March 25, 2016
Wedding photographer’s, you need a macro lens! I will let that hang in the air for a second. When I started on my wedding photography journey I wanted to get all of my portrait must have lenses before I invested in a macro lens, I figured I could just shoot my rings from afar and then crop then down. I would set whatever lens I was using to manual focus and get as close as possible and go for it, never really understanding why my whole ring was not in focus even though it looked sharp in the back of the camera. Here are a few examples of my previous method of ring shots:
If you are familiar with macro photography, you know right away the settings for these images were all wrong, and the crop method is not always best, as it can distort your image and create more noise. Plus these images sure didn’t look like the ring shots I saw in the Zales catalog, or other wedding photographers ring shots that I admired.
So after some thought I decided I would try and invest in macro tubes. I knew as soon as I snapped the first image with these tubes that I was not going to get the quality that I wanted. It was basically like stacking several pairs of glasses in front of my camera then attaching my lens. It did not allow the amount of light in that I needed to get the shot I wanted, plus the focusing capability was something that would need a lot of fiddling, and I did not want to be fumbling around on a already pressurized wedding day. I know several photographers who have mastered the use of the tubes, but I decided they were just not for me.
I finally landed on the Canon EF 100mm f2.8L IS lens. After playing with it around the house, snapping salt shakers and drops of water on water glasses I was ready to take it out into the real world, so here are some of the things that I have learned.
Because the aperture has to be bumped up, causing the ISO to be bumped up you will need to do some sharpening in post processing. I normally will increase the luminance and then add lot’s of clarity because I want to bring out the details.
This is your chance to let your creative juices flow and create something beautiful that the clients will remember forever. Kyla and Ryan will remember their adventures in the snow when they see this gorgeous ring shot on a pinecone.
I just love the compression that the 100mm gives me, over shooting details with my 50mm or even the 85mm, however I do love the 50mm for other wedding details such as the dress or veil.
So in the end, where I really felt that the macro lens was more of a luxury then a necessity, for where I am taking my business I know now it is a necessity. It is not very often that I am not whipping out my macro to capture something creative to include in the clients gallery, wether it is the ever important ring shot, or images of the beautiful flowers surrounding the clients home for a lifestyle session. As a storyteller with my images, I have found that the macro rounded out the storyline for my clients. If you are on the fence I would encourage you to rent one and see if it is worth the investment.