Bees and Friends On Chives – a Pair Made in Bee Heaven


Bee Feeding on Chives

Like to get in nice and close? The best way is a macro lens unquestionably, but here is a lens that does a pretty darn good job that is just a zoom. Just so happens I am selling it. I lose a lot of images to the net and I can just see the one below off on its travels. It was taken yesterday with this lens.

No special skill, just a lens that is sharp enough to enlarge your images to look like you have a macro lens. Below I really enlarged the image, see the original at the end of the post.

I did a post on macro photography called, Hopping on Board with Macro, Shooting the Critters. In it I used my two macro lenses and also the lens I am selling in this post. In fact, the photos it took were really good and it held its own against the macro lenses.


How about catching the action shots of those moving birds?

Well, there are things a DSLR has to make that easier. With a point and shoot, it is close to pot luck. Sure there are modes you can change, but do you have control over focus and steadiness of hand? With many DSLRs, you can have variable focus options and steady control.


I thought I would do another sales pitch and see if any one of my readers is interested in the camera and lens I have used for much of the images on GWGT.

Perhaps if you want to move up from your point and shoot, this Nikon D80 might be a good next step. The lens the camera comes with is a 18-135mm, 3.5-5.6 G mid-range zoom and they have been a trusty duo for many years. You can see by the photos, the pair are still going strong.


I/400 f5.6 ISO 320 135mm

Since the proof is in the pudding, I went out in the backyard to photograph chives, iris and peonies buzzing with diners. It is the perfect time of year to do some closeup photography to demonstrate the quality of the camera and lens.


I bought it new 8-14-2007 with a basic kit cost of $1,299.99, tax excluded. I took it in for service three times for cleaning and tuning up since I had a four-year extended warranty which allowed for cleaning and any repair at no charge.

What I want for the D80 and 18-135mm lens is $240 plus the cost of shipping and insurance, total about $280+ I am guessing. When someone offers to purchase, I will go to UPS to get the actual shipping cost and insurance. Since shipping with UPS, if the package arrives late, is damaged or stolen you have no claim against me. Your claim is against UPS since I will have it insured for your/my protection.

I will accept payment through PayPal where all anyone needs to start buying is a PayPal account and their email address or mobile number. I hope to include the PayPal button in the email I send to the purchaser.  I will take a personal check, but you will wait 14 days for the check to clear. A Postal Money Order is OK too through the US Postal Service. You have to provide your correct shipping address and telephone number with your payment.

You can email me (SOLD) if you are interested or want more information. First come, first serve. I may have a buyer already, but have not received payment yet, so it still is up for grabs.


I have the original receipt, box and all the unused CD’s, manual and paperwork.


It is fully automatic if that is your choosing with a macro setting for subjects like the bees. I often use the Sports Mode or Shutter Priority Mode for flying bees, below Shutter Priority 1/800sec.


Bumble Bee

I also use Continuous Mode which allows three consecutive shots per second to be fired, almost guaranteeing at least one shot of a fast-moving subject will be sharply focused.  Above one of the three bee shots was a bit soft, so it really is helpful. Continuous Mode needs to be in Shutter Priority or Manual with a shutter speed of 1/250th or faster.  When you shoot wildlife on the move, you need higher than 1/250th of a second shutter speed anyway.


This means nothing to most of you but it is the metadata associated with camera and image. It is to show the D80 as the camera and the 18-135mm as the lens for the flying bee above. The camera settings are 1/800 f5.6 ISO 200.

Another helpful function… auto focus track your moving subject. When you hold the shutter button half way down, the camera will continue to focus and track the subject. It locks the focus on the moving target like when panning a shot. The D80 has tracking but in Sports Mode as an auto setting. Helps to keep flying birds in focus.

Below, you can see the one flying bee is the only one in clear focus, the one the camera tracked. The small insect to the right is in focus, but it is also in the same plane of view.


It is a pretty good camera on non-manual settings too.


1/500 f5.6 ISO320 – 135mm

They always say it is not the equipment that makes the photograph, but in many ways it is. In fact, most cameras today and most lenses are far better than the photographer operating them. Yes, more expensive lenses have more features and better glass, but again, the photos prove this lens is capable.

