Yesterday night I recorded a short video of a slug – I believe it’s a Limax flavus – eating grass. The video was recorded handheld with a Nikon 1 V1, a Nikon 1 Nikkor 30-110mm f/3.8-5.6 and Raynox DCR-250 achromatic close up lens. I held the camera with my right hand, while illuminating the slug with my phone’s built in LED with my left. You can even hear a rooster crowing in the background. 🙂
Canon FD 200mm f/4 Macro is the kind of lens I wanted Olympus and Panasonic to release for quite some time now. In my mind smaller sensor formats, like micro four thirds and Nikon 1, are perfectly suited for macro photography – especially for skittish macro subjects, such as damselflies, dragonflies and butterflies. It’s a real shame that neither Olympus/Panasonic nor Nikon have released a long macro lens for their respective systems. In absence of such a lens, the best option is to get a legacy lens and a suitable adapter and focus manually.
Two weekends ago Sani and I were visiting Sani’s cousin in Veliko Gradiste, a small town on the banks of Danube in eastern Serbia. We were attending the birthday of her twin daughters. Before the other guests arrived and the party started on Saturday, I snuck out and went on a stroll along the Danube. For me this was the perfect opportunity to shoot pictures of waterbirds that can’t be found along the small river Mlava in my hometown of Petrovac na Mlavi. Admittedly the Nikon 1 Nikkor 30-110mm f/3.8-5.6 – being too short – is not the best suited lens for these kinds of subjects. It was a fun exercise nonetheless.
Nikon 1 V1 & 1 NIKKOR VR 30-110mm f/3.8-5.6 — ƒ/5.6, 110mm, 1/250s & ISO100
I’ve been shooting a lot of macro photos since my last post on this topic. Most of the time – almost exclusively, actually – I’ve used my Nikon 1 V1 and 1 Nikkor 30-110mm f/3.8-5.6, with or without achromatic close-up lenses. You don’t really need a close-up lens or a real macro lens for larger insects like damselflies or dragonflies. The following photos were captured without a close-up lens and show how close you can get to your macro subject with just the 30-110mm.
Note: Click on any of the following photos to view it large.
The South Korean lens manufacturer Samyang – also distributed under the Rokinon and Walimex brands in the US and Germany respectively – has announced the new XEEN 135mm T2.2 cinema lens for a variety of mounts. This is the first of five lenses Samyang will announce in the coming weeks. There will also be a micro four thirds version of this lens and according to the info on the official product page the lens mount is supposed to be interchangeable, so that you can use one lens on many different cameras.
Yesterday Samyang has posted a new teaser on Facebook. According to the text, Samyang will announce new lenses on every Monday for the next five weeks:
In this Summer, the five Samyang Blockbuster series will blow your mind away! 5 NEW Samyang Lenses will be released on every Monday for the next five weeks.
A couple of days ago I bought a Cosmicar 8mm f/1.4 CCTV C-mount lens. Since there are no ultra-fast ultra-wide angle lenses for either Micro Four Thirds or Nikon 1, I wanted to try it out and see if it would work. What I wanted to use it for were nighttime landscapes with an emphasis on the sky. I always wanted to try out photographing the stars, Milky Way, etc. Of course, as is often the case with C-mount lenses, there was a chance that it wouldn’t work at all.
A rare lens
There is no mention of the Cosmicar 8mmm f/1.4 CCTV C-mount lens on either ebay US or ebay Germany – not even under completed listings. There is also very little info regarding the lens on the web. I found a thread on mu-43.com eventually, but this was after I bought the lens. There is a lot more info about Cosmicar 8mm f/1.5 and 8.5mm f/1.5 lenses, though, neither of which are able to illuminate the entire 4/3 sensor.
Since there seem to be a lot of similar lenses – at least with similar specs – I’ve included several images of my Cosmicar 8mm f/1.4 down below.
About one and a half months ago Meike announced a 25mm F0.95 lens and three additional prime lenses for almost all mirrorless camera mounts – even Nikon 1. ePhotozine has posted a review of the of the micro 4/3 version of the 25mm F0.95 lens. The verdict reads as follows:
Of course, we have to accept that this is a manual focus lens, which will not be to everyone’s taste, but if we are prepared to live with that then we end up with a very desirable lens. It is sharp, albeit not at the edges until f/2, in the centre outstandingly sharp, there is no trace of flare, CA is well under control and the price very reasonable for what we are getting. We can add to that the creative possibilities for stills and movies of that f/0.95 aperture and it makes a good case for giving the Meike 25mm f/0.95 serious consideration.
Yesterday I recorded another damselfly video with me trying to pick one up with my finger from an aquatic plant and failing a couple of times, but succeeding in the end. This video was recorded with a Nikon 1 V1 and Nikon 1 Nikkor 10-30mmm f/3.5-5.6 and is therefore far better quality wise than the last one, which was filmed with a Ricoh GR Digital III in standard resolution (640*480 pixels).
Damselflies are many a macro photographer’s favorite subject. They are colorful, slim and elegant. When you look at their face, they often appear to be smiling. Described in one word, they are beautiful. They are also very active and wary, which makes them challenging to photograph for novice photographers. But if you are familiar with their behavior, there are ways to trick them into posing for the camera very patiently or even into sitting on your finger. And you don’t even have to get up at 5am, when all insects are slow due to lower temperatures.