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.
Today I used my 300mm Nikon lens on my X-t1 to try out manual focus with this kind of lens. The X-t1 has this focus aid that shows you a small zoomed in part of the screen besides the main screen and this works great. All the pictures are taken hand held with a shutter time of 500. The pictures of the flower give a nice mood and because of the aperture of f4 only a small sliver is sharp. The picture of Darth, our cat, shows a good sharpness in the eyes and the bridge is sharp to, at least part of it because the aperture was also f4. The butterfly was more difficult to get sharp but that was because of the wind, I shot a burst of pictures and prayed for the best, something a normally never do. Overall manual focusing works fine with this kind of lens.When I use this lens, made between 1987 and 2000, on my Nikon D7100 you can use the autofocus but it is slow, there is no motor in the lens like you have with modern lenses, it’s all mechanical and you notice, and hear it. As long as the subject is not moving to mush and you are not in a hurry it works great. .
Today i replaced the 36mm extension tube for a 12mm one and a flash for the LED ring light. The flash i use is a Yongnuo speedlite YN560 , a relatively cheap flash that works really good. On the Fuji i use it in manual mode whereby you can sett the strength relatively easy. You can also manually zoom it if you want, I put it in the widest setting and pointed it up and attache a peace of A4 paper as a reflector. I need to do this because I want to shoot close to the front of the lens and the flash can not be pointed that low. But reflecting the light via a peace of white paper also disperse the light more and can crate the effect of a sunny overcast.
The shutter was set to 1/250s because i like to shoot without tripod and with the 50mm lens you don’t have to worry to mush. I like to use the view finder and push it against my eye to stabilize the camera even more, your eyes is then like a third arm. If I use the back screen i I like to use the strep from the camera that hangs around my neck as a stabilizer by stretching my arms and put tension on it. I played a little withe the aperture settings, I used settings between 1.8 and 5.6 and I also changed the strength of the flash, most of the time the flash was at its weakest (1∕128) setting.
Today I wanted to try out a cheap ring led light I bought last year on eBay. First I had to find 2 double a batteries and see if it was still working, it did. The weather outside was OK with some sun but mostly overcast. In this condition and close to the ground and my subject I turned the ring light on and of to see on the light meter a difference of no more than half a stop. Not mush in these circumstances but on my screen I could see that the darker parts in the flower where more lit, I will try it some more the coming day’s to find out if its worth finding batteries for it next time.
I used my 5 year old Fujifilm X-e1 with an adapter so I could use my 50mm 1.8 Nikon lens that I already had in the film days. Because I wanted to take pictures of flowers and insects I used a 36mm extension tube, a little long I know but I want to try it. I have not calculated it, wouldn’t know how to do it, but the magnification is not 1 to 1 like with my dedicated 105mm macro lenses. But I could get close and with an aperture of 2.8 there is only a little area in focus but the background is so smooth that it is almost monotone.