Forgot Password
Pentax Camera Forums Home
 

Reply
Show Printable Version Search this Thread
07-29-2007, 04:59 AM   #1
Veteran Member
raider's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Perth, Australia
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 1,945
Recommendation for lens to take photo of bugs, insects, butterfly

Hi

I am just wondering if I should use a macro lens for shooting bugs, insects, butterfly rather than the DA 50-200 which I have.

What lens do you guys used for such application?

Thanks

07-29-2007, 08:37 AM   #2
Veteran Member
foxglove's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Atlantic Canada
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 1,049
Welcome to the wonderful (sometimes frustrating) world of macrophotography!

If your budget will allow it, get yourself a dedicated macro lens. It really makes a difference. They allow close focus, high magnification, and are super sharp for all that delicate detail. For insects, a longer focal length is better - you have a longer working distance so you're less likely to scare the critter off. My macro lens is a Tokina AT-X 90mm f/2.5, I wouldn't want it any shorter!

That said, you can do reasonably well with any lens that has close focusing ability and reasonable magnification. I recently picked up the Sigma 17-70 f/2.8-4.5 and I'm reasonably pleased with it for macro. Its maximum magnification is (I think) 1:2.3 or so, not far off my 90mm which is 1:2 unless I stick the extender on it to get 1:1.

The main stumbling block I run into is light - it's very difficult to get a high enough shutter speed and any depth of field to speak of without flash. I have an external flash, but haven't had the leisure to figure out how best to use it for fill, and not totally encumber myself with gear! I'm sure someone with more experience with flash can fill you in on that if you're interested, but you can do pretty well without it if you're willing to sacrifice some precious dof and accept that some things you just won't be able to capture.

Here's one I took with the Tokina, natural light, DL, hand held.


The attached photo is taken with the Sigma, natural light, K100, hand held.

Looking forward to some bug photos from you soon!

Julie

Last edited by foxglove; 11-09-2007 at 10:25 AM.
07-29-2007, 09:51 AM   #3
Veteran Member
Mechan1k's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Sydney, Australia
Posts: 2,891
After seeing a number of shots from the Tamron SP AF 90mm F/2.8 Di Macro Lens ... i am impressed ... although a lot of it is to do with photographer skill ... it does produce some really nice images ... and it's not tooo badly priced either.

When I get my cashflow/savings sorted out (after I get the bathroom replaced) ... it is on my list of lenses to get.

I am pretty sure Kim uses this lens ... there's a thread on some rose garden and grass shot taken with this lens.
07-29-2007, 12:38 PM   #4
Veteran Member
Piotr's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Warsaw
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 337
maybe Voigtlander 125/2.5 APO-Lanthar

Pentax *ist DS ,Voigtlander 125/2.5 APO-Lanthar
1/350s f/6.7 at 125.0mm iso200


Pentax *ist DS ,Voigtlander 125/2.5 APO-Lanthar
1/180s f/8.0 at 125.0mm iso400


07-29-2007, 02:39 PM   #5
m8o
Veteran Member
m8o's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: 40-55'-44" N / 73-24'-07" W [on LI]
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 3,102
Could I butt in here and ask a related question? Can someone explain "magnification"? I understand 1:1 is most desirable. What does that vs. 1:2 vs. 1:6 etc exactly mean??? I would have expected the bigger numbers to be desirable. I'm not understanding...
07-29-2007, 02:48 PM   #6
Inactive Account




Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Sault Ste Marie, Ont, Canada.
Posts: 563
Ok, here goes....

True macro lenses will give you magnification down to 1:1. The means that if the insect is 13mm long, it would take 13mm of sensor space to record it. This is life size.

Now a few macros will only do a ratio of 1:2. This means that the lens can only magnify 1/2 of life size.

If you see a lens that can do 1:4, you guess it, it can only do 1/4 of life size.

Now, some lenses can do greater then life size, or some combinations of extension tubes, etc, will get you beyond life size.

For instance, the Canon mp65 (something or other) can do 5x life size. This ratio would look like this: 5:1.

