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Pune/ India, Irvine/ CA, now Boulder/ CO
Welcome to my blog! I'm Hrishi from Pune, India. I am an earth system scientist currently working as a postdoctoral research associate at Colorado Center for Astrodynamics Research at CU-Boulder. These blogs are mostly about my travels, landscape photography, scientific computing, book and film reviews, fitness, cooking, and science communication. Feel free to navigate based on the labels below. My website: hrishikeshac.wix.com/hchandan


Saturday, June 28, 2008

SUper Macro Takumar 50/4 II

Here are few more images which I was able to capture in the Alice Garden, my favourite place in the University of Pune campus(apart from the Department of Environmental Sciences). Though Alice Garden is (in)famous for college couples and the ghost of Alice, I love it for its rich biodiversity. I'll write more about it in a separate blog on Alice Garden. This Tiny Grass Blue (Zizula gaika) is really very tiny and impatient. Its always in flight. I was lucky to find it sitting. There are at least 4-5 of these around the pond in the Alice Garden. They fly very close to the ground. They are so tiny that the wingspan of an adult is only 1.5cm and the caterpillars are only 0.7cm long! Food plants are from the the family Acanthaceae. (Source- Wikipedia)

I found this Chrysalis of the Common Indian Crow in the premises of Arts building in the University opposite to the Open canteen. Few days ago I had spotted two caterpillars on exactly the same plant which Juhi recognised to be Euploea core (Indian Crow). Today just out of curiosity I searched the plant again to find this lone Chrysalis. This butterfly is very common in the University and is often seen flying slowly, somewhat carelessly. It is not eaten by any predator because it it is very bad to taste (Of course I haven't tasted!) as it consumes the chemicals secreted by its host plants.

This grasshopper was at such a lower surface that I had to actually hold my K10D just few inches above ground to meet its eye level. It was one of those times I wished my camera had a Live LCD view.

These images are shot as ** quality 10MP jepgs straight from the camera (Pentax K10D) with default sharpness tweaked a little bit.

Apart from the resizing, bordering, cropping and copyrighting these images, no editing is done.

This Plain Tiger was very patient indeed. Twice it settled on a twig, I positioned myself at leisure, focused and just before I pressed the shutter, it flew to a nearby twig. I was lucky the third time.

I usually don't capture flowers. I haven't wondered why. But this image makes me wonder how many beautiful images like this have I missed.

This frog was extremely brave. It let me shoot at least 20 shots in different position and light. It let me come so closer that I was limited by the minimum focusing distance of the Super Macro Takumar 50/4 lens! Though this image looks a little underexposed, it was necessary to do so in order to save the highlights.

Macro world is the weirdest world in our world. Many of the tiny creatures like this one would pass on as aliens to unfamiliar eyes.

I don't know what the adjoining photo shows. It was extremely tiny, maybe it belongs to one of the tiniest butterfly/moth.

This bee let me take its image only sideways. the moment I tried to go above it, it flew away.

Can you believe this image is taken using a flash? that too a built-in flash?? Of course the shadows in the background will give it away. anyways..

Hey, wait a minute, can u see a white spot almost in the middle of the image? (Click on the image to enlarge it.) I have no clue what it may be. Its not there in other images. Should check the lens again, thoroughly.

Super Macro Takumar 50/4 I Field Experience

The manual focusing is silky smooth. As the focusing ring rotates a great deal for even a minute change in focus, it gives the operator full control over focus point. There is a pin on the left side of the lens which enables the lens to get stopped down from wide open to the aperture selected in the aperture ring. This lens gives magnification of 1:2. i.e half life size. Still, with the help of my 25mm extension tube and 2 x Teleconverter, I can go beyond life size. I haven't tried the combinations on the field yet. A brief exposure test made me realise that the lens exposes properly only wide open and tends to progressively under expose at smaller apertures. However I found out that at f/16 with built in flash and camera on M or Av mode and ISO 100 gives me correct exposure every time. I prefer the Av mode because I don't have to press the Green button before every exposure. Also, In the M mode, the meter doesn't read the flash and gives exposure without considering that the flash is on. e.g. Sometimes it gives 3sec exposure which even with the flash fired thus producing blurred image. Keeping the camera in Av mode exposes every shot ( with flash fired) at 1/180.

The technique I followed while taking photos is as follows-

1. Keep the lens at its minimum focusing distance and at f16, built in flash popped up and at +1 of its intensity. Keep 'the stop down pin' down so that the lens is wide open and thus easier to focus.

2. Go close to the subject so that the desired area is in sharp focus.
3. Pull the stop down pin up so that the lens get stopped down at f16 and click the shutter release button immediately. This technique has enabled me to take few very good shots which I could have only dreamt of taking with my non macro lenses.

Though due to lack of money I wont buy this lens, I certainly recommend it! However please consider its limitations which I mentioned.
All the photos posted here are totally unedited except for the border, resizing, small cropping and the copyright.

I would like to mention that the views written in this blog are based on tests which I conducted and other's tests may yield (dunno how!) different results.