Photographs from Birdworld


Over Christmas two photography related events happened. I acquired a 70-200, and I also went to Birdworld. These are some of the results. I really liked the lens (an older tamron) it’s quick to focus and brilliantly sharp at f4. The screw af is quite loud though and swapping between manual and autofocus is slow on pentax cameras.

My keep rate was about 7% for this outing, which is pretty good for me. Hopefully, as I become better acquainted with the lens that’ll go up.

The focus on the lens is a little slower than my SDM lens. But it is still snappy. I found that, to nail focus on the exact part of the eye I wanted, I needed to manual focus when the scene had foreground elements such as mesh or fence – which is completely normal.

Insects in Highfields park


Here is a small collection of photographs from Highfields park. These were taken with a Pentax 100mm f/2.8 macro lens and a diffused flash.

Some people take in-field macro shots on a tripod. I’m not really a fan of this and the insects often move about quickly. That’s why I use a flash. Flashes dump almost all of their energy in about 1/2000th of a second, or faster. It’s really hard to get sharp hand-held macro shots without one. To blur the image by less than ten pixels at 2x magnification I’d only be able to move 20 microns. This is easy in 1/2000th of a second, but in 1/40th of a second I’d have to make sure I move at less than 0.8 mm/sec.

Abstract macrophotography


These were all taken with a Pentax 100mm f/2.8 macro, it’s an excellent lens. Some of the images were taken with a Raynox DCR-150 close up lens. Off-camera flash was also used.

Macrophotography is amazing. The most mundane scenes can appear totally alien even at only low magnification. It might surprise you, but the smallest details which we can see unaided eyes is around 0.04mm, and that’s when you hold things right up close. These images have a resolution of about 2-4 microns (0.004mm) so ten times better. Also, they are still, well-lit, and have had the colours and contrast edited so that they look more pleasing.