Saturday, May 14, 2016

Testing – Tamron SP 90mm f/2.8 Di Macro VC USD (F017)

First of all I am not at all technical person / do not expect a very high end / technical review / testing of this lens. I am Tamron lover and using Tamron lenses since 1996 till date, and I love all my Tamron lenses from my bottom of heart. At the same time I am not a professional photographer so I do not have any access to many other lenses, so frankly I can not compare this lens with any other brand's macro lenses.  But at the same time I have used Tamron 90 mm Macro (Non VC version - Model 172E) for 6/7 years,  Tamron 180 mm Macro (Model B01) for more than 6 years and now using 90 mm VC macro (Mode F004) which is predecessor of this lens for nearly 3 years. I am pretty much happy with my 90 mm VC (F004) but when i got this new 90 mm VC (F017) which is more robust, beautifully designed with top class finishing and some superior and much needed features for real nature / wildlife photographers. 

Here are few key features of the new upgraded lens which is in SP series (Super Performance) :
  • Outstanding Depictive Capabilities and Anti-reflection Efficiency
  • Featuring VC with Shift Compensation
  • Optimally Tuned USD Actuator for Macro Photography with Manual Override for Instantaneous Focus Control
  • Moisture-Proof and Dust-Resistant Construction
  • Reduction in Flare and Ghosting: Superiority of eBAND Coating
  • Optimized for spectacular background blur effects (bokeh)
  • A durable Fluorine Coating on the front element repels water and fingerprints
  • Use of circular aperture to achieve beautiful, rounded blur effects (bokeh)
  • Compatibility with TAMRON TAP-in Console

Of course I have not tested for all the features, but the superior VC and faster Auto Focus even in low light is surely amazing. Here are few test shots using this lens

(All photos were clicked with Nikon D7100 DSLR body)

(Gulbakshi flower pollens - Mirabilis jalapa)
(f9,1/100, ISO 400, Aperture Priority, Handheld, No flash)

(f8,1/320, ISO 400, Aperture Priority, Handheld, No flash)

(f8,1/320, ISO 200, Aperture Priority, Handheld, No flash)

(f16,1/60, ISO 200, Aperture Priority, Handheld, Built in flash)

(f16,1/80, ISO 200, Aperture Priority, Handheld, Built in flash)

(Bee on Mango Flowers)
(f16,1/100, ISO 200, Aperture Priority, Handheld, Built in flash)

(f3.5,1/2000, ISO 200, Aperture Priority, Handheld, No flash)

(f14,1/125, ISO 200, Aperture Priority, Handheld, No flash)

(f18,1/80, ISO 200, Aperture Priority, Handheld, Built in flash)

(f14,1/160, ISO 200, Aperture Priority, Handheld, No flash)

(f14,1/800, ISO 200, Aperture Priority, Handheld, Built in flash)

(Scale Insect on Rose Leaf - heavily cropped)
(f13,1/60, ISO 200, Aperture Priority, Handheld, Built in flash)

Soon monsoon will hit our forest and then there will be blooming on wild flora and many tiny & colorful beasts will appear. So I will post some additional images from real / wild places like Yeoor, Nagla, Matheran, Phansad, Goa or Amboli. This particular macro lens was given by Tamron, India so there were lots of restrictions on testing in wild n outdoors. But I think soon I will buy one for me personally along with Nikon D500 and the I will upload few more stunning shots.... till then keep connected .... and keep commenting.

Yuwaraj Gurjar

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Molting: Fresh skin every time.

All insects have segmented bodies made up of many small sections. Insects have three major body divisions, the head, thorax and abdomen. Mouthparts, eyes and antennae are found on the head, while legs and wings grow from the thorax. In some insects these body divisions are easy to see. In others they are not so separate. The antennae, which are often long and carry sense organs for touch and smell. The head also has the usually large compound eyes and some ocelli or simple eyes. The head carries several pairs of mouthparts, which are very important in distinguishing the insect order. Some are adapted for biting, with two mandibles, and some are modified to form a tube for sucking the liquid food. The thorax has legs and wings. The legs have spines and claws. The thorax carries a pair of wings. The wings are often colored and may have hairs or scales.

The outer covering of the insect is strengthened on all or some parts of the body by a hard cuticle, which protects the body, gives it a shape and as an external skeleton or exoskeleton provides a fixture for the soft body parts. This strengthened skin or cuticle consists of chitin and sclerotin. These two substances together form a very hard and resistant, but very light structure which in the course of evolution has served a variety of functions. Finally the cuticle is covered by a waxy layer, which acts as water repellant. 

This very resistant and powerful form of skin has, however, one great disadvantage. Once formed it can not be altered, that is, it can no longer grow. As the rest of the insect’s body grows, a new skin begins to form under the old one. When the insect molts, the old skin splits and the insect crawls out. The soft, new exoskeleton expands at first just like elastic, but once it has dried and hardened, it will not grow any longer. Some newly molted insects eat their old skins, other just leave them behind.

Yuwaraj Gurjar.

Giraffe Weevil.

This is an unusual beetle found in Yeoor hills (Sanjay Gandhi National Park, India) called “Giraffe Weevil”. It is called as giraffe as its abnormal long neck. It is very tiny insect just less than one centimeter, but very colorful and active. Its flight was also very funny and wobbling.

These are types of beetles known as weevils or snout beetles or elephant beetles due to their long mouth parts. These weevils are minute to large species as much as three inches. One of the commonest weevils we can easily find in our wheat grains. Many of this species are wingless but many others fly well. Males and females are usually similar in appearance. In some species male can be easily distinguished by the form of the snout, forelegs or antennae. The legs are moderately long for walking.

Normally these weevils lay eggs on the plants or inside the plants. But this particular species prepare cases of green leaf. First the leaf is cut across near the base, the cut reaching to the midrib or crossing the midrib from one margin only. Then it is folded vertically and the tips rolled in; an egg is then laid and the rolling process continues till the leaf, up to the cut. This forms a compact cylindrical roll with the egg deposited in the centre. No silk or gum is used and the insect works with legs and jaws in folding and packing the leaf. The roll is left hanging to the remainder of the leaf, the egg hatches and the grub feed on the leaf inside the roll. The roll subsequently dries and falls off with the pupa inside. August / September are the perfect month to observe these rolls and the adult insects in our forests.

As a defense mechanism, weevils have the habit of “shamming dead” when disturbed, the legs and antennae get folded close to the body and the insect drops to the ground. It is very difficult to find the insect in the thick vegetation.

Yuwaraj Gurjar.