Nikon 105 for butterfly collection

Started Apr 2, 2014 | Questions thread
dave gaines
dave gaines Veteran Member • Posts: 9,183
Flash for butterfly collection & reflections on glass

Yes, you'll need flash to get the f-stops you want indoors. I shoot f/22 all the time with macro and have less trouble with diffraction than I do with DOF. A minor, imperceptable bit of diffraction is better than major OOF area due to shallow DOF.

Check the DOF of this lens at various f-stops and expected distances so you'll know what DOF you can achieve. It's difficult to calculate DOF for a macro lens but you can find it experimentally by photographing an angled metric scale. Place the scale at a known angle (30 or 45) by using a protractor or drafting angle. Divide by the cosine of the angle to get the actual distances from the sensor of an OOF point on the scale at an angle. A LensMark or other brand focus target and scale ($80) will give you similar results.

Rather than a ring light with colored gel you could use two speedlights with or without gels. You only need to overpower any room light that may be a different color. You can apply universal white balance adjust later if needed. Shoot a white and grey card under the same lighting to set a custom WB or gage WB later. Refelections on glass may be a reason why the ring light will not work.

I assume these 10,00 butterflies are preserved behind glass, in cases on pins. Glass or no glass, set up the dual lights on stands at 45 degrees to the glass surface, background board or lens axis to avoid reflections back at the camera. The stands could be as simple as plastic flash bases taped to a chair or stool above the table.

Dual flash can be triggered by radio sync or by the camera if they are Nikons, or by direct sync cable from the hot shoe or PC sync terminal. Use a splitter wire for two flash. If the flash have PC, 3.5 mm mini or mono plug jacks it's easy to connect. If not, you can use a hot shoe adapter on any flash. FlashZebra has all of these connectors and wires for not very much cost compared to radio transmitters.

You can shoot in manual flash control and not need to adjust settings again, once you find optimum exposure.

You could use 2 daylight bulbs in cheap reflectors if the wattage is high enough. You could buy these bulbs and reflectors for cheap once you get there and just leave them behind.

Experiment with all these ideas before going.

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 dave gaines's gear list:dave gaines's gear list
Olympus C-8080 Wide Zoom Olympus E-330 Nikon D800E Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR Nikon AF-S Nikkor 14-24mm f/2.8G ED +7 more
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