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Orange tip butterfly

I know the orange tip butterfly is not a rare or endangered species, but I’ve seen them flutter by me for the last 4 or 5 years since I’ve been interested in macro photography and I’ve never been able to get a shot of one. That’s why I was particularly pleased when I finally managed to get a half decent shot this morning of an early specimen which fluttered by me.

We had been out for a walk when I saw it and I remarked to my daughter Emma that I couldn’t remember seeing one so early in the year. I wonder if that is why I actually managed to get a picture; It is still cold enough that it couldn’t move as much as usual.

Anyway, I happened to have my Vivitar series one 70 – 210mm macro zoom fitted to my Nex 6 as it fluttered by and I was able to fire off a few shots before it was startled enough to move. The best of these shots is shown below.

Orange tip butterfly 1

Orange Tip butterfly

  • Nex 6
  • Vivitar series one 70-210 f/2.8 – f/4.0
  • 1/320 sec
  • iso1600
  • f/8



I’m a software developer by profession but I’ve been taking pictures since I was about 8 years old. In that time I’ve owned cameras of all types and sizes from 120 roll film thro’ 35mm to my current Pentax K-5, Ricoh GXR + P10/S10/A12 28mm/A12 50mm, Canon S95 and recently acquired Sony NEX 6.

  1. Great shot. The small sensor on the ned gives you a bit more depth of field, Many of the butterflies I shoot tend to return to the same place even if they initially fly away. But they are not easy subjects.

    1. Thanks for the comment Victor. Yes, I think the orange tip is particularly timid so I’ve never been able to capture it before. By the way, the Nex has an APS-C sensor so I upped the iso to 1600 so I could increase the aperture to f/8 for this shot. Some of the first shots I took were at about f/4 and I couldn’t get the wingtips and the body in focus in those.

      1. Just realised you may mean small sensor compared to full frame?

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