Archive for the ‘Fujinon XF80mm macro lens’ Category

Post update: Cordulegastridae exuvia

February 16, 2018

In a recent blog post entitled Cordulegastridae exuvia, I was able to identify the specimen to the family level. Since then, I was able to identify the genus and species.

The dichotomous key for Cordulegastridae larvae that appears on p. 330 in Dragonflies of North America, Third Edition by Needham et al. was used to identify the exuvia.

dichotomous key: a key for the identification of organisms based on a series of choices between alternative characters. Source Credit: Merriam-Webster Dictionary.

The first couplet [1, 1′] is as follows.

1. No lateral spines on abdominal segments 8-9; western [2]
1’. Lateral spines present on segments 8-9; eastern [3]

No. 1 | Cordulegaster sp. | exuvia (ventral)

(See a full-size version of the original photo, without annotation.)

Since the preceding annotated image shows lateral spines on abdominal segments eight and nine (S8, S9), proceed to the third couplet [3, 3′].

3(1’). Palpal setae 4; usually 5 large and 5 small premental setae present; some setae on margin of frontal shelf spatulate (Fig. 391e) [erronea]
3’. Palpal setae 5-7; 5-9 large and 3-5 small premental setae present; all setae on frontal shelf slender, not spatulate (Fig. 391f) [4]

(See a full-size version of the original photo, without annotation.)

The preceding annotated image shows the inner side of the prementum. Four (4) palpal setae are present, plus five (5) large- and five (5) small premental setae. The premental setae on the lower-right side of the prementum seem to be more intact than the ones on the upper-left: the large premental setae are labeled using white numerals; the small premental setae are labeled using red numerals.

The setae on the frontal shelf are mostly missing, as shown below. It’s possible they were broken off either when the larva burrowed in stream sediment (personal correspondence, Sue Gregoire) or when I cleaned the specimen.

No. 3 | Cordulegaster sp. | exuvia (frontal shelf)

(See a full-size version of the original photo, without annotation.)

Genus and species

The number of palpal setae strongly indicates the specimen is an exuvia from a Tiger Spiketail dragonfly (Cordulegaster erronea). Further, the rudimentary ovipositor shown in Photo No. 1 indicates this individual is a female.

The face behind the mask

Do you remember the way the female exuvia looked with its mask-like labium in place? In my opinion, she looked exotically beautiful!

No. 4 | Cordulegaster sp. | exuvia (face-head)

(See a full-size version of the original photo, without annotation.)

Well, that was then and this now. The following photo shows the face and mouth of the exuvia after the face mask was pulled away from the face in order to count the setae on the inner side of the prementum. Look closely at the full-size version of the photo. Yikes, that’s the stuff of nightmares!

No. 5 | Cordulegaster sp. | exuvia (face and mouth)

Tech Tips

The following equipment was used to shoot macro Photo No. 2, 3 and 5: Canon EOS 5D Mark II digital camera, in manual mode; Canon MP-E 65mm Macro lens (set for 2x); and Canon MT-26EX-RT Macro Twin Lite. A Sunpak LED-160 Video Light (with a white translucent plastic filter) was used for some photos.

The following equipment was used to shoot macro Photo No. 1 and 4Fujifilm X-T1 digital camera; Fujifilm MCEX-11 extension tube; and Fujinon XF80mm macro lens. An off-camera Fujifilm EF-X500 external flash unit and Sunpak LED-160 Video Light (with a white translucent plastic filter) were used for Photo No. 4. A Raynox DCR-250 close-up filter and Canon MT-26EX-RT Macro Twin Lite was used for Photo No. 1.

Adobe Photoshop CC 2017 was used to annotate selected images.

Related Resource: Cordulegastridae exuvia, a blog post by Walter Sanford featuring an exuvia collected by Mike Boatwright.

Copyright © 2018 Walter Sanford. All rights reserved.

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How to calculate magnification

February 12, 2018

By definition, a true macro photo is one with a magnification of at least one-to-one (1:1, or 1/1), that is, one unit on the camera sensor is equal to at least one of the same units in the real world. Magnification (in-camera) can be calculated using the following formula.

Mc = size of subject on camera sensor / size of camera sensor

Both measurements must be expressed in the same units in order for the units to cancel during division.

For example, let’s look at the following “full-size” image of a Corduligastridae erronea exuvia. “Full-size” means the image is uncropped (4896 x 3264 pixels).

The photograph shown above was taken using a Fujifilm X-T1 digital camera, Fujifilm MCEX-11 extension tube, and Fujinon XF80mm macro lens. The specifications for the macro lens lists the maximum magnification as 1x. Question is, what is the actual magnification of the subject?