The balance and weight of a bigger camera helps the photographer steady the shot for less camera shake when hand holding. Lugging the pro models around is a different story though.


I can put my camera on eBay and may do that if none of you readers are interested. I will only ship in the US or Canada by UPS. I will insure it also.


I sharpened these images a tad since I was enlarging them, you can see some grain, but really this is not bad for a basic entry DSLR.

It has been great as a second camera and I often took it along photographing animals at the zoo with the lens I am including in the kit. I can’t remember which photos it took in that post, but I did use this lens on the snow leopard with this camera.

BeesChives-1All shots were hand-held.


The D80 is a pretty light weight camera at about 1.7 pounds. The lens adds 13.5 oz. to the body and yet it is still heavy enough to avoid some camera shake.


1/400 f8.0 ISO 320 135mm

I am pretty sure anyone purchasing the set would love it. The other lens I recently sold was the 55-300mm and it was mostly used on this camera body too. I took all the images in the post, Buzzing a Crocus Says Spring is Here, with this camera when selling the 300mm lens.


1/800 f10.0 ISO320

Click any image to enlarge. I hope readers enjoyed the bees and their friends. And while bees are still here to photograph…join America’s national effort to save the bees by urging Home Depot and Lowe’s to quit selling neonicotinoid pesticides. It may save us one day too since these are powerful nerve agents with a long half-life.  Sign the petition.

It SOLD. Yes folks, I got email confirmation from a reader. Thanks for viewing the bees and friends.

About Garden Walk Garden Talk

I love to photograph, paint, draw, design, garden, travel the world, and pass on a few tips and ideas that I learned through experience as a Master Gardener and architect. I am highly trained in my field and enjoy my work each and every day. I garden in Niagara Falls, NY in zone 6-B. Find me at:
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40 Responses to Bees and Friends On Chives – a Pair Made in Bee Heaven

  1. stone says:

    I posted bugs yesterday.

    Just signed the petition… While I’d rather tell people about leaving the bugs alone, and letting the predators eat the other bugs, those stores should make an effort to be aware of the amount of harm they’re doing.
    Reminds me of the bit… tanstaafl where the people on the moon were paying for air, and insisting on it.
    How long before we’re all buying air? They already have us purchasing water…;

    Wonder how much apples are going to cost, when we’re hand-pollinating them. They are already doing this in China….

    Your camera sounds nice, I’d be interested if your other friend decides not to purchase.

    • I learned of the petition from Mother Earth News, but have been reading quite a bit on these pesticides lately due to the debate on the ban in the UK. My last series of posts touched on the use of pesticides and noted there are two sides on how and if we use them. The main theme to the posts was the debate over Scotts and the NWF. The series was extremely popular, even though not as many ‘garden’ readers made comments as usual. I think I touched a nerve for some since my approach is far different than many. I say popular because I got over 300 new subscribers from this series alone. Seems many found the series interesting, so I may do much more posts following the environmental theme. My job working on wetland rehabilitation and education must have been a factor.

      I believe we are at a critical level in this country on so many environmental issues. I have been researching fracking because I am concerned about following a truck recently. I may report on this if I can confirm that the truck spraying down the road was indeed spraying brine from fracking. The film left on my truck and eyeglasses cannot be removed. There was something in that water being sprayed. Can you imagine not being able to clean glass with anything?

      If you think apples will be costly, wait until you find out what fracking is doing to agriculture in the states that allow fracking. Cattle are dying, being born dead, and don’t even think of eating the meat or produce grown within miles of a fracking well. The ground water is being contaminated by seepage and they are dumping this stuff in places where there is potable drinking water. Talk about an assault to the environment! Bees are affected as well I am sure, not like they need anything more to kill them.

      If you are interested in the camera, send me an email. I have a person interested but it will go to the one that submits payment first, the one who emails for with how they intend to pay.

  2. Carolyn says:

    Love your busy little bees, Donna. We all need to be more aware of these little guys. They bless our lives.

