My adventures in the woods, streams, rivers, fields, and lakes of Michigan

The Beast nailed it!

Well, I was never going to bring up the review that called the Sigma 150-500 mm lens junk again, but I have to. That lens, known as the Beast was responsible for this photo.

Monarch butterfly

Monarch butterfly

You can see the Photomatix watermark, that’s because as the monarch was slowly opening and closing its wings, I missed the exposure slightly. I cloned the original image, lightened it a little, then ran it through Photomatix.

Here’s the original image as it came out of the camera.

Monarch butterfly

Monarch butterfly

I’m getting so picky about my photos, it’s hard for me to believe. I only missed the exposure by 1/3 to 1/2 stop, some may say that I didn’t miss at all. Anyway, in the cloned image that I lightened slightly, the goldenrod flowers were even more blown out, which is why I used Photomatix to even things out a little.

So, never believe any one online review of any piece of photo gear, you need to thoroughly check out any piece of equipment that you’re thinking of purchasing. Any lens that can capture the veins on a monarch’s wing like this, has to be a good one!

That’s it for this one, thanks for stopping by!


20 responses

  1. I have to say it’s all Greek to me this photography business. You are so clever to understand it.

    September 3, 2014 at 3:14 pm

    • Thank you Susan! I wouldn’t put so much effort into learning photography if I didn’t love it so much.

      September 4, 2014 at 3:40 am

  2. Love the enhanced shot. You (and the Beast) rocked it!

    September 3, 2014 at 5:21 pm

    • Thank you Judy, enjoy your “vacation”!

      September 4, 2014 at 3:40 am

  3. How beautiful this is!

    September 3, 2014 at 5:57 pm

    • Thank you Clare!

      September 4, 2014 at 3:41 am

  4. I agree with your sentiments.

    September 3, 2014 at 6:10 pm

    • Thank you Tom!

      September 4, 2014 at 3:41 am

  5. So far the two cameras I’ve bought since starting this blog were recommended by other bloggers and I’ve never regretted buying each one for a minute. I expect to continue that tradition when I buy a DSLR and lenses based on what you’ve said here. I don’t need a 500 mm lens but I like that macro lens and the wide angle too.
    In Lightroom you can raise or lower the exposure of photos and I think I would have done the same thing to that monarch photo. It worked well and was worth the effort.

    September 3, 2014 at 6:25 pm

    • Thanks Allen! If you decide to go with Canon, I would recommend the 10-18 mm lens to you, you’d find many uses for it. I have the Tokina 100 mm macro lens, but it’s much more useful with a 1.4 X tele-converter. Ergonomically and optically, it’s the best lens that I own. But, the auto-focus is slower than a sedated snail, and the lens lacks image stabilization. Since you won’t be buying as many lenses as I did, and you do far more macro photography, you may want to look into one of the 180 mm or 200 mm macro lenses. It would cost more, but it would also double as a good telephoto lens for the times when you shoot a heron or something similar. Just a thought.

      September 4, 2014 at 3:54 am

      • Thanks for the information Jerry. One of the things I like most about the Panasonic point and shoot that I use for macros is its incredible image stabilization, so I’d insist on something comparable in a macro lens. I’ll look into the 200 mm.
        I think I’ll stick with Canon for a DSLR-I like this SX40 even though I’m not crazy about its macro capabilities. The body you have gets the job done and I assume that it can stand up to the abuse of everyday hiking, so that would probably be the first one I’d look at. The SX40 has taken some hard knocks on the trails and hasn’t suffered at all, so I’d want a body that has proven that it can take some (unintentional) abuse.
        I’m not even sure when I’ll buy a DSLR so I’ve got time to shop around and read reviews! Your feedback helps give me a starting point, so thanks again.

        September 4, 2014 at 12:37 pm

      • Well, none of the longer macro lenses have IS. Canon, and a few others make macro lenses in the 100 mm range that do have it. For your information, the Canon T3i, T5i, 60 D, and 7 D all share the same sensor, so theoretical image quality is the same. It’s the other bells and whistles that differ. The 7 D is one of the most rugged bodies that there is, but it doesn’t have the vari-angle display. You’d love Canon’s vari-angle display, just what you need for macro photos. But, Pentax builds the image stabilization into the bodies, not the lenses.

        September 4, 2014 at 2:06 pm

  6. Can I assume that this is the butterfly image that you mentioned to me? If so…looks like the ol’ technique served its purpose. 🙂

    BTW, I just went back and read your post of several days ago that detailed your reasons for experimenting with HDR (and faux HDR); it appears that some of the benefits revealed themselves to you pretty much immediately upon experimenting with Photomatix. Assuming you do take the full plunge, I think that–depending on the image–you’ll see the benefits of experimenting with some of the settings that allow you to customize your approach. You may find no need to do anything as convoluted as the workflow that I use (that I’ve alluded to in some of my posts on comments on my blog).

    Happy processing!

    September 3, 2014 at 11:49 pm

    • Thank you! Between checking out your photos and blog, and a couple of online tutorials, it was easy for even a die-hard like me to see that the camera’s sensor wasn’t able to record what I saw when I pressed the shutter release.

      September 4, 2014 at 3:46 am

  7. Yikes! It looks to me like you’ve taken a giant leap forward in your photography. I may send some folks who are afraid or unwilling to try the dark side over here! I’ve never managed to make a better case for the advantages than you have right here! 🙂

    September 4, 2014 at 2:22 am

    • Thank you! It’s funny, I’m to the point where adjusting the exposure in 1/3 stop increments is no longer a fine enough adjustment to me any longer, I’d like to be able to do 1/4 stop adjustments. 😉

      September 4, 2014 at 3:44 am

  8. Isn’t it so much fun, this process of learning to take better photos?

    September 4, 2014 at 4:55 am

    • Yes it is, I love it!

      September 4, 2014 at 8:55 am

  9. Wonderful photo! Congratulations!

    September 8, 2014 at 2:46 pm

    • Thank you!

      September 9, 2014 at 2:26 am