About

P1000949bgb

Well about me — untypical geek with a Hat! Well I enjoy my computer games and my warhammer and the always growing mountain of fantasy books; but also my photographgy – which can find me walking about the place — in the sunlight — snapping away.

Started only a few years ago (gah its been over a year already!) and found myself very quickly addicted to the hobby. Though my kit lens didn’t get me far into the hobby it was the gift of the Sigma 70-300mm which really helped to launch me into photography, taking photos of birds, animals and (to my great surprise) flowers and insects. Now I am fully into the hobby, with a growing collection of lenses, kit, locations and ideas.

Welcome to my blog where you can watch as I progess through this.

my current kit:
Canon 400D
Canon 17-55mm kit lens
Canon 70-200mm f2.8 IS L
Sigma 70mm f2.8 macro
Sigma 150mm f2.8 macro
NEW!! Canon MPE65mm f2.8 macro

Canon 1.4 teleconverter
Canon 2* teleconverter
Sigma 1.4 teleconverter
Sigma 2* teleconverter

Kenko extension tube set
Raynox DCR 250 macro diopter/filter
Hoodman angle finder
Lumiquest softbox

Manfrotto 055XPOB tripod
Manfrotto 322 RC2 head
Manfrotto 390 head
Manfrotto 454 focusing rail
Manfrotto right angle head adaptor

2*4GB sandisk memory cards
1*2GB sandisk memory card
1*2GB Fuji memory card

THE HAT

various other bits and bobs!

Untitled-1

My first year or so – here’s hoping for better this next year! πŸ™‚

Advertisements

7 Responses to “About”

  1. Hi, saw some of your photography at SFF/Chronicles forum. Your work is simply amazing.

  2. SmokeJaguar Says:

    Came to this site through the AP/WDC forums, great pics

  3. As i said on TPF, Very Nice work!

  4. Roy Hale Says:

    Awesome work!!

  5. Hello,
    I,ve been watching closely your posts regardind the different setups for macro photography. I’m kind of new in the business, but have a lot of enthuziasm. I recently purchased the Sigma 70mm f/2.8 lens for my Nikon. I want to extend the macro ratio using different setups. I really want to buy the Sigma 2x teleconverter (test it first, because as you do know, it’s not mentioned in the compatibility list). Tell me, from your experienced point of view: is it worth buying it (at half price, must I say) beacause I can see some degraded sharpness, contrast and saturation in the comparative test (or was it just my eye?!) or buy a set of Kenko extension tubes (12+20+36) or try to get them both? What is it in your opinion the best setup for this lens to try to get as intimate as possible with those bugs out there (big macro ratio) but not as intimate as to scare them off (too short of a focus distance)? I would really apreciate your answer.

    Best regards,
    Viorel-Iulian Suica,

    PhD Student

    Department of Cellular Receptors

    Institute of Cellular Biology and Pathology “NicolaeSimionescu”
    8, B. P. Hasdeu Street, PO Box 35 – 14, Postal Code 050568;
    phone: (+4021)319.45.18; fax: (+4021)319.45.19
    Bucharest, Romania
    http://www.icbp.ro

  6. overread Says:

    Sorry for the slow reply, I don’t check my blog enough these days!
    I’ll try to answer your questions as best I can and hope that you check back to get the reply πŸ™‚

    First off: Sigma 2*Teleconverter. This should fit your 70mm, though I have to admit I only have experience with the canon fit sigma gear and not the nikon – so as you say test first and then see. You will see degradation of image quality with this teleconverter (or any 2*TC) and how bad this is depends upon the lens and also upon your own criteria for producing an image. For an idea of comparative image qualities you can check out my selection of images here which test the 70mm macro with a range of teleconverters and even a raynox DCR 250 (macro diopter).

    sigma 70mm

    My own preference is to work mostly with a 1.4TC attached for some gain in magnification with minimal image quality loss. I then also use the mentioned Raynox DCR250 to get more magnification out of the setup. However the diopter works very much like an extension tube – stripping infinity focus and reducing your working distance of the lens (so that you get closer for a more magified shot). For getting up close though it works a teat if the bug lets you get close:

    IMG_0048

    You can certainly use kenko tubes and on a 70mm macro lens they will work well to give you more magnification and although I have a set I tend to not use them (prefering to slip the diopter on instead). Tubes and teleconverters can also be combined together as well though of coures then you are again losing infinity focus and working distance.

    I do recomend that you start of at 1:1 and work at it and then ease yourself into greater magnifications. 1.4:1 (macro lens with 1.4TC) is not much harder than 1:1, but 2:1 (that you would get with a 2*TC) is noticably harder still and going any greater things get much harder to operate. Starting off and getting good with the basics will help you a lot in the long run with working at the highter magnifications.

    As for your second question its a more tricky answer and a less clear answer. For getting closer to insects its really a case of working with fieldcraft and methods to ensure that you can get close for the intimate shots. Infact one of the most popular super close macro lenses (which achives up to 5:1 macro) is only 65mm in focal length (Canon MPE65mm macro of which there is no nikon equivalent sadly- but there are other options I will note at the end). Fieldcraft is going to require pratice and the most you shoot the better you will get, there are however a few tricks you can use;

    1) early mornings – most insects will be cold and sluggish after the night and (in many areas) wind is often less in the early mornings. So combined it makes for a calm and slow part of the insect day where you can get some close shots when the insects will be too cold to respond. This is a time also when a lot of natural light photographers will operate with their tripods and sleeping/warming insects.

    2) rainshowers – just after a quick rainstorm many insects can get caught out in the cold, butterflies and bees for example can often be found soaked and crashed onto flowers where they have cooled and grown sluggish.

    3) Sugar water/honey – applied to a surface this can be used to attract insects to a select area. The additional bonus is when eating/cleaning many insects are quite focused and won’t notice you as much as they focus on the act at hand. Rotting fruite also works to attract insects.

    4) regular visited flowers – bees and other pollinating insects will often favour certain flowers within an area, get to know them and you can stake them out and then like the above method catch them when they are focused on feeding.

    Also you ask about other options – depending how great you want to go with magnification you might want to check out John Hallmen’s work and setups on flickr. He uses a variety of macro attachments, bellows and microscop objectives to achive highmagnifiaction shots whilst not using a single lens option like the Canon MPE 65mm macro. He also has notes on much of his work so is great to pickup a lot of advice from
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/johnhallmen/

  7. Thanks for the info. I really apreciate it!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: