B359 – THE CANON MACRO LENS, WORTH IT?

So today I had more of a play with the Canon 100mm f/2.8 L series Macro Lens, its basically a lens that can magnify objects close up and give you a view of something that the human eye might not necessarily be able to see. Now the lens RRP is around £900 which for a Canon L series Lens isn’t really too bad, its like of a mid price lens and something that I think every photographer should at least have access too, its a great lens to have a play with and is the perfect lens to just pull out the camera bag one day and mix your photography game up abit

For this review I decided to do it as fair as possible, so I set up some lights and created a kind of mini studio, with a black bounce board and a magic arm to hold up the object. My plan was then to tether my laptop to the camera and after each shot go through the image and work out if I was happy with the point of focus. I wanted an object that had different textures and something that no matter how close you could get you would always discover more and more detail, my object of choice was trimmings off the plants out the front of the office.

My idea was to shoot with both a high ISO and also bring the ISO right down and use the shutter speed to control the light, and because I was using a Tripod I could now minimise camera shake. for those that don’t know the ISO is basically something that you make higher for low light conditions and decrease for well lite shots, my idea was to use a high ISO and a fast shutter speed to see how that effected the shot, and I definitely lost detail when close up and in full Macro mode, it made the shots a lot more “grainy” but once I lowered both the ISO and shutter speed, I noticed that my photos were a lot smoother and the level of detail had gone up ten fold. I was now capturing light in even the darkest areas of each photo but because I was shooting with an amazing lens, I could pull focus on the areas I wanted too and blur completely out areas I didn’t think added anything to the photo.

I also have to agree with canon that an aperture of 2.8 is probably right and thing lower and the depth of field would become way to shallow. At the same time I wouldn’t mind seeing what a 100mm macro would look like with an aperture of f1.8, I know that would be very shallow but that mixed with something like a medium format camera would mean you could see even more than the human eye. Anyone out there heard of a f1.8 100mm macro?

All in all this is a great and lens and something that really mixes up not just my photography game but photography in general. Its a lens that I would love to add permanently to my lens collection and something that I think will help me to improve the overall look of my future photos.

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– this is a photo I wanted to take and show the whole head of the leaf and show how the focal length handles a wider shot –
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– close up, Im pretty happy with this but if I had a higher megapixel camera I would definitely would have cropped in further –
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– shooting something thats been out in the rain means I get to see how the macro lens handles reflections and contrast, I really think this lens is worth £900! –
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– This was my set up for this shot, probably the most effort Ive ever put into shooting a leaf –
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B238 – IM READY TO BITE THE BULLET AND DO IT

Yesterday was an exciting day, for some of you out there you know how much I love Leica cameras and how much Ive wanted one. I love the Leica Q, but Im not a fan of the fact its a £3500 camera that has a fixed lens, I love using different lenses and I don’t want to drop that much money of a fix lens camera. that puts me onto the next problem, the only other option is the Leica M, a beautiful camera and something I would love to own, but it comes with a hefty price tag of between £6000 and £8000! thats a bit to much money for me to even think about spending, especially when this camera doesn’t even have auto focus.

Well, Leica have now done something truly amazing, they have re-released the Leica CL, a 24 mega pixel, 4k video mini pocket rocket. this is exactly what Ive wanted, something for a good price that I can change lenses for and that comes with that iconic Leica picture quality.

you can buy a the Leica CL with a few different lens choices, the 18mm, 23mm, 35mm, 65mm and a 55 – 135mm lens. literally a perfect mixture. Ive decided to go on the waiting list for the 18mm lens aswell. I was thinking about getting the 23mm, but that was a bit too tight, the 18 is wide, very wide but it just works as a starter lens. then once ive managed to afford food and the odd social event I would probably go back and buy the 55-135mm and maybe the 35mm. just so Ive got a range for just about any event. Im kind of gutted that I didn’t test the 55-135mm yesterday, I just got carried away with the other lenses.

I know there are people out there that would say  “why don’t you just get the Olympus X-T20? and save yourself £2000 ” and trust me that camera is still on the table, but I wont be able to make that decision till I get the phone call from Leica telling me they have a CL in stock and with my name on it. I love the idea of owning a Olympus X-T20 and think its a beautiful camera but I cant ignore the fact Leica have brought out a camera that Ive wanted them to make for so long. Oh and the auto focus is ridiculously quick and smooth.

enough of the geeky chat about cameras, here are some photos from the store, thank you anders for coming with me and pretending to be a model, have you ever thought about a career is modelling before?

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– 23mm lens –
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– 35mm lens –
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– 23mm lens –
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– I think this was on the 18mm –
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– I didnt take this picture but this is what the camera looks like –