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Best macro lens for dragonflies

 
 
Paul Flackett
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      08-22-2005
In message <(E-Mail Removed) om>,
wavelength <(E-Mail Removed)> writes
>
>(E-Mail Removed) wrote:
>> Graham Archer wrote:
>>
>> > Hi, I have a Nikon D70 and I would like to take some pictures of
>> >dragonflies

>>
>> Even at 200mm, you will need a very co-operative dragonfly (unless you
>> like chilling them -- or let nature do the chilling and you take
>> pictures of them in the early morning.)
>>
>> Otherwise, get the Nikon equivalent of a 300/4 telephoto and a 2x
>> converter: a reasonable setup (especially if it can close-focus like
>> the Canon EF 300/4L IS). Flash advised.

>
>I agree,
>
>I shoot dragonflies (or try to) all the time with a 200mm IS lens, and
>it's pretty difficult to get the little buggers to stand still when you
>get within 10 feet (2 meters or so)
>
>Butterflies are even worse, and forget trying to get a grasshopper that
>you don't just happen upon.
>
>Get a 400, just go for the big guns.
>

I can see how such a big lens might make the difference between getting
a shot or not, but the original poster specifically asked about a macro
lens ie. he wants to capture detail. It is doubtful whether a big lens
such as a 400 (I have a 400 IS myself) will focus close enough to
capture the detail he is after. And if you want to stand a chance of
capturing flight shots, you'd need to be real lucky to even get one in
the viewfinder with a big lens. Birds have a fairly predictable flight
path, dragonflies definitely do not.

I'm on a Canon system, and whilst I'm not saying this is definitely the
best lens for the job, I use a 100mm macro (150mm equivalent in 35mm
terms). Image stabilisation would be a definite bonus though.

I only bought the lens 2 months ago (mostly I'm a bird photographer).
These are some of the shots I have taken with it.

http://www.rainow.demon.co.uk/images...-in-flight.jpg
http://www.rainow.demon.co.uk/images...els-mating.jpg
www.rainow.demon.co.uk/images/Golden-ring.jpg

.....and you'll need to maximise your browser window to see this one at
its best.....

http://www.rainow.demon.co.uk/images...r-close-up.jpg

--
Paul Flackett

 
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=?iso-8859-1?Q?Rita_=C4_Berkowitz?=
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      08-22-2005
Paul Flackett wrote:

> I'm on a Canon system, and whilst I'm not saying this is definitely
> the best lens for the job, I use a 100mm macro (150mm equivalent in
> 35mm terms). Image stabilisation would be a definite bonus though.
>
> I only bought the lens 2 months ago (mostly I'm a bird photographer).
> These are some of the shots I have taken with it.
>
> http://www.rainow.demon.co.uk/images...-in-flight.jpg
> http://www.rainow.demon.co.uk/images...els-mating.jpg
> www.rainow.demon.co.uk/images/Golden-ring.jpg
>
> ....and you'll need to maximise your browser window to see this one at
> its best.....
>
> http://www.rainow.demon.co.uk/images...r-close-up.jpg


Spectacular shots! What is the working distance with the 100mm for these
shots? I use a Nikon Micro 105mm and have a hard time getting close enough
to dragonflies without scaring them.



Rita

 
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kombi45@yahoo.com
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      08-22-2005

Paul Flackett wrote:

> http://www.rainow.demon.co.uk/images...-in-flight.jpg


This one is incredible - great shot, Paul!

Ben

 
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Paul Flackett
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      08-22-2005
In message <(E-Mail Removed)>, Rita Ä Berkowitz
<(E-Mail Removed)> writes
>Paul Flackett wrote:
>
>> I'm on a Canon system, and whilst I'm not saying this is definitely
>> the best lens for the job, I use a 100mm macro (150mm equivalent in
>> 35mm terms). Image stabilisation would be a definite bonus though.
>>
>> I only bought the lens 2 months ago (mostly I'm a bird photographer).
>> These are some of the shots I have taken with it.
>>
>> http://www.rainow.demon.co.uk/images...-in-flight.jpg
>> http://www.rainow.demon.co.uk/images...els-mating.jpg
>> www.rainow.demon.co.uk/images/Golden-ring.jpg
>>
>> ....and you'll need to maximise your browser window to see this one at
>> its best.....
>>
>> http://www.rainow.demon.co.uk/images...r-close-up.jpg

>
>Spectacular shots! What is the working distance with the 100mm for these
>shots? I use a Nikon Micro 105mm and have a hard time getting close enough
>to dragonflies without scaring them.
>

Thanks. It focuses down to about 15cm but most of these shots were
further away than that, although the Common Darter was pretty close. The
flight shot was over a metre away, maybe even two, so it's a fairly
lo-res shot unfortunately. However it's a good advertisement for digital
as I'd have run out of film long before I got this one!

They're not the easiest of subjects - you just need a lot of patience.
Generally easier than birds though as you often get several tries and
some will allow you to approach very close. Wearing drab clothes
definitely helps, as does watching your position relative to the sun.
The Golden Ringed Dragonfly however was happy to crawl onto my hand
after I had taken the shot. I think it was in some sort of post-coital
stupor (lying back and smoking a cigarette?) - you can see the mating
debris at the end of its abdomen.

Apologies to other posters. I incorrectly stated that the original
poster had specified macro. I don't know where I got that from. Doh!

--
Paul Flackett

 
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Deedee Tee
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      08-23-2005
On Mon, 22 Aug 2005 23:03:32 +0100, Paul Flackett
<(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:

>Apologies to other posters. I incorrectly stated that the original
>poster had specified macro. I don't know where I got that from. Doh!


