Wednesday, April 10, 2013


My rental macro lens came yesterday! For those who care, it's the Canon 100mm EF Macro f/2.8L IS USM (and that links to where I rented it from--I have used them thrice and they're great). Naturally, I've been taking a lot of pictures, and I want to share them with you in several posts.

Using this lens is definitely harder than I thought. Aside from finding the right subjects (which can be more challenging than it might seem), getting the right things in focus is tricky. I'm not using a tripod, and though this lens has image stabilization, that won't magically put me at exactly the right distance from the subject. It's so easy to sway just a few millimeters and mess up the shot.

Technical jargon ahead: I know that using a higher f-stop would help, but that means slower shutter speeds, so I'm just trying to find a balance. My camera doesn't handle higher ISOs very well, so I like to keep that down to 800 at the most (but I prefer 400).

Okay! Enough talk. Hows about some pictures?

Oh yeah and I should warn you that bugs are going to be a common subject, in case that bothers you. Hopefully ladybugs don't really count. :)

Do you recognize this?

It's one of these little flowers. I can't remember their name, but they should be called Grapeheads.

With every subject, I have to decide what will be in focus. It's not always obvious. On this flower, I ended up going with the area closer to the petals, while the center protrudes a bit and so it's not as crisp. This is one of those little weeds that grows in the middle of the lawn. They're all over at work.

The nice thing about these is that they sit still, though I didn't get quite as close and detailed as I wanted (this is a cropped version of the original).

These are about as long as house fly, but skinnier.

These are the same flowers as in this picture (though they've opened a bit more). You can see how much closer I can get.

Blue flowers are always dedicated to my sister, R! I love these--they're tiny and adorable.

And some of them are purple.

I was a little disappointed that I didn't see prettier fern swirls. Maybe deeper in a forest I can find some.

I don't know what these are, but I loooove them. I have photographed them at other times (they're at Deepwood Estate), and they have these little delicate leaves and look so awesome. And they change colors in the fall.

These bleeding hearts are always nice photography subjects. It's nice to get in closer and catch more detail.

I thought I'd show you a size comparison by including my index finger, but then holding the camera with only one hand meant I had less control, and I ended up focusing on my fingerprint lines. :) Don't copy!!

Merry Christmas!

Don't eat the berries.

Ignore my dusty table.

Finally, I thought I'd show you an image at 100%. This is cropped down (obviously) so you can see the quality of the photo at full size. That's a droplet reflecting the other leaves around it.

Droplets are a subject I want to focus on a lot more (no pun intended), but it's hard to find good ones. It rained today, and yet there weren't all that many to photograph. I guess the wind dried them up. I may have to create some artificial "after the rain" photos with a spray bottle. :)

Thanks for looking! More to come.


  1. Wow, these are so cool! Love the picture of the quarter, where you can see the mint mark (D) so clearly. Will you come take pics of all the coins in my change jar?

  2. Thanks, Dan! Sure I will--and then can I have them after I photograph them?

  3. I love all of these!

    Oh, and those little purple flowers are Grape Hyacinths, so you were almost right!

  4. Oh thanks, Marie! I recognize that name but never would've come up with it on my own!

  5. These are awesome!!

    Hey I nominated you for a Sunshine Award.

  6. I love them all, too. The ladybug, the blue flowers and especially the droplet of water!

  7. Gosh, this is the reason I've so wanted a macro lens (someday) for my camera. I love the minute details of macro shots. It's like looking at another world.

    These photos are incredible. I can't decide my favorite, but I'll pick the teeny blue flowers one because it's dedicated to me. :-)

  8. R - Thanks! Yeah, I've been wanting one a long time, but they aren't cheap. This one I'm renting is like $900+. :/

  9. My coworker says that those first ones after the ladybug are called grape hyacinth

  10. Are my comments working, my phone is being weird.

  11. I guess my comments are working after all!



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