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Old Aug 7, 2010, 1:32 PM   #1
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Default Butterflies mostly (10 imgs)

Hi All,

Haven't been shooting much -- I'm pretty much an outdoor shooter, and I just wilt too quickly when it's as hot as it's been for quite a while. We had highs in the low 80's, yesterday, so I decided to give it a try. I had a few hours, but as usual, when it got over 80, I tired quickly. . .

The foliage is very thick from the overabundant rains we've had, so I could hear birds, but only saw a few. There were quite a few RT Hawks out hunting, and though pretty high, the K-7 and FA*300/4.5 +1.7x AFA did okay, and I got a few that were usable :



Just a note here -- Flickr has made embedding images in posts here and on other fora a bit difficult recently. It took me a while to figure it out, it's still possible, but it's a PIA. . .

Butterflies were a lot more abundant, so I started stalking them. I've only really shot these guys when they landed within range, so going after them purposefully was a different story. . . I started off with the Sigma 180 Macro + the AFA. It didn't take long to find that the 305mm combo wss not going to cut it since patience and waiting for them to come to me would only result in my melting into a puddle of sweat. I needed to go after them, and this required more reach and a reasonably short MFD, so I went back to the FA*300/4.5+AFA to shoot 510mm at @ 8 ft (2.5m).

It probably would have helped if I'd remembered to change the FL for SR to 500 from 300, but I did manage some usable shots, despite the reduced effectiveness of the SR.

Here are the butterflies -- forgive my ignorance, I know little about them. . .yet :

First a Skipper. A bit overexposed. Hard to shoot, but I like these guys.










I only got a couple of shots at this Clearwing Hummingbird Moth -- this is only the second one I've ever seen, so I'm happy, though the shot isn't great. I didn't notice that it was missing one of its antennae until I saw it on the monitor.


I liked the colors and composition of this one, and didn't even see the four tiny leggy spiders until I viewed it on the computer. This was just a casual snap, just to see how the colors would come out. If I'd seen the spiders, I would have taken a bit more care shooting it.


As I was driving around the Morton Arboretum, looking for areas with likely subjects, I spotted this young lady out of the corner of my eye. I was able to stop the car and backtrack, roll down the window and get one shot before she moved farther away.

A bit farther away, she turned to look at me again before moving on.

These were obviously a challenge with AF. . .

A very good day for me, but I was exhausted after only a few hours. Looks like more heat -- and now compounded by rain every day for a week. . .

Scott
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Old Aug 7, 2010, 5:42 PM   #2
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Love the shots - the second butterfly is so beautiful! I just don't have the patience for shooting butterflies unless they come to me. And the hawk is awesome - makes me want to get a TC so badly, but my photo budget is SO blown, there's no way I can consider one right now (sigh!). I've tried the same type of picture but 300 mm is just too short.

Funny about your heat - we've had such a mild summer so far. Except for one week, it's been very comfortable outside, though I've been so busy I haven't had much time to get out much either. I don't envy you your heat - I'm sure the humidity is way beyond what I'd like and that makes it much, much worse. And well done with the deer, too.
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Old Aug 7, 2010, 6:14 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by snostorm View Post
Here are the butterflies -- forgive my ignorance, I know little about them. . .yet :
A good day, Scott (image wise, that is). I like the way you arranged the five butterflies - from small to large.

From the top:

male Flame Skipper (probably)
Buckeye
Red Admiral
female Monarch
Black Swllowtail
Snowberry Clearwing Moth (maybe)

Quote:
A very good day for me, but I was exhausted after only a few hours. Looks like more heat -- and now compounded by rain every day for a week. . .
I feel your pain - I remember it only too well!
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Old Aug 7, 2010, 8:20 PM   #4
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Hey Scott.
I'd call it an outstanding day! Your butterfly shots came out much better than my last try.
The record heat heat has been a real problem over a large portion of the country lately.
We have had overnight lows in the 80's and highs in the triple digits last week. today was a little cooler but still in the 90's. I can hardly wait for fall!
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Old Aug 7, 2010, 8:37 PM   #5
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great series! Love all of these... low 80? are u kidding.

