Sunday, June 05, 2011

Of bugs, flowers, and muddy lenses

I came home from hours of driving in the hot sun, in the front door and straight out the back to the shady garden. So cool! So green! So easy on the eyes! So buggy! I went back in for the camera and macro lens.

Fly on London Pride flowers

Delicate bloom of London Pride. Taken with macro lens.

American House spider. One of Fat Momma's great-greats.

While I was up on a ladder taking this photo, I dropped the camera. It was on a cord around my neck, so no harm done, but the macro lens fell off, landed in the damp mud of the garden, and split in half. This isn't as bad as it sounds; it's a home-made stack, which cost me nothing but work. I can fix it, given a slow, rainy day.

But I needed it for bugs. Or maybe not; I went in and brought out my old Olympus (SP55OUZ), which I had almost stopped using, because it got dust inside the lens. (At London Drugs, where I bought it, they told me the repair would cost more than the camera.) Sometimes, especially if I use the flash, the spots show up on the photo. But it takes good macro photos, as long as I remove the spots later.

I decided to experiment; take the same photo with the little Sony (Cybershot) and with the Olympus, then compare them.

Petunia. With the Sony. The Olympus needs more light.

Dutchman's Breeches. With the Sony.

Harvestman on hydrangea leaf. Sony

Harvestman under hydrangea leaf. With the Olympus. Almost enough light.

Tiny Cross spider. With the Olympus and flash. I couldn't get close enough to focus with the Sony without scaring the spider away.

Rhododendron buds. Sony. The Olympus doesn't like extreme lighting.

Ant in center of rhododendron. Sony. Not enough light for the Olympus. It doesn't allow flash with Super-Macro.

Bee on rhodo bud. Note the yellow pollen sac on his leg. Sony. The Olympus was 'way too slow.

Rhododendrons in the shade with sunlit trees behind. Almost looks artificial. Sony, again.

The upshot of all this is that I am still happy with the little Sony; it's fast, it's light, and it handles contrasts well. I can take photos one-handed, which helps when I'm up ladders. On the downside, it doesn't focus if the surroundings are too busy, and the flash is unpredictable. When it all works, it's great. But I need to keep using the Olympus; given enough light and time, it does much better on tiny bugs, as long as they're sitting still.

And maybe, when I rebuild the macro lens, I can adjust it more carefully to the Sony. I think I'll put it on a strap, too.


  1. or stop climbing ladders! :)

  2. I think you could take great shots with a box and pinhole. - Margy

  3. These photos are so fabulous.
    I dropped my lens the other day.. Well,, sort of... It was a bit of a malfunction that lead to my lens falling off. It's a horrible, horrible feeling.
    I'm glad that you were still able to take photos that day, though! Thanks for sharing!


If your comment is on a post older than a week, it will be held for moderation. Sorry about that, but spammers seem to love old posts!

Also, I have word verification on, because I found out that not only do I get spam without it, but it gets passed on to anyone commenting in that thread. Not cool!