Today I used four different lenses to shoot insects. I used a flash for some extra light even though It was a sunny day. I shot at ISO 400 and an aperture of f1, I had to adjust the flash strength when I moved into the shade but for the rest I didn’t change settings. I also used a small and lightweight tripod for some extra stabilization.
This is the combination I have shot the majority of my macro shots with the last 5 years. It is one of the best Macro lenses you can buy. It has a build in stabilizer and it focuses reasonable quick. Today I used the auto focus in most of the shots but normally I use it in manual mode and move the camera slowly into focus. The two SB-R200 flashes are great to, you can mount them on the front of the lens as a replacement of a ring light. Nikon is famous for it’s flash system, they adjust the strength of the flash every shot and this work flawlessly. Because I used an extension tube and the bugs where only a few centimeters in front of the lens I mounted two small diffusers on the flashlights to soften the light.
Fujifilm X-t1 with Micro Nikkor 105mm f4.0 + 36mm ext.tube + Flash with reflector
I could have mounted all these lenses I tried out today on my Nikon D7100 but I want to see if I could live without my favorite flash system and lens combination, the SB-R200 flashes don’t work with the Fujifilm camera. Because of the length of the lens combination I had to adjust the flash (Yongnua speedlight YN560-II) head quit a lot upwards, because of this I had to set the strength of the flash almost at full power, with the two smaller lenses the power was almost at the lowest.
The X-t1 has a great view finder but I have the impression that it is easier to manually focus with the Nikon camera. With the Nikon you see directly through the lens and for now that is still better than what the sensor seas and shows on the screen.
The pictures are not bad compared to the more modern 105mm lens. The Nikon D7100 has also 24mp compared to the 16mp of the Fujifilm X-t1 but that is harder to see. Both lenses where set at an aperture of f11 but the older one had a little bit more depth of field I think
Fujifilm X-t1 with Auto Rikenon 55mm f1.4 + 36mm ext.tube + Flash with reflector
The pictures taken with the Rikenon are not bad, the out of focus parts are nice but the sharpness is not that great. I took around 50 pictures with this combination and none of them where as sharp as I like. The depth of field is also small even at f11. With the Nikon and 105mm combination I also took around 50 shots and there I have a better success rate.
But the combination with the 36mm extension tube is not bad, if I wan to travel light I can bring it with me, it weighs nothing and I can focus much closer.
Fujifilm X-t1 with MIR-1b f2.8 + 12mm ext.tube + Flash with reflector
This combination is similar to the Rikenon, there is a little bit more depth of field but you have to get really close witch is difficult if you want to shoot insects.