Tack 20 degrees on that and try comin outside over here ..

Id kill for low 80s! Plus the humidity.. ugh
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Old Aug 7, 2010, 11:48 PM   #6
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Lovely series Scott - beautifully composed and shot. #4 (the female Monarch) is my favourite.

I haven't got a Pentax x1.7 yet (or I believe there is Tamron one that can help you achieve AF with manual lenses) but it is on my list ! I do have two different M42 Vivitar x2, I'll have to get them out and try them on the Tak 300 and a tripod.
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Old Aug 8, 2010, 3:40 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mtngal View Post
Love the shots - the second butterfly is so beautiful! I just don't have the patience for shooting butterflies unless they come to me. And the hawk is awesome - makes me want to get a TC so badly, but my photo budget is SO blown, there's no way I can consider one right now (sigh!). I've tried the same type of picture but 300 mm is just too short.

Funny about your heat - we've had such a mild summer so far. Except for one week, it's been very comfortable outside, though I've been so busy I haven't had much time to get out much either. I don't envy you your heat - I'm sure the humidity is way beyond what I'd like and that makes it much, much worse. And well done with the deer, too.
Hi Harriet,

Thanks!

The humidity is really the thing around here. Though I'm located pretty far from Lake Michigan, there are a lot of decent sized artificial lakes in my area that were dug out to provide landfill to elevate the tollway system that circles Chicago. They keep the humidity up for quite a way out. Also, the abundance of rain this year has done its share.

The deer shots were really a challenge for the AF system. The tall grass provided the easiest contrast borders for it to lock in on, and there was no way to exclude it from the AF sensor area. The focus limiter function of the AFA helped here, allowing me to manually prefocus to exclude the grass, so the system only allowed the contrast borders of the deer to be included.

Quote:
Originally Posted by penolta View Post
A good day, Scott (image wise, that is). I like the way you arranged the five butterflies - from small to large.

From the top:

male Flame Skipper (probably)
Buckeye
Red Admiral
female Monarch
Black Swllowtail
Snowberry Clearwing Moth (maybe)



I feel your pain - I remember it only too well!
Hi penolta,

Thanks for the comments, and especially the IDs!

There are so many varieties (and similarities) in insects, I'm finding it hard for a beginner like me to know where to start. With birds, I have a bit of experience, but I at least know how to narrow things down with relatively easily distinguishing characteristics like beak shape and function.

I made a few guesses on the butterflies, after looking at field guides and online, but I would have missed on all of them except getting the general ID of the Skipper and the Monarch. . . there's a lot to learn here, and the "old dog, new tricks" thing doesn't work in my favor. . .


Quote:
Originally Posted by Goldwinger View Post
Hey Scott.
I'd call it an outstanding day! Your butterfly shots came out much better than my last try.
The record heat heat has been a real problem over a large portion of the country lately.
We have had overnight lows in the 80's and highs in the triple digits last week. today was a little cooler but still in the 90's. I can hardly wait for fall!
Hi GW,

Thanks!

I'll second the anticipation of some cooler weather. I'd pretty much be an AC based hermit in your weather! I can get out and around okay, but as soon as I try to concentrate on shooting my favorite stuff, I start to sweat, my glasses, and even the VF starts fogging up, despite religious anti-fog treatment, and everything just ends up a measure of frustration.


Quote:
Originally Posted by NMRecording View Post
great series! Love all of these... low 80? are u kidding.

Tack 20 degrees on that and try comin outside over here ..

Id kill for low 80s! Plus the humidity.. ugh
Hi NMR,

Thanks!

I've got a lot of appreciation for living in an area that's moderated quite a bit by the Great Lakes, and a northern location, but we do pay a bit in the colder months. . . I just couldn't deal with 20 degrees more. . .

