Canon 300D, handheld
Sigma 24-135 on 20mm extension tube
Harris mini-strobe mounted on lenshood, fired by external PC cord rig
135mm at f13
1/200 second, ISO 100

Not giving it up
jumping spider Phidippus capture

When my Sigma 105 Macro began acting up, I was forced to switch to other lenses until it got repaired, and tried out my everyday zoom Sigma 24-135 on extension tubes. Extension tubes are an inexpensive way to approach macro photography, but they depend on the lens mounted on them, and how good it is. This combination actually surprised the hell out of me – it does exceptional macro work. I'm really annoyed that this lens is discontinued and won't be supported much longer.

My buddy here was, more or less, out in plain sight at the UNC Botanical Garden in Chapel Hill, NC, with its recently captured meal, and my ridiculously close approach wasn't making it too upset. For scale, it's about the size of your little fingernail. And to get an idea how close I was, the light source was a small strobe strapped directly to the lenshood – it couldn't be much closer to the lens without blocking the shot. And see the glow in the eyes of the spider, and the shadow? Yeah, one good jump and it would have been inside the lenshood. Jumping spiders will actually do that, too – I've had them walking across the lens on more than one occasion, but they drop a safety line of web everywhere they go, and this sticks to the lens and needs to be removed with fluid.

The 300D doesn't have a PC socket, like many cameras nowadays, so I rigged one to mount in the hot shoe so I could use my mini strobe. Works quite well.