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Old Sep 18, 2010, 3:09 PM   #1
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Default The Spiders from Mars

Well OK not quite.

Trying out the new Yongnuo Speedlite YN560 flash I thought I'd try it with the Tamron 90 - wasn't expecting much since, sitting in the hot shoe, I was sure it wouldn't extend over the length of the lense - however it did.

So throttle back the power (64 power levels !), install the supplied diffuser, and off we go. I was very surprised - the light was very good, almost no blown highlights, even though this powerful beast was sitting just inches from minute spiders. Anyway, what do you think ?

This little thing was up first - tiny, about 4mm long :





Then, for the first time, I found this large spider (maybe 20mm long) and bou could he jump too, but I don't think he's supposed to



He had this amazing multi-coloured piece right above his fangs and up to between it's eyes - anyone know what this is ?



I couple of other interesting finds - these are some type of insect nests sticking to leaves, one was hatching !





and to finish off my testing before heading inside for a cuppa, I found these minuscule flowers (OK - they are weeds, but they look good up close) !

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Old Sep 18, 2010, 6:38 PM   #2
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Hi Kevin,

It looks like the flash is working out well. It certainly is giving you good exposures.

I think that the multi-colored thing might be one of the chelicerae which are essentially jaws that are tipped with the fangs. From what I've seen, and my experience is very limited, they use these, once they've immobilized their prey, to manipulate and squeeze the prey's body while they feed on it. They're so small, it's hard to really see anything. . .

I've found, in most cases, I can't see the fangs, but can often see the chelicerae between the pedipalps, which are the shorter "arms" between the front legs.

On this one. which is one of the largest JSs I've seen, but only a little less than 10mm long, had iridescent green chelicerae.



Most of the smaller ones I've seen have either dark brown or black chelicerae though.

This guy had exceptionally long ones among those I've seen. . .



Scott
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Old Sep 18, 2010, 7:14 PM   #3
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great. i love #4 here!
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Old Sep 19, 2010, 2:07 AM   #4
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Great shots! What 90mm Tamron is it, the old MF one or the new AF one?

John
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Old Sep 19, 2010, 5:24 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jelow1966 View Post
Great shots! What 90mm Tamron is it, the old MF one or the new AF one?

John
Thanks John !

It's the AF. My eyes are pretty poor close up so although I enjoy manual focus, and try to do it whenever I can, there are some times I just have to switch to AF.

Thank you Hards !

Scott - Thank you for your comments. Very interesting. I've gone back and tried to isolate the chelicerea (below) but even 1:1 isn't going to be close enough to see them in much detail when the spider is that small !

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Old Sep 19, 2010, 7:30 AM   #6
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Hi Kevin,

It's hard to show the chelicerae as they usually carry their pedipalps in front of them, and you really have to shoot them almost straight on to get an angle where they are visible. It's mostly the angle of the shot relative to the way they/re standing in these shots. I usually have to contort my body quite a bit to get a good angle to shoot them, and this old body never flexed that well when it was young, so it's difficult now to say the least. the extra stretching exercises I've started to do to prepare for shooting JS is probably good for me anyhow. . .

Also, your current setup, with the flash in the hotshoe would tend to cast shadows downward, and that would probably tend to hide the chelicerea, as they project directly down from the head. I'm just starting to get a feel for lighting macros, and am beginning to see why the really good shooters spend so much time, energy, and money to get better lighting. The short working distances make it dificult, and shooting handheld makes it even harder since you can't just keep adding hardware. . .

From the research I've done, I think you have a better chance of finding some with spectacular colors than I probably do, as some pics of some of the Asian species I've seen show some very bright colors, and I haven't seen the same variations from the pics of Western Hemisphere species.

Your big ones seem to be not only much bigger, but much more generally attractive than the bigger ones I've been able to spot. They also seem to have more "fur". The smaller ones around here have the full "fur" covering, but the larger ones seem to have hairs that are much more sparse, and this gives them a much more ominous look, IMO. . . The fact that they are black/ very dark brown probably doesn't help in this regard because I think the stark contrast of the black eyes with lighter colored fur tends to make them more attractive.

I do realize that the concept of attractive spiders is a little bizzare. . . but I do think that Jumping Spiders are rather unique in regards th their look -- some have even called them cute. . . and they're the only ones I've heard described as photogenic. . .

Scott

Last edited by snostorm; Sep 19, 2010 at 7:44 AM.
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Old Sep 19, 2010, 9:25 AM   #7
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Kevin, cool macros! That YN560 seem to be a fine performing flash.

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Old Sep 19, 2010, 9:48 AM   #8
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Superb shots!

That flash looks excellent, might have to see about buying one after I get back from Japan.
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Old Sep 19, 2010, 10:51 AM   #9
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Although I can't decide on a favourite at the moment, the lighting looks good. Looks like a good addition to your selection of gadgets

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Old Sep 19, 2010, 12:42 PM   #10
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A very successful workout for the new flash, Kev.
I can see why Ronny is using the two of them on his ring mount. they are quite useful.
Nice shots of the spiders.
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