D200 setup for flying insects.

Started May 13, 2006 | Discussions
frans_vdm Regular Member • Posts: 168
D200 setup for flying insects.

The D200 is the most ideal Nikon DSLR for this application. To understand why you have to know how to take flying insects pictures. The shutter-lag of my D200 is 55 msec ( Nikon give 52 msec but it's slower), well this 55 msec is much to slow. Insects are flying fast, you need an fast external shutter. I use a compur1 shutter in front of the nikkor macro lens ( AF60/2.8D micro or the AF105/2.8D micro) The 60mm is more suitable for a picture plane of 85mm (example butterflies) , the 105mm is more suitable for smaller picture plane ( inferior to 50mm) example bugs, bee etc..).

The workflow is:

If there is any chance to capture an insect, start the D200 camera, manual bulb mode, manual prefocus at the intersection of the 2 laser beams. Because the external shutter stay close at this moment, the sensor d'nt receive light and capture only black level. This situation stay for a lot of time, just to the moment of an external trigger command. Sometimes this duration can be 10....60 sec. Here no long NR into the camera may used because after the trigger you have to wait again for the same long time! But...... here we have an superb camera, really the best camera for this application, because at 30 sec black capture the picture is absolutely noise free! The D200 is set at ISO100 for this. D50,D70, D100 all this Nikon cameras are not useful without long NR!

I use also a GPS coupled to the D200. Because I have already an 10 pins cable for the camera command, I have make the GPS interface into my controlbox, without the MC-35 GPS cable.

This setup is used only into the field, portable, no studio, no tripod, I walk into the nature!

Here the hole setup and results of flying insects:

Frans. ( fotoopa)

Hyperion Forum Member • Posts: 60
Hey Foto Opa

Ik vind het geweldig, Frans!

Great technology and keep up the good work. Although I do hate insects I really like the pics. They should give you the Nobel Prize for Mad Scientists

Devendra
Devendra Veteran Member • Posts: 3,584
impressive! i had run across your work before.(NT)

very very cool..

 Devendra's gear list:Devendra's gear list
Nikon D200 Nikon 1 J1 Nikon D800E Sony Alpha NEX-3N
Duncan C Veteran Member • Posts: 7,674
Re: D200 setup for flying insects.

frans_vdm wrote:

The D200 is the most ideal Nikon DSLR for this application. To
understand why you have to know how to take flying insects
pictures. The shutter-lag of my D200 is 55 msec ( Nikon give 52
msec but it's slower), well this 55 msec is much to slow. Insects
are flying fast, you need an fast external shutter. I use a compur1
shutter in front of the nikkor macro lens ( AF60/2.8D micro or the
AF105/2.8D micro) The 60mm is more suitable for a picture plane of
85mm (example butterflies) , the 105mm is more suitable for smaller
picture plane ( inferior to 50mm) example bugs, bee etc..).

I'm not familiar with the compur1 shutter. Is this a fast-acting external shutter? If so, what's the latency on this shutter, where did you get it, and how do you mount it to your lenses? With step-down rings?

I did a google search, and found a used Schneider Symar on ebay, designed for large and medium format cameras. The seller is asking $675 US.

Nice work by the way.

I like taking insect macros, and get some flying shots through pure dumb luck. Here's a sample:

Duncan C

simpho New Member • Posts: 19
Hi Frans

I am glad to learn news about your high speed technics. The low noise during black capture with the D200 is a real good news indeed. The first shots taken with the D200 are impressive !

I am sure that 2006 with be a very good high-speed year for you.

On my site, during last winter, I enhanced my lighting equippment thanks to the help of Nikon. I am currently trying to use it for new butterflies in flight shots. From this story, Nikon recently published an article in the spring issue of Nikon Pro magazine. Here is a link to this text :

http://www.europe-nikon.com/newsdetail.aspx?countryId=20&languageId=22&editorialid=2046

Thank-you a lot for sharing your technical knowledge.

Ghislain
--
simpho

http://www.simpho.com

Rivertay Contributing Member • Posts: 923
Re: D200 setup for flying insects.

Simply awesome. Thanks for sharing

Rick

Hyperion Forum Member • Posts: 60
Re: D200 setup for flying insects.

Great shot, Duncan. $675 seems a bit much, although it sounds good for I have a few lying around. Did you see Frans' webpage?
http://users.skynet.be/fotoopa

DonBJr Senior Member • Posts: 1,805
Re: D200 setup for flying insects.

I just chase them around with a 50mm f/1.4. Ok ok... special case of a carpenter bee that hovers around guarding the 'nest' making it easier to photograph... heh

 DonBJr's gear list:DonBJr's gear list
Nikon 1 AW1
Jacques Giraud Contributing Member • Posts: 773
Remarkable, very impressive
-- hide signature --

Jacques Giraud/giraud.com

 Jacques Giraud's gear list:Jacques Giraud's gear list
Nikon D4S Nikon D500 Nikon AF-S Nikkor 16-35mm F4G ED VR Nikon AF-S Nikkor 600mm f/4G ED VR Nikon AF-S Nikkor 50mm F1.4G +8 more
OP frans_vdm Regular Member • Posts: 168
Re: D200 setup for flying insects.

Duncan C wrote:

I'm not familiar with the compur1 shutter. Is this a fast-acting
external shutter? If so, what's the latency on this shutter, where
did you get it, and how do you mount it to your lenses? With
step-down rings?