The X-T1 features an APS-C sensor (23.6 mm x 15.6 mm). The dragonfly exuvia is approximately 35 mm in length, or 3451 pixels out of 4896 pixels across the entire image.

Using two equivalent ratios, the following proportion can be used to solve for the length of the exuvia on the camera sensor, in millimeters (mm).

x mm / 23.6 mm = 3451 pixels / 4896 pixels

x = ~16.6 mm. In other words, the exuvia is ~16.6 mm wide on a camera sensor that is 23.6 mm across.

Calculate the in-camera magnification using the following formula.

16.6 mm / 23.6 mm = ~0.7x

The magnification of the subject is ~0.7x, meaning the size of the subject on the camera sensor is slightly smaller than the width of the camera sensor. Expressed another way, the in-camera image is ~7/10 life size.

1.19x is listed as the theoretical maximum magnification using an MCEX-11 extension tube mounted on the 80mm macro lens. If we round the spec’d magnification to ~1.2x, then it’s clear that the actual magnification of ~0.7x is less than advertised, meaning the lens/extension tube combination is capable of focusing more closely on the subject than my sample photo.

Related Resources

Copyright © 2018 Walter Sanford. All rights reserved.

Cordulegastridae exuvia

February 6, 2018

My good friend Mike Boatwright, a fellow Virginian and extraordinarily good odonate hunter, collected an exuvia on 22 June 2017 in Amherst County, Virginia USA. Mike sent the exuvia to me for identification. This specimen is a member of the Family Cordulegastridae (Spiketails).

Photo No. 1 enabled me to see all of the critical field markers required to make an identification to the family level for this specimen. Here’s the decision tree I used to identify the exuvia as a spiketail dragonfly, based upon the excellent Vimeo video, Identifying dragonfly larva to family (8:06).

  • The specimen has a mask-like labium.
  • The margins of the labium have “deeply jagged, irregular teeth.”

Of the four families of dragonflies that feature a mask-like labium, the crenulations on the face of Corduligastridae are unmistakeable!

No. 1 | Cordulegaster sp. | exuvia (face-head)

(See a full-size version of the original photo, without annotation.)

The specimen is ~3.5 cm long (~1.4 in) and ~8 mm wide (0.3 in) at its widest. Notice the dorsal side of the exuvia is covered by sandy grit. The specimen will need to be cleaned in order to get a clearer view of the frontal shelf.

No. 2 | Cordulegaster sp. | exuvia (dorsal)

(See a full-size version of the original photo, without annotation.)

Photo No. 3 shows a ventral view of the exuvia.

No. 3 | Cordulegaster sp. | exuvia (ventral)

(See a full-size version of the original photo, without annotation.)

Photo No. 4 shows a closer view of the “rudimentary ovipositor,” located on abdominal segment nine (S9). An ovipositor is used for egg-laying by all adult damselflies and some species of adult dragonflies: females have this feature; males do not. Therefore, this individual is a female spiketail.

No. 4 | Cordulegaster sp. | exuvia (ventral, rudimentary ovipositor)

(See a full-size version of the original photo, without annotation.)

Photo No. 5 shows a closer view of the mentum, a two-segment hinged “jaw” that is used to grab food: the prementum is the segment of the labium closer to the mouth; the postmentum is the segment closer to the base of the head. Only the prementum can be seen in the following photo.

No. 5 | Cordulegaster sp. | exuvia (ventral, prementum)

Determining the genus and species

Although it’s easy to identify Cordulegastridae exuvia to the family level, it’s more challenging to identify a specimen to the species level. First, the exuvia must be cleaned in order to show the small hairs and brown dots on the frontal shelf. Second, the labium must be pulled forward to show the inside of the face mask in order to count palpal- and premental setae.

Tech Tips

The following equipment was used to shoot all of the macro photographs featured in this post: Fujifilm X-T1 digital camera; Fujifilm MCEX-11 extension tube; and Fujinon XF80mm macro lens. An off-camera Fujifilm EF-X500 external flash unit and Sunpak LED-160 Video Light (with a white translucent plastic filter) were used for Photo No. 1-3 and 5. A Raynox DCR-250 close-up filter and Canon MT-26EX-RT Macro Twin Lite was used for Photo No. 4.

Adobe Photoshop CC 2017 was used to annotate selected images.

Related Resources

Copyright © 2018 Walter Sanford. All rights reserved.

Have you ever wondered…?

January 9, 2018

Have you ever wondered…

The preceding photo shows the “focal plane mark” on my Fujifilm X-T1 digital camera.

The same mark appears on my Canon EOS 5D Mark II DSLR, as shown on p. 16 of the “Instruction Manual.”

