Damsels and Dragons, May 2018, Saddleworth

Here are a few from our local pond, large red damselflies and broad bodied chasers plus the first four spot chaser seen this season. Most were taken with the Sigma f/3.5 180mm macro (non-stabilised version), all hand held.

I am liking this 180mm lens, especially for the dragonflies, because of the longer working distance and narrower angle of view (13.7° compared to the 100mm Canon’s angle of view of 19.8°). The longer the focal length, the smaller the angle of view that the lens captures. This means it is much easier to control background distractions. The longer working distance also enables me to take photographs of insects with less likelihood of disturbing them and having them fly off.

Another advantage of the longer lens is that it comes with a tripod collar which balances the weight of the combined lens and camera if mounted onto a tripod (which I sometimes, though rarely do) or monopod. Although it is not stabilised, it is quite a heavy lens and that helps me to hold it steady – I occasionally use a monopod on long sessions just to avoid my arms aching with the weight of the kit and give a little extra stability!

© Christine Widdall