Dragonfly Closeup With Telephoto lenses

The Featured Image is a closeup image of a male Blue Dasher Dragonfly resting on a stem. Image taken with a 400mm Canon DO lens with extension tubes to get closer focusing on the small subject Blue Dasher dragonfly but taken from a distance away. I found that using longer lenses with extension tubes for close focusing works well on these skittish dragonflies instead of macro lenses. You have a much longer working distance so your subject dragonfly does not get nervous & fly off giving you more time for shooting a variety of angles & compositions of images. And a bonus of using a 400mm lens or 300mm lens with extension tubes is you get very clean smooth blurred backgrounds. You can also add a 1.4x or 2x teleconverter for more working distance and even smoother backgrounds.

16 Comments on “Dragonfly Closeup With Telephoto lenses

  1. I’ve been shooting insects with my 180 and doubler when I can get close and the 100-400 and doubler from far away. When in the yard I use my old 40D (I just ordered a 7D Mark II to replace it) and 100 macro with a twin flash. These are two nice ode images, Reed.

    • Thanks so much Steve! They are fun photo subjects! Can not wait to see your images from your new 7D MkII! My old 7D is still one of my favorite cameras to use (I like the image “crop” factor) but I will probably upgrade soon to the newer one.

  2. While fishing at a couple canals, I became fascinated with dragonflies and related insects. I was amazed how they begin life, how they survive in those canals and other ponds/lakes. On land, how they fly better than many helicopter pilots, finding food on the fly.

    • Yes, they are very interesting insects! Plus they are fun to photograph! Lots of types of dragonflies and male & females look different so you have a very wide assortment of dragonflies to photograph!!

    • Yes, it comes in handy when you want to get a closer image with a telephoto lens when your subject is too close to photograph because the lens cannot focus on a subject that close. Plus I like the softer blurred backgrounds!

    • No, not really. For longer lenses you might have to just stop down a little. Once you do a few you get a “feel” for doing these. Or shoot a series wide open and do a selected areas focus stacked series and blend them in Photoshop, but that means the subject has to not move! I have used this technique with my 800mm lens with & without teleconverters.

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