A few ultra-close shots of tiny tachinids!
It’s not often that you get this close to the very rare and tiny Microsoma exiguum (3mm), Cinochira atra (2mm) & Catharosia pygmaea (4-5mm). I have been playing around with a Schneider Componon 35mm f4 lens – a new acquisition from eBay for £16 posted. When reversed on bellows and racked out to about 90mm it generates about 4:1 magnification – that’s 4x life size, on the sensor!
The most difficult part is to move the camera in small enough steps that no parts are left unfocused … at magnifications above 2x it gets very difficult indeed. The illumination was made using an old SunPak ring-flash on the left and holding a YN560 above and in front of the specimen – the specimen sits in a polystyrene cup, which acts as both a diffuser and reflector, with a piece of grey card stuck to the back to act as a background.
The stacking has been done using Zerene Stacker – mostly the PMax method but one using DMap … the DMap method tends to produce nicer stacks when it works but it is very hard to configure it to work when the specimen has a lot of bristles.