One Resolution Down Four To Go

At the beginning of the year I wrote a post about plans and things I want to get done this year (also known as resolutions). Three weeks later I can cross one off. I now have a Macro lens.

ISO250 50mm f/11 1/250 sec

ISO250 50mm f/11 1/250 sec Using my Extension Tube set up.

Previously all my macro shots were mixed with a killer combination of a 50mm prime and a stack of extension tubes. I used this combination for two reasons; first when I started with macro I wasn’t sure how much I would get into it,  I didn’t want to spend a lot of money on a lens for it to get covered in dust and sat at the bottom of my bag and I decided to buy extension tubes. Secondly a 50mm prime fitted nicely and at f/1.8 you can create some fantastic abstract shots.

I had been hunting around looking for 100mm macro lens with the two contenders being a Canon lens at a nice expensive price and a Tamron 90mm at a slightly more reasonable price. I spent a lot of time looking at reviews, not just written ones but also videos and full resolution comparisons and there seemed to be a little difference between the two lenses except in the autofocus and build. The Tamron lens has a more plastic feeling and looks less glamorous than its Canon Cousin, also the autofocus is slower but generally with macro I use manual focus and a slower autofocus wouldn’t be a deal breaker. Although the deal breaker would be the price and the difference was huge at nearly double the price between Canon and Tamron.

Saving my pennies before Christmas and some gifts over Christmas I was slowly building a sum to buy the lens. Casually checking out prices this week to see if there were any sales, I came across a link to someone selling the lens, on the Polish version of Ebay called Allegro, at nearly half the retail price. WOW, of course things are usually too good to believe online and I wouldn’t normally buy a lens second hand without testing it. I then saw the seller lived in my city and I could collect direct from them. Fantastic, if it was beat up and a dud, I wouldn’t buy.
I clicked to buy and arranged to meet them and see the lens. Taking my camera with me, I checked it out and found out that the owner had only used it a few times for portraits. Looking at the glass no scratches and taking test shots there were no other defects.

ISO400 90mm Macro f/8.0 1/100 focused with the autofocus

ISO400 90mm Macro f/8.0 1/100 focused with the autofocus

On my cropped sensor the 90mm lens is the 35mm equivalent of 144 mm. Yet I can also add my extension tubes onto this as well, which lets me fill the frame giving me a magnification ratio of 2.8:1. I can see myself having a lot of fun with this lens.

The gallery below are just some shots I have taken playing with the lens yesterday after buying it.


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23 thoughts on “One Resolution Down Four To Go

    • Hi Andrew, when I first started thinking about a macro lens I was tempted by a 60mm. After reading a bit and watching some photographers talking about macro I sided for a longer lens for this reason. I will have fun now but come spring i will be in my element.

  1. Lovely photos. I love macro images. I was saving for ages for at least extension tubes if not a lens but there was always something else needing the funds. I look forward to seeing more of your macro photos.

    • Hi Laura, some extension tubes are on the slightly expensive side, I have polaroid tubes that have electronic conectors for auto focus and changing aperture that are quite reasonable in price. They could be something to look into.

      • Thank you for that guidance. I am spending less time on honing my photography skills these days but I will keep that in mind if I decide to save up for the tubes again.

  2. A macro lens is a great lens to have. I never go without mine. For me the two most important lenses are the wide angle and macro. I also use the macro for landscape shots as well. It works nice with it’s natural shallow DoF that allows for selective focusing. I don’t know how one would compare to a telephoto lens of the same focal length though, but I do know I love the bokeh I get from my macro lens when shooting landscape or portraits. Have fun with your new toy! 🙂

    • I have heard of a lot of people using macro outside of macro, esp the longer lenses for portraits. I can imagine the shallower DOF being fun to utilise for landscapes. I may try to rent a shorter focal length macro to experiment with in the city, as a shallower DOF would be fantastic.

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