In microscopy, you can get 100:1 and even greater. This means 100x life size.

Larger number on the right hand side, the less magnification that lens can do.
Larger number on the left hand side, the greater magnification that lens can do.
07-29-2007, 04:54 PM   #7
Veteran Member
raider's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Perth, Australia
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 1,945
Original Poster
foxglove, I also has some photos with the bugs of similar focus position like your dragonfly, i.e. the head is in focus, but the body is not. I thought my focus is out and toss out the picture. Is it a general rule/guideline in macro photography to always capture the bug in clear focus?

Piotr, are those picture full size shots, or are they cropped in any way? Look fantastic!!
07-30-2007, 09:45 AM   #8
Veteran Member
foxglove's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Atlantic Canada
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 1,049
QuoteOriginally posted by raider Quote
foxglove, I also has some photos with the bugs of similar focus position like your dragonfly, i.e. the head is in focus, but the body is not. I thought my focus is out and toss out the picture. Is it a general rule/guideline in macro photography to always capture the bug in clear focus?
The dof in macro photography is very narrow - we're talking millimetres, here. You just can't get the whole thing in focus, usually. I try to focus on the eyes and let the rest go, unless there's some compelling reason to focus elsewhere on the critter. For instance, this one:



The eyes are pretty much invisible, so I focused on the strand of webbing and the spiders legs.

This is why it's frustrating to be light limited - you have to choose between shutter speed and dof, and at some point, you have to start sacrificing dof because you're at such a low shutter speed you can't hold the camera steady. Not that you're getting much more dof at f/16 than f/5.6, but every hair's-breadth counts! But hey, with digital every shot isn't costing you something, and it's just so darned fun trying to catch these wee beasties. Enjoy!

Julie

07-30-2007, 11:34 AM   #9
Veteran Member




Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Munfordville, Ky.
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 370
Julie:

Touche to that. And therein lies the attraction to me of digital photography. You can experiment all day if you please at no cost, crop, enhance, etc., etc. Ain't it wonderful?

CN
08-03-2007, 03:19 PM   #10
Syb
Veteran Member
Syb's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Near Utrecht, Netherlands
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 1,224
bugs etc?

This was made with a sigma 105mm macro. (1:1 magnification)

sigmalavendelbij.JPG.jpg :: bij op lavendel -- sigma 105mm macro F:2.8, Pentax K10D @ Fotopic.Net

In the same sequence you will see the effect of a 2xtc between camera and macro lens: even closer macro! I discovered that yesterday. Since then, I am totally into macro...

Attached is a fly; shot using the tc and camera built in flash. (1/180) F/11. Only a pity to loose the natural light. The picture was shot in broad daylight! Did you notice?

syb
Attached Images
 
Reply

Bookmarks
  • Submit Thread to Facebook Facebook
  • Submit Thread to Twitter Twitter
  • Submit Thread to Digg Digg
Tags - Make this thread easier to find by adding keywords to it!
bugs, insects, k-mount, lens, pentax lens, slr lens
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Nature Butterfly and bugs Caddis Post Your Photos! 3 08-19-2010 04:06 AM
photo insects with macro lens Purusam Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 15 01-20-2010 03:12 PM
macro on butterfly/ insects. marcusyoung Post Your Photos! 5 01-29-2009 02:06 PM
Bugs! 1 (675mb photo) LaRee Post Your Photos! 12 11-29-2008 06:56 AM
Butterfly photo txbonds Post Your Photos! 0 09-30-2007 04:28 PM



All times are GMT -7. The time now is 07:35 AM. | See also: NikonForums.com, CanonForums.com part of our network of photo forums!
  • Red (Default)
  • Green
  • Gray
  • Dark
  • Dark Yellow
  • Dark Blue
  • Old Red
  • Old Green
  • Old Gray
  • Dial-Up Style
Hello! It's great to see you back on the forum! Have you considered joining the community?
register
Creating a FREE ACCOUNT takes under a minute, removes ads, and lets you post! [Dismiss]
Top