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Mantidfly
Posted By: yeatzee, 07-24-2010, 02:24 PM



I've wanted to find one of these all my life.... and wouldn't you know it I just found three There is VERY little info on these insects, so a member on another forum with one and I plan on hopefully shedding some light in regards to these fascinating creatures.

(note: They are not related to praying mantids, but are related to lacewings)

2 images stacked
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07-25-2010, 03:23 PM   #16
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QuoteOriginally posted by Rense Quote
Thanks! Any scientific name, from species or family?
Yes Blue is right, it is a Plega sp.

Not exactly sure which though.

QuoteOriginally posted by Rense Quote
Tanner, could you share some of your stacking secrets? Hand held? How do you proceed because of the delay between the shots, working with flash? Outdoor, or indoor? Stacking software? And all the other things I forgot ?
I'll try my best to be helpful

Yes I shoot handheld. Each setup has advantages and disadvantages. Yours enables you to shoot ISO 100 and a larger F-stop and still have enough light thanks to your onboards power. Your recharge rate is slow however, making stacking difficult (I used to do it using my onboard to set off the AF 360 flash, so my recharge rate was the same as yours. It was difficult believe you me). My setup however, forces me to be at usually ~ ISO 320 to get enough light. I also shoot at lower f-stops and my shutter speed is usually 1/60-80. This is all because my flash is set to 1/4 or 1/8 depending on the light so I can shoot in a faster rapid succession. Its not blazing fast, but apparently fast enough. The problem is the flash power is not consistent anymore for whatever reason (dieing batteries?), so instead of keeping the camera in low drive mode and holding down the shutter button like I used to I simply put it in single drive mode. I have become very good at consistently judging when the flash is back to power to take the next shot by the sound it makes. I do not let it charge all of the way usually because the recharge time is just barely to slow.

The hardest part is focusing just barely different, yet slightly overlapping from the previous shot. This just takes lots of practice, and lots of failed shots/trial and error.

They are all shot outdoors in my backyard, unless stated differently.

I use combinezm for stacking (its free) and I touchup the shots in GIMP. CZM is ok, not great. It leaves VERY little room for error which I guess is good because it has forced me to really be critical and precise.

Any more questions just ask, or if I wasn't clear please speak up

QuoteOriginally posted by Blue Quote
Order: Neuroptera
Family: Mantispidae

A wild guess at the Genus Plega

The adults are basically generalist predators and the larvae of some species are obligate predators on spiders while others are generalists.
yup

QuoteOriginally posted by Blue Quote
The only way that I have been successful stacking is to have a stationary camera and a non-moving insect.
They are living moving insects, so it can be done The worst is when you have the shots perfect but their arm/leg moves slightly in one or two shots. It can be fixed via PP, but i've never been good at that type of stuff :ugh:

QuoteOriginally posted by OrenMc Quote
Great detail in the first shot and putting that pano together is a great accomplishment.
The effort you are putting into your macro is really paying off. WELL DONE!
Thanks! I REALLY appreciate it Oren.

07-25-2010, 03:27 PM   #17
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Got to love macro images! Nice!!
07-25-2010, 03:29 PM   #18
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Oh and believe me, I've lost many subjects in the middle of taking a series of stacks. It sucks, but if your persistent and keep at it it will pay off. I like to sit next to large planters full of flowers and plants and simply wait. Eventually the flies will be accustomed to you being there, and as long as you move in carefully they will not notice you. Same with the other insects.
07-25-2010, 04:26 PM   #19
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edit: never mind, questions answered!

07-25-2010, 11:47 PM   #20
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Thanks for the elaborate explanation, Tanner! I've got the AF360 myself, and I thought I could use it for macro shots when I just made a fitting diffuser for it...
07-26-2010, 12:11 AM   #21
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QuoteOriginally posted by Rense Quote
Thanks for the elaborate explanation, Tanner! I've got the AF360 myself, and I thought I could use it for macro shots when I just made a fitting diffuser for it...
No problem Rense Your the one who gave me the idea of making your diffuser, but for my Pentax AF 360FGZ flash. Without you posting that link, none of these shots would have been possible.

I look forward to being shown "how its done" once you get that speedlight setup going
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