Going to be shooting exotics frogs, etc - need advice

Butlerkid

Cafe Ambassador
Moderator
Joined
Apr 8, 2008
Messages
20,155
Location
Rutledge, Tennessee
Real Name
Karen
I will be attending a 2 day workshop at the end of June with Adam Jones and Jim Zuckerman. Exotic frogs and critters will be provided, along with natural plants and backgrounds. Shooting will be hand held, indoors. I think they may also set up some light stands and flashes.

I'm planning to get out my never-used Ray Ring flash and experiment a little. I also have the SB800, which I seldom use. :frown:

How do extension tubes affect DOF? I have the ProMaster 12/20/36 tubes which should allow me auto focusing. I have both the 105/2.8 macro (non VR) and the 70-200 that I thought I'd use.

Are tubes better in this situation that a 1.4 tele?

I guess using flash will allow me to keep shutter speeds high enough for sharp photos. Any suggestions on f stops?

All suggestions and comments are appreciated! Thanks!
 
Last edited by a moderator:
Joined
Oct 11, 2007
Messages
2,483
Location
Missouri
The problem with the 1.4TC is that it increases the focal length (obvious) while keeping your minimum focus distance the same. Problem with this is that the longer the F/L, the harder it is to handhold. You obviously would know that things are more shaky at 200mm than at, say, 60mm. So you'll get 1.4:1 on the 105 with the 1.4TC but at 150mm'ish. DOF will also be less (in my experience) as the DOF at 1.4:1 and 150mm is going to be smaller than 1.4:1 and 105mm (using tubes).

So this is kind of how I determine which to use, because both have their areas of use.

1.4TC is good if you need more working distance. If your MFD is 8" at 1:1 with the lens alone, it should be 8" at 1.4:1 with the TC and give you greater working distance at 1:1 (say 12"...don't quote me on the math).

Another strong area for the TC is the wide end. With the TC, you can still pull up and shoot a picture of a person, or a larger animal...with the tubes, you can't focus to infinity. So if you haver larger objects that you are shooting as well (as may be the case with frogs...go for the TC)>

I honestly use a full set of tubes 90% of the time and only grab the TC when doing butterflies/dragonflies or other larger objects. Depends on what shoots the style of shooting you plan for that day. Hope that helps some.
 

Butlerkid

Cafe Ambassador
Moderator
Joined
Apr 8, 2008
Messages
20,155
Location
Rutledge, Tennessee
Real Name
Karen
Nate,

Thanks so much for the info! I love looking at your work! Suggestions as to when to use tubes and when to use the tele and WHY are really helpful!

What about the Canon 500D???? Where would that fit in?

Here is a link to the workshop, which shows some of the critters I'll be photographing...and yes, they will be teaching us all this....I just want to start out as knowledgeable as I can!!!!! :tongue:

http://www.jimzuckerman.com/blog/frogs-reptiles-workshop-sept-18-19-2010
 
Joined
Oct 11, 2007
Messages
2,483
Location
Missouri
Nate,

Thanks so much for the info! I love looking at your work! Suggestions as to when to use tubes and when to use the tele and WHY are really helpful!

What about the Canon 500D???? Where would that fit in?

Here is a link to the workshop, which shows some of the critters I'll be photographing...and yes, they will be teaching us all this....I just want to start out as knowledgeable as I can!!!!! :tongue:

http://www.jimzuckerman.com/blog/frogs-reptiles-workshop-sept-18-19-2010
500D should be similar effects to the tubes as it won't change the minimum focus distance but will change the magnification. Another plus on the 500d is that you don't lose light like you do with tubes....though I've never had a problem focusing with the tubes due to the less light..I find it fine with a full set. I've never tried a 500d but have considered it a lot...even now I'm contemplating it. If I could get past 2:1 with the tubes + 500d but still being handholdable (is that a word??) then I'd be hooked...I can get to 2.7:1 with TC + Tubes but being at 250mm it's impossible to hold and focus.

Most important thing is to have fun...it looks like it will be a blast. I look forward to seeing the photos.


Edit: Oh...and you're welcome..always glad to help in the limited areas that I can on this forum :)
 

Butlerkid

Cafe Ambassador
Moderator
Joined
Apr 8, 2008
Messages
20,155
Location
Rutledge, Tennessee
Real Name
Karen
Thanks, Nate. Yesterday I read my flash manual, cross referenced to my camera manual and read Shaw's Closeups in Nature! Then I got out my D300, 500D and tubes and played around with the 105 macro and 70-200.

At times I couldn't figure out why the camera would not focus....it was because I was sooooo out of range! Then I remember a tip that you should set up for close focusing, then move the camera forward and back to get the subject into focus.

What was my biggest surrprise? My left arm got very tired, very soon! :eek: It's even sore today. YIKES! Last summer I was swinging around the 200-400 handheld! LOL! Guess I'm not shooting enough!
 
Joined
Nov 14, 2006
Messages
5,444
Location
Winnipeg, Canada
What you take depends on the size of the critters and how much of them you want in the picture. With your 105, which I assume goes to 1:1 you can completely fill the frame with a 24mm long object. Let's call that 1".. With the 70-200 version 1 it's 5.6" and Version II 8.3". The latter lens would be good for things like the Chameleon shown but you could get the same shot with the 105. The small frog picture at the site isn't even at 1:1. The workshop info. recommends you take a macro lens OR tubes/add-on closeup lens and a regular lens.

I'd bet you can shoot everything with just the 105 and ring flash. I'd take along the tubes in case you want to get really close. It might be better to keep the equipment simple and concentrate on techniques.

Larry
 

Butlerkid

Cafe Ambassador
Moderator
Joined
Apr 8, 2008
Messages
20,155
Location
Rutledge, Tennessee
Real Name
Karen
Larry,

You don't know how much it helps when you tell me the size of objects that I can get @ 1:1 with the different lenses! I have the 70-200, VR1. Saves me having to figure it out by trial and error!

Good advice! I NEED simple! I signed up for this workshop for 3 reasons: unique subjects, opportunity to focus on learning macro and flash, and Adam Jones is a personal friend. Although I am pretty good a learning lots of things, flash just seems to be something I "fight" learning.
 
Joined
Nov 14, 2006
Messages
5,444
Location
Winnipeg, Canada
Hi Karen

Your 70-200 doesn't go to 1:1. The 5.6" figure I gave was for smallest object to fill the length of the frame at closest focus. It's something easy to figure out by focusing on a ruler or you can go here for the number on any Nikon lens. http://www.photosynthesis.co.nz/nikon/specs.html It's in the "macro" column.

I assumed you were using the D300 but if you use the D700 multiply the # by 1.5 because the sensor is 1.5" long, not 1" as in the D300. So on the D700with your 70-200 the smallest object to fill the frame is 8.4"; it's 1.5" with the 105mm.

Larry
 

Latest posts

Links on this page may be to our affiliates. Sales through affiliate links may benefit this site.
Nikon Cafe is a fan site and not associated with Nikon Corporation.
Forum post reactions by Twemoji: https://github.com/twitter/twemoji
Copyright © 2005-2019 Amin Forums, LLC
Top Bottom