I'm a pretty good photographer with normal subjects. I'm new to photographing bees.
So, I tried a really big lens on a tripod today, and was unhappy with the results.
Specifically, I was using a 100-200 mm lens, but a fairly cheap one at 4.5. I had the lens at 200, so the F-stop was at 4.5. Tripod, and the fastest exposure I could get. Looking at a rosemary bush in full bloom with 5 or 6 foragers on it.
I just couldn't get anything special. The autofocus on the camera was wonky (rosemary sprawls, there this lens has an incredibly shallow depth of field). Manual focus was a real challenge. Even with normal sunlight I didn't feel my exposures were fast enough. (that's the 4.5 biting me... I know I can buy a $2000 lens to fix this problem, but I hope you guys give me another way).
Anthecologist: I would love to hear your setup. Your pictures rule.
I've got a 50 mm fast lens. Is this what I should be using right up in the bee's faces? I was using a telephoto because I had heard that would eliminate distortions.
Generally: what is your go-to setup for action bee photography? Tell about lenses, shooting strategy, tripods, accessories and the like.
Attached: my best version of today's best photo. Cropped and color balanced. 85% JPEG quality. rosemary for upload.jpg I'm wanting a lot better than this.