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Sunflower season — Canon 1Ds Mark III + Leica 280 APO

I love watching sunflowers bloom and mature. They offer such exquisite detail, detail I’d love to capture on a 60MP back. But 21MP will do. Handheld at ISO 400 at 1/320 sec at f/4, there’s some decent detail here. The Leica 280mm f/4 APO-Telyt-R (eval) might be one of the very few actual diffraction-limited lenses, and it performs admirably on the Canon EOS 1Ds Mark III. However, the choice of lens adapter is crucial. So far, only the Novoflex adapter is up to snuff, and it’s unclear whether it will be robust over time. Get a Leica R to Canon EOS Novoflex lens adapter at B&H Photo.

Now that wild honeybees are all but extinct, ants have a role to play in pollination. I remember that in 1992-1994 or so, my sunflower heads would each be buzzing with a dozen or more honeybees. Now there might be a single honeybee for every 10 heads, or roughly 1000:1 fewer. And likely only because a beekeeper maintains hives within 1/4 mile or so of my garden. Could the human self-destructive dumping of billions of pounds of chemicals and pesticides into the environment share part of the blame?

One of my 200 or so sunflowers
Canon EOS 1Ds Mark III + Leica 280/4 APO

Actual pixels

Able to focus to 1:5, the 280/4 APO functions as a near-macro lens, with a very convenient working distance.

Canon EOS 1Ds Mark III + Leica 280/4 APO-Telyt-R @ f/4, handheld

I’m currently evaluating a well-used 280/4 APO, but if you’ve got the cash for a new one, get the Leica 280/4 APO at B&H Photo.

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