Minimum focusing distance versus working distance

The “minimum focusing distance” is the distance from the subject to the focal plane. The “working distance” is the distance from the front of the lens to the subject.

For example, the minimum focusing distance for the Fujinon XF80mm macro lens (shown above) is 246 mm (24.6 cm). The working distance is 98 mm (9.8 cm).

Magnification (or magnification ratio)

True macro lenses have a magnification ratio of at least 1:1, meaning the size of the subject is the same size on the focal plane (digital sensor).

For example, the digital sensor for the Fujifilm X-T1 is 23.6 mm wide by 15.6 mm high. At a magnification ratio of 1:1, a subject that is 15 mm (1.5 cm) long will be 15 mm (1.5 cm) wide on the digital sensor; expressed another way, the subject will fill ~64% of the frame width.

For a prime macro lens, maximum magnification of 1:1 is possible only at the minimum focusing distance; magnification is necessarily lower at longer focusing distances.

Adding an extension tube

Adding a Fujifilm MCEX-11 extension tube reduces the working distance to 89 mm (8.9 cm). It’s interesting to note the minimum focusing distance of 249 mm (24.9 cm) is essentially the same, with or without the extension tube.

The net effect of adding an extension tube is the magnification ratio is increased to a value greater than 1:1, say 1.2:1, so the subject appears slightly larger on the focal plane.

Related Resource: Adding an 11mm extension tube, a blog post by Walter Sanford.

Copyright © 2018 Walter Sanford. All rights reserved.

Toys are for testing

January 5, 2018

The first photo shows a laid-back toy monkey, photographed using a Canon MT-26EX-RT Macro Twin Lite mounted on a Fujinon XF80mm macro lensFujifilm MCEX-11 extension tube, and Fujifilm X-T1 digital camera.

The Fujinon macro lens is tack sharp. Hotspots from the Canon macro twin lite, technically known as specular highlights, are visible in two regions of the monkey’s face. Although snap-on plastic light diffusers were used with both flash units, additional diffusion seems to be necessary.

The last two photos were taken using the same external macro flash unit mounted on a Canon MP-E 65mm Macro lens (set for 1x) and a Canon EOS 5D Mark II DSLR.

The preceding photo shows a rubber duck, SWAG from the Sleep Inn in Staunton, Virginia.

The following photo shows Totodile, a Pokemon character. Depth of field is noticeably very shallow. The focus point is the eye of the toy.

Copyright © 2018 Walter Sanford. All rights reserved.

What is it?

December 26, 2017

Well, what is it? It’s obviously a dragonfly. The real question is what is shown in the following photograph?

If you think you know what it is, then please leave a comment. The answer will be provided in a follow-up comment.

Copyright © 2017 Walter Sanford. All rights reserved.

Macro flash for Fujinon 80mm macro lens

December 22, 2017

The following photograph shows a Canon MT-26EX-RT Macro Twin Lite mounted on a Fujinon XF80mm macro lensFujifilm MCEX-11 extension tube, and Fujifilm X-T1 digital camera.

Two adapter rings are used for mounting the macro flash unit on the macro lens: a Sensei PRO 62-67mm step-up ring (upper-left); and Canon Macrolite Adapter 67C (lower-right).

The filter size for the Fujinon 80mm macro lens is 62mm. A 62-67mm step-up ring is used to connect the macro lens with the Canon Macrolite Adapter 67C, so named because it works with “most 67mm filter size lenses.” In this case, it works perfectly with the Fujinon 80mm macro lens.

Like every other Canon external flash that I own, the new macro flash is compatible with my Fuijifilm X-T1 digital camera. TTL is incompatible, so it’s manual mode flash only with the X-T1. That’s not a problem since I prefer manual exposure for macro photography. Although high-speed sync is supported by the Canon MT-26EX-RT Macro Twin Lite, it’s incompatible with the Fujifilm X-T1.

Related Resources

The filter size for the Fujinon XF55-200mm lens is 62mm. Therefore the same combination of adapter rings described above can be used to mount the Canon macro flash on the 55-200mm lens. The lens, in combination with one or more extension tubes, can be used for macro photography. The most magnification results at 200mm; the least magnification at 55mm.

The Canon Macrolite Adapter 58C can be used to mount the Canon macro flash on the Fujinon XF18-55mm “kit” lens (58mm filter size). The Macrolite Adapter 58C cannot be seen in the following photo, but it’s there. This lens, in combination with one or more extension tubes, can be used for macro photography although in my experience the 55-200mm lens is a better choice for that purpose.

Canon MT-26EX-RT adapter mounted on Fujinon XF 18-55mm lens.

