When black is an intrinsic part of an image you have to underexpose even when using sophisticated 'matrix' metering.
It's important to have a camera body that allows you to bracket deeply and also gives you quick button-and-dial access when faced with challenging lighting or when you want to stamp your own taste on an image.
Reason enough to love the old D300 Nikon.
Christmas Elf Rhododendron
In the southern hemisphere 'Christmas Elf" flowers very late; often indeed into winter.
I took this with another lens I no longer own; the classic Tamron 28-75mm f2.8. It was the oldest version without the built in focus motor (gold on black lettering) and was an extremely nice lens. I sold it for a good profit (I'd bought it with a film body cheaply) but still kind of regret it.
Copper Butterfly (Lycaena salustius)
Taken back in the day on our old D70 Nikon with the Sigma 50mm EX DG macro that I had then.
A short-lived Butterfly (only 1 to 2 weeks) and threatened by wasps but we always seem to have a few here when summer heats up.
The Sigma 50mm macro lens I reviewed below is an older version; this modern version is more easily obtained but generally pricier (though still reasonable) on the second-hand market. It's a good lens and often overlooked by prospective purchasers of +/- 50mm macros (on a Nikon there are 40,55&60mm options in this general focal length).
At f7.1 ,as in this shot (from the exif data), any macro lens is likely to be excellent and most difference will be colour rendering and the quality of background transitions.