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Thread: Only Flies

  1. #1
    Stagecoach's Avatar
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    Only Flies

    Chopped a large thorned palm down the other week that is quickly rotting in its centre so I was hoping it would attract some 'wildlife'. The centre has turned from a nice milky white liquid to something that looks and smells like yuk but great for capturing flies

    Handheld in bright sunlight light with 105 macro and 36mm tube.

    Only Flies

    Only Flies

    Just for fun if you have a warped sense of interest in all things small like me.

    Grahame

  2. #2

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    Re: Only Flies

    You seem to be benefitting from your discovery about staying back a bit and cropping ? Which I appreciated and upset a long held belief though yet to put it into practice, bit cool down here at the moment Both good captures.

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    Re: Only Flies

    Excellent macros. Sharp back to front.

  4. #4
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    Re: Only Flies

    Hi jcuknz,

    These flies were so pesky it was impossible to get in any closer so just had to do the best I could. As an idea of the crop ratio I have done below are the two full frames. It's also pretty cool here in Suva which keeps the humidity down and the camera happier.
    1/60th, f16, ISO400
    Only Flies
    1/200th, f11, ISO640
    Only Flies

    I also used auto focus on these, very rare for me.
    Grahame

  5. #5
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    Re: Only Flies

    Thanks John,

    I was lucky with these getting them on the same plane as the sensor. Others shot head on at same apertures lost sharpness right behind the head.

  6. #6

    Re: Only Flies

    Great shots. I like them.

  7. #7
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    Re: Only Flies

    Incredible shots... The detail, sharp focus, clarity and beautiful light captured in the first image is amazing...

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    wm c boyer

    Re: Only Flies

    Don't they have flyswatters in Fiji?

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    Re: Only Flies

    Grahame,

    You made these shots work, but I'm curious why you used such a small aperture in the second set. Looks like you had plenty of light but your aperture forced you into a really slow shutter and a higher ISO than I'm usually happy with. I've never shot macro, so I'm asking out of ignorance- do macros require apertures this small to get reasonable DoF?

  10. #10
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    Re: Only Flies

    Hi Kevin,

    Yes, macros do require the small apertures to get a reasonable DOF.

    The SS of 1/60th is well below what I would have liked but with my D300 I find ISO640 is the farthest I want to push it if I'm going to be cropping as well as the noise removal reduces the sharpness so much. This shot may have been ok at f11 but the problem being that with constantly moving critters there's not enough opportunity to vary settings.

  11. #11
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    Re: Only Flies

    Christina,

    Thanks for the comment. I took around 20 shots of which many were not keepers due to the fly being unsharp but in every one the background lighting and colours were almost a work of art on their own with the muted brown shades and detail of the palm trunk.

  12. #12
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    Re: Only Flies

    Another possible keeper from the bunch due to the muted complimentary tones. I took a fair amount of time on this one doing a comparison between PSE and Neat image for the noise removal and sharpening.

    To be honest at this resolution it was almost impossible to tell the difference although I concluded that the one done totally in PSE whilst noisier was sharper and the one done in Neat Image was less noisy and less sharp but then again it was more than likely me causing the minor differences

    Only Flies

    Grahame

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    Re: Only Flies

    My maths are not up to working this out but you are using an extension tube a third of the focal length ....does the camera know what you are doing and adjusts the aperture read-out accordingly as was mentioned in an earlier thread ?

  14. #14
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    Re: Only Flies

    Hi jc,

    The camera does not recognise that an extension tube has been fitted as far as I am aware but to confirm that tomorrow I will set it in manual at a certain aperture, record settings, mount a tube and check the aperture indication has not changed.

    This is another crop and I'm fairly sure no tube was fitted for this one, I removed it towards the end and of course did not record when.

    I have just been doing some web browsing on photographing flies and found an incredible close up of a flies head and eyes only. The poster also included the original image taken with just a 105 macro which was a similar frame to the one above (fly filling approx 3/4 frame) and he had produced it by cropping and sharpening using the high pass filter method so that's my next target.

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    Re: Only Flies

    Quote Originally Posted by Stagecoach View Post
    Another possible keeper from the bunch due to the muted complimentary tones. I took a fair amount of time on this one doing a comparison between PSE and Neat image for the noise removal and sharpening.

    To be honest at this resolution it was almost impossible to tell the difference although I concluded that the one done totally in PSE whilst noisier was sharper and the one done in Neat Image was less noisy and less sharp but then again it was more than likely me causing the minor differences

    Grahame
    Not at all sure it was you: the dilemma with noise removal is that it always reduces sharpness, so less noise == more blurring :/

    This is only valid for 'real' noise (random variations in signal), removal of dead and hot pixels shouldn't influence overall sharpness. And such pixels can be removed with some software packages, perhaps after taking a black frame. (dead pixels: always black, and always the same pixels, hot pixels: too intense, and the more so the longer you expose, but also always the same pixels, and intensity is predictable)

