Lens: Canon 100mm Macro f/2.8
Nickname: Get in close
Started using it: Fall 2015
On my camera: 10-15% of the time
Bought it: used
I recently had the opportunity to pick up this beauty of a lens. I was fortunate enough to connect with someone selling it in a facebook group who had barely used it. She had purchased it just days before she found out her boyfriend had also bought it for her! He got her the IS (Image Stabilization) version, so she decided to sell the non-IS version. It was a great price and had been used maybe once or twice. I was planning on eventually getting the IS version, but knowing I might need to use this lens sooner than later, I decided to go ahead and invest in this one.
If you don't know about the beauty of macro lenses, let me tell you, they are pretty amazing. If you notice on most lenses, the focusing distance is usually farther away than you would like it to be in some circumstances. If you get too close to the subject the lens will simply not focus and you need to back up. With a macro lens you can get close, close, CLOSE! The closest focusing distance on this lens is 1 foot which is super close considering the focal length is also 100mm. On a 50mm 1.4 the closest focusing distance is 1 1/2 feet and the focal length is twice as wide so it feels like you can't get that much detail. With the 100mm you can get all up in your subjects business!!
This results in the ability to capture amazing detail of very small things in your image. You can achieve great depth of field and highlight details in ways you never thought possible. This is why this lens is used so often in ring shots for wedding photography.
The 100mm is also an amazing portrait lens as you can achieve beautiful compression and bokeh (similar to the 85mm) and the lens is so much lighter than the 70-200 that it makes it much more desirable to leave on your camera more often.
Despite the amazing images that this lens is capable of producing, it can be a tough lens to perfect and you really have to practice with it, especially when photographing something like diamonds. I will likely have another post in the future getting into the specifics of capturing a great ring shot and will include some helpful tips and tricks that have worked really well for me.
If you are a wedding photographer, I think a 100mm macro (for Canon) or 105mm macro (for Nikon) are essential for your bag. Detail shots like these are not only fun to capture, but they are becoming standard practice to provide to couples on their day. I highly encourage you to invest in this lens if weddings are your jam!
Do you have a 100mm macro? What is your favorite thing to take photos of CLOSE UP?!