MikeOxon

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MikeOxon
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Re: MikeOxon

Postby MikeOxon » Fri Aug 19, 2016 5:02 pm

'Far superior' is quite an exaggeration, Pauline. When I showed my wife yours and mine of the Painted Lady, she wasn't sure which was which. Other people's photos always seem more interesting than one's own, I find. Having said that, I could see you were suffering from the relative slowness of operation of your Lumix but then, I have the weight penalty when I use the long lens. It was a great trip and your help in finding the orchids was invaluable - thank you :D

Mike

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Neil Freeman
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Re: MikeOxon

Postby Neil Freeman » Fri Aug 19, 2016 6:17 pm

Hi Mike,

Great photos of the Painted Lady and Red Admiral(s). The past couple of years when I have been down at Durdle Door in Dorset in late August/early September, there have been loads of Autumn Lady's Tresses on the slopes above the famous rock arch.

Cheers,

Neil.

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MikeOxon
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Re: MikeOxon

Postby MikeOxon » Fri Aug 19, 2016 6:58 pm

Thank you, Neil, for the comments and the information about the orchids at Durdle Door. That's a wonderful coast-line, so any excuse for a visit is welcome.

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Neil Freeman
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Re: MikeOxon

Postby Neil Freeman » Fri Aug 19, 2016 9:08 pm

Yes, one of my favourite spots. If you do visit, look to the extreme right of the car park and there is a gate in the fence and a path across the higher slope. Follow this and you will come to another fence and a stile. Continue on this path and you will soon see Autumn Ladies Tresses. There are usually plenty of Graylings along here as well. Lower down the slope is a depression just above the lower path where I have seen Adonis blues and Clouded Yellows in the past two years. I also found a late Lulworth Skipper in that spot in early September last year.

Cheers,

Neil.

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Re: MikeOxon

Postby Wurzel » Sat Aug 20, 2016 9:04 pm

That is a cracking shot of the Painted Lady underside Mike, so sharp it looks like it's about to take off from the screen!

Have a goodun

Wurzel

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Re: MikeOxon

Postby MikeOxon » Sat Aug 20, 2016 10:14 pm

Thank you, Wurzel. I'm very pleased with the performance of that 100-400mm zoom lens which I bought fairly recently.

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Re: MikeOxon

Postby MikeOxon » Wed Aug 24, 2016 6:59 pm

Roman Road, Otmoor - 23rd August 2016

Another visit to the Roman Road on Otmoor showed how rapidly the vegetation changes with the coming of Autumn. On my previous visit, flowers were blooming in profusion but now, most of the colours had turned to brown and many of the tall plants had collapsed.

A male Brown Hairstreak was still finding nectar in some Blackberry flowers, although most of the plants were already forming fruits.

BrnHair1_2016.jpg
Otmoor, Oxon - 23rd August 2016
Olympus E-M1 with Leica 100-400mm lens - 1/640s@f/8 ISO800

BrnHair2_2016.jpg
Otmoor, Oxon - 23rd August 2016
Olympus E-M1 with Leica 100-400mm lens - 1/1000s@f/11 ISO800

I saw a female Brown Hairstreak, basking with open wings in an Oak Tree, but she flew out of sight before I had a chance to take her photo.

Later, I watched a tussle for possession of a thistle head, between a Green-veined White and a Hoverfly - the butterfly initially flew off when disturbed but then made a second attempt and, this time, the two insects managed to achieve peaceful co-existence:

Confrontation.jpg
Otmoor, Oxon - 23rd August 2016
Olympus E-M1 with Leica 100-400mm lens - 1/1250s@f/11 ISO800

Further along the ride, a very fresh-looking Speckled Wood showed unusually bright Peacock colours in the hairs around its body:

SpeckWood_2016.jpg
Otmoor, Oxon - 23rd August 2016
Olympus E-M1 with Leica 100-400mm lens - 1/640s@f/8 ISO800

I completed my walk with a photo of that rarely photographed species (!), the Large White. The soft evening light made it reasonably easy to capture the details on its white wings:

LgeWhite_2016.jpg
Otmoor, Oxon - 23rd August 2016
Olympus E-M1 with Leica 100-400mm lens - 1/320s@f/6.3 ISO800


Mike

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Wurzel
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Re: MikeOxon

Postby Wurzel » Thu Aug 25, 2016 9:39 pm

Really like the second Brostreak shot Mike, there's a whole palette of oranges you've brought out there :D

Have a goodun

Wurzel

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MikeOxon
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Re: MikeOxon

Postby MikeOxon » Thu Aug 25, 2016 9:55 pm

It's always nice to receive your comments, Wurzel. Those first two shots show the difference that lighting makes. In the first, the wings were in shadow and I had to lighten them quite bit in post-processing. The butterfly was turning constantly and some shots were impossible, with half the wing in sun and half in shadow but, eventually, he showed his true colours in the sunlight! Patience required, as always :)

In fact, my favourite shot from this trip is the Speckled Wood, which shows such vivid colours around the body.

