Macro

Bumbleebee on California Poppy

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Still experimenting with the macro lens and 1.7x teleconverter. I shot a batch at the smallest aperture, but the ISO heads to 6,400 and the image quality gets totally degraded. Then, I returned to f/8, and shot at the faster shutter speed and set the advance mode to CH (continuous high).

The in focus plane is so limited that for a rapidly moving insect, there’s less than a second where the face is in focus.

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Nikon D800, AF-S VR Micro-Nikkor 105mm f/2.8G IF-ED, ISO 800, 180mm, f/8, 1/2,000s

By the next frame, the bee was already taking off and blurry. That would have been an even cooler shot to get in focus.

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Nikon Macro Lens and Insects

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Photographers who can capture insects in perfect focus are true masters. My approach may not be entirely correct, so I have some experimenting to do. You don’t even have to look that closely to realize that the bee is just a bit out of focus. Too bad because the pose is quite interesting. After tracking a few bees, I noticed that they flew into the poppies head first. However, instead of backing out, the bees would turn around and exit head first. Even though I anticipated the bee’s exit, I still could not nail the focus because the bee was moving about quite quickly and the depth of focus was quite narrow.

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Nikon D800, AF-S VR Micro-Nikkor 105mm f/2.8G IF-ED, ISO 160, 180mm, f/8, 1/200s

How do you get 180mm with a 105mm lens? With a TC-17EII, a 1.7x teleconverter.

The spider photo came out quite cleanly. The spider was on a web between a handrail. However, the web is out-of-focus and invisible. You can see the hair on the legs of the spider. Amazing!

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Nikon D800, AF-S VR Micro-Nikkor 105mm f/2.8G IF-ED, ISO 800, 105mm, f/8, 1/1,600

Nikon AF-S Micro Nikkor 105mm 2.8G ED

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Today, I received a Nikon AF-S Micro Nikkor 105mm 2.8G ED. Fortunately, it arrived just before noon, so I headed out on a lunch hour walk with the camera in tow to test the new lens. The conditions were not entirely optimal due to the strong wind.

The first thing I discovered was that the depth of focus was rather narrow.

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Nikon D800, AF-S VR Micro-Nikkor 105mm f/2.8G IF-ED, ISO 100, 105mm, f/8, 1/500s

So, instead of relying on auto focus, I switched over to manual focus for more precision. The photo below is a crop from the above photo when viewed at 100%.

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Later, I came across a bee and switched back to auto focus. I could not manually focus fast enough to keep up with that busy bee as it flew from flower to flower.

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Nikon D800, AF-S VR Micro-Nikkor 105mm f/2.8G IF-ED, ISO 100, 105mm, f/8, 1/320s

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Nikon D800, AF-S VR Micro-Nikkor 105mm f/2.8G IF-ED, ISO 100, 105mm, f/8, 1/250s

Found another pink flower on the way back.

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Nikon D800, AF-S VR Micro-Nikkor 105mm f/2.8G IF-ED, ISO 100, 105mm, f/8, 1/400s

Same photo at 100%.

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The final shot is a slice of an orange. Flat objects are easier to focus on. I also tried taking a photo of a teaspoon of kosher salt, but too little was in focus, even when using a tripod.

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Nikon D800, AF-S VR Micro-Nikkor 105mm f/2.8G IF-ED, ISO 100, 105mm, f/8, 1/60s