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Monday, May 28, 2012

Nikon R1 Macro Flash System

Here's my humble review on the Nikon R1 Wireless Close-Up Speedlight System.

My setup:
Nikon D700 + Kenko Extension Tubes 68mm + Tamron SP90 + R1 + DIY Diffuser

Macro photography is very much about light diffusion, rarely see decent diffused light on macro shot using default snap-on diffuser, i tried, it was too harsh for macro works and the light was badly diffused. With some guidelines from Kurt, OrionMystery, i  manage to make myself a concave diffuser like this, 3 layers of different semi-transparent materials, make sure the bottom layer hard enough to slip up: i had my R1 on Manual power instead of i-TTL.

Couple sessions of light test, light diffused nicely but some noticeable light spills. (on the far left eye)

So i add-on 2 piece of papers like this, tested, it worked like a charm.

Been shooting in this setup for couple of weeks, i noticed 2 major problem with R1.

1. Over-sized attachment ring- often i have to work on an awkward position to get an eye level with bugs, especially when it was on a tree trunk, it will never level with an insect eye level. Very very disappointed with the ring design. Nikon should has designed the ring like Canon's MT-24EX Twins. Cut of bottom part of the ring.

2. Focusing light/Target light only auto-triggered with SU-800. If you're using your built in flash as a commander, you have to press the focusing/ target light button on the R1 (SB-R200), TWO TIMES! and every time when you want to take a shot, make that and multiply everything with TWO!!! I think these R1C1 stuffs are not designed by a macro photographer.

here's some sample shots taken with the posted setup, enjoy.




Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Cicada Molting Process

and it's a lengthy process! here's an account of Cicada molt from start till finish. The whole process took around 1 in a half or longer. A Cicada, like all insects do not have a closed circulatory system like you and i. Their circulatory system is open, which blood flows freely around the body saturating the organs while supplying them with nutrients. The free flowing of blood helps the Cicada to harden. Which is why over time, the Cicada gets darker and darker in color. But then, not much blood flows to Cicada's legs as they remain mostly hollow. This is why Cicada stays so long in its upside-down position. Since their legs start out soft, if they try to use them to support their weight too early, it would probably be a disaster.

In the teneral stage which the Cicada has just finished out its molting process but still relatively soft. It's at this stage where the Cicada is most vulnerable. Usually, the Cicada teneral will not leave the vicinity of its discarded nymph shell, but it had been noted on some occasions that Cicada will often move a fair distance away from its nymph shell to find secluded spot to harden. The wings are also very fragile, should they brush against something or touched by human hands, irreparable damage can be done to the wings.

If you like lobsters or shell fish then Cicada Teneral may be just what you're looking for! as for this stage, you can actually eat Cicada Teneral!!! The soft and chewy Cicada Teneral!!!


The Amazing Cicada Life Cycle.