Monday, November 21, 2011

BBL 2011-2012 | Rent a Macro Lens


Why did I include this on my Bucket List?

The main reason that I decided to include this on my Birthday Bucket List was because I wanted to experiment with a new area of photography that I hadn't tried before.  However, I was also interested in renting a Macro Lens because I wanted to compare it to my own lenses for nature and abstract photography.

Was the experience what I had hoped it would be?

I learned so much from experimenting with this lens!  First of all, it was a lot of fun to play with the lens and try new things with it that I have been wanting to do for a long time.  It was great because I found myself using manual focus instead of auto focus, which isn't the norm for me.  It was also good for me to use a fixed focal length lens, since all of the lenses I currently own are zoom lenses.  So, I'd have to say that the experience of using this lens was much better than I could have imagined.

The details...

Since moving to Phoenix, I feel like I've been insanely busy.  Now that the daylight hours are much shorter, I haven't been logging much time behind my camera.  That depresses me, and makes me feel guilty all at the same time.  This week I ended up having a little bit of extra free time, and decided that it would be a great to use that time to shoot.

I decided to rent the Canon EF 180mm f/3.5 L Macro USM, for a few reasons.  The reviews I read claimed that it had great bokeh, which is something that will suck me in every time.  I also though that having a longer focal length might make it easier for me to shoot with since I wouldn't have to get quite so close to my subjects.  It seemed like a good transition from the lenses that I'm used to shooting with.

I adapted to the lens fairly quickly and by the second time I went out with it, I had the hang of using it.  I even had an easier time using manual focus than I expected.  (For those of you wondering, the lens does have an auto focus feature, I just preferred to use manual focus because the lens seemed to have a hard time focusing in on the smaller objects and watching the lens constantly focus in and out was bothering me.)  I actually felt like I was more limited by my imagination of what to photograph than by my ability to master the lens, which was the exact opposite from my experience with the Fish Eye Lens that I rented.

The hardest part of using this lens was the fact that I don't currently own a tripod.  Mine broke a few months ago, and I haven't made the time to replace it. So, all of the images I took with the Macro Lens were taken with a hand-held camera.  It added an additional challenge to using the lens, but it also was a good learning experience.  I had to pull out everything I've ever learned about how to stabilize the camera.  A few of my images aren't as in focus as they could have been using a tripod, but in general I'm really happy with the results of my images from the week.

I hope you'll stop back by over the next week or two to check out the photos from my Macro Lens Experiment!

Do you want to see my entire 2011-2012 Bucket List? You can find it here.

Michele Whitacre is a portrait photographer serving Phoenix, Arizona and the surrounding area. Visit Michele's website at Become a fan of Michele's work on Facebook. Follow Michele's updates on Twitter.

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