Recent content by Pieter

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    Canon EF 400mm f/2.8L IS III one of two “Big White Lenses” coming ahead of Photokina [CR3]

    No but I did try for an afternoon! When we started building the array I tried out one of the 400's "in the wild" before we mounted it but they are no good for dragonflies, or at least the way I shoot them - I really need to walk around and be able to take shots quickly.. I use the 100-400 II on...
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    Dragonflies and Damselflies

    Yes - I also like to slowly vary the focus on a hovering dragonfly. As far as exposure settings go, I tend to use full manual or auto ISO, with the exposure time set to 1/1000 or 1/1600 (to prevent motion blur in the body and to half-freeze the wings) and the aperture somewhere in the range f8...
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    Dragonflies and Damselflies

    I find that it's possible to anticipate the right moment, following the dragonfly through the lens and slowly moving the focus ring at the same time. Then there will be a few moments when it is in focus. I don't keep the button pressed - after 5-10 continuous shots the dragonfly is often gone /...
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    Dragonflies and Damselflies

    I love these - particularly the first one, with the swirly background!
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    Dragonflies and Damselflies

    OK thanks very much Alan - I don't need a lot of encouragement! ;-) Green Darner. All my in-flight shots are "full manual" - focus, exposure, aperture, and of course hand-held. I find the 300 f4 L with the Canon 5D III provides an almost ideal field of view, and the large focusing ring really...
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    Dragonflies and Damselflies

    OK one more: very young (probably just a few days old) and tiny nymph of a Meadowhawk, under water.
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    Dragonflies and Damselflies

    Dew-covered Meadowhawk Emperor Dragonfly laying eggs. I'll stop now - sorry for taking up all this space! I did a little book on dragonfly photography a few years ago - hence my enthusiasm ;-) Used a 40D, 5D III, or 7D II, with the 100 f2.8 macro or the 300mm f/4L.
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    Dragonflies and Damselflies

    Immature Black Meadowhawk - the wings are not yet fully transparent
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    Dragonflies and Damselflies

    Great to see all these !! Wandering Glider in flight Mating wheel - Wandering Gliders
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    Canon EF 400mm f/2.8L IS III one of two “Big White Lenses” coming ahead of Photokina [CR3]

    Exciting rumor - our experience with the 400 II in the Dragonfly team (https://www.dragonflytelescope.org/) is excellent, at least for our purposes; great to see continued work to make awesome lenses even better!
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    Review - Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II

    Yes - just to add another enthusiastic confirmation of the power of the 7D II and this lens. For me this combination effectively replaced the cumbersome set of 5D III, 300mm f/4, a 1.4x TC, and the 100 mm f/2.8 macro lens for handheld nature photography, due to the combination of long reach...
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    Any advice on shooting dragonflies

    For the in-flight shots I typically use 1/1600 s and f/10 with auto ISO with the 5D III. That will typically be ISO 3200 or 6400, but that's still OK. A lot depends on the species - some hover regularly (eg many Mosaic Darners), and then you can use longer exposure times and get a nice motion...
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    Any advice on shooting dragonflies

    Yes I would agree with everything Brachytron said, except that I vary the aperture a bit more depending on what I'm after. Sometimes a small aperture adds interest, e.g. by just having the eyes in focus. One strategy in the field is to identify a twig or reed near the water's edge where a...
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    Dragonfly, Powered by Canon Lenses

    Yes - the problem is that we'd have to get different detectors, with much lower read noise. With narrow band filters the read noise is no longer smaller than the noise from the sky background, and the setup is no longer competitive. We are considering other projects to augment what we're doing...
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    Dragonfly, Powered by Canon Lenses

    I'm one of the astronomers who put the thing together - thanks for the interest! We use standard SBIG off the shelf astronomical cameras as detectors. The lenses are fast enough, and the integration times long enough, that read noise is negligible even with only modest cooling of the detectors...