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Popular Hawkmoth Compare and Contrast

Popular Hawkmoth Compare and Contrast
Photo Information
Copyright: Robert Brown (Robbrown) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1184 W: 88 N: 2160] (6106)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2006-07-08
Categories: Insects
Camera: Nikon D200, Nikon AF-S DX Zoom 18-70mm F3.5~4.5, Digital ISO 200
Exposure: f/16, 1/25 seconds
Details: Tripod: Yes
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version, Workshop
Date Submitted: 2006-07-10 13:28
Viewed: 8599
Points: 16
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Time to post another image for you all to look and comment on please.
These 2 images are the same moth taken with different cameras. this was done deliberatly so you could compare and contrast the 2 cameras.
Image "A" is with the New Nikon D200 using the Nikon 18-70. (You can read the shooting details in the normal list)
Image "B" is with my Old Sony DSC F707 with its 9.7 - 48.5. (You can veiw the shooting details by clicking on Veiw and looking at the Exif Data)
Both images were imported into PS2 and cropped to an identical size of 28.22 X 21cm @360ppi.
Both images have had Shadows and highlights applied to bring up some of the BG details, as they were taken in a shady place on the trunk of a Newzeland Tree Fern in one of my green house where it had come to rest for the day.
The burn tool to the front legs to darken a fraction.
Sharpen both images seperatly.
Enlarge canvass of image "B" and paste image "A" onto it. Recropped to get the image down to the TN maximum of 800pixels tall at 72ppi.
Used Save as to preseve the Exif data from the base image (Sony) so you can see what I shot both at.
I have made no atempt to Adjust the colours of either image, the D200 was set to WB for shade and the sony was left to make its own choice, and to be honest for me the bottom images are closer to the original.

Popular Hawkmoth (Laothoe populi)
A large moth with a wing span of 60 - 92mm, this female is at the top end of this, you can tell it is female by the bulging pointed abdomen , where the males is a more straight forward cylinder with a blunt end.
Note that this moth tends to rest with its bottom wings forward of the top front wings which when it is hanging from a twig makes it look more like a dead leaf.
Has an annual life cycle (1year) over winters in the ground as a pupa at the base of the food plants Popular and the related Willow Trees emerging from the ground May - June and in cooler places even August.
the large caterpillars can be found from June onwards til September and even later in warm years before they crwal down to ground level and find an area of loose soil and leaf litter at the base in which to pupate and change over winter.
my books tell me this is the commonest of the Hawkmoths in the UK and must admit it is the one I have seen most often.
Hope you like and find plenty to comment about ;0)))

phlr, Fisher, extramundi, Aramok, aido, AdrianW, red45, sandpiper2 has marked this note useful
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ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
To AdrianW: Focusing in frontRobbrown 3 07-20 18:03
To aido: Thanks for taking the timeRobbrown 2 07-10 18:08
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Critiques [Translate]

  • Fisher Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1540 W: 309 N: 2234] (8915)
  • [2006-07-10 13:53]

Hi Rob,

It's just a kit lens, ;(

#1 like the 5D, you need the Nikon top lenses with the D200
The 5D needs the L series lenses to perform well. I don't know what the Nikon ones are called.
The tones from the D200 are much nicer.
#2 as a new user to the DSLR, it takes abit of getting use to. Some patience required. You have a very nice cam, just give it a chance.
Do you have CS2 to work with? or Nikon's new program, highly recommended.


  • dew77 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4432 W: 248 N: 4028] (13270)
  • [2006-07-10 14:23]

Hello Robert,
I'm also a Nikon D200 user and very happy with my new choise:)
Your post consists of two macro images and compact cameras have advantage because of little sensors against DSLR.It's not easy to make two same shot with 1/25 and you should use a tripod for equitable comparison:)18-70mm is insufficent lens for macro shots.I think results would be very different if you choosed
ISO 400.For best results with D200 you should take images at RAW format.Have a great day!

Hello Robert, nice to meet you my friend.
I already have my own conclusions, now I see this I am more convinced.
The Sony F-717 F-707 are incldible cameras, and mine will go with my equipment, wherever the DSRL goes too.
In low lighting conditions are a pleasure to work with, they are confortable and reliable. For difficult placed subjects are just great. But in lanscapes they just dont work.
I am not sayind that the colour depth or quality is not better in DSLRs, what I say is that in macros, or near low light shots, they are incredibly reliable cams which produce very nice results.
I invite you to see THIS POST where I also make a comparison. Read the note.
Best regards, Felipe.

