going out with MP-E

January 2nd, 2016 Cosmin Manci

Going out and taking photos with the lens Canon EOS MP-E 65 is not the easiest thing to do. And to have good results you need to have good light (light that usually come from a flash). No problem to put a flash there and just push a button but normally you get something burnt, or something with a very strong shadow. My quest (and everyone else) was to have a easier to use diffuser in the field, probably tried until now at least 20 recipes and without very good results. Browsing the internet you can find a tons of variants of diffuser mainly builded around the flash solution you have. As I’m limited economically used one of the cheapest flash from Canon. But I will say is a great one, very small and very, and with enough power to put light on your subject (in fact is a flash unit used by many many photographers). The thing that I don’t like is the very slow recharging rate. But one day MT-EX24 will be mine 🙂 and will change everything .

Soon I will do a dream trip now I decided that is the moment to do something as there will not be the moment to just try, time is short and for sure a lot of subject will be there.

This is the prototype of diffuser that ended today and the 6 photos that I have done out before freezing myself.


orchids but not only, 12.may.2015

May 14th, 2015 Cosmin Manci

Having some things to do in Iasi but that asked for relatively little time we decided to take a short walk also to Bârnova forest to see an impressive orchid and maybe to take some photos too … done and done.

Reached there, found the place but because of the  wind we (me, my wife Gabriela and David) just wandered a little before starting to take photos and in this time David started to give some advice about how to take photos… David hope that you are content with results of your work 🙂 . Proof in the next photos taken by Gabriela with phone.

David showing what and how to photo :) up and down

Four species of orchids were found and few photos can be seen here. More photos can be seen at the page of each species, linked at each name.
Sword-leaved Helleborine – Cephalanthera longifolia

Cephalanthera longifolia Cephalanthera longifolia

An almost invisible orchid in the green of forest European Common Twayblade – Neottia ovata (=Listera ovata)

Neottia ovata Neottia ovata

The Lady Orchid – Orchis purpurea … a species that I have found a lot this year in the area but not seen it until now !!!

Orchis purpurea Orchis purpurea

And last one, target of the day the only one, the amazing one … Lady’s-slipper Orchid – Cypripedium calceolus !!!!!

Cypripedium calceolus Cypripedium calceolus

Off course that also looked after some insects but in that small amount of time not much to be found but still, a nice female of Saturnia pyri was on a branch and an anthribid, Platystomos albinus on a tree.

Saturnia pyri Platystomos albinus

That is all for now !!!

forest, steppe, anthropic areas – 11.may.2015

May 12th, 2015 Cosmin Manci

Yesterday, 11.may.2015, my wife took me, Alexandru and Roxana with the car and left us in the forest and from there to return at home on foot … in total cca 12 km of walking… see track from GoogleEarth.

track from 11.may.2015

All nice, in the forest, not very strong wind, relatively warm and looked to be more warm… even hot. And after around 20 minutes when the first opportunity to take some photo arrived mounted the tripod, set everything, click and … no memory card !!!!! 🙁 Made a day of gym with almost 10 kilograms of useless photo equipment… not my plans 🙁 .

Because found some nice subjects and without the possibility of doing photo there decided to take them at home and to take later photos… here are some of the photos taken.

Some Lepidoptera, not only adults 🙂 . Maybe someone can help to properly ID the tortricid species and those larvae? The Coenonympha larva is likely Coenonympha pamphilus, the only species that I have seen around for now, so maybe is possible to have a conformation/or not of that.

Phlogophora meticulosa Macrothylacia rubi, eggs Olethreutes sp. Eupsilia transversa Coenonympha sp.

And some Coleoptera, this time all member of Buprestidae family. Not yet properly identified the Trachys and Dicerca specimens, will come back on them or maybe somebody better than me can offer a faster name 🙂 . Trachys was collected on Fragaria si probably it is Trachys fragariae.

