Many of these shots were done with an older Zoom lens. 70-210mm. I really like Nikon because the older 35mm manual optical lenses. I don't have any but I have read and been told even the auto-focus lenses from the 80s operate on the higher end Nikon digital SLRs. (D90 and above). I often get great results using the manual older sometimes bargain lenses. They can lack depth of field because they max out at F22 or so, but that is usually enough for a great spider picture. Canon unfortunately changed there format so it is not possible to use older Canon non-digital lenses. This was one serious reason that after I lost nearly all of my gear in our house fire last year-- I decided to start over with Nikon as my SLR system. I saved for almost a year after the fire on my budget to get a D90 but it is a camera I would definitely very much recommend. I have been told that the optics in the older 35mm lenses are often higher quality then the optics in the new and even very expensive digital lenses and I believe it. So the manual focus part and manual adjustment might be worth it! Don't get me wrong, I loved my Canon cameras which performed very well. There are just many more lens possibilities with Nikon which can make it a good choice especially if you want to take awesome pictures and don't have the money for expensive new of gear.
My wife was really great being there for me while I spent hours taking these pictures in Forest park. I love it there and spent many summers with my grandparents up there. By the time I got to this species I was a bit too tired to take lots of descriptive shots. My new lens system should allow for better shots that will let me definitely identify more species I photograph or at least get closer.
The webs of Araneus diadematus are among the most well known and seen this time of year. These in the sun looked awesome. It should be noted that this species is also harmless. Getting bit from what I have heard is not only very difficult but if by some chance you do get bit it's not even as bad as a bee sting. I have never heard of anyone having a serious reaction to this very common and non-aggressive species which is critical in controlling the mosquito and fly population.
I really liked this large female, she had made a really good living catching insects here near by a lunch place my wife and I ate at. I took some ultra close up shots of her and noticed like some others both here and in other spots--she has slightly different body colors.
Some extra large shots of the Araneus diadematus with pray. She had no problem walking about with her catch and doing a few things while I took some closeup shots.
I got lucky here and was able to get a good shot as she moved by waiting and watching her for over an hour and a half. Notice the color differences. This is the exact same species but she almost seems to have some colorations similar to that of the related species the Shamrock spider.
More views, I could not get enough of how this female seemed to enjoy the sun and posing for my lens.
Here is where the Araneus diadematus gets interesting. This is another one found just a short distance away eating a bee-mimicking fly. This one clearly has a darker skin pigment. I want to figure out how and exactly why they have different colored markings in the same species that can change so much sometimes they nearly look like a sub-species.
Three Araneus diadematus webs stood out in the afternoon sun. This is a harmless and beneficial species, I can't stress to people enough that they are not only harmless but should be left alone and treated with respect because they help keep the mosquito and fly population under control.
Yet another view of probably a Linyphiidae again. With new lens configurations eyes can be counted and I will be better able to identify species. Next article will be about an American house spider with babies I recently photographed. She has laid 3 egg sacks. They are not as common so whenever I find one I get excited. coming soon next time to Mostly Macros. I want to thank my wife for her on going support and help in my efforts and photography.