Nikon 105 for butterfly collection

Started Apr 2, 2014 | Questions thread
dave gaines
dave gaines Veteran Member • Posts: 9,183
Nikon 60 mm micro for more DOF

labalaba wrote:

Here are some amateur shots of set butterflies for comparison.

These were shot with a 50mm lens and Kodachrome, using a ringflash (Sunpak). Times have moved on, obviously, but you may learn something about shadow management from these shots.

I do not recall the aperture used now, but I suspect it was f8 or f11. I don't see why you should need to stop down to f22 at the magnifications you will be using.

When using the 105VR on full frame (D700) in the field, I have been happy with f16 ...

Hi Nick,

Your examples are photos of full pages of 16 or more butterflies in one view. For that large of an image size and the distance these were shot from, f/8 would have more than adequate DOF. Images of individual butterflies shot a few inches away from the lens will have very short DOF.

Your old-school film example points out one other possibility for getting more DOF. That is to use the Nikon 60 mm f/2.8 micro lens (either D or G lens) instead of the 105 mm micro. The angle of view will be different but this shouldn't matter for a butterfly on a white mat board with no background detail.

Here's a link anyone can use to check relative DOF for any lens on any camera at any distance. The challenge to using this On-Line DOF Calculator for comparing DOF for a 60 mm micro lens to the 105 mm micro lens will be in knowing the focus distances required to fill a frame with the same subject size. Maybe by using the minimum focus distances given in the specs for each lens with the same 1:1 magnification as a comparison, anyone could see the difference in DOF.

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