Plants

Elizabeth F. Gamble Garden Center

2 comments

Got tired of the same bumblebee and poppy photo, so I headed down to the local community garden for some exploration.

flower_8068

Nikon D800, AF-S VR Micro-Nikkor 105mm f/2.8G IF-ED, ISO 1600, 105mm, f/16, 1/125

flower_8072

Nikon D800, AF-S VR Micro-Nikkor 105mm f/2.8G IF-ED, ISO 1600, 105mm, f/16, 1/160

This one reminds me of a fried egg.

fried-egg_8078

Nikon D800, AF-S VR Micro-Nikkor 105mm f/2.8G IF-ED, ISO 400, 105mm, 0.3EV, f/16, 1/60

flower_8102

Nikon D800, AF-S VR Micro-Nikkor 105mm f/2.8G IF-ED, ISO 400, 105mm, f/8, 1/60

One leg out of focus. 🙁

insect_8127

Nikon D800, AF-S VR Micro-Nikkor 105mm f/2.8G IF-ED, ISO 400, 105mm, f/8, 1/125

I think I need to revisit this site while shooting on manual mode. On aperture priority, sometimes the shutter gets too slow. Unless you are shooting macro indoors, the slightest breeze can easily knock a flower out of focus.

After I bought my macro lens, it seems that every day has been a windy day. Or maybe it has always been windy and I just haven’t noticed until now.

Nikon 105mm Micro Lens at f/45

0 comments

I’m still searching for the optimum settings when using the Nikon macro lens. At f/6.3, barely anything is in focus, which isn’t a problem if the subject is flat.

flower_8081

Nikon D800, AF-S VR Micro-Nikkor 105mm f/2.8G IF-ED, ISO 400, 105mm, f/6.3, 1/125

At f/45, more of the flower is in focus. However, the original image was quite dark, even with a macro flash. Had to spend a few seconds in Photoshop to fix the image.

flower_8082

Nikon D800, AF-S VR Micro-Nikkor 105mm f/2.8G IF-ED, ISO 400, 105mm, f/45, 1/125

Here is how it looked out of the camera.

dark_8082

Nikon 105mm Macro Lens and Teleconverter

0 comments

When viewing macro photos, it might be difficult to determine the degree of magnification even for familiar subjects. At first glance, this may appear to be a photo from someone’s rock collection. However, this photo was taken at a playground. The rocks are really sand.

sand_7894

Nikon D800, AF-S VR Micro-Nikkor 105mm f/2.8G IF-ED, ISO 125, 180mm, f/8, 1/400s

For reference, I took a photo of a standard office park flower along the sidewalk. I have no idea what these are called, but they were growing every where.

yellow-flower_7804

Nikon D800, AF-S VR Micro-Nikkor 105mm f/2.8G IF-ED, ISO 100, 180mm, f/8, 1/400s

With the 105mm macro lens and a 1.7x teleconverter, the flower appears like this up close:

yellow-flower_7810

Nikon D800, AF-S VR Micro-Nikkor 105mm f/2.8G IF-ED, ISO 100, 180mm, f/8, 1/800s

A 100% crop of the above photo reveals these details. Not bad for a handheld shot on a windy day.

yellow-flower-100_7810

Here’s a different flower. Again, handheld and at the mercy of the wind. The center of the flower looks a little soft.

white-flower_7818

Nikon D800, AF-S VR Micro-Nikkor 105mm f/2.8G IF-ED, ISO 100, 180mm, f/8, 1/640s

But, look what shows up when viewed at 100%. The bug is actually visible in the above photo, but I didn’t even notice it when I first took the shot.

bug_7818

Here’s the dangerous part about getting a macro lens. You might relapse back to childhood with a serious fascination for insects. Who sees a bee and moves in to get an even closer look?

bee_7875

Nikon D800, AF-S VR Micro-Nikkor 105mm f/2.8G IF-ED, ISO 140, 180mm, f/8, 1/200s

This bee does not look happy.

angry-bee_7887

Nikon D800, AF-S VR Micro-Nikkor 105mm f/2.8G IF-ED, ISO 250, 180mm, f/8, 1/250

This bumblebee was a lot easier to track than the one who was busy pollinating the poppy. For poppies, the bumblebee would disappear inside the flower for a second or so and I had to guess the timing of its departure. Here, the bumblebee remained in the open the entire time.

bee_7931

Nikon D800, AF-S VR Micro-Nikkor 105mm f/2.8G IF-ED, ISO 3600, 180mm, f/9, 1/800s

I even got lucky and caught the bumblebee just as it was about to take off for another flower.

bee_7920

Nikon D800, AF-S VR Micro-Nikkor 105mm f/2.8G IF-ED, ISO 3200, 180mm, f/9, 1/800s

Bumbleebee on California Poppy

1 comment

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.

bee_7571

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.

bee_7572

Nikon Macro Lens and Insects

0 comments

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.

bee_7074

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!

spider_7425

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

0 comments

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.

flower_6962

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%.

flower_macro_6962

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.

bee_6973

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

bee_6975

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.

flower_6977

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

Same photo at 100%.

flower_macro_6977

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.

orange_7003

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

Donut Peach and Cherry Blossoms

0 comments

Planted a donut peach tree two years ago. Still haven’t had one bite of fruit from this tree yet. But, hope springs eternal. Maybe this year.

donut peach blossom

Nikon D800, AF-S Nikkor 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR, ISO 100, 300mm, f/8, 1/60s

Same story for this cherry tree. Gardening can be a fruitless endeavor…literally.

cherry-6726

Nikon D800, AF-S Nikkor 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR, ISO 100, 170mm, f/8, 1/40s

cherry-6727

Nikon D800, AF-S Nikkor 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR, ISO 100, 300mm, f/8, 1/80s

Bee

0 comments

Encountered this bee perched atop a flower while at the Fitzgerald Marine Reserve.

Same photo, but closer crop.

There’s a distracting blade of grass that is running through the flower, but I wasn’t about to disturb the bee just to get that out of the frame.

Nikon D800, AF-S Nikkor 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR @ ISO 140, 300 mm, f/5.6, 1/320