The best laid plans

/ in Camera by Marek
Comparison of two photos of the same species, taken with two different lenses at two different distances. The top photo 50mm lens with a 1.4x teleconverter from 80mm away. The second is 100mm lens with 1.4x teleconverter from 210mm away.
Too close for comfort

It doesn’t matter how much research you do at times as there is always something that comes along to bite you on the bum.

A 50mm macro lens does in fact get you closer to the subject but I was not expecting the consequence when trying to get a horizontal stack.

My method employed for achieving this in the moth house is to use the table top to keep on the same horizontal plane to produce the stack always endeavouring to get as much of the moth in the frame as possible.

With my 100mm macro lens this system works perfectly for most moths excluding the larger ones as eluded to in my previous post.

With the 50mm lens however I had to come so much closer to the subject that I found the lens hood hitting the table and to compensate caused my images to be taken at an angle as hopefully portrayed in the title image.

I tried several methods to overcome this issue such as bringing the subject to the edge of the table but in the end preferred the results taken with my first lens.

I began to wonder if I had bought a pig in the poke with my new lens until I realised the benefits when taking vertical stacks.

The difficulty with taking vertical stacks, especially with a ruler shot, is the ability of keeping your hand steady enough whilst moving closer to the moth on a vertical plane.

The stacks tended to be much smaller than the side shots and the quality of the image were often a compromise due to too much movement between the shots and the inability to fix totally in retouching.

With the 50mm lens this problem was for the best part eliminated as the distance from the subject was so much less and I could now use the table to support my hand.

Any resultant movement between shots is substantially reduced enabling the stacking software to correct as oppose to ghosting the final image.

This in turn means that my images became sharper and the need for post processing substantially reduced so a big win here.

Also, I found that underside shots taken on glass were also improved as being closer to the subject meant that my body was also closer thus resulting with virtually no reflections at all if positioned correctly

It became obvious to me employing both cameras was the best option when taking the pictures in the moth house.

So, from the adversity of damaging my camera in Portugal I had managed to turn things round to my benefit even though at a cost.

The cost has proved not only to be financial but also the time it will take me to update all my images now that I was now able to produce better results.

This is a continuing work in progress as and when a suitable candidate decides to visit our garden but as winter draws near I can concentrate more on the backlog of images I need to process for the site.