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Old Jul 7, 2011, 7:22 PM   #1
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Default FZ35 - today's bees

Well, I've been struggling to get bee shots. I've taken many shots other days, but have not been satisfied. Today, I shot many more -- great opportunity, good access, good light, able to get good position, etc. But, my success was marginal. Many, many discards -- out of focus.

I remain in a mystery why sometime the outcome is pretty good, other times acceptable, and most times unacceptable. I have tried Area-1 focus, and Spot focus. The outcome was much the same. All were done on Macro AF.

These were on P mode, AutoWB, AutoISO, Picture: sharpness 2, Contrast 2, Saturation 1, Noise Reduction -2.

In some cases, DOF seems to be a problem. One part of the bee is in focus, while other parts must be out of range. Perhaps I should try A mode, with f8, attempting to get greater DOF. Most were f4 or f5, 1/160 or 1/200.

#1 and #3 appear to be the best shots. These are all cropped, perhaps 1/5 or 1/4 of the original.

How to be more consistent?
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Old Jul 7, 2011, 7:25 PM   #2
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It's very hard to take a clear shot when they flit around so much. Personally I have found that using at LC55 close up lens allows you to get further away (12-18") and zoom in. I hang around the flowers and focus on a certain spot and wait for them to land! Good luck and keep posting.
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Old Jul 7, 2011, 9:43 PM   #3
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Roger, it's really challenging to get perfect shots when in macro. There are so many things that can go wrong, mainly movement, either of the camera or the subject. Your #1 puzzles me a bit, the left part of your shot looks fuzzy, but not out of focus, per se. Almost like there was something in your way, an object or on your lens, I don't know. Personally, I like your last shot because the bee's face is in focus. It's strange, but viewer's eyes are always drawn to the face of the subject. When the face is in focus, everything else doesn't seem to matter as much.

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Old Jul 8, 2011, 2:00 AM   #4
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Great macro studio Roger!! I love the last one, and I agree with Saly... is very important to know the psychology of visual perception
DMC-FZ150 & Hoya HD UV Filter + DMC-FZ45 & Hoya HMC UV(C) Filter - Macro & Tele Kit (DMW-LC55 + DMW-LT55 + DMW-LA5) - Benro A-197EX + HD-18 & Manfrotto MKC3-H01 Tripods & MMC3-02 + 234RC Monopod
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Old Jul 8, 2011, 10:36 AM   #5
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Roger I think the shots came out great. And speaking from experience, you are not the only one you has many discards when trying shots like these.


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Old Jul 8, 2011, 1:01 PM   #6
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Thanks for the comments. Saly, you are right about your observation of #1, it looks like one side isn't in focus. In #3, it appears the wings are in focus, but the body is not. This prompted my comment about DOF -- too small to include the entire bee.

Banksy, I have an LC66 lens, but have had no success with it. I did not have it with me yesterday. On the experimenting, the zoom is only good until 4X, or thereabouts. Anything beyond will generate a red icon on the screen, indicating the focal plane is too short, and clearly the screen image is out of focus.

With no zoom, I get a circular frame around the point of focus. Only when I zoom out to 3X, or thereabouts, do i get a full screen. Is this to be expected?

As far as the perspective on bees (or other insects), I know exactly what you mean. That was frustrating about yesterday's shots -- many with good "facial" images, but none of them were successful. I learned this last year, when shooting butterfly. At first, I was thrilled to just get the shot, any shot. But, as time went on, I attempted to get the right position so that the face would be a major part of the image.

Today is "rain delay," but hope to get back out working, and shooting pics, tomorrow. One place I expect to visit should have an abundance of bees.

jj... tell me it isn't so!
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Old Jul 8, 2011, 4:01 PM   #7
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Good shots roger, I attempted some bee shots yesterday and only ended up with some fuzzy blurs and some with no bee at all.
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Old Jul 11, 2011, 6:07 PM   #8
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I have no end of trouble trying to get insects and bees, so I think you are done a fantastic job here. The las 2 shots are my faves, love the colour, the background, composition and DOF that you have captured in those shots and where you have focused on the bee and its wings is nice and sharp. Really well done.
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