View Full Version : Marmelade hoverfly (Episyrphus balteatus)

Jerry van Dijk
06-24-2011, 03:38 PM
This is a Marmelade hoverfly (Episyrphus balteatus), collecting pollen in a Musk-mallow flower in my backyard. Its one of the most common hoverflies in The Netherlands (if not Europe). It's actually called pyjama hoverfly in the Netherlands, because of its stripy behind :S3:. Details on the eye got completely lost in resizing for web. I oversharpened it before resizing to at least show part of what's there.

Nikon D7000, Nikkor 200mm f/4 Micro, handheld, pop-up flash, ISO-1600, F/18, 1/200 sec.
ACR5/CS4 exp., levels, clarity, saturation, vibrance, NR, sharpening. Cloned out and burned flash catchlights on wing.

Dave Leroy
06-24-2011, 04:08 PM
I really like the colour combination. The Hover Fly stands out very well from bg. And good use of pop up flash. I suppose that is one way to get to f/18 with out much light.

Eye looks nice and sharp, but you are right about losing some of the nice details of all the little lenses.

This probably full frame, but I wonder if a bit more room on right would be an improvement. Just to see if getting things off centre a bit makes any difference.

Very well done as is.


bhavya joshi
06-27-2011, 09:09 AM
Excellent Eye Macro.. Pink Background Add beautiful image and Nice details also.. I really like this image..
Good shot..Jerry..:c3:

Steve Maxson
06-27-2011, 10:46 AM
Hi Jerry. These little Syrphids make excellent macro subjects and I need to get out and start sneaking up on some of these. :S3: I, too, have noticed how minute details in insect eyes can get lost when downsizing the image for the web - you did a good job of salvaging some of them. I like the overall setting for the image and the pinks of the background. Nice cleanup of flash-generated spectral highlights. At f/18 I would expect a little more DOF - which I think would strengthen your image. It looks to me like the sharpest parts of the image are the center of the eye and the leading edge of the wing - I'm thinking that a tiny forward movement of the camera (about 1 mm) would still render those areas sharp and would increase sharpness on the head and body. Having said all this, I realize that precise adjustments like that are very difficult when hand holding your gear in the field and sometimes it's just luck that puts the DOF exactly where you want it. :S3:

Brendan Dozier
06-27-2011, 10:56 AM
Great looking hoverfly, Jerry, and like the low angle on this. Nice exposure, details, and the flower creates nice contrast as BG. Too bad about losing eye detail on downsizing, wish we could see the larger file. Nice work!

Roman Kurywczak
06-27-2011, 11:54 AM
Hey Jerry,
Been away all weekend so a bit late to the party! I think Steve covered my thoughts well a concerned to DOF......but as someone who regularly HH's.....not always that easy. Another tip for cases like this....use high speed! By taking 4 or 5.....this increses your chance for the optimum sharp one when HH'ing. I atill think this works overall very nicely!

Jerry van Dijk
06-27-2011, 01:36 PM
Hi all, thanks for commenting. Steve is spot on. This is one of those images that worked out well by pure luck. This was the only shot I could fire off before the fly was gone again. I have been surprised at the very limited DOF at 1:1 shots with this lens, even given that it is a macro-lens. More DOF would surely have improved the image.
Dave, this is not full frame (these flies are really minute), but I cropped some off the right to off center the sharp part of the fly and the stamen of the flower.
Roman, I'm experimenting more with limiting shutter speeds to 1/1000 or higher, but this was on an overcast day in the shade of my grape plants, hence the ISO 1600 and still only 1/200 :S3:. Luckily the D7000 works miracles regarding noise production (or lack thereoff). I've made a series of test images indoors and found no truly disturbing noise up to ISO 6400 :c3:.