• Content count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

  • Days Won


About morpheme

Profile Information

  • Gender
  1. why just Canon? - manual adapters are cheap.. I think my FujiX to Nikon one was less than $3... It basically lives on the lens I bought it for (an 80's vintage 55 micro nikkor that is tack sharp and only cost me $50). Find some excellent old glass and get the adapter you need for it.
  2. Yeah - this would never work with a quick or busy insect - ants, bees, darkling beetles, jumping spiders - things that just never quit moving aren't viable subjects, even working with a hand held camera
  3. Very nice - it's a Tiger Swallowtail though - monarch butterflies are orange
  4. They were all taken with my 1980's vintage Nikon 55mm macro. Aperture... since I have a dumb (non-electronic) nikon to X adapter, I'm afraid that information doesn't get recorded.. they all say F0.. and I've never been in the habit of writing down my exposure details. I'm sure it varies with the lighting conditions - as much depth as I could get for the light. I've never worried much about losing clarity by using the "wrong" f-stop with this lens as it is described as "...hellaciously sharp at every aperture and distance", though I will admit I do try to avoid f32 just out of practice as usually the far end of a lens does lose some definition - though it's not like I need to worry too much - lighting conditions that would even allow me to shoot at an f stop that high are rare.. f 8-11 or so is usually as high as I can get in the full sun and wider open is certainly more common, when hand holding and using a shutter speed no lower than 1/125th - unless I can really brace well, I can't hand hold a macro shot without obvious camera shake under that and often enough I'm so contorted or stretched to get to where the critter is that I need 1/250th. I've never tried using burst mode - truth be told it makes me startle and jerk the camera... I might be better off getting used to it and using it with birds and the like though. For these tiny things, I don't know, but can't imagine that it would work all that great - I'm usually visually fine tuning the focus as I go to be sure I get all of the features I really want sharp in good focus in at least one frame- legs, antenna, eyes. The DOF is generally very, very shallow in each individual image. If you left it to chance by just moving the camera a bit during a burst, I can't see that it would much more than very lucky to get the right "slices". One reason I don't use a rail system - most of my images are made on long hikes 10-16 miles in a day, often with a good amount of elevation gain and usually in pretty remote areas - I don't necessarily go out looking for anything in particular. I go out to walk and I record what I find. I chose an X camera in the first place to keep my gear weight down.. (being about 1/3rd of the weight of my Nikon gear..) My backpack and gear without water weighs in at 18lbs, my lightweight tripod that I don't always carry (I always have a Joby Gorilla pod - but it's only a foot tall and so limited to low subjects) adds 3 more, and water around 3 more, until I've drunk it at least.. so I'm already up to 24lbs.. which may not sound extreme, but I'm only 5' tall and weigh not much over 100 lbs... so I'm about at my gear carrying tolerance limit - usually the longer and more strenuous the hike the less camera gear (and more survival gear...) goes in the pack too. I don't know that not using a tripod (for me at least) means more adjustments in post - usually the things that I find I am fine tuning are not because of my movement, but because the subject has shifted a leg or a antenna or perhaps a bit of stem or grass has moved in the breeze - this would all happen regardless of having the camera in a fixed position. I does mean that in the end I get less depth than I would with 10's or 100's of images, but I doubt most of the subjects that I've used this technique on would have stayed put long enough to do that anyway...
  5. Since my little weevil has generated some interest I thought I'd start a topic and show some other examples of handheld stacking. My tips - your subject does have to be relatively cooperative - at least enough to stay pretty still for 5 or 6 to a dozen shots. You don't have to use every image you shoot in your stack and it's always better to have more than less, so over shoot rather than undershoot. The technique you use will vary with the equipment you are using - but your stacking software shouldn't care. If you use a tripod you'll have to readjust your focus to create your images. Handheld - move the camera. Tripod with a rail - move the camera. If you hand hold try to be as steady has possible it will work out best if you only move in one plane- tiny variations up/down side/side won't hurt you too badly, but changes in perspective (tilting the camera) will make for some strange artifacts. Post processing - I've only used Photoshop for this, so can't comment on other software packages. Put your images into layers in a single file - choose the layers you want to blend. In the "edit" menu use the "auto-align layers" function then "auto-blend layers" (choosing stacking in the options) Be prepared to go in and do some hand adjustments to the masking - and save your stack file as invariably (as you'll see below) you'll find some little glitch you missed the first time through. I'll try to answer any other questions that you might have. This crane fly was one of the first stacks that I tried. There are some spots on the legs on the that I definitely could have adjusted better.. The other two are fairly old - so I'd have to go onto my backup hard drive to dig up the info on how many shots I took to make the stack, but this one is pretty recent. There are 5 shots in the final stack and 3 I didn't use. I can recall taking a bit of time to correct the antenna though looking at it now, I can totally see a few glitchy bits in the grass I could use to fix.