Dicerca berolinensis Trachys sp. Perotis lugubris Capnodis tenebrionis

Thanks to: Nikola Rahme – Hungary for the name of Dicerca species, Carol Bere – Romania for the name of the Noctuidae larva …

That is all 🙂 !!!

another day near house, 4.may.2015

May 5th, 2015 Cosmin Manci

Ended (just a way to say … never will end with work here 🙂 ) with home things and decided one more time (for sure will be many more times 🙂 ) to do another trip in the forest near house (this time I checked and is something like 5 km away from house)… you can see on the “map” where I have been (blue line).


This time I have used only the gear 7D with Sigma 150 and a lot the tripod (sorry for quality … from phone). Flash in general was used just as a fill and because of the wind (even if not strong) a big procent of photos headed in recycle bib direction.

4.may.2015, setup

Here it is what I got … still the flash light is too strong 🙁 … need to do more experiments and tryouts.

Some plants … a name for Asparagus species is appreciated (got it, Asparagus tenuifolius, thanks Paul). Finding here Orchis purpurea was amazing for me, maybe will reach the place again in 2-3 days so I can make some in full bloom photos. And flowers of warted spindle tree even if small are very nice.

Asparagus tenuifolius Allium ursinum Convallaria majalis Orchis purpurea Euonymus verrucosus

And some invertebrates …

Misumenops tricuspidatus Agapanthia sp. Rhagium sycophanta Elateridae sp Cantharis rustica Platycerus caraboides Coraeus marginatus Eysarcoris fabricii Pyrgus malvae Erynnis tages Anthocharis cardamines Cauchas rufimitrella Tanyptera atrata

And for ending … a nice female of Lacerta viridis.

Lacerta viridis

Like always I’m more than happy to receive name for what I have photographed and is not named yet or named wrongly.

Thanks to: Pjotr Oosterbroek for the name of the tipulid (Tanyptera atrata), Fabrizio Fanti for Cantharis rustica, Paul-Marian Szatmari for Asparagus tenuifolius, …

near home – 2.may.2015

May 3rd, 2015 Cosmin Manci

At a point I needed to restart writing here so here it is.

Yesterday done a short walk out mainly with the aim to test a diffuser for photos taken in nature … preparing for Morocco expedition and there I can’t go on trying (maybe it is only chance for me to go there, even I hope to repeat the experience later).

Even if the weather was bad … light rain … all (me, wife and baby) in car so we can get closer to the forest faster.

We started with a walk in the forest but only few subjects found and in those condition made first in nature shots with the new setup. For this was used Canon MP-E and more or less also the tripod. First photo taken was just a ghost 🙂 . And after that unsuccessful one next ones were better but I still find the shadows there too strong … will have to solve that somehow.

Orsodacne sp., Comarna (IS), 2.may.2015 Curculio sp., Comarna (IS), 2.may.2015 Pyrrhocoris apterus, Comarna (IS), 2.may.2015 Pyrrhocoris apterus Aranaeus sp. Oedemera sp. Anthaxia signaticollis Cantharidae sp. Volinus sticticus Gastrophysa viridula Sitophilus sp.

All next photos were done using Sigma 150 mm lens and tripod, time used for photos was too long to do it from hand, not enough natural light.
I was amaze of sleeping position of Erynnis tages, so much that when found first specimen believed that is a dead one and I looked for the guilty spider and on my surprise the butterfly just got a normal position and was on wing, slowly because of temperature but on wings.

Erynnis tages Erynnis tages Erynnis tages

In fact all butterflies seen except few specimens of Leptidea sinapis (probably), were on sleep position waiting for better weather and higher temperature/sun. But I was content to find also a male of Zerynthia polyxena, species that was on my target for the day.

Zerynthia polyxena Zerynthia polyxena Boloria dia Boloria dia Boloria dia Boloria dia

To see the difference (specially for a bad use of flash), natural light and full-flash see this photo, no modification at all, just converted from RAW, made one from two and resize for posting here:

Erynnis tages, flash/no flash

Don’t bother too much with colors, in the end is more or less the same one but saturated or unsaturated one, but see the background and strong shadow on the one with flash.

– more tests needed
– I need a small flash light to light the specimens, very hard to focus on something with Canon MP-E
– more tests needed 🙂

PS – any help with identification is welcome