Mike

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Re: MikeOxon

Postby jonhd » Thu Aug 25, 2016 10:55 pm

Quickie question, Mike (better suited to the Photography section, I guess)... You have a E-M5 MkI, do you not? What's the focus acquisition performance like, compared to the E-M1 (with the Panny Leica 100-400). I have the E-M5 MkII, and find close shots (from the 1.3m [?] limit, to 3m or so) pretty iffy, at times. Even in good light, it just refuses to focus on the 'fly. Sometimes, twiddling the Panny's manual focus ring can kick it into working (I use "S-AF + MF" mode, with spot focus [and Face Detection, etc. off]). Am using the Panny's IS, with the IBIS off - and hand-holding, using that big tripod shoe as the primary grip.
I wondered whether the E-M1's contrast detection focussing makes a big difference...

Cheers, Jon

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MikeOxon
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Re: MikeOxon

Postby MikeOxon » Thu Aug 25, 2016 11:33 pm

Hi Jon - good question. So far, I haven't tried the 100-400 on my E-M5, which I keep as a backup. Close focus can be tricky, however, even with the E-M1, especially if there is background clutter to distract the AF sensing.

I used to have to give a 'helping hand' sometimes to my Nikon 300mm f/4 in similar situations, so suspect this is a common problem. My Olympus 60mm macro has switch-able focus ranges, to minimise the 'problem' but, in practice, I find the 'helping hand' is quicker!

You've prompted me to try some comparative tests with my two bodies - I'll let you know the outcome.

Mike

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Re: MikeOxon

Postby Pauline » Fri Aug 26, 2016 5:44 am

I couldn't have put it better myself Wurzel. I, too love that shot - very Autumnal and the combination of orange and browns really add to the photo. I have been wanting one like this myself for several years now :mrgreen:

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Re: MikeOxon

Postby MikeOxon » Fri Aug 26, 2016 12:49 pm

Very nice comment from a prize-winning photographer, Pauline :D

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Re: MikeOxon

Postby jonhd » Fri Aug 26, 2016 9:32 pm

MikeOxon wrote:...Close focus can be tricky, however, even with the E-M1, especially if there is background clutter to distract the AF sensing....

Yes, that's the typical circumstance (cluttered background), Mike. Would be interested to hear your deliberations (comparing E-M5 [Contrast detect focus] with E-M1 [Contrast & Phase detect focus]).

Cheers, Jon

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Re: MikeOxon

Postby MikeOxon » Fri Aug 26, 2016 10:45 pm

Aston Rowant NNR - 26th August 2016

Another hot and sunny day prompted a return visit to the South-facing slope at Aston Rowant NNR. This time, my objective was the Adonis Blue, which I found along the earthworks around the lower part of Beacon Hill. I always get a buzz from that first glimpse of the intense electric-blue colour of the males, far outshining their Common Blue cousins.

AR_Adonis1_2016.jpg
Aston Rowant NNR, Oxon - 26th August 2016
Olympus E-M1 with Leica 100-400mm lens - 1/1600s@f/11 ISO 640

I was pleased to realise a wish I've had for many years - to capture both Common and Adonis Blues in the same photo. An area of flowers was proving a magnet to both species and, eventually, two shared the same flower head and I managed to capture them in (momentarily) identical poses! It's a pity that the Common Blue was somewhat frayed around the edges but the key differences in colouration are very obvious (Adonis on the left):

AR_Blues2016.jpg
Aston Rowant NNR, Oxon - 26th August 2016
Olympus E-M1 with Leica 100-400mm lens - 1/1250s@f/9 ISO 640

A little later the same two butterflies gave a repeat performance, this time showing their undersides. Now, the Adonis is on the right:

AR_Blues-uns2016.jpg
Aston Rowant NNR, Oxon - 26th August 2016
Olympus E-M1 with Leica 100-400mm lens - 1/2000s@f/9 ISO 640

It was hard to tear myself away from the display of all those keenly-nectaring butterflies. Most of the time, they kept their wings closed and then, suddenly, there would be a vivid flash, as one of the Adonis males moved rapidly to another flower-head. I tried to take in-flight shots during these moments but, even with a shutter speed of 1/1600s, I only got blurred results - they are very rapid flyers!

Just as I turned away from all these Blues, I spotted a Clouded Yellow, hotly pursued by a White. The White turned away and the Clouded Yellow seemed to dive into the grasses, some distance away, but I found nothing when I combed the area.

A little later, my wife, who's a much better 'spotter' than I am, noticed an unusual Small Tortoiseshell, with almost uniform red-amber colouring, without the usual yellow areas.

