Block Island flower and insect photography: testing the Canon 5DS and MP-E 65mm macro


Scott Chimileski - Block Island

I happened upon this Block Island blue-spotted leopard moth.


I am out on Block Island this week and—while I am trying to avoid working to some extent—I can at least use this vacation as a perfect opportunity to test my brand new camera setup. I recently upgraded to the Canon 5DS, along with a new Canon MP-E 65mm macro lens. The MP-E 65mm effectively converts my 5D into a field dissecting microscope, ranging from 1:1 to 5X magnification. This may be one of the best macro setups possible at this time, with the new 50.6 megapixel sensor representing the state of the art for DSLRs (at least for a few months, until there is something better!). In fact, the capabilities of the 5DS now overlap with what would previously only be attainable with medium format cameras. I am very excited about what I plan to do with this camera in the next few years, especially because I actually plan to use every last one of these pixels for producing large format prints.

Here are a few test shots I took this week on Block Island, Rhode Island:

Scott Chimileski - Block Island Leopard Moth

Increasing the magnification. Quite the face on this little guy, but you need to look close to see it …


Scott Chimileski Block Island Berries

The wild berries growing within the island dunes made for great macro subjects.

Scott Chimileski Block Island Berries

Bringing the berry into focus … Despite being less than 1 centimeter in diameter, here the berry looks like a giant monument.  

Scott Chimileski Block Island Berries


Scott Chimileski - St. john's wort.

St. John’s wort grows everywhere you look in the island meadows.


Scott Chimileski - Block Island


Scott Chimileski - Dandelion Block Island

The common dandelion seed head – a wonderfully evolved and beautiful structure that is easily overlooked.


Scott Chimileski - Block Island meadow

This final photo from within an island meadow was not taken with the MP-E 65mm, but rather a 50mm prime lens.