I noticed as I was wandering around the past few days with my new telephoto lens that I was taking a lot of macro shots, or at least attempting them, which got me thinking: perhaps a macro lens is another purchase I need to make. Need might not be the best word to use, but I’m going to go with it for now, because obviously it’s a type of photography I’m interested in as I was so drawn to taking those photos with my new lens, and hey, I’ve come this far, so why not keep throwing my money down the photography hobby-drain?
I could keep attempting to take macros with the telephoto, or give my 50mm a go now and again, but they are not ideal for such photography and are incredibly persnickety to use. Plus, I can’t get too close to a subject with them because they simply cannot focus, so I lose a lot of shots I’d like to take and have to settle for less than stellar results. Believe it or not, there’s a LOT closer I could be getting to some of these subjects if I had a lens that could focus at such a close distance – the ones I have simply turn to mush and can’t find anything to latch onto until I back up or get incredibly lucky. So today I hopped on the information superhighway and researched what might be a good macro lens for me to try out.
Pixlr’ed to disguise poor focus and lighting. Also I love it that my blog readers know what it means to be “Pixlr’ed.”
Now, I could go with something low-end like one of Canon’s S-series lenses that doesn’t work on a full-frame body, but my level of satisfaction with a cheaper build-quality lens isn’t going to take me very far. And with the few shots I’ve managed to pull off using the lenses I have, I can tell I’d get a lot of use out of a higher-quality version, so I’d at least like a mid-level range macro lens to start if I’m not willing to shell out for L-series glass right off the bat (which, of course, starts around a grand as usual). After all, neither my 50mm nor my 85mm are L-series but I am happy with them for now, and when I exchanged my S-series 50mm for the mid-range version I definitely saw improvement.
So, what to buy: I’ve landed on the Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro lens for now. There’s a pricier L-series version, but as you can see there’s a big jump in cost, and I can get the mid-level model for about $450 off eBay if I play my cards right. Obviously I am not making this purchase right away, as I just spent a lot on the telephoto lens, but this one is definitely on my radar now, and I bet I get my hands on one sooner rather than later. I may suck it up and sell some stuff on eBay to help pay for it, when I get some time to do that.
Lord knows what I’ll decide I need next. I’m usually happy plodding along with what I have, but I guess adding to my boredom with taking self-portraits and jump shots comes the desire for more gear as I take different types of pictures. I’m happy to purchase higher-quality stuff at this point too, that can add to my growing collection of gear. I’m getting quite a nice little arsenal built up, so overall I don’t mind having a few less pair of Uggs as a tradeoff (plus it’s warming up here, so I’m not wearing my Uggs as much now).
What will I decide I need next? Probably a new camera body! The idea of buying a Mark III hasn’t left my head, and sometime soon Canon should be introducing a IV or some other upgrade that drops the price lower on the III (and by “lower,” I mean, still quite high) and makes it the right time to buy. Going from a cropped sensor to a full-frame would involve a learning curve, for sure, but it’s my next logical step and I’m sure I’d love the results (don’t ask me for specifics on what exactly a ‘full-frame’ camera is vs. a ‘cropped’ one, because aside from cost I barely know myself. Except that math in involved). Plus, all the lenses I currently own will work with full-frame cameras, so yay to paying a little more for quality – buying a new camera body won’t suddenly deplete my gear collection! Hear me justifying the purchase already? But seriously, it’s not gonna happen soon. I’ve got a lot to learn with all the new equipment I’ve acquired, and I really do want to wait until a newer version comes out and the price goes down. $3400 for a camera is a huge chunk of change, and I’m not up for it right now – but it does make $450 for a new lens look downright reasonable in comparison. 🙂
I am dizzy contemplating all these possibilities, lol. Taking just baby steps myself, I can appreciate that you are ready for this ambitious set of purchases, so we will all enjoy the results of whatever you decide. One thing I did (and have not even opened) was purchase a set of “macro” multiplier lenses that fit on the end of the 18-55 mm, the way filters do. I think they came in a set of three and you add one to three depending on the effect desired. That advice I got from another Flickr (real) photographer, probably best for a relative newbie like me. I haven’t tried them yet, but have seen the results he has achieved with them and they were quite effective. Good luck sorting all this out and, of course, keep us posted.
I have considered those lenses, but I end up not liking the inconvenience of fitting them onto the lens, etc. I could see trying a route like that for something I’m not sure I’m going to like and quite honestly, I always start out with the cheapest thing possible when it’s something new to me. My sense here though, is that I will use the hell out of the lens and so I might as well just spend the money on it. That’s pretty unusual for me though.
I love your reasoning on the necessity for new equipment. I’ve often used that same thinking. Given the outstanding quality and content of your photography, if there is an area you could add to your repertoire, I think you should. I really enjoy your photographs, there always seems to be a nice simplicity that focuses on the beauty of what you are photographing.
Thanks! Of course I want to rush out and buy one right now, but when I’m really ready one will be there for me. Ebay always has some good lens deals going on.
I’m thinking you need the lens, if for nothing else, your own happiness.
It has taken me almost a month to rationalize the expenditure for a new video camera, but as of last night I decided to go for it.
I’ve been using a cheap little Canon for a few years now. But let’s face it, if you want higher quality, you have to pay for it.
Love your pictures though.
I agree- an I also think chewing it over for awhile is good, too, when it comes to expenses like this. I took at least a month to finally decide to buy the telephoto; when it’s a lot of money it’s best to feel really good about it once you do pull the trigger. I think you will love the new video camera! It’s great how it opens up whole new worlds of possibilities for your art. It’s really very exciting and rewarding. Can’t wait to see what you do with it. I really love the humor you bring to your videos.