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Want Pointers Bee and Fly on Buddleia.

Pete.Bony

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A bit of sunshine started to shine through this morning and I spotted this Bee and a Fly feasting on our Buddleia bush. The photos were taken with my Canon SX50 and my Raynox 250 attached to the lens using natural daylight with the camera set on Auto Mode. I would welcome any pointers to help improve which any of you guys might like to offer. AS per the previous "pointer" I was given I have tried not to crop in quite so tightly so as to show the "surrounding foliage". I have to say that on looking at them here maybe I am not quite so happy with the Fly as I am with the Bee - I'm not sure why, I can't quite put my finger on it!
Bees on budliea 002 copy.jpgBees on budliea 004 copy.jpg
 
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RyanB

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The first shot of the drone fly is lovely, its sharp and well lit but not in direct sun which helped keep the light nice and diffused.

I would guess the second shot of the smaller fly is a heavier crop which is why there is noticeable IQ differences between the two shots.

Another thing I notice from the EXIF is Auto mode is choosing a very slow shutter speed for insect shots and a lot of variables such as camera shake, wind pushing the foliage or insect movement can cause some complications.
Personally I would have gone for a higher shutter speed and ISO to compensate although I don't think this necessarily has much to do with the difference between these two shots.

The best way to get a tighter shot is to get closer to the subject but I am not sure what the working distance is using a raynox setup like you are.
 

Pete.Bony

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The first shot of the drone fly is lovely, its sharp and well lit but not in direct sun which helped keep the light nice and diffused.

I would guess the second shot of the smaller fly is a heavier crop which is why there is noticeable IQ differences between the two shots.

Another thing I notice from the EXIF is Auto mode is choosing a very slow shutter speed for insect shots and a lot of variables such as camera shake, wind pushing the foliage or insect movement can cause some complications.
Personally I would have gone for a higher shutter speed and ISO to compensate although I don't think this necessarily has much to do with the difference between these two shots.

The best way to get a tighter shot is to get closer to the subject but I am not sure what the working distance is using a raynox setup like you are.
Thanks for the comments! I have found that the working distance using the Raynox when fitted on to my Canon SX50 is about 9 to 12 inches! I will take on board what you are saying about using a higher shutter speed and ISO rather than using Auto Mode in the future. (I really ought to get into using the different programs that are built in to the camera just as I do with my DSLR)
Any advice and CC like yours is most welcome!
Thanks Ryan!
 

Southern Gent

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Okay a few pointers.
  1. Attaching any sort of inexpensive diopter or macro adaptor to the front of your lens is never really a good idea. You introduce the potential for all sorts of things from quality degradation, color shift, focus, light reduction, etc. It's like sticking a cheap UV filter in front of an expensive lens. You'd be better off to buy a set of extension tubes if you don't want to spend out for a good macro lens.
  2. Most cameras will struggle on full auto modes, so it's best to learn to use your manual settings.
  3. As mentioned above macro's "especially" hand held shots need fast shutters. Inside or out, I like to use auxiliary light to increase the sharpness. A speedlight will work wonders to define the little details. Even better if your camera/flash supports HSS it will let you shoot at shutter speeds well above normal sync speeds. If you don't have HSS as an option, then use a tripod with the highest sync speed you have.
  4. Finally white balance. Use a white target to shoot a copy to use later when setting white balance.
Your first image is better, but 1/60 shutter speed is really slow even with camera shake enabled. Aperture f/5.0, you do realize that at a distance of 9" with a focal distance of 27mm your total DOF is less then 3/8". I routinely shoot at much smaller apertures, either raising the ISO or adding supplemental flash as mentioned to expose the shot. Here's an edit of your shot with corrected WB and a few other enhancements. As you can see the sharpest focus is on the back edge of the front wing, the back wing, head, rear, pretty much all the rest of the bee is not sharp.
Bees on budliea 002 copy-2.jpg

By comparison this is the head of a wood bee shot with a 135mm non macro lens with extension tubes, and auxiliary light, at ISO 200. Don't remember the shutter speed on this one but likely at 1/200 because it was on a tripod. There are others way more talented then I when it comes to macro, but wanted to give you an example of the extension tubes in action.
bee20200405_2708.jpg
 
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SharonH

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I love the shininess that you have caught of the wings of the bee.
 
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