Need more help shooting bugs

Discussion in 'Digital SLR' started by Sheldon, Jun 15, 2005.

  1. Sheldon

    Sheldon Guest

    I've finally started using smaller apertures to get my bugs in focus, but my
    problems now seems to be lighting. I'm using a D70 with a 55mm AI Micro
    lens (non automatic) and an extension tube. I'm so close to the bugs that
    if I get the light source (the sun) directly on the bug either myself or the
    lens blocks the light. If I turn it around so the light is coming from
    behind or the side I wind up with part of the bug well lit, while the rest
    of the bug is in heavy shadow.

    I hate the idea of having to get a new micro lens and flash that will work
    with it, so anybody have any ideas to help me out? Any web sites dedicated
    to micro photography?

    Thanks again.

    Sheldon, Jun 15, 2005
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  2. Are you so close that you wouldn't be able to use a reflector easily..?
    Could you make a light-tent from some thin white material or fine net like
    they sell in sewing and knitting shops?
    Hmm, that's got me thinking now!


    p.s. I have seen quite a few ringflash and macroflash units for sale on eBay
    recently for around Stlg100. I was looking because I love the effect they
    create in portairture, (if used in moderation!)
    Craig Marston, Jun 15, 2005
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  3. Sheldon

    Sheldon Guest

    Maybe I could just wear a white shirt?
    Any tips on the net about how to make one? I'll do a search.
    Not sure if they will work with a D70 and a non "chip" lens.

    Sheldon, Jun 15, 2005
  4. Sheldon

    Alan Browne Guest

    Reflectors or ordinary flash behind a shoot through umbrella.

    Alan Browne, Jun 15, 2005
  5. LOL! Yeah that'd do it!

    Well, we had one in work the other day to photograph a trophy. I'm sure
    they're not cheap to buy because they're a bit of photo kit...
    However, the simplest mock-up that I've used is four sheets of expanded
    polystyrene, although with this method there is no transmission through the
    material it just diffuses any light shone into it. What sprung to my mind
    though (you may laugh at this) have you seen the pyramid shaped plate covers
    for keeping flies off of food such as cakes? If you haven't I'll have to do
    some digging around for a weblink. Anyway, I thought about covering one of
    those with suitabel material because it would be rigid and light and you
    could cut out a hole to poke your lens through.
    I wonder if you can get hold of the material that the front of the softboxes
    for flash heads are made from - it's like very thin tent material.

    You'd have to double check the trigger voltage too! The Royal Air Force
    photogs are currently banned from using sync-leads with the Bowens flashes
    because the voltage is over twice the maximum for the D1x - there must have
    been an "incident" for a decision to have suddenly been made!

    Craig Marston, Jun 15, 2005
  6. Sheldon

    Sheldon Guest

    Thanks, Alan. Photo umbrellas I have. Geez, I'm gonna need a truck
    everytime I leave the house with my camera. :)
    Sheldon, Jun 15, 2005
  7. Sheldon

    Rudy Benner Guest

    Its called an Assistant.
    Rudy Benner, Jun 15, 2005
  8. Reflectors work and are easy to make by glueing a piece of (crimpled)
    aluminum foil on cardboard (or a white cardboard for more diffused
    light). That is not suitable highly mobile bugs though. Light tents are
    just another way to do a reflector/diffuser.

    For mobile bugs you need lots of natural light with a non light-blocking
    lense (usually that means longer focal lenght). Flash is another choise,
    any cheap flash should do if you make a bracket holding it very close to
    the subject. Nothing fancy is really needed, manual adjustment for the
    power level is quite enough.
    Harri Suomalainen, Jun 15, 2005
  9. Sheldon

    DoN. Nichols Guest

    How about an *old* micro lens with built-in flash?

    Look at the 200mm Medical Nikkor, which has a built-in ring
    flash, (along with a set of four small incandescent lamps for focusing
    aid). It uses screw-on close-up lenses -- a set of six of them come
    with the lens. The only focusing adjustment is moving the camera/lens
    combination towards and away from the subject.

    You will need the PC contact adaptor (AS-15 IIRC) to use it on
    the D70.

    You will be stuck needing a long power cord, unless you luck
    into one with the battery powered module -- in which case you will be
    needing rather expensive photoflash batteries, unless you get or build a
    DC-DC converter to work from some more common rechargeable batteries.

    DoN. Nichols, Jun 15, 2005
  10. Sheldon

    Owamanga Guest

    Just leave the washing up for a couple of weeks, the bugs will come to
    Owamanga, Jun 15, 2005
  11. Sheldon

    Mike Coon Guest

    Or perhaps work in a cold-room to slow them down a bit?

    Mike Coon, Jun 15, 2005
  12. Sheldon

    Sheldon Guest

    Maybe I can put them in the freezer for a bit. That should slow them way
    down. :)
    Sheldon, Jun 16, 2005
  13. Sheldon

    Paul Furman Guest

    I've got some plastic material designed for putting over plants to
    protect from frost and it's supposed to have a very high light
    transmission and dispersion. I used it as a shade cloth to disperse
    light for growing plants before & I'm playing with a coat hanger draped
    in the stuff to make a soft box. It's quite cheap, comes in a roll at
    the garden center.
    Paul Furman, Jun 16, 2005
  14. Sheldon

    Paul Furman Guest

    I talked to a guy who does that. It works!
    Paul Furman, Jun 16, 2005
  15. Sheldon

    rwesurfn Guest

    rwesurfn, Jun 16, 2005
  16. Sheldon

    Sheldon Guest

    I guess I could if I had one. Today I got a pretty good shot of a spider in
    the bathroom. I used a Tensor lamp to light it up. Problem is I had to go
    a little lighter to get a good shot of the spider but it washed out the
    webbing and the floor below the spider is white. When I can see the webbing
    the spider goes to shadow, and I think some of the webbing may have kept
    parts of the photo from being as crisp as other parts.

    I'm contemplating using a strobe that I do have and firing it manually off
    to the side. If I play around enough I should figure out the exposure.
    I'll try and get these shots posted so I can get some feedback. At least
    spiders don't move a lot, even when you get really close.

    Sheldon, Jun 16, 2005
  17. Sheldon

    JPS Guest

    In message <>,
    Have you tried using a teleconverter? A teleconverter will increase
    magnification so that you don't have to get as close. There are losses
    of light, in general, with TCs, but when you focus very close without
    one, you are still losing some light, anyway.
    JPS, Jun 16, 2005
  18. Sheldon

    Frank ess Guest

    OK. Apologies in advance.

    Something in that subject line has been tickling my memory. Now I

    When I was ten, and got my traditional shoot-your-eye-out Daisy® Red
    Ryder® Carbine, I'd sit on the chicken coop, feet dangling over the
    edge, and shoot flies as they basked in the sun on the back of the
    rabbit hutches. Got pretty good at it, actually, and didn't waste a
    lot of that precious copper.

    Thank you for your forbearance.
    Frank ess, Jun 17, 2005
  19. Sheldon

    Sheldon Guest

    I'll keep you in mind the next time I'm traveling through the Ozarks and
    need a good story to prove my manhood. <LOL>
    Sheldon, Jun 18, 2005
  20. Sheldon

    Frank ess Guest

    Are you sure this is sufficient? (smiley face)
    Frank ess, Jun 18, 2005
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