AR_SmTortAb2016.jpg
Aston Rowant NNR, Oxon - 26th August 2016
Olympus E-M1 with Leica 100-400mm lens - 1/1600s@f/11 ISO 640

Small Whites were especially abundant, so I took a few photos to compare with the Large White, which I showed in a previous post. The quite strong yellow colour of the undersides was very noticeable:

AR_SmWhite2016.jpg
Aston Rowant NNR, Oxon - 26th August 2016
Olympus E-M1 with Leica 100-400mm lens - 1/2500s@f/11 ISO 800

There were still quite a few Silver-spotted Skippers to be seen, although numbers were well down, compared with my earlier visit. Brown Argus and Meadow Browns were still widely distributed, and there were a few Chalkhill Blues, mostly looking well worn.

Mike

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MikeOxon
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Re: MikeOxon

Postby MikeOxon » Sat Aug 27, 2016 3:22 pm

jonhd wrote:Yes, that's the typical circumstance (cluttered background), Mike. Would be interested to hear your deliberations (comparing E-M5 [Contrast detect focus] with E-M1 [Contrast & Phase detect focus]).


Since it's a wet afternoon, I did a quick comparison, by mounting the 100-400 lens on a tripod in front of my computer screen (with a butterfly image on the screen :) ). I could then change cameras, without moving the lens and tripod.

With the E-M1 and the lens positioned close to the minimum distance at which MF could be achieved, autofocus was rapid. I deliberately moved the MF to infinity and tried again. The focus overshot slightly and then locked on, still pretty quickly.

With the E-M5 Mk 1, it was very different. The lens, which was in exactly the same position, was very reluctant to focus and hunted back and forth before stopping with a slightly out-of-focus image and the green AF indicator flashing. I had to use MF to get a sharp image. Pressing AF then held the image but, if I threw it out of focus again, it would not re-capture.

My conclusion is that there are substantial differences in the AF capability of these two cameras. I have no idea, of course, how the E-M5 Mk2 might perform. It's difficult to find out how the E-M1 uses phase detection. Some reports suggest it only comes into play when using legacy non-micro 4/3 lenses or when using Tracking C-AF, where it is used to tell the lens which way to follow the subject. In my experiments, I was using my usual S-AF/MF mode. Regarding stabilisation (which was not needed for these tripod tests): on the E-M1, I usually set IS-auto on the camera and the lens IS then operates correctly. On the E-M5, I have to switch off the IBIS, when using lens IS.

From these tests, I suspect that using the E-M5 Mk 1 with this lens in the field might be tricky. I shall try it when conditions permit.

Hope this helps,
Mike

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Re: MikeOxon

Postby jonhd » Sat Aug 27, 2016 8:16 pm

Great stuff, Mike - and such a rapid report!

MikeOxon wrote:Since it's a wet afternoon, I did a quick comparison, by mounting the 100-400 lens on a tripod in front of my computer screen (with a butterfly image on the screen :) ). I could then change cameras, without moving the lens and tripod.

I'd say that is considerably less taxing than real life ('fly on screen is 2-D; 'fly in real life is 3-D). Presumably there was also some screen real-estate around the 'fly (i.e. in the same plane), whereas in real life, distant objects abut the 'fly.
And, all of that said, you experienced considerably different behaviour (between the 2 cameras, with the 100-400 lens). Blimey! Makes you wonder...
MikeOxon wrote: It's difficult to find out how the E-M1 uses phase detection. Some reports suggest it only comes into play when using legacy non-micro 4/3 lenses or when using Tracking C-AF, where it is used to tell the lens which way to follow the subject.

What do manufacturers (such as Oly) do to 'cripple' the AF performance - which algorithms do they disable - of the cheaper cameras?!
I might repeat your test, with my E-M5 II, and my 'old' E-M10...

Thanks Mike, Jon

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Re: MikeOxon

Postby millerd » Sat Aug 27, 2016 8:40 pm

The juxtaposed Common and Adonis Blues make a great photo, Mike. I know the wear is different, but when together, you cannot mistake one for the other. I'm glad they are finally out up there too - I must pay another visit. I also like the unusual Tortoiseshell. It really is quite striking without any yellow on it. :)

Dave

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Re: MikeOxon

Postby MikeOxon » Sat Aug 27, 2016 10:23 pm

millerd wrote:The juxtaposed Common and Adonis Blues make a great photo, Mike. I know the wear is different, but when together, you cannot mistake one for the other. I'm glad they are finally out up there too - I must pay another visit. I also like the unusual Tortoiseshell. It really is quite striking without any yellow on it.

Yes, I was very pleased to get the two together as it's something I've wanted to do for a very long time. Even better that the wings were at the same angles in the same lighting! Next time, I'll hope for a fresher Common Blue :)

As I mentioned, it was my wife who drew attention to the Tort. We were trying to think what was different about it and then saw a 'normal' one, which provided the answer!

I hope you manage to fit in another visit - I think AR is at its best towards the end of the season, and you may find an elusive Clouded Yellow.

Mike

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Neil Freeman
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Re: MikeOxon

Postby Neil Freeman » Sun Aug 28, 2016 9:28 am

Hi Mike,

Great reports and photos from Aston Rowant, a favourite site and one I haven't managed to get down to this year. I particularly like the 'red' Small Tortoiseshell, a nice find :D

Cheers,

Neil.


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