View Full Version : Female Widow Skimmer Dragonfly

Bruce Miller
07-08-2010, 02:52 PM
Iíve been shooting the Dragonflies and Butterflies now that the heat of summer has the birds hiding in the heavy canopies. I must say I really like this. It seems like every summer I take a few shots and think, Iíve got the wrong lens. Then I bought a set of tubes and tried putting a 20 on. Iíve been pretty excited about the results. Not sure if the 100-400 (on a 40D) with tubes, is the best, so please feel free to throw out alternatives. Iím shopping now. I am trying a 70-200 f4 IS that I borrowed from a friend. First impression is I like the 100-400 better. It is awful heavy though.
Please let me know what I can do to improve!

Canon 40D, 100-400 L IS, 20mm Kenco extension tube, hand held. Cropped some.

Thanks for looking,

Bruce Miller
07-08-2010, 03:32 PM
I'm not sure why this post doesn't show a thumbnail?

Roman Kurywczak
07-08-2010, 06:01 PM
Hey Bruce,
I tisn't showing up as a thumbnail because you have it hosted off site. They are working on that to correct it as we speak! I do use my 100-400 w/tubes for macro....but rarely! I prefer the 180mm macro and MT24 twin light combo, but that is also very heavy! Now for the comp......I can't really tell wether the falloff is due to lack of DOF of shake from SS and HH'ing. The more specs you post, the easier it will be for me to evaluate! Judging by the BG stuff in focus.....enough DOF on the 100-400.....maybe even too much as much of the BG is now coming into play........watch your angles......putting Bg's further away will help minimize their impact. This also looks a bit bright, so be careful there too as soft diffused light is often best but at a price! Exploring a different/lower angle may have also made a difference in the BG! Hope this helps but a dedicated macro is a fun tool!

Bruce Miller
07-09-2010, 08:44 AM

Thanks for your reply. I did hand hold this. I meant to paste the exif info, but the website doesn't like me cutting and pasting that info.

ISO 640, f6.3, 1/500 Focal lenght was 190mm (304 in 35mm). I must have been pretty close to have to zoom out some.

I've been looking into other lenses. I like to hand hold if possible. What brand are you shooting? The Canon 180 is a lot more expensive than both Sigma and Tamron. Any comments on how they compare? No IS on any of them.

Maybe next time out I'll use the tripod. I use a gimble head for shooting birds. I think I need to get a ball head for dragons and butterflies. I also might try a flash, but things get a lot heavier...


Roman Kurywczak
07-09-2010, 09:54 AM
Hey Bruce, Thanks for the specs.....no instant e-mail notification for me yet.....so glad I peeked back in! I use the Sigma 180mm and love it! Saved myself some $$$ too! I have also owed the Tamron 90....sold it to a friend but really liked it also. Have heard great review from people on the 150mm macro also! I feel the longer lens allows you to approach critters much more easily.

Here is a recent discussion covering some things in photo gear; http://www.birdphotographers.net/forums/showthread.php?67183-Another-tripod-question and there is another one close to it that discusees macro lenses and 2 more on extension tubes......some pertinent to macro and bird photogrpahy. If you have any more questions....just PM me until the instant notification comes back on for me.

I use the flash for macro...mt24 twin lights but since I also do landscape photogrpahy....already had a super sturdy Graf Studioball....so when I do natural light, yes I use that.

Julie Kenward
07-10-2010, 08:52 AM
Bruce, I agree with Roman's suggestions and thought I'd chime in on gear as well. Mike Moats shoots with a Tamron 180 and his stuff is amazing so no better endorsement there! I think if you really want to get deep into the bug world, this is the focal length to own - just have to choose which brand you want to go with.