens is connected to the camera controls and works automatically. This allows viewing at widest possible aperture but shooting at set aperture.

But especially at higher magnifications, there are good reasons to expect that stopping down the front reversed lens will give better image quality.

I checked out this possibility while I had the combo put together.

Indeed, the image quality was much better with the front lens stopped down, not the rear.

With the rear lens stopped down and the front wide open, there was a lot of chromatic aberration (CA) -- color fringes away from center. The images were simply unacceptable.

With the front lens stopped down, the CA disappeared and what you see above is what I got -- after a significant amount of sharpening to compensate for what was probably diffraction and aberration blur as a result of working at effective f/52 on an APS-C size sensor.

Again, the point is that even with a lot of incidental problems added, the main difficulty was just framing and focusing at such high magnification. Any equipment at all will have those same problems.

--Rik

sagarmatha
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Post by sagarmatha »

Well I will surely not go the way with reversed lenses. Interesting to read about the different qualities you get depending on which lens to stop down.
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Dalantech
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Post by Dalantech »

Excellent shot Rik! Love all the texture detail you've captured in that one!

lauriek
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Post by lauriek »

Nice capture Rik!

Sagarmatha,

You seem to have your mind set on the MPE. I'm not sure that lens will work in the way you think on a G1 as if I'm right it does not have an aperture ring on the lens? I don't think the camera will be able to control the aperture electronically, so the lens may be stuck wide open on a G1, which is not what you would want!

Another option to consider might be this - look out for an old Olympus variable extension tube. Basically this was the predecessor to the MPE, and you can mount various lenses on the front of it to gain various ranges of magnifications. These can be picked up on eBay for a range of prices, I think one went recently for around £50 although they are often more.

I mention this as I know Oly OM stuff will work well via an adapter as I shoot 4/3 bodies with mainly OM gear. I know you have an additional issue as the G1 is u4/3 but I understand that anything which works on 4/3 should work on u4/3 with the adapter - this also goes for the macro flash, but it's just my impression, not a guarantee! Incidentally the Oly twinflash was the best money I ever spent on macro gear! :)

sagarmatha
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Post by sagarmatha »

Thanx lauriek. I have put the G1+MP-E65 question in some forums but so far no answer. I'll keep your warnings in mind. Maybe I should go the easy way and buy a 450D (40D is way too big for my small surgeon hands) :D
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Aynia
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Post by Aynia »

Technicalities aside, I like this image. Stuff/critters in focus and others out of focus. The ones oof... are the ones on the move.

Picture is fab!

Why must we have everything crisp and sharp and in full frame..??!! :D Pics would be totally static and say nothing... if it was all tip top sharp.

There is a place for everything... and of course, personally I love the diversity of things on this site.

lilewis
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Post by lilewis »

I think it's interesting also.
I love macros of things you don't normally see, and this is certainly one of those where you first notice the larger aphid, then you realize they're everywhere!

And since I always thought my ant was eating an aphid, now I was interested to see a real one :-)

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Post by rjlittlefield »

Ah, well, I meant "uninteresting" only in the sense that these are aphids going about perfectly ordinary day-to-day aphid activities.

For an alternative, consider these "End-of-the-year aphids" from a couple of years ago.

--Rik

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Post by rjlittlefield »

Aynia wrote:Why must we have everything crisp and sharp and in full frame..??!! :D Pics would be totally static and say nothing... if it was all tip top sharp.
We don't, and I agree completely!

Thanks for the kind words about the photo, everyone. :D

--Rik

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