RX1 / Spiders in Australia By Matthias Wäckerlin

RX1 / Spiders in Australia

By Matthias Wäckerlin


Shooting proper Macro with the Sony RX1 with the superb Carl Zeiss Sonnar 2/35? YES, you can!

My name is Matthias Waeckerlin (Switzerland) and I have been living now for 2 years with my family in Camden near Sydney.
I’m a “stay at home dad” looking after our little children. Previously, I was working as a professional photographer.
My HEAVY Nikon gear, about 8kg, did not pass the check-in at the Zurich airport, too heavy, was the answer of the lady behind the counter! So, I had just my Sony RX1 around my neck and I never regret it since today. I never missed my Nikon. The RX1 is the best camera I ever had: small – light – solid – outstanding full frame quality – quiet (no shutter sound). The only drawback is the autofocus. I hope it will be better in the new model.

I did many pictures for all kinds of settings. And I never had an issue with this little monster.
As you can see high quality macro shooting is also possible with the RX1. Sometimes it needs a bit of patience, some spiders are very fast. The best method to get these little monsters into focus is using the manual focus with focus peaking and then moving the camera slightly forward and backward until the spiders get sharp. I set the macro mode to the closest distance. The challenge was to catch the spider when they had a short rest. Some spiders were sitting in their web, then the wind was the challenge. I set the camera to the M and A mode for all of my pictures, used JPG option and did the editing in Lightroom. Most of the pictures have ISO between 50 and 400. Just one has ISO 1600. No tripod and no flash.

The amazing quality of the 24MP C-MOS sensor allows to crop the images to a little piece.
This is still big enough to view it in the Web and in Lightroom. I won’t print a poster…

Best regards




AUSTRALIEN, CAMDEN, Nepean Lodge Unit 8A - 335 Werombi Road, SPINNE



17 Broughton Street, AUSTRALIEN, CAMDEN, Redback, SPINNE

17 Broughton Street, AUSTRALIEN, CAMDEN, Huntsman, SPINNE




AUSTRALIEN, CAMDEN, Nepean Lodge Unit 8A - 335 Werombi Road, SPINNE

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  1. Great pics. I, too, have the RX1. You mentioned that you hoped the focus would be better in “the new model”. ?? I hadn’t heard of a new RX1 coming out. Is there?

    • Actually, I can answer my own question. I was so excited, I checked the Nikon Rumors website and saw (old news already!), the Sony RX2 will probably be coming out with the curved sensor.
      By the way, those spider pics are more than amazing–like seeing them with the eye.

  2. hi matthias, what lovely animals… with my arachniphobia that s the best therapy! kind regards from your home country.
    First I thougt you will present some children photos, but you were thinking about other monsters 😉

  3. Arrrgh, I commented before the whole page was open, I live on a Coral reef where the wireless Internet is as fast as the medium European wine-yard snail. Sorry for that, the last picture is indeed a huntsman, but there are 2 similar ones in the center oft he field. They look different around here, have larger bodies and longer legs, and run at lightning speed.

  4. Sorry, but there is no huntsman on any of those pictures, first and last are St Andrews spiders

  5. Great shots of spiders. Recognize one of them from when I visited Hunter Valley in Australia. They were big and creepy. If I should take macro shots of spiders I would probably need a tele-macro. Don’t like to get too close! 🙂

  6. Great photos; I like especially the image isolation in images 4-7 that drops out the background entirely. Spiders 3 and 9 are St. Andrews Cross variety; spiders 6,7 and 10 are Huntsman types. James is right that Spider #5 is a Red Back. Spiders in Australia are a fact of life. Those large Huntsman critters can give you a start when they flip down out of your car’s sun visor! I console myself by imagining how surprised they feel! :^)

  7. I suspect you don’t do any work for the Dept. of Tourism, Matthias 🙂

    Some excellent shots of the familiar and useful Huntsman etc. None of the Funnel Web? No.5 looked somewhat like a Red Back.

    Looking forward to a series on snakes of Australia…

    (And for those who might be apprehensive, P. Esco, spiders are really a non-issue here. OK, I do squash any redbacks who want to set up home inside sheds, but that is almost never.)

  8. Nice pictures. Why the rant? What’s 8 kgs of DSLR stuff (caps lock syndrome included) got to do with an RX1? Who forced you to carry the 8 kgs?

    Anyway, let’s stick to the images. They’re good.

    • During my time as a fotojournalist for newspapers and magazines I used to work with my two Nikon (D3 and D3s with 3 lenses). And i like my Nikon still ;-). At the airport i was shortly very angry to leave my gear there. But finally I am happy with my RX1. So i had not really a problem to take the pictures I intended to take during my time in down under.

      • Vielen dank, Matthias; I didn’t get the connection between an 8 kgs DSLR set and a lightweight compact full frame mirrorless camera with a fixed 35mm lens.

        • Due to an incident at an airport he was forced to rely solely on his RX1 for a period of time and ended up feeling that for his own purposes he did not miss out on anything extra that the heavier Nikon set-up he used to use professionally had to offer.

          This was as much of a rant as throwing plates out the window is “doing the dishes”

  9. Wow! Beautiful! Wish you could have identified some of these guys. I lived in Australia for many years and it was a good idea to know your spiders if you were poking about in the bush.

    • I think they are:

      1) Leaf-curling Spider (Phonognatha graeffei)
      2) Female Net-casting Spider (Deinopis subrufa)
      3) St Andrew’s Cross spider (Argiope keyserlingi)
      4) Male Net-casting Spider (Deinopis subrufa)
      5) Female Redback spider (Latrodectus hasseltii)
      6) Huntsman
      7) ??
      8) Probably hunstman
      9) St Andrew’s Cross spider (Argiope keyserlingi)
      10) Huntsman

  10. Very beautiful photos! They are also strange and pin-point sharp. Spiders a world of tiny details, spots, shades, and colors, and I can see everything in your photos. Thanks.

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