50mm + PK-13 = Backyard Adventures

I’m back home!  Yay!  Since coming home from my 2nd trip to Brazil, I picked up a Nikon PK-13 27.5mm extension tube. Without making this a technical blog, all this does is make my standard 50mm lens function like a macro lens. The tube goes between the lens and the camera and it allows you to focus much closer so you can fill the frame with smaller subjects like bugs and flowers.

Wandering around the yard, my kids and I found all sorts of tiny things to photograph.  This baby grasshopper looked neat sitting on these blades of long grass.

D600 - DSC_2396-edit-small

We have an abundance of Crepe Myrtles around the property.  I never really looked closely at the tiny flowers on the tree to see just how intricate they are.  One of the kids said the little green things (the anthers I think) looked like shower heads.

D600 - DSC_2461-edit-small

A Crepe Myrtle flower bud that is about to flower.D600 - DSC_2401-edit-small


A macro lens opens up a whole world of detail and activity in places you never before noticed.  I didn’t realize the violence that took place in my own backyard.  Amidst the beautiful boughs and leaves of my Bradford Pear, this wasp-looking insect was attacking a poor, defenseless caterpillar.  It would crawl up to it and stab the side of the caterpillar with its stinger.  It started at one end and over the course of about ten minutes worked its way up to the head.  By the time it had reached the head, the caterpillar had almost completely lost the ability to move.  It was spitting up some thick green goo in reaction to the stings.  I felt really bad just watching this all happen, like I should have swatted the bug away, but this is nature and it can often times be rather brutal in the way it remains balanced.

D600 - DSC_2417-edit-small


Here you can actually see the wasp-thing stab the caterpillar up by its head.D600 - DSC_2433-edit-small

Well enough macro violence for one day.  Scroll back up to the flowers and then close the web page.  Happy thoughts…


Technical details:

Photos were shot with a Nikon D600 body with a Nikon 50mm f/1.4 mounted to a Nikon PK-13 27.5mm extension tube.  This results in a reproduction ratio of 1:1.5.  I used the on-board flash for lighting.

2 thoughts on “50mm + PK-13 = Backyard Adventures

  1. Of course you HAD to show the gross pictures- after all those beautiful flower pic’s….
    Seriously, macro will open up a whole new world for your expertise!


  2. At least I didn’t try to narrate the action like Attenborough. 🙂

    I’m working on a fiber optic flash extender that will attach to the pop-up flash and split the light into two adjustable arms down near the lens. Hopefully this will give me better light control without all the bulk of a multi-flash setup. I’ll post pics if it turns out not being something terribly shameful and miserable.


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