My Roving Eye

A couple of days ago there was a pile of roving on the kitchen table. It was being used to make a needle-felted reindeer for a doll story, which can be found here. The making of the reindeer was necessitated by the lack of anything suitable in the shops, and as my wife had already started the story and then discovered that no reindeer were to be had (contrary to previous years). So, some manufacturing took place on the kitchen table, a not uncommon scene though never before has a reindeer emerged from all the activity.

I was setting up to take pictures of the glass candy canes that were also on the table and which I featured in yesterday’s post and was momentarily distracted by this wonderfully soft pile of colour and texture. A big difference in subject matter in just a few minutes.

Some of these shots are a bit like landscapes to my eye, some like parts of living animals. The roving is all sheep’s wool and is used in various needle-felting projects that happen around here from time to time. Some is dyed (have you ever seen red and blue sheep? No? Well, there you go) and some is the natural colour. It is nice stuff and I think if one arranged it (these are all as-found shots) then it should be possible to construct an interesting landscape.

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These last shots are of the reindeer, very nearly complete having had an insertion in its backside of part of a metal light fixture to counter balance the antlers (poor thing!). It was a lonely reindeer amidst the detritus of construction (as you can see) and wandered off to find some friends. You will be glad to know it has a new home where it is very happy.

 

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Canon EOS 5d mark ii, SMC Takumar 100mm/f4 macro lens, f-stops ranging from f4, but not recorded, various shutter speeds from 1/50th to 1/125th second, lighting from adjacent window and overhead room lights.

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18 thoughts on “My Roving Eye

  1. More great macro work today. And an interesting subject, too.
    I read with interest your reply to David about the adapters to fit older lenses to digital cameras. I have been unaware of these adapters until recently. I have stuck with the Nikon system for many years, but never had a lot of lenses. Currently i only use 2 lenses and one is the older macro that has served me well for about 15 years, but is having some “focus creep” issues and the outer bezel fell off about 8 years ago. It looks bad but still performs but it’s only a matter of time when I will have to replace it. I will look into the adapters and good older lenses available for the Nikon and see if that will suffice.

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    • Hi oneowner, thanks for your comment.

      The spreadsheet in the top post in this forum is very useful list for for Canon EOS 5D MkII users

      I expect that there are many similar forum posts for different Nikons and Canons (etc) out there.

      There is also quite a lot of discussion about different adapters and so on, and adapter chips (if that technology is of interest) as well, and concerns that some are poorly made and the chips fall out, that kind of thing. I had a strong recommendation from a very picky person to use ebay seller shamino123 for these kinds of purchases, advice that I have followed. My new adapters have not arrived yet, but I will let you know when I get them, and get them set up. The ones I ordered are at the more expensive end of the range, but after wearing out a 2$ version in a few weeks, I am going to see if I can get more value for more money. I think it is possible to go even more expensive and get German manufactured ones.

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  2. This was fun to look at – nice job! We bought a small herd of alpacas recently. I’m looking forward to a closer look at thier fleece like this when we shear them in the spring. And your wife did a great job on that reindeer.

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  3. I’m really enjoying your daily photos. love this macro work. I don’t have a macro lens for my DSLR yet so I’m a feeling a little frustrated at times. Please let your wife know I think her reindeer are TOO COOL!!

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    • Hi David. My wife says Thanks! I can feel for you on the macro front. Have you considered exploring the possibility of getting an old lens and adapting it to your DSLR? My ~40 year old Takumar is putting in some very good service on my DSLR. There are 50mm macros out there which should work on many of the DSLRs, even if they are not full frame sensors, they will just have a longer focal length. They are not too expensive (compared to new lenses), and the adapters are pretty cheap too (though you get what you pay for – the 2$ adapter I am currently using is getting loose, I have more on order, better made with chips in them that improve functionality). There is a lot of information on the web about which lenses will work on which DSLRs, if they need modification, which adapters to buy and so on.
      The disadvantages are no auto focus, no in camera recording of aperature setting (though there are more expensive adapters with a chip in them which can be used to get around this, and some of them will also indicated in some cameras when focus has been achieved), and some uncertainty about whether they will work until you have tried them. Of my old Takumar lenses the 200mm never was as sharp as I expect it to be, even on the Spotmatic, and might need an alignment, or might just be a lemon. The 35mm lens does not work because it catches the mirror when it is falling back after taking a shot at infinity (only). This is apparently not the case with the EOS 5D, but is with the Mark II, some tiny adjustement to the new model. But, I could learn that on the web, and there seems to be more and more compilations of such data that are raising certainty levels all the time. Anyway, its worth considering for specialised prime lenses – there are a lot of very fine lenses out there from a few decades ago.

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      • Great reindeer and beautiful photos. I love the ones with the layers of different colours and also the one called “Roving Curls”. There are a couple of alpaca farms here where I live (Gabriola) – neat looking animals – so it’s interesting to see the wool up close.

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      • Hi Laurie, nice to have you back again. I like ‘roving curls’ too – the sharp detail revealed which makes up all that softness. I am pretty sure that all of this roving is from sheep. It would be really interesting to look closely at other species in the same state to see what the differences look like.

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    • Thank you Ryan :). I take no credit for the reindeer – that was my wife’s work, with help from a friend to weld up the reindeer antlers to which she applied some epoxy to give them the spatulate bits. I supplied the hidden counter weight from my electrical-bits drawer. I agree that it is beautiful, and complements her dolls very nicely.

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