  16. #16

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    Re: Only Flies

    I let the only reasonable sized fly escape out the doorway this morning so I have to make do with this spider. Cute wee fellow about a eigth of an inch long and hanging beside the stairway from the beam supporting my upper floor.
    Not sure if his/her web is attached to the bannister rail but over the past few days I have not disturbed him/her as I grip the vertical rails/supports when climbing. Working on the assumption of shooting wide and cropping I took this to fullest extent and made a 700 pixel across crop out of the 16Mp I have. Using a 4 dioptre CU lens at 140mm [ 280mm AoV] on my GH2. Flash set to minus one stop. Though I am using the on-board with the zoom at 140mm I get minimal shading from the lens and lenshood ... couldn't see it at all with these shots ... to get focus I focused on the bannister rail and then holding half -trigger re-framed to find the wee fellow[ess] about a foot away. He was swinging side to side so most shots were NBG
    Anyway here he/she is .....1/60 f/16 with on-board flash at -1 stop.
    Only Flies

    Edit ... I fear I over sharpened it and am too lazy to correct matters as I suggested to Christina a few days ago ... [ too lazy ... no ... more interested in other activities ]
    Last edited by jcuknz; 10th September 2013 at 09:31 PM.

  17. #17
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    Re: Only Flies

    Hi jc,

    Neat spider and pretty small.

    With respect to you post No 13 the camera does not recognise at all when tubes are fitted.

    My maths are not too good either and there have been a few posts recently containing formulas regarding focal lengths, frame size and DOF and I have to admit I read them but little sinks in With the recent post inputs on tubes and converters today I spent half an hour sitting with camera, lens, tubes, converter and recording what I can achieve with it.

    Rather than concern myself with formulas I simply sat there and measured how much of a ruler I could fill the frame with fitted with each item. So for my D300 23.6 x 15.8 mm sensor and 105 macro I now have the following on a bit of card;

    a) 105mm @ 1:1 (closest focusing distance) = 23.6mm
    b) 105mm @ 1:1 + 12mm tube = 18mm
    c) 105mm @ 1:1 + 20mm tube =17mm
    d) 105mm @1:1 + 36mm tube = 16mm
    e) 105mm @ 1:1 + 12 + 20 + 36mm tubes (68mm) = 12mm
    f) 105mm @ 1:1 + 2 x Converter = 11mm
    g) 105mm @ 1:1 + reversed 50mm lens = 8.3mm

    So the moral to this is, if I find a 12mm length fly and use that lens and all three tubes I can 'theoretically' fill the frame with him/her assuming I do not scare it first.

  18. #18

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    Re: Only Flies

    I think Grahame that you may be falling into the trap, if we want to call it that, of thinking that to get tight framing as your final para suggests you need to come close ... which is what stacking extension tubes does .... which may or may not disturb the fly ... in my experience I found them extremely tolerant of a camera being pushed across the floor to get a tight shot of them. But becuase I am not using a DSLR but a bridge camera I went the CU lens path and use the narrow angle of a longer zoom [ than your 105mm ] to achieve the tight framing. I did much of my fly photography when I was using the Nikon 5700 which only has a 280 equivalent zoom but alos had a unique focusing system where with the zoom in mid "macro" position it would focus as tight as when I added a two dioptre. The disadvantage of simply using Nikon was that the lens was on top of the subject ... whereas with the 2d CU lens we were back at about nine inches and Mr Fly happilly continued to 'sit'

    So the moral as I see it, so not to upset Mr Fly is to use the extension tubes you have with a longer lens and get the tight framing from the lens rather than the tubes. The tubes, like my CU lens, overcome the manufacturing limitations of the long lens to not focus 'that' close.

    There is a side issue which you brought to my attention that if you have the pixels to spare for the intended use of the photo is to stay back a bit and crop. I took it too far with my wee spider as this full frame shows ... not many cameras really work that wonderful at 100% and I found out for a second time mine doesn't.
    Only Flies

  19. #19
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    Re: Only Flies

    Hi jc,

    I'm not sure I'm falling into a trap (is this a fly trap) of just looking for tight framings but what I was trying to do was learn the limits of the options I have available.

    Having read a recent thread where Bill (WW) rattled off three apertures, DOFs and shooting distances for head shots and I think 3/4 body shots which I'm certain he did not have to read a book to recall it made me realise that with my macro I should at least know what I can fill the frame with using the limited options I have available.

    Rather than just think 1:1, 1,5:1 & 2:1 e.t.c I wanted to know the minimum measurements that at the ratios I could use I would be able to fill the frame with.

    So my thought process and reason for collecting that data went; assuming I only require a 1200 pixel width image for web use what is the smallest subject (this may be a bug or part of a bug) that I can photograph taking account of the magnification I have available with the 105mm lens and tubes plus PP cropping within acceptable limits to give me the 'subject' filling approx 3/4 of the finished frame at acceptable IQ to me.

    The option of getting a longer focal length lens is not something I would consider as I do not find the 105 limits me at all with what I use it for I'm just trying to get it, and me, to its limit. One of the great things about living here is that there are no camera shops with their temptations.

    Grahame

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