Raynox DCR250 Review – Jumpers In My Garden !

 

Recently after looking at some of the pictures that my friends have been taking using Raynox DCR250 , I decided to acquire one for my self and give it a shot!   Since pictures speak a lot , I would share pictures of few spiders that I have taken with Raynox mounted on Tamaron 90mm Macro lens on Nikon D750.

What is Raynox DCR 250 ?

The Raynox DCR-250 is a conversion lens that attaches to an existing lens. It comes with a universal snap-on mount that will fit lenses in the 52mm to 67mm diameter range.  With the DCR-250 you can have an instant macro lens when attached to your existing lens for a much cheaper price. You can also use it if you already have a Macro Lenses to get much closer to your subject, Like i did with my Tamaron 90mm

What the DCR-250 actually does is, it reduces the lens minimum focusing distance enabling you to get  much closer to the subject enhancing the magnification power of your existing lens.

 

Setup :

 

Pictures :

My Take on Raynox DCR 250 :

I was actually surprised with the result. The Raynox DCR-250 performs really well on my Tamaron 90mm ( Waiting for a step down rings to try it on my Sigma 180mm) . The DOF is very shallow and it needs some practice and it is not a easy lens to use, however with flash and macro rail  the  probability of getting good pictures is high !  At highest  magnification and with my setup  the lens gets really close to the subject , so I had use a flash with bounce diffuser to get some shots.  Aperture needs to be closed to get some decent DOF ( F16 and above )  , but sometimes shallow DOF can also create magic!

More Materials on the www  :

http://photography.designmotion.net/blog/2016/1/3/review-testing-the-raynox-dcr-250

http://extreme-macro.co.uk/raynox-adapter-techniques/

 

Cheers,

Goutham Ramesh

Photographing Milky Way

Can we photograph milky way or part of it from earth ?

Yes we can ! Even  though not in full , a part of it as we are inside it!  and there are lots of photographs of milky way shot by photographers before. Just Google it.

Inspiration

When ever I used to see pictures of milky way photographed by using a DSLR,  a sense of awe engulfed me and always used to wonder how to do it , my cousin Arjun (http://arjunhaarith.blogspot.in/)  attempted it during his treks in the Himalayas  successfully and his pictures egged me to try on my own! And this set in the urge to get a decent picture and the quest began!

Successful attempt

Arjun’s picture instilled some kind of obsessive madness to record this on my camera. Me and  Murali (www.muralisantham.com ) had many discussions on cracking this code and we did try to shoot in Hampi , but the light pollution negated our efforts. We also figured out with right tools , technique and a mathematical formula we can crack this ( see method to madness below )

During our recent trip to mountains of south India  we cracked it and pictures are shown below. 

The light on the left is not a fire but a light trail left by moving Car…

The red leaf is due to effect of my car’s tail lamp on the plant nearby …

Method to Madness

As always I’m happy to share the techniques used :

  1. Identify a place which is completely dark , which is devoid of any light pollution
  2. Next  figure out where this is in our night sky and and what time it is above the horizon , a simple google or a right kind of app will help! Yes we did do some research to find out where it is visible and we found out it will be visible at the horizon    in Northern hemisphere at 4 AM IST in Jan 2018. 
  3. Choose the right camera! For the Milky Way you are going to want to get as much light into your camera as you can before the rotation of the Earth starts to blur your image. So using a camera that can shoot a decent image at 1600 or 3200 ISO is a wise choice ( My Nikon D750 it was )
  4. Choose the right lens! When choosing a lens, I would recommend a very wide angle lens; something that will allow you to capture a huge portion of the sky. The main reason is because the Milky Way is massive! It will stretch across the entire sky and to get it in your composition can be challenging. The wider your lens the more you will see — by wide I mean small focal length. As you get more comfortable shooting the Milky Way you can move in closer with a larger focal length to capture the galactic core and so on. To start out look at something in the 14mm — 24mm range. (My 15 MM lens from Venus optics it was )
  5. Use a proper tripod! The exposure can go upto 30 seconds based on a formula, so usage of a tripod is a must. ( My Manfrotto 190DB it was )
  6. Point the camera at that location ( its not that clearly visible to naked eye )
  7. Exposure ! This is the trickiest  part .  For me ISO was 1600 and the aperture was fully open to optimise the light falling on the sensor , but shutter speed is something which is tricky , because a longer exposure will leave a star trail and lesser exposure will not be enough to record light on the sensor, but a mathematical formula comes to help. The formula is called 500 rule and it is 500 Divided By the Focal Length of Your Lens * crop factor  = The Longest Exposure (in Seconds) Before Stars Start to “Trail”!  so for me it was 500/15   ( 33 sec ) ( D750 is a full frame Fx camera so no crop factor )  I used a 30 sec exposure … ola I  got it and the result is there to see.

Cheers

Goutham Ramesh

 

Thoovanam Falls

Camera : Nikon D5100

Lens : Nikon 18-55 VR

Exposure :  1/40 @ F8

Location : Chinar Wildlife Sanctuary , Tamil Nadu India.

Thought Process :

This was a amazing site , but the exposure was challenging , i decided to expose the highlights , knowing very well i can bring the details in the shadows out. Conversion to monochrome was required to eliminate  distractions of colour

About the Subject :

Located within the Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary, Thoovanam Falls is a breathtaking cascade that originates from the Pambar River. The magnificent cataract, cascading from a height of 1400 feet, fascinates many nature lovers and trekking enthusiasts. Visitors can avail a guided trek from Karimutti Forest Station to the falls. Being a part of the sanctuary, visitors are not allowed to trek without an entry ticket.

This falls is a visual treat for visitors. Set amidst wilderness, the falls offer unparalleled photo opportunities. From cascading waters, lush flora to untamed animals, visitors can click several photos that would remind them of their visit to this wonderful place.

Jewel among leaves ( Gram Blue)

Gram Blue

Camera : Nikon D750

Lens : Sigma 180mm Macro HSM EX

Exposure :  1/200 @ F3.5

Location : Lalbaugh Botanical Gardens , Bengaluru India.

Thought Process :

Have been shooting Macro’s for close to 2 decades and the challenges are always new. Here I composed to include more space and opened the aperture to get shallow DOF ( Depth of Field)

About the Subject :

Euchrysops cnejus, the gram blue, is a small butterfly found in India that belongs to the lycaenids or blues family.

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Lepidoptera
Family: Lycaenidae
Tribe: Polyommatini
Genus: Euchrysops
Species: E. cnejus

Source :https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Euchrysops_cnejus