Quote:
Originally Posted by Frogfish View Post
Lovely series Scott - beautifully composed and shot. #4 (the female Monarch) is my favourite.

I haven't got a Pentax x1.7 yet (or I believe there is Tamron one that can help you achieve AF with manual lenses) but it is on my list ! I do have two different M42 Vivitar x2, I'll have to get them out and try them on the Tak 300 and a tripod.
Hi Kevin,

Thanks!

I've not heard of a Tamron that is an AF adapter. I would think that a 3rd party lnes mfg would not put in the R&D to match them to each of the different mfg's AF systems to make this pay off for them. I do know that Nikon made one, but it's a PIA since it only works with a limited number of bodies, and needs a mod of the chip to even work with some of these. Also, there are a lot of other functional problems like some lenses need to be dismounted before you can prefocus them to get them into the focusing range of the adapter.

I've also just recently seen a reference to a Minolta one, but haven't really looked into it since I don't shoot the system.. . . I think it's just a matter of terminology, and it just allows mounting the older lenses (or M42 screw mount lenses) on the newer AF mount, not that the adapter allows AF capability.

The P F 1.7x AFA just works. . . It's the single most useful item I have in my bag, for my purposes. I still keep an eye out for exceptional deals on them. . .


Thanks to all for taking a look -- it's nice to be able to post some pics for a change. . .

Scott
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Old Aug 8, 2010, 8:08 PM   #8
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Great photos, Scott.

When we returned from the "tropics," Hawaii, we hadn't expected to be coming home to 100+....but that's what we found. But, I stopped griping when my son got home from Qatar, where he's been working outside in 125+.

But, I'm like you. I haven't been able to get outside too often, either.

Paul
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Old Aug 9, 2010, 9:22 AM   #9
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Great photos, Scott.

When we returned from the "tropics," Hawaii, we hadn't expected to be coming home to 100+....but that's what we found. But, I stopped griping when my son got home from Qatar, where he's been working outside in 125+.

But, I'm like you. I haven't been able to get outside too often, either.
Hi Paul,

Thanks!

I feel that I have the right to gripe, age has its privileges. . . but 125+ has to be brutal -- as is 100+ so I'll quit complaining. . .for a little while at least

Scott
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Old Aug 9, 2010, 9:57 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by snostorm View Post

Hi Kevin,

Thanks!

I've not heard of a Tamron that is an AF adapter. I would think that a 3rd party lnes mfg would not put in the R&D to match them to each of the different mfg's AF systems to make this pay off for them. I do know that Nikon made one, but it's a PIA since it only works with a limited number of bodies, and needs a mod of the chip to even work with some of these. Also, there are a lot of other functional problems like some lenses need to be dismounted before you can prefocus them to get them into the focusing range of the adapter.

I've also just recently seen a reference to a Minolta one, but haven't really looked into it since I don't shoot the system.. . . I think it's just a matter of terminology, and it just allows mounting the older lenses (or M42 screw mount lenses) on the newer AF mount, not that the adapter allows AF capability.

The P F 1.7x AFA just works. . . It's the single most useful item I have in my bag, for my purposes. I still keep an eye out for exceptional deals on them.

Thanks to all for taking a look -- it's nice to be able to post some pics for a change. . .

Scott
So now I just had to go out and research this again ! It seems that it's the Tamron-F Pz-AF MC4 1.4x TC which supports SDM, this is a Q&A from the poster on another site that was discussing it :

So if I understand correctly - The Tamron AF 1.4 works with the SDM? It removes NO function from the lens?
Yes, everything works perfectly...It was and is a pleasant surprise...


He was using a K100D super with the 18-250 tamron lens, sigma 70-300apo, bigma 50-500, Sigma 135-400, 50mm F/1.4 & DA*50-135.

It is not a Pentax x1.7 for sure, but a very reasonable range extension for a very reasonable price (in comparison to the Pentax). I will still be looking out for the Pentax but it does seem to be a good alternative if you come across one.
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