I did a google search, and found a used Schneider Symar on ebay,
designed for large and medium format cameras. The seller is asking
$675 US.
Duncan C

This compur1 shutter is an mechanical shutter used into the old technical cameras. I have paid $50 for this, so $675 is too much! The shutter-lag including magnet delay (you have to make this coupling outself) is 4.5 msec. Both flashs are driven be my controlbox into this short window, the shutter stay only open for a few msec! The coupling between the shutter and the lens is home-made, you need a lathe. I have made a hole design, drawings, electronics, laser system, GPS interface. Here a picture of the lathe:

The GPS interface is:

example of the GPS data into nikon capture 4.4:

Frans.

OP frans_vdm Regular Member • Posts: 168
Re: Hi Frans

simpho wrote:

I am glad to learn news about your high speed technics. The low
noise during black capture with the D200 is a real good news
indeed. The first shots taken with the D200 are impressive !

I am sure that 2006 with be a very good high-speed year for you.

On my site, during last winter, I enhanced my lighting equippment
thanks to the help of Nikon. I am currently trying to use it for
new butterflies in flight shots. From this story, Nikon recently
published an article in the spring issue of Nikon Pro magazine.
Here is a link to this text :

http://www.europe-nikon.com/newsdetail.aspx?countryId=20&languageId=22&editorialid=2046

Thank-you a lot for sharing your technical knowledge.

Ghislain

Hi Ghislain,

Nice to hear you! Yes I've read this article. Your technique works really good, especially by natural light. Your advantage is the bigger capture frame and the fantastic lens together with your excellence technologie and long experience.

I've to work with a very short shutter-lag. Now having 4.5 msec most of the pictures are perfect on frame. The D200 is realy nice for this, no noise during black capture, even better than the D2X nevertheless the D2X is also perfect suitable for this application. I have much to work on ligthing techniques this year!

Also nice work for you, I suppose to meet you again in France at the exhibition in Montier-en-Der.

Frans
--
Homepage:
http://users.skynet.be/fotoopa
Macro and flyings insects photography:
http://users.skynet.be/fotoopa/macro_set.htm
Technique: http://users.skynet.be/fotoopa/laser_module1_E.htm

stany buyle Senior Member • Posts: 1,957
Fantastic! Thanks for sharing.

I believe you posted already about the same technique with your D100.
Very impressing. Thanks for sharing your knowledge.
Kindest regards,
Stany

D200 since dec 16th... tacksharp images, no banding, great AF module, outstanding handling, very nice at high iso if properly exposed.

 stany buyle's gear list:stany buyle's gear list
Nikon D1
Philip Veteran Member • Posts: 4,009
Re: D200 setup for flying insects.

Very interesting.

Thank you for sharing.

-- hide signature --

Philip

Dave Chambers Veteran Member • Posts: 3,700
Re: D200 setup for flying insects.

Fascinating work, congratulations.
--
Dave (Sgt. Pepper), Epsom, England.
http://www.pbase.com/davecq

DonBJr Senior Member • Posts: 1,805
Re: D200 setup for flying insects.

What lead you to take up this challenge of capturing insects in flight? Is this a hobby, or is there a scientific interest in insects? What are you doing with the photos?

 DonBJr's gear list:DonBJr's gear list
Nikon 1 AW1
deepak rao Veteran Member • Posts: 6,572
Very Fascinating nt
OP frans_vdm Regular Member • Posts: 168
Re: D200 setup for flying insects.

DonBJr wrote:

What lead you to take up this challenge of capturing insects in
flight? Is this a hobby, or is there a scientific interest in
insects? What are you doing with the photos?

Yes its my hobby. I share this pictures for scientific interest, education etc. I try to find some unique insects for our provinces and share this information with the local nature workgroups. I like any technical combination like mechanical, electronics to take photos and to walk free into the nature. And .... yes I have time, I'm retired.

Frans

DonBJr Senior Member • Posts: 1,805
Re: D200 setup for flying insects.

Thanks. You've come up with quite a clever device.

 DonBJr's gear list:DonBJr's gear list
Nikon 1 AW1
Gus F Contributing Member • Posts: 960
AMAZING Work ! (nt)

AMAZING

OP frans_vdm Regular Member • Posts: 168
Re: Fantastic! Thanks for sharing.

stany buyle wrote:

I believe you posted already about the same technique with your D100.
Very impressing. Thanks for sharing your knowledge.
Kindest regards,
Stany

Yes, because the D200 is better suitable for this application.

  • ISO100 reduce unwanted environment light.

  • absolutely no noise by black capture equal the time the camera is on and wait for an external shutter trigger. No long NR need into the camera saving the extra second wait time. Now you can switch direct to the next picture or stop the capture if no more trigger expect. by the D100 there was the extra wait time that the camera was on because the NR.

  • The 6 x AA battery now works, very low cost ( 6x1 euro for 2300 mA). I work now 4 to 5 hour with one set, 1 hour longer than the D100 with 2 x EL3 into the grip.

  • Higher resolution, give better crop possibility.

  • GPS interface, practically for identification of insects, now my website have this location as waypoint and/or for direct view into Google-earth, a nice tool.

The new compur1 shutter is faster now 4.5 msec shutter-lag compared to the old shutter (9 msec) and this shutter stay in front of the lens, so the lens focus characteristic d'nt change due to this second shutter.

The laser have now a narrow beam, objects downto 1 mm can by captured.

The D200 picture quality is far superior compared to the D100.

Frans
--
Homepage:
http://users.skynet.be/fotoopa
Macro and flyings insects photography:
http://users.skynet.be/fotoopa/macro_set.htm
Technique: http://users.skynet.be/fotoopa/laser_module1_E.htm

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