Nikon 105 for butterfly collection

Started Apr 2, 2014 | Questions thread
rankamaterur Regular Member • Posts: 309
Re: Nikon 105 for butterfly collection

Good info from StillLearning.

The 105 will be fine. I agree with StillLearning w.r.t. aperture choices. I would add that the LED light panel would probably be fine, but if it were me, I'd use strobes, for more control and virtually unlimited light. Some cheap speedlights on simple arms or lightstands would give you more creative options, and in a project like this, it all comes down to lighting. By the way, the "Studio and Lighting Technique" forum here on DPReview is super helpful, and there are some very knowledgeable folks over there.

If you are really going to photograph all 10,000 specimens, you have a mind-numbing chore ahead of you. I would think about rigging up a copy stand, so the camera can be positioned directly over your subjects, and you can easily move the camera up and down for larger/smaller objects. I am assuming that the collection is mounted flat, like stuck on a pin or something, so you don't really need a ton of depth of field. Some butterfly collections are presented in boxes under glass, which adds another complexity.

Likewise, I am assuming that you are going for more of a documentation project than an artistic one. The lighting, backgrounds, and presentation might be somewhat different for the two cases.

One more thing to consider is tethering your camera to a laptop or whatever, or perhaps at least running the cable from the HDMI output to a nice big monitor, so you can frame and focus the shots from a comfy chair, without peering through the viewfinder.

Have fun with it, and post a couple examples when it's all done,


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