The front of the Canon MT-26EX-RT adapter has a filter size of 58mm. The next photo shows a Raynox DCR-250 close-up filter mounted on the MT-26EX-RT adapter using two adapter rings: a Sensei 58-52mm step-down ring; and a Sensei 52-43mm step-down ring. The same combination of adapter rings can be used to mount the Raynox close-up filter on any lens to which the MT-26EX-RT adapter is mounted.

Raynox DCR-250 close-up filter and Canon MT-26EX-RT adapter.

Most of the time I carry the Raynox close-up filter connected to the Sensei 52-43mm step-down ring because it fits a couple of lenses that I own with a 52mm filter size, such as the fixed lens on the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ150 superzoom camera (my go-to camera kit for photowalking).

MT-24EX versus MT-26EX-RT

The Canon MT-26EX-RT Macro Twin Lite is the successor to the Canon Macro Twin Lite MT-24EX. The MT-24EX supports E-TTL with Canon DSLRs; it doesn’t support high-speed sync. The MT-24EX is $160 less expensive than the newer MT-26EX-RT (MSRP $829.99 versus $989.99). Both models are compatible with the Canon Macrolite Adapter 67C and Canon Macrolite Adapter 58C.

As the owner a Canon DSLR, I could rationalize the higher cost for the newer model because I like to shoot Shutter Priority using shutter speeds faster than the default sync speed of my camera. If you need a macro flash for Fujifilm digital cameras only, then you may want to consider buying the less expensive model.

Copyright © 2017 Walter Sanford. All rights reserved.

Gear talk

December 18, 2017

The following photograph shows my Fujifilm X-T1 digital camera, Fujifilm MCEX-11 extension tube, and new Fujinon XF80mm macro lens. The latter will be the subject of another blog post after I have an opportunity to use the lens for more than a few test shots. For now let me just share my first impression: It’s the sharpest lens I own, and as an owner of several Canon “L” series lenses, that’s saying a lot!

This post is a quick review of the Neewer “L” bracket and Desmond DAC-X1 adaptor.

Neewer “L” bracket and Desmond DAC-X1 adapter.

The primary advantage of using an “L” bracket is to be able to switch from landscape view to portrait view quickly. Many cameras, if not most, feature a tripod mounting screw that is offset from the line of sight along the barrel of the lens. That problem is solved by using an “L” bracket. And many tripod mounting plates block access to one or more camera “doors” such as the battery compartment, memory card slots, and in/out ports for USB, HDMI, etc.

The Neewer Metal Quick Shoe Plate L-Plate Bracket Hand Grip for Fuji X-T1, as its name suggests, is custom made for my Fujifilm X-T1 digital camera. It’s lightweight, fits perfectly, and facilitates access to all of the camera compartments. The mounting screw can be tightened using a metal coin. (I prefer using a nickel, since it’s about the right thickness and has a smooth edge that won’t scratch your gear.)

Many “L” brackets, including the Neewer bracket, feature an Arca-Swiss style tripod mount. Since most of my tripod heads use the Manfrotto RC2 system of quick release tripod plates, I needed to find a solution that would enable me to mount an Arca-Swiss tripod plate on my RC2 plates.

After a little research on the Internet (Google is your friend), I decided to buy the Desmond DAC-X1 Skeleton Clamp. The DAC-X1 is shown in the lower-right corner of the featured photo. The DAC-X1 is mounted on a Manfrotto RC2 quick release tripod plate. It’s well-designed, lightweight, and works as advertised.

Best of all, both products are relatively inexpensive. I ordered both items from Amazon for $19.95 each, with free shipping and handling. You could pay a lot more than $40 total for similar products, but I don’t know why you would. I can’t imagine the “L” brackets made by other manufacturers are engineered so much better than the Neewer bracket that I could rationalize spending hundreds of dollars more. After admittedly limited testing, I highly recommend both products.

Credits

Thanks to several members of the Facebook Fujilove Readers Group, especially Thomas Stu, for sharing their expert advice regarding “L” brackets for the Fujifilm X-T1 digital camera. It’s easy to find “L” brackets for the X-T2, the successor to the X-T1, but I couldn’t find a bracket made specifically for my X-T1. Problem solved quickly thanks to the kindness of strangers!

Editor’s Notes

Gear talk” is a new “Tag” that I began using relatively recently. I’m not sure whether gear talk should be a “Category.” Reader feedback is welcome.

Anyway, this is the kind of blog post I had in mind when I created the new tag. It is intended for posts that are focused more on photography gear than the subjects I like to photograph. Good gear makes it easier to shoot good photographs.

Copyright © 2017 Walter Sanford. All rights reserved.


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