Hi Robert,
I love this moth, wonderful.
It's also interesting to see the shot with different cameras. The upper one (A) is warmer in the colours, the one down(B) has better contrast and I like this one (B) more. There's a nice blue glance on the wings, wonderful.
Thanks for sharing
Sabine - wishnugaruda

  • Great 
  • Aramok Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 896 W: 101 N: 1501] (5166)
  • [2006-07-10 15:45]


Still with B... much better and closer to what I remember them looking like. Great Moth thought, those pinks and oranges come out really well on the bottom image.

I still get better (really close) macro pictures from the powershot A700 than I do from my EOS 350D becuase I don't have the macro lens...but won't go anywhere without the EOS 350D... practice and maybe the RAW conversion has something to do with it...


  • Great 
  • aido Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor [C: 1044 W: 156 N: 1218] (4046)
  • [2006-07-10 15:56]
  • [+]

Hi Rob,
Firstly I should point out that your comparison is a little unfair :-) You've set the Sony to auto white balance but limited the Nikon by setting it manually, and then pointed out that the Sony has more accurate colours. Not surprising really. I never change my WB setting for that reason, it's always on auto as I figure the camera can work it out better than I can.

As for the lens, the 17-55 is a much better lens in that range but what you really need here is a dedicated macro lens.

What you've bought in the D200 is the ability to cope with every situation, which of course is dependent on you having the right lenses. If you want to take macro shots, you should have a good macro lens. The lens you have is a good all-rounder, not a specialist lens. It's a bit like an all-in-one printer, it's designed to be pretty good at most things but will never compete with a photo-quality printer for printing photos. It sounds to me that you've possibly made up your mind that you don't like the camera. As the others say, stick with it, it's a great camera. When my D2h gets past it's best-by-date I intend to replace it with a D200. The only reason I bought the D2x and not a D200 this time around is the speed which I need for motorsport and the extra megapixels because I like more :-)

I've taken a look around TN and there are some fantastic shots taken with the D200, albeit with different lenses (you're the only person who has posted to TN using the 18-70).

Have faith my friend, it's a great camera, but unfortunately as Mike says, you'll have to splash out on a good lens or two to release it's full potential.

And as Emma says, shoot RAW. You can change the WB anywhichway you want using Photoshop or Nikon Capture.


I know you're frustrated, but... It's impossible to determine any real differences in quality at this sort of size - I could resize the output from my old DC210 and my Canon EOS 10D, and after a bit of processing you probably wouldn't be able to tell at this size - now when you print them, then you'll know ;)

I've already mentioned that the Sony will use higher sharpening settings than the Nikon by default, so if you're unhappy with the sharpness - bump up the sharpness settings in camera. Or, far better, shoot RAW - then you can twiddle things afterwards.

As several of the others have already mentioned - the kit lens isn't going to perform as well as that on the Sony anyway, particularly not for macro work.

Send me a RAW file you'd like processed, and I'll post you a Workshop on it. First up I'll see what I can do with CS2, and then I'll download and install RawShooter (I didn't like it last time I tried it), and give you instructions for that.

Incidentally, have a look at the Workshop I've just posted - see what you think now ;)

Also, as a matter of interest - do all your lenses seem to front focus? If so, it's either your eyesight, or the dioptre setting on the camera that need work...

Lovely capture though :D

  • Great 
  • red45 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2636 W: 74 N: 9091] (31094)
  • [2006-07-11 3:24]

Hi Robert!
Looks like taking photos with dSLR isn't easy :-) At first look I thought that picture from your old Sony looks better. As someone said - more natural. But I think D200 is a lot better, probably need more practising :-) Anyway - very usefull presentation, extremally interesting subject and good note.

Well I think you succeeded in generating plenty of discussion. Its ages since I've seen such long critiques by several people.
I think its a great comparison and very useful for people with a limitted budget. I think the lesson is, if you can't afford to buy high quality lenes, don't bother with a DSLR. For the record I think the Sony pic is more appealling; but even though I'm never likely to own one, I wouldn't throw the Nikon away just yet.

  • Great 
  • phlr Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1237 W: 130 N: 882] (2821)
  • [2006-07-11 11:12]

Great comparison Robert, from two different cameras!
For me, the bottom image is more natural, but I never saw this moth on wild or even in pictures, so it is a matter of opinion.
Both has very good details!
5* and TFS!

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