  3. An entertaining advert. That’s an interesting use of a blog – you can explain things clearly and at your own length while being friendly rather than pressing. So, although not looking for a camera, I enjoyed reading about it – and, of course, looking at the pictures too!

    • Thank you Esther. It lets me believe my camera gets a good home if I know who it is now serving. The 300mm went to a friend and she uses it a lot and loves it. She had just bought a new camera and did not need this one. She thought about taking the lens in this post, but we talked about how she has another in that range of zoom.

  4. catmint says:

    great bee photos donna, I’m glad you said that equipment does make a difference – I’m finding that.

    • I could get flack from the pros on saying that, but it is two fold. They say the equipment is not what is important because they look at the compositional strength of the person using it. They look at the practical knowledge knowing how to use it. While I agree that a photo is good because there is thought, art and expertise in producing it, there is no getting around that I can make an image better by my many choices that I make in producing it. The lens matters, the filters I use matter. They would argue that I know what to use. Granted, but one still has to have the equipment in the first place. This lens was better at closeups than my 300mm although I did not have to be as close to the subject with the 300mm. The 300mm was better for birds due to distance, but for bugs, this one was better as long as the bug didn’t hop or fly away. I’ve gotten birds with this lens too, just not filling the frame. Like I mentioned, the camera and lenses made today are far better than most of us will ever use them to their abilities.

  5. Such detail in those bees! While I’d love to learn more about photography it makes my head hurt just thinking about all the technical specifications so I’ll stick with my point and shoot. Good luck selling your camera.

  6. Great shots, beautifl captured the bees action. I can’t sign any petition from Spain, but I support any kind of action that will help bees. I am catchip up with your blog, you will see more comments later.

  7. Heaven not just for the bee but for us too!!!
    Happy Monday, Donna!

    • Since we are bigger, it takes more to harm us. Some of these chemicals are nicotine based, and we know what that does to people. But it takes time, so if they last in our systems over time, eventually with all the food products we consume, it may be possible that it is affecting us already and we are just not yet aware.

  8. Wow, with shots like these your camera is sure to sell if it hasn’t already gone. Had to scroll back for a second look.

  9. Extraordinary! And thanks for sharing the metadata!

  10. Amazing photos. I just love being “in the bloom” with the bees.

  11. Good luck with finding a new home for your camera. Looks like it does a wonderful job capturing these close images.

  12. As everyone has said, those bee pictures are astoundingly good and detailed. As you know, Judy is the photographer here. She is out of town, but I am going to send her a link. She has had some luck with her zoom lens but may be interested in stepping it up.

  13. Glad to hear you sold the camera. There’s no question you take some of the best gardening/nature shots in the blogosphere! I will always be your fan, no matter what camera and lens you use.

    • Thank you for the kind words. I am thinking of taking the small P510 to San Fran. Still have not made up my mind, but I would not get much out of a teaching session with Saxon Holt with only bringing the bridge camera. That would mean bringing two cameras, one with a 28-330mm to cover all photo scenarios. San fran calls out for the landscape lens though. 17-35mm wide angle. Too many decisions…. 🙂

  14. Beautiful photos, thanks for sharing

  15. azraiel says:

    Lovely photos. SIgned the petition even though we don’t have those outlets in Malta, it should still count 🙂

  16. Beautiful Post – loving your captures – thanks so much for sharing:) Have a Great Day!

  17. Love shooting in Macro someday when I hit the lottery I do not play I shall get me a lens and body to do it justice as do you 🙂

    • Macro lens are pretty nice. They are a bit harder to get used to. It took me a while until I could hand hold the lens and go in close. Many blurry failures at first. The zoom lens here, had very few failures. It is not quite so touchy to use.

      • I have my full manual ones I am awesome with and easy share if I just breath I do OK hate tri-pods I now have an Olympus small camera I do not like it but it is new while mine gets cleaned.

  18. Christy says:

    I love all of these close up shots. I could really see the eyes…they were huge!!

  19. A.M.B. says:

    Great shots! I love the purple and yellow.

  20. Ah well it was not meant to be as I was finally reading this and saying oh this is for me…glad it sold!

  21. connie661 says:

    Ooh! Spectacular photos!

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