Rippon Lea is part of the National Trust. I joined the National Trust for two reason really, one, so I wouldn’t have to pay entry into place like Rippon Lea and secondly, to support them. It is great that we have places like Rippon Lea that we can go and visit. We no longer have to “apply to the housekeeper” and anyone can go. Back on track, I went there the other day with my friend so we could try out our macro lenses. She has just purchased one, and I had the one that Nikon had lent me, the 40mm Micro DX lens.
One of the best things about going to Rippon Lea are the gardens. It seemed like the perfect place to try out the macro. So every shot in this post is done with the macro. A macro can be used for normal images too. I took my Nikon D300s with me this time because I didn’t want the cropped frame of the DX to keep confusing me. It was also nice to use the D300s again, I haven’t used them since I got the D800.
Just quickly the above image is a HDR done with Photomatix Pro. I don’t know if I told you that I accidentally deleted it from my computer, so I had to get a new copy. I was very happy to find that there is a new version out, I don’t know how long it has been out for, but regardless, so I thought I would try it with this image. Not a great image, but I don’t know if it was the image, the software or the lens. I suspect it might really have been the photographer.
When we were coming in we were asked if we would like to do a tour of the place, inside, and since it was in ten minutes we decided why not.
The inside is very nice and decorated extravagantly, the biggest problem was the light, there wasn’t much of it. I didn’t want to turn the ISO up too much on the D300s, too much noise, so I end up with a lot of blurry images. A tripod would have been nice, but it wasn’t allowed, I assume, so I settled for the small things.
There were little things set up every where and I just concentrated on some of those. Wasn’t always easy because of the light, but you do what you can. It is nice to have a lens that can go right up to things, but I am still struggling with the macro. I did what people said, closed the aperture down, used manual focusing, but it was still very hard.
After the tour we headed out to the gardens and explored with our cameras. I didn’t think I would be able to get bees with this lens, because of how close I had to be, but it was nice to find one that didn’t seem to care that I was hovering around.
I did manage to get some images that I liked, but it was a struggle. I found the auto focus very hard, my eyesight is not great, and so I turned the auto focus back on. I like that the with Nikon D300s and the D800 that I can move the spot around in the viewfinder for focusing, and so I found it much easier to move the spot to what I wanted focused and doing it that way. I seemed to get a lot more hits when I did that.
Last weekend my students were trying out the macro, it was great for them to see how the macro works, and it has been great for me too. I really thought, oh I will get one and then done, lots of macro shot. I see some images on the internet that are so good, and I wonder how they did it. Maybe macro photography isn’t for me after all. I am going to have another shot at it before it goes back this week, but in all seriousness, I am not sure that I want to get one now. I am thinking of trying the extension tubes on my 50mm and seeing how I go with that, but I can’t justify spending so much money on something that would probably be just for fun.
Rippon Lea was the perfect spot for testing out the lens, it was a warm day, but they had plenty of flowers out. So I am going to share what I got with you now in a gallery. I better get ready for my class, portraits today, always a great class. Enjoy your weekend. I have visited Rippon Lea before, click here if you want to see the Weekend Wandering post I did on it.