I recently purchased a Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 USM macro lens (buy on Amazon.com) and tested it out in Public Gardens in Halifax, near where I live. I don’t know enough about lens to provide a review, but I found this very technical review extremely helpful. However, what I can do is show what I got for photos below.
I went out on a very bright sunny afternoon, which helps me get lots of depth of field in the pictures. I shot shutter priority at 1/200th of a second. Handshake is just 1/60th of a second, but for these close-ups, since a little movement can move so much with the subjects being so close, I went with the safe 1/200th of a second. ISO was mostly 200 on these shots. 100 would have been better, of course, but negligible except to the best of trained eyes. In return, I got a little extra aperture so my subjects didn’t blur out so quickly the deeper they extended into the pictures.
This set contains pictures of bugs, which, of course, fly about a lot. You have to be patient to shoot these things to get the right shot. Or if they’re near the right position, just snap away like it were an action photo. They may “step” into the right place and posture, but you figure that out later rather than try to wait it out or predict how they’d behave. Also, sometimes, try snapping a picture and then extending your arms to get the camera closer and closer with each shot, but not moving in yourself to scare the bugs away. I used the centre focus so the camera doesn’t “decide” for me what should be in focus. It’s frustrating when it chooses the wrong place to focus on a great shot to leave your shot all blurred.
The bugs here aren’t all that interesting. Public Gardens is a horticultural garden well kept so there’s nothing super interesting here. I’m trying to get myself to some marshes to find some of those bugs. However, bugs are still interesting to look at, and beautiful, in my eyes.
I found the lens very versatile. I was able to focus on bugs less than 0.31m away, which it has a setting that seems to indicate that’s the closest you can get to something for auto-focus. You can always try manual focus and add on macro-filters, of course. I had those before and what a difference it is to switch to a lens, not just for the work with mobility and auto-focus features, but also picture quality!
I’ll be working on the flowers set next, which was what I mostly got. Flowers stand still and pose much more willingly! However, they’re not anywhere near as exciting as the insects… or thrilling dodging bumblebees once in a while. 🙂
The photos here are low resolution. The file names indicate their high resolution size for which I had sufficient pixels (at 300 ppi), to give you an idea how big the bugs were in the frame. The Canon 40D (on Amazon.com) which I have only has 10.1 megapixels, which isn’t bad, but nothing compared to the others that have like 12 or 18 MPs so that the same image can be printed at a much larger size because there are more pixels on the sensor. Enjoy!