Thread: Please advise
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Old 16th May 2018
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Re: Please advise

Originally Posted by Gate Keeper View Post
Thank you very much Peter, I just read your letter out to my wife and we both said how helpful it is.

Thank you so much for taking the time and thinking on how best to advise me.
I had a look at the f/4 300 lens last night and will have a rethink about it. Do you have a favourite lens for butterflies?
Phil many thanks for those kind words and say thank you to your wife from me too.

I would not suggest the 300mm just as a butterfly lens, as lovely as it is it only deals with some of the needs. But if you had one then it would be a good start!

Over many years and with many different combinations tried I can give my thoughts and advice on what does and doesn't work. My current view is to take two cameras as changing lenses is not going to be a long term solution. And they don't need to be top of the range bodies.

1. You need an approach camera to take telephoto close ups. As I already said take shots before you lose the butterfly and take a number of shots as you get closer. It means you don't have nothing, but most will not be kept. This is your main lens. It needs to have a good close working distance say 24 inches and a reasonable magnification. The two things together mean you have few choices. And if we stick to the 4/3 system I have settled for two years now on the 40-150 pro with teleconverter. It isn't quite enough magnification so I usually need to crop unless I get in close to minimum focus distance. because it is a bright and sharp lens cropping is not a big issue. But on my em5 mk2 this lens grabs the background and I feel it needs phase focus but have not been able to try it. So I shoot on SAF plus MF and use focus aids of magnification and focus peaking and swear a lot when it refuse to focus on a flower preferring the tree behind. Not sure if Phase focus cures this.

So this is the approach shot to a Silver-Washed fritillary using the em5 mk2 and the 40-150 pro with teleconverter at full 210mm.

But with that combination you can get shots that say the 12-40 or other medium range zoom cannot. When the butterfly is impossible to get close too. This is a big crop of a butterfly (Purple Emperor) at the top of a tree. Something you need to look for! it was 30 feet up.

Of interest would be the 40-150 standard lens which is really good for the price. It just would benefit from a teleconverter, which they don't make...

I also use a G80 and the LUMIX G VARIO 14-140/F3.5-5.6 which is so much better for handling, pinpoint focus is magic and the dual stabilisation is fab. Olympus needs pinpoint focus. But the lens is not quite as good as the pro lens! It does not get the overall magnification of the pro lens combo but is 1/3 of the price and it is pretty good.

So this is from the G80 and the LUMIX G VARIO 14-140/F3.5-5.6 combo. It is 3 images stacked but they were good on their own, just wanted to get all wings sharp.

Love amongst the Ringlets

2. Your second camera will have the best macro lens you can get or the Olympus 25mm 1.8 or similar very close very sharp excellent focus lens. I tend to use the 60mm macro but have had most macro lenses and still have a few. Once you get close then you can use it and get the top shots. It will usually give you sharpness and also issues with depth of focus....

as a recent example

I could talk at length about the alternatives and my Canon stuff but autofocus is amazing. This is the 70D with the 100-400 zoom. It helped me to grab this Brimstone mating flight.

and the quality of the macro lens is pretty good on autofocus too. This was one of dozens I took of Britains most gorgeous butterfly.

I look forward to you reading this to your good lady wife.
Peter (Art Frames)

You can see some of my things on Flickr
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