I am curious HOW people manage to get such good shots with their Macro lenses.
With a Macro lens you get pretty close (duh!) so Depth of field is very limited and
to get more DOF you have to stop down the apperture - and either slow the shutter and/or
push up the ISO
Now them there butterflies don't hang around once you start pointing lenses at them - but some
insects and all flowers tend to stay still (wind permitting) So - it seems - a tripod is required
More cumbersome and time consuming operations.
I have found my lovely sharp Macro lens produces way fewer 'good shots' than my 28 - 200
Tamron - OK - so the Tamron, sharp as it is, is not as tack sharp as the Tokina 100 - but
with all the above - I find it is so much trouble for so little return.
I did some side by side tests - in the garden on a nice sheltered stationary plant
28 - 200 won hands down! - OK - so I could get in closer withthe Macro - but, of course, most of the shot
was out of focus and only a small bit in focus - as I said - I would need at least F22 and either slow shutter or high ISO
But the Tamron returned a cleaner sharper image - hand held - if I want to go in as close as the Tokina then a crop
reveals a sharper image - true it will be a lower resolution - but these days there is plenty of spare in that department.
Maybe a macro lens is not for me....?
Your butterfly shots have been quite good. Still, patience and luck both help. For insects a longer focal length is very helpful as the minimum focusing distance tends to increase a lot with longer lenses. In fact I find that my 70-300 is great for butterflies since it focuses at about 3 feet. For flowers and still objects the 50mm f2 macro is great.
A couple of things can also be helpful. If you are an early riser most insects are a lot more sluggish until the warm sun gets them moving. So it can be easier to catch them sitting still. The other key is not to chase flying ones. Dragonflies in particular are very much creatures of habit and territorial. Watch them and they will land in the same place over and over. They will even circle a fairly consistent flight path. Now I still don't know how Falconest manages to get so many.
kgosden - thanks for the helpful comments
Yes - the butterfly shots were with the Tamron 28 - 200
I will keep trying with the Tokina 100 macro - but not
sure it is best utilised in my hands right now...
Don't stop it down, work with the lower depth of field. Just get the eyes in focus. Look at some of Rooz's macro all taken with very shallow DOF and very effective.
Have a go at F4 for a while. Also try holding your flash in the lens hand with the cam on commander mode, that's how I do mine (though I use a smaller ap than Rooz, sometimes as closed as F16).
The tripod is too hard for bugs.
Butterflies are very hard to get with a 90mm macro lens, about the only insect where a long general lens works better. Try just about any other insect first and you'll see why the macro is better.
Will be working over the weekend - but will try and post a couple of comparisons
It was actually small flowers that got me. Everything was less good on the Macro!
- and I was taking my time and manually focusing etc - the only thing better was the
ability to get in closer
I will try everything folks suggest - after which there might be a Lens up for sale!! LOL
Not been using flash - another pet dislike generally
Maybe I am not suited to all this ?
You are right about d-flies. That is one of the ways I get so many. I watch for flight patterns and set up where they are flying fairly consistently.
Some habitually perch in the same location after circling around (Halloween Pennants are noted for this). I often toss most shots after a session and may only have 8-10 usable images.
Also, the last 2 years we have had hotter than usual Summers and that has brought out a bumper crop of d-flies.
I bought the 150 Macro mostly for use with Damselflies, as they are less flighty and will allow you to get quite close. Did get a number of nice pics of a Common Whitetail today While trying for in-flight shots of a Common Green Darner, no luck there though.:mad:
Looks like your patience and persistence paid off with this shot - nice one!!
all of these D-flies are tricky as they never seem to settle when you are
ready to take a photo of one...
Two for one.
Here are a couple from today's session by the river. The first is an immature grasshopper, only about a half-inch long, the second is a backlit Damselfly. that I managed to get in focus down most of it's entire length. Hard to do that with these things as they are so long in proportion to their other dimensions, it is like shooting a stick. Both taken with the Sigma 150.