Heterixalus Betsileo

Heterixalus Betsileo, Perinet, MadagascarIn addition to lemurs and chameleons, Madagascar is also a great place to photograph frogs. This guy’s scientific name is Heterixalus Betsileo. Not sure of the common name. I photographed him/her on a night walk through the forests around the town of Perinet in central Madagascar. I’ve mentioned that in lieu of a dedicated macro lens, I used to capture shots like this by screwing a close up filter to the end of my mid range zoom lens. This creates a very narrow depth of field so a high aperture is necessary to get good results. I also used two flash units positioned close the subject to fill in the shadow areas.
Nikon D200 with Nikkor 80-200mm lens (at 165mm) with Canon 500D close up filter, ISO 100, f/22 at 1/60th of a second, two Nikon SB-600 flash units

This entry was posted in Madagascar.


  1. Sue May 16, 2017 at 12:07 am #

    Superb froggy! Love its stance.

    • Sean Crane May 17, 2017 at 11:24 pm #

      Thanks Sue. He’s ready for action.

  2. Susan Rubeo May 16, 2017 at 8:37 am #

    Wondered how you could get these close ups without spooking subjects
    As frogs 🐸 go he is colorful

    Aunt Sue

    • Sean Crane May 17, 2017 at 11:25 pm #

      I always say that frogs and owls are unusually patient when it comes to holding their ground.

  3. Peter Butterfield May 16, 2017 at 9:08 am #

    —– Hail Heterixalus
    —– Legendary golden frog
    —– Most imperious.

  4. GH May 16, 2017 at 9:29 am #

    good looking frog.

  5. Rachel Bellenoit May 16, 2017 at 12:14 pm #

    Beautiful! You can use a Canon close-up filter on a Nikon camera? Also, would this work on a 70-300?

    • Sue May 17, 2017 at 1:23 am #

      Hi, Rachel!

      I just picked one up which fits nicely on my 77mm filter sized Nikkor lenses. I think they come in 52/58/72mm sizes. If your 70-300 mm takes a 67mm filter, the 72mm Canon close up lens should work, I believe, as long as you buy a step-up ring. BTW, though I have been a lifelong Nikon afficionado, I was very impressed with the quality of the Canon close up lens. One of the reasons I purchased it – in addition to the fact that Sean has taken some really nice images with his (Nikon should hire Sean as a spokesperson,) – is that I wanted to pare down the gear (actually the weight) that I carry when travelling by plane. There is definite heft to the Canon close up lens, but it is smaller and lighter than my 60mm and 105mm macro lenses. I took a few initial images with it attached to my 70-200mm lens and they turned out well, getting me to within about 10 inches of the subject.

      • Rachel Bellenoit May 19, 2017 at 10:45 am #

        Thank you, Sue! I’m going to look into it!

        • Sue May 21, 2017 at 6:16 pm #

          Rachel, when researching the Canon 500D close up lens, be sure to check the B&H Photo reviews. The 500d lens, which looks more like a filter on steroids, is not exactly the same as an actual close up lens (e.g., Nikkor 60mm or 105mm). However, it saves space & weight, while providing an accessory that sort of approximates an actual close up lens when it isn’t practical to reach for the heftier 60mm/105mm.

          B&H reviews often provide valuable insights about photo gear & it is usually pretty easy to spot those reviews by folks who know their stuff. I cannot confirm if Sean did a review for B&H on the 200-400mm he uses, but I remember reading his take on that lens somewhere. From that review, I found his website and have been a follower ever since as his images sold me on the 200-400mm & I haven’t been disappointed. Yes, Nikon should pay homage to Sean!

    • Sean Crane May 17, 2017 at 11:27 pm #

      Yes. They make it in several thread sizes and it really does save on space/weight if that is a concern.
      Sue, boy do I wish that Nikon would hire me as a spokesperson. If anyone out there is listening, I’m available.

      • Rachel Bellenoit May 19, 2017 at 10:46 am #

        I just logged into my Nikon account and emailed them your site here and told them you would make an excellent spokesperson for them!

        • Sean Crane May 24, 2017 at 1:02 am #

          Ha. Thanks Rachel. If they ever come knocking I’ll have to give you a finders fee.