Bugs Show 'Insect'

Its very seldom that we get a chance to visit, a Jungle or a truly wild place and photograph the inhabitants... but turn over a log or stone in the garden or woods, look on the flowers and plants, and we get exactly that... A Micro Jungle with carnivores and their prey...

I have seen some SUPERB insect shots dotted about the Serious Compacts site, and thought it would be good to open a thread showing these Fantastic images in one place. Macro Photography is an art in its own right and can give very rewarding results. I hope you are able to add to the thread to show off your own work.



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I cannot compete with the shooting power of the macro lenses here.

Just as a fun exercise, I decided to have a play with some close focusing of my "standard" lenses. That's the Voigtlander 25mm f/0.95 on the Olympus E-P1 which focuses down to a very useful 0.17m and compare that to my Nikon D90 and Nikkor 18-105mm zoom set to 105mm and focussed to its minimum of 0.45m. The results were interesting:

First the Olympus...


St Andrews Cross spider OV by peterb666, on Flickr

Now the Nikon...


St Andrews Cross spider N17105 by peterb666, on Flickr

Now some details:

The first photo was taken with the Olympus E-P1 and Voigtlander 25mm f/0.95 set to approximately f/5.6 or f/8 to get a fair bit of depth of field. ISO400 and 1/20s completes the photo specs. As stated, the distance was 0.17m which is the minimum focus distance for this lens. Only minor cropping when straightening the picture. I am very impressed by the detail of this picture.

The second photo was taken with the Nikon D90 and Nikkor 18-105mm zoom set to 105mm. The aperture set to f/16 which was necessary to get all of the spider in focus and it only just managed that. ISO400 and 1/20s completes the photo specs.

The distance was of course 0.45m. Now while this is 3 times the distance of the Voigtlander lens, bear in mind that the effective focal length of the Nikon is 157 mm compared to 50mm. Even so, a fair bit of cropping was required as well.

While I generally find the metering of the Nikon fairly accurate, it was way off in this. I applied +1EV compensation but still needed to bring up the exposure by over a stop in Photoshop. While the colour rendering of the leaves is spot on, and the out of focus detail fairly similar despite the quite different apertures, what surprised me was a very different colour rendering of the spider. I also had to apply a bucket load of sharpening to the spider.

While a very odd-ball comparison, I give this as a clear win to the Olympus E-P1 and Voigtlander 25mm f/0.95. On the plus side for the Nikon combo - I think the web looks better.

I wish someone would make a quality 2x teleconverter for MFT. That would make the Voigtlander nearly a macro lens. With a 2x converter and a 12.5mm extension ring, you would have greater than 1:1 and still have a fairly bright lens for focussing.