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Discussion in 'General Equipment Chat & Advice' started by Bill Stewardson, Jan 31, 2019.

  1. PeteRob

    PeteRob Well-Known Member

    Great Crested Newts are a protected species.
  2. MickLL

    MickLL Well-Known Member

    There are three native species of newt in the UK. All are protected to some degree or another. As above the Great Crested is the most strictly protected, the Palmate comes next and the smooth newt last.

    There's a healthy population of smooth newts in my garden pond. Maybe the Great Crested sites are secret , I don;t know, but the others can be found in many places.

    Bill Stewardson likes this.
  3. daft_biker

    daft_biker Action Man!

    Some people who have Great Crested Newts on their land keep it secret to avoid having restrictions placed on them and their land.

    I've seen one locally...... trying to cross the main road through town!
    Bill Stewardson likes this.
  4. steveandthedogs

    steveandthedogs Well-Known Member

    Got either smooth or palmates in my ponds, not got close enough yet to distinguish. Once had a Great Crested who stayed for a couple of days and then wandered off.

    Plus lots of frogs and toads.

    How can you guess my garden is somewhat damp?

    peterba and Bill Stewardson like this.
  5. Fishboy

    Fishboy Well-Known Member

    There's a frog living in the cellar of the local brass band club whose name is Phileas. He enjoys watching the draymen deliver beer.

    Cheers, Jeff
    DaveM399 and steveandthedogs like this.
  6. DaveM399

    DaveM399 Well-Known Member

    Our local Wetherspoons has quite a few of the pistaza variety!
  7. Bill Stewardson

    Bill Stewardson Well-Known Member

    Leggy Liz has given me the nod to get a Siggy 105mm so lots of trawling EBay it shall be.

    You all know more than me,,trying Macro by hand seems a bit odd to me ?

    From what I can gather manual focus is the way to go.

    Thanks to all.

    peterba and steveandthedogs like this.
  8. peterba

    peterba Well-Known Member

    Definitely - and try rocking back-and-forth to hit accurate focus.

    Also - for more vertical stability, but retaining mobility - try gripping a polished-smooth wooden stick in the unused fingers of one hand (to act as a quasi monopod o_O) while gripping the camera. By slightly relaxing the finger-grip on the stick, one can slide to the desired height, and then re-tighten the grip to maintain stability. It takes a little practice to become proficient at the technique, but it can work really well.
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2019
  9. ChrisNewman

    ChrisNewman Well-Known Member

    On sunny summer afternoons, butterflies rarely stationary long enough to set up a tripod, particularly as it’s often important to get perpendicular to their wings to keep everything close to the plane of focus. I'll often take repeated shots, moving the camera gradually closer. But I think a tripod is much better than hand-holding for anything that stays put long enough. Personally, even with a tripod I usually get on better using autofocus, with live view and choosing carefully where on the subject to focus. I find the camera more accurate than my hands and eyes. But the key thing is getting the plane of focus at the right angle and distance, however you set the focus to that distance.

    Experiment and find what works best for you.

    Bill Stewardson likes this.
  10. daft_biker

    daft_biker Action Man!

    A focus rail and a tilt & shift lens adds to the enjoyment of taking your time "macro", IME.

    That said insects (and arachnids and springtails) sometimes do things more interesting than sit still to pose for a picture. You might not win camera club comps but you can learn a lot about the subjects shooting handheld.

    And last year I even got a satisfying shot of an insect using a zoom lens and autofocus. Don't think it was base ISO either:eek:
    Bill Stewardson likes this.
  11. Derek W

    Derek W Well-Known Member

    Back in 2012 I got this shot using a 18-200 Sigma and auto focus, hand held.

  12. ChrisNewman

    ChrisNewman Well-Known Member

    Yes, I got a focusing rail to go with my geared tripod head, and it’s so convenient for getting the camera in position to focus at my chosen magnification. I can imagine a tilt & shift lens would also be very handy, but what magnification will the longer focal length versions achieve?

  13. PeteRob

    PeteRob Well-Known Member

    TSE 90 ii is 0.5 and focusses to 39 cm https://www.canon.co.uk/lenses/ts-e-90mm-f-2-8-l-macro-lens/specifications/
  14. daft_biker

    daft_biker Action Man!

    I have the old version but still neither a 1.4x teleconvertor and/or extension tubes makes much of a dent in how sharp it is so I find it pretty useful in situations I might have used my 100mm macro before.

    The main problem I have with the old one is spherochromatism which is like CA but in out of focus areas rather than on the plane of focus.


    Note the red glow around the white forward facing fangs.....I used reverse tilt and a narrow plane of focus to make a big thing look small.

    The new ones shouldn't do that and they also do a 120mm now which I expect I'd like very much.
  15. Bill Stewardson

    Bill Stewardson Well-Known Member

    Learning likes this.
  16. ChrisNewman

    ChrisNewman Well-Known Member

    Thanks for that. I see the Nikkor PC-E Micro 85mm f/2.8D also has a maximum reproduction ratio of 1:2 - I hadn’t even realized that Nikon described to any of their tilt-shift lenses as “Micro”. But at £1600 list price or just under £1000 2nd hand, (no more than I expected) I won’t be rushing out to buy one.

    daft_biker likes this.
  17. AdrianSadlier

    AdrianSadlier Well-Known Member

    The D3400, besides being a DX sensor, does not have a focus motor. So any lens you buy will have to have a built in motor for Auto Focus to work. I would agree that the longer the lens the better (budget allowing). I also use manula focus on macro most of the time but am no expert.

    I bought the Nikkor 60mm f/2.8 AFS G but soon realised I should have gotten a 105mm. It was far too close to the subjects at 1:1. But it makes a good portrait lens (if a little slow to focus). I subsequently bought a Nikkor 105mm f/2.8 D second hand and I love it. Consider off camera flash (wired or wireless) as it helps a lot - camera mounted flash rarely works at 1:1 IMHO (the lens blocks the light from the subject).
    ChrisNewman and Bill Stewardson like this.

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