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It's that time of year again. It's spring and the butterflies and crowds are once again at Safari park for several weeks. In fact, it's so crowded that you have to get a time ticket in order and wait your turn before entering the butterfly house. This really affects your creativity as others are constantly bumping into you, children are actually grabbing the butterflies, and AARP members walk in front of you without noticing you are photographing a butterfly. iPhone users are the worse since they have to be within inches of the butterfly to get a decent shot. They literally block out everyone else and could care less. I missed my daughter going with me this year to block for me so I could get uninterrupted sight to the butterflies.
There is no single correct equipment for shooting butterflies. Amateur photographers shoot with all kinds of equipment and you almost never see two photographers with the same equipment. In the past, I have used a 36 MP, full frame DSLR with 200-400 but it's closest focus is 6.6 feet which is simply not close enough if you don't have someone blocking for you in the crowded space. This year I used a 16 MP, 10 FPS, cropped frame SLT with 70-400. The lens focuses to 3.9 feet which is a great improvement. I also simultaneously used a 16 MP, cropped frame DSLR with 17-70 macro lens. I keep it around my neck for grab shots. With both cameras, I am prepared to shoot butterflies from a couple inches distant to 5 or 6 feet. Nice.
The above image shot was taken with a cropped frame, 16 MP SLT with 70-400 F4.5 zoom lens on a carbon fiber tripod.