Getting even closer: Tamron’s new 14-150mm “all-in-one” zoom lens

I’ve been enjoying the very useful range of Tamron’s new lens (their first release for the micro four-thirds format). With a compact sensor size, the effective focal range is 28-300mm, which covers a great deal of ground for all-around nature photography.

DRB M4/3 Macro Kit

Olympus PEN E-PL2 micro-four thirds camera, Tamron 14-150mm all-in-one zoom lens, Meike P-AF3B extension tubes, Olympus MAL-1 macro lights.

I had found an $23.50 eBay open box special for extension tubes that would mount to my Olympus PEN E-PL2 body (or any m4/3 body for that matter). The Meike Macro DG Extension Tube Set MK-P-AF3B fits between my PEN camera and any lens with the 4/3 mount whilst retaining full control of autofocus and aperture controls. I believe the Meike brand is an import and re-branded as Neewer when sold directly in the USA.

As you can see in my above Instagram photo, along with the extension tubes and Tamron’s 14-150mm lens, I also have Olympus’s MAL-1 flexible macro light arms mounted for the ability to illuminate subjects very close to the lens.

Wood Frog and Tamron Lens.

This photo will give you a better idea of the size of the small frog I was photographing.

Below is an uncropped resultant photo from my PEN camera of the juvenile Wood Frog (Lithobates sylvaticus). By adding extension tubes to an already close-focusing and high quality lens I now have the ability to fill the frame with subjects not much bigger than a Lego.

Wood Frog

A young diminutive amphibian of damp forests.

The Making of a Photo: Banded Hairstreak


A small Banded Hairstreak Butterfly hiding in a conifer.

90mm, VC ON, handheld, ISO 400, 1/100 F/3.2

Long time, no post!

I thought some people might be interested in my thought process on this somewhat unconventional macro photograph. This is a handheld shot with one of my basic setups, the Tamron SP 90mm VC F/2.8 lens and my Canon EOS 60D. Initially, this small butterfly was nectaring on a good-looking flower out in the open, which seemed like an opportune moment to snap some shots. Upon my approach, it flew into this small coniferous tree and remained there for quite a while.

The two most common approaches I take when photographing a butterfly are a profiling photo (ventral view) or a top-down view (dorsal view). When photographing a winged insect in either one of these manners, it often emphasizes the colors and patterns throughout the wings. Not necessarily easy shots to take when trying to fill the frame with a tiny flighty critter.

Obviously, in my Banded Hairstreak photo at the top of this page, neither of these angles are really possible. For me, situational photography is often a matter of problem-solving, like a rubik’s cube of sorts. I recognized the situation to make what I would call a “hiding” or “peak-a-boo” shot”. I decided I would limit the depth-of-field so that the green needles would have a soft and melty feel. I also wanted to get the butterfly’s face as close to the camera as possible for subject emphasis. Handholding a DSLR in a lowlight situation and dealing with wind to get critical focus near 1:1 magnification is also a challenge. Out of about 30 frames of this exact shot, I walked away with 1 photo that I felt was sharp enough.