Well, the thread header does say "Best macro lens for dragonflies", so
you were right the first time.

Talking about big guns, Sigma used to make a 300 mm macro (with
closest focusing yielding 1:3 if I remember correctly). The longest
true macros (1:1) I am aware of are 200mm and 180 mm. There was also a
Sigma 600 f/8 catadioptric focusing down to 1:3 at 2 m (I have one),
but focusing is too difficult for mobile subjects, and DOF is a bit
too small to be usable for macro in practice.
 
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Mike
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      08-23-2005

"Deedee Tee" <abuse@localhost> a écrit dans le message de news:
http://www.velocityreviews.com/forums/(E-Mail Removed)...
> On Mon, 22 Aug 2005 23:03:32 +0100, Paul Flackett
> <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
>
>
> Talking about big guns, Sigma used to make a 300 mm macro (with
> closest focusing yielding 1:3 if I remember correctly).



Don't you mean Sigma 70-300 mm macro, yielding 1:2 ?
http://dhost.info/photocanon/sigma/i...exif=&page=all


at least 3 variations existed, the best beeing "APO" (not of much importance
with an APS sized frame).

Mike


 
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Paul Flackett
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      08-23-2005
In message <(E-Mail Removed)>, Deedee Tee
<abuse@localhost.?.invalid> writes
>On Mon, 22 Aug 2005 23:03:32 +0100, Paul Flackett
><(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
>
>>Apologies to other posters. I incorrectly stated that the original
>>poster had specified macro. I don't know where I got that from. Doh!

>
>Well, the thread header does say "Best macro lens for dragonflies", so
>you were right the first time.
>

Oh yes ..... ahem ..... the senior moments are now starting to outnumber
the non-senior ones
--
Paul Flackett

 
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David Littlewood
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      08-23-2005
In article <(E-Mail Removed)>, Paul Flackett
<(E-Mail Removed)> writes
>>

>I can see how such a big lens might make the difference between getting
>a shot or not, but the original poster specifically asked about a macro
>lens ie. he wants to capture detail. It is doubtful whether a big lens
>such as a 400 (I have a 400 IS myself) will focus close enough to
>capture the detail he is after. And if you want to stand a chance of
>capturing flight shots, you'd need to be real lucky to even get one in
>the viewfinder with a big lens. Birds have a fairly predictable flight
>path, dragonflies definitely do not.
>
>I'm on a Canon system, and whilst I'm not saying this is definitely the
>best lens for the job, I use a 100mm macro (150mm equivalent in 35mm
>terms). Image stabilisation would be a definite bonus though.
>
>I only bought the lens 2 months ago (mostly I'm a bird photographer).
>These are some of the shots I have taken with it.
>
>http://www.rainow.demon.co.uk/images...-in-flight.jpg
>http://www.rainow.demon.co.uk/images...els-mating.jpg
>www.rainow.demon.co.uk/images/Golden-ring.jpg
>
>....and you'll need to maximise your browser window to see this one at
>its best.....
>
>http://www.rainow.demon.co.uk/images...r-close-up.jpg
>

Excellent pictures, Paul! What month was this, which county?

David
--
David Littlewood
 
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Paul Flackett
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      08-23-2005
In message <(E-Mail Removed)>, David Littlewood
<(E-Mail Removed)> writes
>In article <(E-Mail Removed)>, Paul Flackett
><(E-Mail Removed)> writes
>>>

>>I can see how such a big lens might make the difference between
>>getting a shot or not, but the original poster specifically asked
>>about a macro lens ie. he wants to capture detail. It is doubtful
>>whether a big lens such as a 400 (I have a 400 IS myself) will focus
>>close enough to capture the detail he is after. And if you want to
>>stand a chance of capturing flight shots, you'd need to be real lucky
>>to even get one in the viewfinder with a big lens. Birds have a fairly
>>predictable flight path, dragonflies definitely do not.
>>
>>I'm on a Canon system, and whilst I'm not saying this is definitely
>>the best lens for the job, I use a 100mm macro (150mm equivalent in
>>35mm terms). Image stabilisation would be a definite bonus though.
>>
>>I only bought the lens 2 months ago (mostly I'm a bird photographer).
>>These are some of the shots I have taken with it.
>>
>>http://www.rainow.demon.co.uk/images...-in-flight.jpg
>>http://www.rainow.demon.co.uk/images...els-mating.jpg
>>www.rainow.demon.co.uk/images/Golden-ring.jpg
>>
>>....and you'll need to maximise your browser window to see this one at
>>its best.....
>>
>>http://www.rainow.demon.co.uk/images...r-close-up.jpg
>>

>Excellent pictures, Paul! What month was this, which county?
>

Thankyou David. June for the Golden Ringed, (Scottish Highlands), July
for the Azures and Emperor (Cheshire), and August for the Darter (also
Cheshire).

Your name seems familiar David (probably just the surname). Do you post
on the Focalpoint forums?

--
Paul Flackett

 
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Deedee Tee
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      08-23-2005
On Tue, 23 Aug 2005 09:24:59 -0400, "Mike" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:

>Don't you mean Sigma 70-300 mm macro, yielding 1:2 ?
>http://dhost.info/photocanon/sigma/i...exif=&page=all


No, what I had in mind is the Sigma AF 300 f/4 APO Macro, probably
discontinued. A couple of models were made. Lighter and easier to
handle than a zoom. Then of course there are the 70-300 Sigma macro
zooms, at least three models are/were sold.

They used to make even a 400 f/5.6 APO Macro, probably also 1:3.
 
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