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Featured Dragonfly - Erythemis collocata female

Discussion in 'Macro, Flowers, Insects, and Greenery' started by svalley, Mar 25, 2019.

  1. svalley

    svalley

    69
    Jun 27, 2009
    Oregon
    My first post.
    A dragonfly, Erythemis collocata female
    Shot with a Nikon d810, Mitutoyo M Plan Apo 5x infinity microscope objective mounted on a 200mm Micro-Nikkor, f4@1/60, ISO64, 160 shots focus stacked using a StackShot, processed with Zerene Stacker and Photoshop.
    Erythemis-collocata-female-lat-head-2048.jpg
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  2. Butlerkid

    Butlerkid Cafe Ambassador Moderator

    Apr 8, 2008
    Rutledge, Tennessee
    Karen
    STUNNING! What amazing sharpness and details! I'm certainly looking forward to more images from you!

    Welcome to NikonCafe!
     
  3. svalley

    svalley

    69
    Jun 27, 2009
    Oregon
    Thank you for your kind words and welcome.
     
  4. svalley

    svalley

    69
    Jun 27, 2009
    Oregon
    A male Erythemis collocata. The males emerge resembling the females closely. As they become sexually mature their eyes turn this wonderful shade of blue and their thorax and abdomen slowly become covered with a waxy, powder blue substance called pruinosity, that completely obscures the underlying color patterns. They are very territorial and prefer landing flat on the ground.

    Erythemis-collocata-male-lat-head-1600.jpg
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  5. Fascinating! Absolutely amazing detail.....

    A question, since it is hard to tell here, but you mention a microscope -- are your subjects still alive or are they dead (and therefore not moving) when you photograph them?
     
  6. svalley

    svalley

    69
    Jun 27, 2009
    Oregon
    Most are anesthetized with CO2 during the shooting process, but they do end up being specimens in a scientific collection.
     
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  7. Your work is amazing!
     
  8. svalley

    svalley

    69
    Jun 27, 2009
    Oregon
    Thank you! That's nice of you to say.
     
  9. Growltiger

    Growltiger Administrator Administrator

    Brilliant results.
    Please can you explain your setup, and even better a photo of it.
    I don't understand how that lens is combined with the use of the Nikon lens?
    Is a microscope being used?
    Or a bellows?
    What magnification are you getting with that photo? Or to put it more practically, how many mm across is the photo capturing?

    My various attempts at photographing things about 4mm across have been quite poor.
     
  10. svalley

    svalley

    69
    Jun 27, 2009
    Oregon
    Thank you.
    My system uses "infinity" microscope objectives which need a relay or tube lens between the objective and the microscope eyepiece or the camera sensor. This is different from the normal microscope most of us are familiar with that just has a hollow tube between the lens and eyepiece.

    My Mitutoyo objectives were designed to work with a 200mm tube lens and they are screwed right onto the front utilizing adapter rings to fit the filter threads.
    Objectives_SV59692-1600.jpg
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    Note the engraved infinity symbol and f=200. LWD means "long working distance."

    I took the post from a garage sale beginners darkroom enlarger and mounted it on an aluminum plate. My Cognisys StackShot is mounted to the carriage for the enlarger head and the camera and lens is attached vertically to the StackShot. I have a number of precision stages for positioning the subject in XY axis and the StackShot positions the camera and lens system in the Z axis. The 200mm lens is focused at infinity and the aperture is left wide open.

    I know this image is pretty cluttered but it gives you the basic idea.
    Imaging-system_SV59223-1600.jpg
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    Some stackers use continuous light, but I have had the best luck with flash since vibration at high magnification is a major problem.

    The camera body is attached to continuous power rather than batteries, and the StackShot controller (the little silver box with the blue window on the right). The controller fires the camera at preset intervals. The camera is also connected to the computer via USB2 (USB3 gave me errors). I use a program called "ControlMyNikon" so I can use live view and control all the camera setting. I wish I could find another program because this one has some irritating flaws. Zerene Stacker has a StackShot control module that is easy to use to control the positioning of the camera for each shot.

    Magnification is determined by the ratio between the actual size of the subject and the size of the image on the sensor. At 5x a 7.13mm subject will fit the long side of the D810 sensor, at 10x a 3.53mm subject, and at 20x a 1.76mm subject.
     
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  11. Butlerkid

    Butlerkid Cafe Ambassador Moderator

    Apr 8, 2008
    Rutledge, Tennessee
    Karen
    Really interesting! I'll bet this is a far cry from your first camera set up!
     
  12. svalley

    svalley

    69
    Jun 27, 2009
    Oregon
    Oh yeah. My first was a Nikon F mounted on an old Bausch & Lomb student microscope. You could lock the mirror up to help cut shutter vibrations.
     
  13. Growltiger

    Growltiger Administrator Administrator

    Thank you, this is very helpful indeed.
    I am now busy studying this whole subject as I currently get only low quality results when going beyond 1:1. I already have several bits of equipment, some of which will help me get started.
     
  14. Yep that's how ya do it, I had that set up, but it got the best of my patience, had to sell off, well done sir, great detail.
     
  15. kilofoxtrott

    kilofoxtrott European Ambassador Moderator

    Dec 29, 2011
    Tettnang, Germany
    Impressive equipment, Steve. Featuring the picture was very well deserved!

    But one question: Which kind of narcotics do you use on the dragonflies? :D :D :D 

    Kind regards
    Klaus
     
  16. svalley

    svalley

    69
    Jun 27, 2009
    Oregon
    Thanks!. I use CO2.
     
    • Informative Informative x 1
  17. Absolutely brilliant work here.
    Welcome to the Cafe indeed. Waitaminute!!! (?), your profile says you've been a member for over ten years! First post?! Don't be shy, this is amazing stuff.
     
  18. svalley

    svalley

    69
    Jun 27, 2009
    Oregon
    Thanks!
    Yep, I lurked here for a bit.
     
  19. Absolutely breathtaking shot and thanks for all of the technical data as to how you did it. Stunning photograph of something so common. Mother nature amazes me every day, today is yours...thanks!!!!
     
  20. svalley

    svalley

    69
    Jun 27, 2009
    Oregon
    Thank you!
     
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