Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Macro & Close-up Images: How I started.

Macro and Close-up photography. My first love. It's what I go back to when I have nothing else to photograph. 
I have been drawn to 'close-up' photos even when I had a point and shoot camera. I always made sure that the one I bought had the little flower icon for the macro setting. Let me tell you, I was truly amazed at the results that I got with my p&s camera. I would take pictures of anything and everything I could.

Then, when I got my first mirrorless DSLR camera, Sony Nex3, I was even more blown away. I was taking close up photos with the standard kit lens and in the same Macro setting (flower icon), and the outcome was (in my eyes) amazing! It wasn't until I bought a zoom lens (Canon EF 75-300 and an adapter) and used that for the first time, that I thought I understood what I was doing (which I know now, I didn't). I loved how brave I felt getting close to nature that I'm usually running away from. But in reality, I wasn't that close ;)

When I stumbled across close-up filters I was truly excited! When I bought my first set, I was so angry. Nothing (and I mean nothing) was in focus. I had to do some research to figure out what the heck I was doing wrong. Once I figured it out... I fell in love with my close-up images all over again. 

It was like I was seeing through the lens for the first time. {I know... dramatic, but it's true} I had bought these filters to go on to my kit lens, so I was still able to zoom in and out but I had to get a LOT closer to the subject.

The close-up filters really played an artsy role in my images. The pretty bokeh. The softness of the subject. I really loved these filters.

When I upgraded to my new camera, I sold my original kit lens (16-50) and with my filters. A few months later, I decided to give extension tubes a try. I have the very basic, generic, cheap $6 metal one and it is not Auto anything. What I love about the extension tubes, is that more of the object is in focus. It's like getting closer to your subject with having most of your image still sharp (unlike the filters). The best of all is that now ALL of my lenses are 'macro' lenses. The Canon zoom lens, and the many vintage lenses I have. I think it's safe to say, that I love the extension tubes the best. 

The only thing left that wasn't discussed is an actual Macro lens. I have never used one, so I don't have any images of my own to show you. I'm sure, though, you would get even more amazing macro images using one. They are unfortunately out of price range. :/

I, in no way, proclaim to be an expert. I have my opinions, and that's all they are. So, here's what I know... I love using the zoom lens because I can, obviously, zoom in or out. That makes this lens almost practical for any type of Close-Up image I want as long as I am a certain distance away from the object. My only gripe is the size of the lens itself. It's monstrous. 

The close-up filters. I loved them because fine art close-up images can be made with them. Plus, I could decide how close-up I wanted to be... +1, +2, +4, or +10. However, you could screw any of those combinations together on the lens. I usually used the +10 only. My only gripe... I could only use the lens that the filter fits onto. 

Extension Tubes. These are my favorites. I can attach the tube to my camera mount, and then attach any lens to them (as long as they can also mount onto my camera). I can still use my Canon zoom lens when I don't want to get too close to a subject (i.e. spiders, ants, bugs in general), or I can hook up my vintage lens (55mm) when I don't mind getting close to my subject. My only gripe... I didn't buy the better tubes that can set ISO, etc automatically. 

That's all I have for you all today. For more Close-up/Macro images stop by my page. 
Until next time, 


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