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My poor attemp to shoot bees
Posted By: xs400, 04-26-2008, 10:55 PM

There are a couple of bushes in my yard that are in bloom and swarming with bees. Today I went out and tried to shoot some macros of the bees on the flowers. I took a lot of bad shots, maybe I need a real macro lens instead of just putting a +3 close focus filter on one of my lens. I now have a lot of respect for people that can do this kind if this and get good results. Here are few of my better shots - if these are the good ones, just think what the bad ones must look like.





I finally get the focus right, but the subject got tired of waiting and leaves!

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04-26-2008, 11:00 PM   #2
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I think #2 looks good and #3 is actually quite effective.

Never heard of a close up filter before. Anywaty I think you have made a pretty good effort , looking forward to some more in the future.
04-26-2008, 11:56 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by Falcons Quote
I think #2 looks good and #3 is actually quite effective.

Never heard of a close up filter before. Anywaty I think you have made a pretty good effort , looking forward to some more in the future.

Thanks for your comments. I have to admit, I also like #3.

A close focus filter is like adding a magnifying glass to the front of your lens, and it allows you to focus much closer to your subject. It's sort of a poor man's macro. For a little more info on close focus filters see > TrekNature | Macro diopter filters Photo and Dad ~ Baker & Chef: Macro shots, Diopter Filters and Flowers in my Garden
04-27-2008, 02:55 AM   #4
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No3 is great

It just show the Bee has a full load after gourging those flowers

LOL


Cheers

04-27-2008, 04:42 AM   #5
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They're good shots considering what you had to use to get them.
#1 would have been brilliant if it were sharper - sounds like a limitation of the closeup filter, not the photographer!
Perhaps try to take them again with your FA 80-320 stopped down a little with a crop... You might be surprised how it performs without the closeup filter.
Macro shots are harder than they seem, though. I've only had a handful of keepers with my 100/2.8 mainly because it's a skill in itself...
See how you go.

Last edited by Ash; 04-27-2008 at 04:49 AM.
04-27-2008, 05:06 AM   #6
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I love #3, I'm not sure what there is about the flower in focus and the bee OOF, but it really works. I like it very much. You did a fine job on your first attempt. I here some people spray sugar water on the plant to get the bee or butterfly to stay longer.
04-27-2008, 07:04 AM   #7
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#3 is very good ! Love the Bee departing ....nicely done.

04-27-2008, 07:26 AM   #8
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Thanks for the comments everyone. One thing I've learned from my attempts a macro photography using a close focus filter is the limitations of using the filter. Getting a true macro lens is now on my agenda.

QuoteQuote:
I hear some people spray sugar water on the plant to get the bee or butterfly to stay longer.
I'll tyr using sugar water next time. Thanks for the tip.
04-27-2008, 08:01 AM   #9
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I like the 3rd shot.

I'm curious how you're trying to capture these? Are you trying to hunt them down with the AF on? if so you might want to try picking a flower, setting the camera on a tripod and M focus on the tip of the flower. Close the lens down enough to get some DOF around the flower and still keep the shutter speed at or above 1/160th and SR off. Have the camera set for burst shooting. When the bee comes into the frame, fire off 5-6 frames. I bet your 'keeper' rate will be much higher. Another thing that can really help freeze them is use the flash turned down to -1Ev or even -2Ev. Just enough to freeze the shot but not look too much like the flash was fired.

I found last year, chasing bugs around with the Sigma 105 f2.8 was a real hit and miss when handheld. So before you spend any money, try that.

Last edited by Peter Zack; 04-27-2008 at 10:03 PM.
04-27-2008, 08:32 AM   #10
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Agree with the others, the third picture is great, the blurriness of the bee actually just adds to the 3D nature of the photo!
04-27-2008, 09:14 AM   #11
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I like #3. It gives just a little different perspective of the "bee on the flower" shot.
04-27-2008, 09:45 AM   #12
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What Peter suggested I would highly recommend trying. Sometimes chasing the subjects around isn't the best thing to do and setting up and waiting for them is. Watch there behaviour find which bush\plant\flowers they visit the most, set up the camera on the tripod and be patient. Also I would shoot closer to F8-11 instead of F19 to increase your shutter speed a bit (first image is F19 1/90s).

Thanks
04-27-2008, 09:58 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Peter Zack Quote

I'm curious how you're trying to capture these? Are you trying to hunt them down with the AF on?
Perter,
That's pretty much been my technique so far. I have also tried doing it with manual focus, as well. One of the problems with using a close focus filter is that the camera has difficulty finding focus with the close focus filter on, that's why I also tried manual focus. This has been a very hit and miss operation trying to shoot insects with the close focus filter. I really need something better.

I am starting to get very interested in macro photography and will try your suggestions in the future. Thanks for the advice.

I am also just starting to look into getting a macro lens - but it will probably take me a while to decide which one to get.
Frank
04-27-2008, 10:13 PM   #14
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Frank, when the time comes for a dedicated macro lens, the three obvious choices are fairly clear IMO. Pentax 100, Tamron 90 or Sigma 105. There are a couple of others but the $$ goes up quite a bit. The Pentax is reported to be a very good lens but lacks the focus limiter unless you get the older version on Ebay. The Sigma and Tamron both have the limiter which makes it a better mid length tele lens ( it won't range for focus so much).

I've used the Sigma 105 and would highly recommend the lens but everyone that has the Tamron seems to be very happy with it as well. I just liked the Sigma because it offered a bit more working distance to the subject which is a big plus when trying to avoid shadows.
04-29-2008, 02:51 AM   #15
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Marcro lens might be better

I really love number 3 where the bee is leaving the scene....

I used to take macro shots with the Sigma 17-70 but then I missed the 1:1.

A real macro lens 1:1 could help you a lot, better and faster focussing and the ability of staying a little bit further away from your object.

I was going to buy the Sigma 105 mm but at that time this lens was temporarily out of stock and I bought the Tamron 90mm.

I am very pleased with the Tamron lens. Extremely sharp and light, and easy to use.
I still wonder if the 15mm extra with the Sigma would have been interesting, but than I can't imagine any macro lens as sharp as the Tamron, so I am glad I took this one.

Any way, both lenses, Tamron 90mm and Sigma 105mm should be very nice for macro.

The 90mm offers the capability for portrait, the 105 is too much. The 105 gives you more distance from the object, interesting for insects. If you mostly want to macro insects, consider the Sigma or even the Sigma 180 mm ! If you buy the 180 mm and add a 2x you get e very nice and sharp tele too :ugh:!

JL
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