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Old Jan 14, 2008, 12:40 PM   #1
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[align=left]I am going to be taking pictures at the Butterfly Conservatory at 8:00 on February 2nd from 8:00 to 10:00 with the photographic guild I belong to. (www.latow.com) I am more artistic than knowing how to take good clear pictures. The day could be overcast but bright. I would like to know at what aperature setting I would use to be able to present them for evaluation.[/align]
[align=left]Regards,[/align]
[align=left]Peter[/align]
Butterfly conservatory
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Old Jan 14, 2008, 1:56 PM   #2
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I'm not sure what to tell you, but when I want an idea of what to do I go to http://www.pbase.com.

Use this link to start a search: http://search.pbase.com/search

In the search box type: butterflies and click on the "Search Photos" button.

You will get selections of galleries. Many of the posters will include their "EXIF" information. EXIF data will show type of camera, focal length of lens, exposure time, aperature, ISO, and some other useful stuff. If the EXIF data is available but not displayed look at the caption area under the photo for a hot spot labled "full exif" and click on it.

Here is an example.

http://www.pbase.com/dionito/image/28036865

You may have to search around these galleries a bit as some posters do not provide the EXIF data with their pictures.

I'm guessing, but if you are taking butterfly photos and have a macro lens, you will want to useit's macro function. And within reason, it's easier to get moreof the subject in focus if you use a smaller aperaturelike F8. By within reason I mean as the available light allows. If at F8 the shutter speed is too slow to hand hold you will have to open the aperature to a lower value. If you are going toshoot in macro mode you may want to bring a tripod or monopod. Good luck and have fun.

I'm just south of you in Buffalo, sounds like a good outing for amid-winter day.

What lens will you be using?
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Old Jan 14, 2008, 3:43 PM   #3
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Thanks,

Can you tell me the best iso to use.

Peter
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Old Jan 14, 2008, 4:21 PM   #4
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I tend to try and use ISO100 with flash.

If no flash, then use 200 or 400 to enable the camera to be handheld.

I have use a monopod in a butterfly place, but it tends to be a bit restrictive.

Be sure to post some pics when you return.


Dal



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Old Jan 14, 2008, 4:28 PM   #5
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I can tell you what I have had best performance with for closeup photos at Butterfly World. I use a 70-300mm Macro lens that goes to 1/2 magnification and gives better distance from the subjet. I usually use F11 to give some depth of field. I also use an external flash and 200 to 800 ISO depending on conditions.

Ed
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Old Jan 14, 2008, 6:55 PM   #6
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I pretty much used the same setup as Ed (response above), the long reach from 300mm with macro works really well, since there are some places that you can not get close to. These were taken.. about 1.5 years ago, when I first started to take photos.

Thanh




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Old Jan 14, 2008, 7:50 PM   #7
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i'm not sure as to what to tell you other than to try different settings. it'll depend on if you want to isolate the suject and you would use a wide aperture. if you want more DOF then a smaller aperture.. i found using a 70-300 works well with butterflies and usually with flash.

don't feel bad when you can't catch them flying..

i know i tried and tried the last time i went.


also , welcome to the board..

roy
edit: all 3 of these were take with flash and at f5.6
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Old Jan 14, 2008, 8:28 PM   #8
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You have some good advice here. A lot of what you can do depends on what kit you have available. The butterflies in a conservatory will not be as skittish as a wild butterfly so you can get closer but a lens that gives you a little bit of working distance will help. As others have said, smaller apertures will help maximize your depth of field. If the opportunity presents, a wide aperture can really help you isolate your subject from the background, but you need a really flat subject. Personally, I prefer to avoid flash whenever I can, that is probably more indicative of my lack of skill with using a flash than the lack of benefit from doing so. Welcome to the Pentax Forum.

Tim

105mm macro, wide open at f/2.8
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Old Jan 14, 2008, 9:08 PM   #9
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The butterfly house at the Huntsville Botanical gardens has a glass roof overhead and on bright days a flash is overkill. I tried using a 28-70 Tamron with macro focusing but a longer lens would have been better to get that closeup. I don't like a flash with butterflies unless they are in shadow as the flash tends to wash out some of the color from reflection. Just my choice..You need to make your's. What has been said above are good guidelines and I think they will do you well. No one can tell you exactly the settings you'll need as the lighting differs from place to place and you'll have to try several settings and do some bracketing to see what works while you are there. Have fun and post some photos when you get back...You are pushing me to return to the one in Huntsville now since I've gotten my 105 macro lens...Would really be nice to see how it works!



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Old Jan 14, 2008, 10:17 PM   #10
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dawg,
thanks for letting me know about the washed out colors in my post.....:blah:

roy
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