Plants

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