  6. Lol- it's amazing how forgiving digital can be... but that does sound haphazard. Perhaps he meant collage and not composite? I will say - while you *can* do this without mounting the camera on a tripod, you do need a steady hand and an idea of the concept... just snapping away won't yield good results unless you are really lucky...
  7. thanks Golden mantled marmot is a synonym, it seems mostly used at Yellowstone. They can also be called rock chucks, but they are all Marmota flaviventris We've got a couple of other types out here too - hoary marmots and Olympic marmots, the latter living only in the Olympic mountains and hoary marmots, which at least around here, tend to occur higher up in the mountains - above the tree line, while the Yellow bellies stay lower.
  8. I've only ever done it (digitally) by hand with live subjects in their natural environment. You can get a rail rig and create hundreds images, some even come with a little computer controller, but it comes with same caveats as the old analog method - the subject cannot be allowed to move during the process, so most any insect you see done with 100's of images is by necessity dead - flowers etc moved to a wind free environment... I usually take around 4-6 images, hand holding the camera - focus fixed to it's closest range and move the camera by small amounts to create the different "slices" that get combined into the final image. As long as you are fairly steady and only move on one axis - don't tilt the camera between shots, Photoshop can match them up quite nicely.
  9. If you aren't remembering the color of the dumpster wrong that is truly wacky - the only thing that I can think of is that the paint that is on it somehow reflects a ton of UV - rusty red mixed with a lot of blue coming back at you would probably make some sort of purple...
  10. At the risk of sounding like an old fart... the camera that I learned on only needed a battery to run the light meter... The only value I can see in using any automatic exposure function would be when working with something that moves around quickly in rapidly changing light conditions. I think I feel pretty much the same as you do - auto just takes away your control - and depending on what you are pointing it at - can screw up the exposure pretty good. Most people who've never used an old fashioned light meter have never even been introduced to the concept that a light meter really just tries to make what you are pointing it at 18% gray... point it at something other than that and it's not spot on. I've tried to get the docs I work with (who sometimes have to take their own photos, as I don't work full time) to use their exposure compensation dials, as learning anything other than full auto on the camera is beyond the limits of their patience for it... it's starting to sink in a bit, I think. I don't even usually use either aperture or shutter priority modes - I'm a full manual kind of gal. I want control over the whole process - aperture for depth, shutter speed for movement and both in concert along with ISO for proper exposure.
  11. Photoshop makes it totally easy - it does all the masking for you, though you may find that you need to (and can) go in and fine tune small areas. You get all the images into layers in one file, first use the "auto align layers" then "auto blend layers" - there's a little turorial here": The alignment function is super precise - much better than anything I could ever do adjusting by hand. The auto blend is not usually absolutely perfect right off the bat, but it's pretty darn good. Things that move like bug legs or antenna might need some attention in the final stack. This stack was hand held - as long as you are fairly steady it's possible, though it will only be a few images, rather than the 10's-100's that you can achieve with a stationary subject and camera on a tripod/focusing rail rig. When I hand hold stacks I usually get 4 or 5 shots in the stack. As an interesting side note... long ago, I learned a similar technique with real film. The difference was that you created a thin band of light and used a moving stage to pass your subject through it in front of your film.. digital makes it far easier and possible to use in natural settings/lighting and with live subjects, unlike the film way, which required a totally dark room and a subject that couldn't move. At the time it was a pretty freaky technique though - the original for this one is on 4x5 E-6.
  12. Unless there's been a drastic change, you should be able to get a completely free Dropbox account, that you do not need to provide credit card info for... there's a limit to your storage/transfer space, but it's quite large, so unless you are using it for a business the free account should be more than sufficient.
  13. They aren't particularly large - I downsize to 4x6 300dpi when I post to the web and jpg keeps them around 1mb or so.... They seem to be working for me (using Firefox for Mac) - if I click other sizes I get all the options and can open a bigger image.
  14. I've never cared too much about the bells and whistles on a camera body, so I'd go for the one with more glass myself. As far as not having weather sealing goes - unless you intend to go out regularly in downpours I wouldn't fuss to much about it. I took my XE-1 hiking all over the place until I busted the diopter adjustment and handed it down to my husband, who doesn't care. Now I take my XE-2. Neither has had any problems. The only thing that ever worried me was being on a dune with blowing sand. I did stick the camera under my jacket until we got away from there, and I certainly didn't attempt to change the lens under those conditions - but weather sealing wouldn't help if the lens was off anyway.
  15. hand held short stack (4 or 5 images stacked)