Mr. Phunk:

i know ALL abut focussing on beetles:

most of these awful chaps have this waxy caoting on thier cases, making it reflective, and immune to nearly every AF system i've thrown against it.

tip#1: don't go from straight up, 30 deg from the horizontal seems to be a good angle.

tip#2: crop, crop, and crop. if you have suffeicient MP, oyu can make up for a not so hot lens(which is?)

tip#3: use a flash!! i belong to the flash group; i use a flash i built myself (ok, cannibalized from another flash) and it gives me awesome results; even in total darkness.

tip#4: use an af assist beam. if you don't have the money to buy one, build it yourself. with a little bit of electronics, you can connect it to the cmaera battery, to keep things simple WARNING: EXTREME DANGER YOF SHORTING YOUR CAMERA'S ELECTRONICS. I KNOW, IT HAPPENIND TO ME ONCE.

tip#5: go slow. the slower you go, the more invisible you get. i once went so slow i got within 4 cm of a butterfly.