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crowecg

Night Spider

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A challenging night shoot!  Lacking a macro capability for the Fuji kit, I initially reached in the drawer to use the old Nikon/Tamron combination, but the battery was flat, so the Fuji had to do.

 

49458658928_89f7c66ddf_o.jpg

Night Spider 2 

 

A nice looking spider building a beautiful web in the back yard, backlit with a torch.

 

49459133711_86bd880fcf_o.jpg

Night Spider 

 

49459364347_a96ea754bd_o.jpg

Night Spider 3 

 

49459133721_2e40992302_o.jpg

Night Spider 1 

 

All shot using Fuji X-E3 and 55-200 zoom and the little clip on flash that came with the camera.  A bit of a learning exercise trying to get the best from the focus and viewfinder in the dark.

 

I'm sure the passers-by walking their dogs were wondering what the torch and flash were about - but watching the spider was fascinating.

 

I did read that there will be a new option for Fuji macro work  - Laowa have just released a 65mm 2x macro in Fuji mount, only compromise being manual focus, but that isn't too big an issue for macro work.

 

 

Probably a Orb-weaving Spider, Eriophora biapicata, although the patterning on the abdomen of this one doesn't seem as distinct as the reference pictures I've seen.

 

Edited by crowecg
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The lighting didn´t work for me.

I think back light is not ok for macro (#1) and the others look overexposed.

Sorry.


Aguinaldo

www.aguinaldodepaula.com

Nikon / Zeiss

"You are not a loser when you're defeated.
You are a loser when you quit".
(Dr. House)

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For me one of the biggest advantages of a mirrorless camera is the ability to see what your exposure compensation is doing to your actual image, so as Aguinaldo says, I think that in this instance if you play around with that a bit and come down to where the spider is nicely exposed the end result would be better. 

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Thanks for looking, Aguinaldo & Dallas.  You a both right about me having more work to do shooting macro with my Fuji gear.   If my Nikon had some charge in the battery, I think the results would have been different.  I’ll have to have a look and see if I missed some settings for the flash.  Perhaps I might need to change the metering - I have probably been spoiled by Nikon’s flash capability.  

 

19 hours ago, Dallas said:

For me one of the biggest advantages of a mirrorless camera is the ability to see what your exposure compensation is doing to your actual image, so as Aguinaldo says, I think that in this instance if you play around with that a bit and come down to where the spider is nicely exposed the end result would be better. 

 

for ambient light shooting, I do like the ability of mirrorless cameras to preview the exposure.  However, that isn’t the case with flash lit shots, I had to turn off the exposure preview to see anything through the viewfinder.  I guess a longer term plan would be to get an led light for macro work.

 

22 hours ago, atpaula said:

The lighting didn´t work for me.

I think back light is not ok for macro (#1) and the others look overexposed.

Sorry.


I like the idea of backlighting the web, but perhaps that needs to be balanced with some illumination for the spider.  Do you think that would work?  I’ll play with a few more options and settings, I probably need to work on getting closer so that I don’t illuminate the background so much.

 

when I went out to put the bins out earlier, I noticed that the spider was sleeping under a branch having carefully packed away it’s web during the day as orb weavers have a habit of doing, so I might get another chance.

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29 minutes ago, crowecg said:

for ambient light shooting, I do like the ability of mirrorless cameras to preview the exposure.  However, that isn’t the case with flash lit shots, I had to turn off the exposure preview to see anything through the viewfinder.  I guess a longer term plan would be to get an led light for macro work.

 

When using flash it can get tricky for mirrorless live view monitoring because you will invariably not be able to see the subject, so Live View boost is necessary most of the time. However, I would avoid becoming reliant on things like iTTL or whatever Fuji are calling their flash TTL system. You don't learn anything by using those automations and your results will vary based on whatever the camera's "brain" thinks the exposure should be. Probably the best thing to do is to work with ambient light (from any source), or if you do need to use flash, use it in full manual mode so that it's not changing its output all the time (eg, iTTL).

 

With a manual control you can adjust any one of 4 things to get different results; shutter speed for more or less ambient light, aperture for more or less flash light, flash power itself (to avoid changing camera settings), flash to subject distance (to control fall off or intensity). 

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1 hour ago, crowecg said:

Thanks for looking, Aguinaldo & Dallas.  You a both right about me having more work to do shooting macro with my Fuji gear.   If my Nikon had some charge in the battery, I think the results would have been different.  I’ll have to have a look and see if I missed some settings for the flash.  Perhaps I might need to change the metering - I have probably been spoiled by Nikon’s flash capability.  

 

 

for ambient light shooting, I do like the ability of mirrorless cameras to preview the exposure.  However, that isn’t the case with flash lit shots, I had to turn off the exposure preview to see anything through the viewfinder.  I guess a longer term plan would be to get an led light for macro work.

 


I like the idea of backlighting the web, but perhaps that needs to be balanced with some illumination for the spider.  Do you think that would work?  I’ll play with a few more options and settings, I probably need to work on getting closer so that I don’t illuminate the background so much.

 

when I went out to put the bins out earlier, I noticed that the spider was sleeping under a branch having carefully packed away it’s web during the day as orb weavers have a habit of doing, so I might get another chance.

Yes, a combination of backlight and a fill light would be nice.


Aguinaldo

www.aguinaldodepaula.com

Nikon / Zeiss

"You are not a loser when you're defeated.
You are a loser when you quit".
(Dr. House)

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On 30/01/2020 at 21:43, Dallas said:

 

When using flash it can get tricky for mirrorless live view monitoring because you will invariably not be able to see the subject, so Live View boost is necessary most of the time. However, I would avoid becoming reliant on things like iTTL or whatever Fuji are calling their flash TTL system. You don't learn anything by using those automations and your results will vary based on whatever the camera's "brain" thinks the exposure should be. Probably the best thing to do is to work with ambient light (from any source), or if you do need to use flash, use it in full manual mode so that it's not changing its output all the time (eg, iTTL).

 

With a manual control you can adjust any one of 4 things to get different results; shutter speed for more or less ambient light, aperture for more or less flash light, flash power itself (to avoid changing camera settings), flash to subject distance (to control fall off or intensity). 

I think I have been spoiled by Nikon’s amazing flash capabilities, which seems to just work.  I still have a bit of learning to do with the Fuji flash system. if anyone has any suggestions about the Fuji flash system I’d be glad to hear them.
 

 Ultimately however, I think a continuous led light is probably the way to go for mirrorless macro work.

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Hmmm... for me the only way to do flash is manually because that puts you in complete control of everything. It may seem complicated at first, but once you get an understanding of the various relationships between exposure variables you can use them to your advantage on any camera system. A great person to learn from is Zack Arias. He has a video tutorial called "One Light" which I got as part of a 5 day Deal some time back. Really opened up my mind to the possibilities of how to work with just a single flash (manually, of course). 

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On 01/02/2020 at 10:56, crowecg said:

I think I have been spoiled by Nikon’s amazing flash capabilities, which seems to just work.  I still have a bit of learning to do with the Fuji flash system. if anyone has any suggestions about the Fuji flash system I’d be glad to hear them.
 

 Ultimately however, I think a continuous led light is probably the way to go for mirrorless macro work.

 

As Dallas says, set the flash manually (camera in full manual, shutter speed 1/250 or slower, depending on ambient light balance).

 

Disengage exposure preview mode in the viewfinder so that you get a constant viewfinder brightness (if your menu is the same strange Fujinglish as the XT-2 = Menu: Set Up>Screen Setting>PREVIEW WB/EXP IN MANUAL MODE>OFF, and  then Menu: Flash symbol>Flash Function Setting>M).

 

Take a test shot, adjust camera aperture and flash settings accordingly, get that balance right and then fire away, never having to worry about whether the flash is changing settings but having full viewfinder brightness at the same time.

 

If preferred set camera to instant preview so you can see what you're doing is working immediately after taking the shot and that you're properly balancing ambient light, but I find that annoying and if you're maintaining a close-to-same-distance of the flash itself from the subject from shot to shot there should be no need to alter the exposure settings at all once set correctly.

 

That's how I used to run things in my studio with digital, (in fact it's still the way I read exposures for film, in preference to using a flash meter I use the X-T2 as I get to see how the lighting is performing as well - far better than the old way of taking a Polaroid to check :D ), but bear in mind everything in my studio is static as far as the flash heads on their stands is in relation to the subject and that ambient light is low and therefore not a factor, so moving the camera itself towards or away from the subject makes no difference in exposure other than lens extension itself (up to plus 2 stops for 1:1 from infinity).

 

With macro if you have the flash mounted on the camera, relatively small movements towards or away from the subject will have an effect on the exposure that's probably going to be greater than anticipated visually (familiarise yourself with the inverse square law online if that's not making sense), so check exposure every time that relationship changes.

 

Or, as you've already alluded to, simply get an LED ringlight to fit whatever lens you end up using for shadowless illumination of the subject.

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The spider is still in the garden and the Nikon battery was charged, so revisited....

 

49495727823_e20346ce6c_o.jpg

Night Spider 4 

 

First one is from a little further back, so cropped a bit.

 

49496222466_2e4c9a1ba8_o.jpg

Night Spider 5 

 

Second one was closer, with a 2/3 stop exposure compensation set.  Probably could do with a bit more depth of field as the head is drifting out of focus.

 

Both shot Nikon D7000 with Tamron 90 macro.  Set the exposure manually 1/80s, f/8, but left flash on auto, auto focus with the help of a small flashlight to illuminate the spider.

 

There is definitely a bit more magic to the Nikon auto flash control compared to Fuji.

 

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