As I’ve mentioned before, if I were asked to declare a particular field of photography to be my favourite, I’d probably say “insects”, or to be more precise “arthropods”, or to be less precise “things that you wouldn’t want in your nostril” like snails and dragonflies and slugs and spiders and oh did I mention snails.
I’ve always felt it a bit of a shame that my “good” camera is actually fairly weak in this respect, and I’ve always been able to get much better results out of my point-and-shoots. It’s not the camera’s fault, of course – it’s because I’m still using the 18-55mm kit lens that came with it.
I’ve done a little bit of research into buying a new lens – these two lenses are both currently looking like candidates. They’re worlds apart, but the former would also make for a good long lens, and the latter would satisfy my other desire for a decent prime.
I went into a camera shop yesterday and got the assistant to put the latter on a body so I could have a play around with it. As far as tests go, I’m not sure how much I learned. There wasn’t much light, I had to use a lens cap as a surrogate insect, and the camera was on a security wire so I had limited movement. Would have been a better test if I’d actually had my own camera on me, of course.
I’m the sort of guy who likes to do a bit of research before he spends a bit of money, and so far I’m unable to drum up enough confidence to put down the money. I’ve considered renting lenses as well, to give them a try. One thing that does turn me off is all this talk about tripods – I’m the kind of chap who likes to shoot dragonflies from the hip. There’s no point in me spending money if it can’t outperform my point-and-shoot.
Fortunately, I happen to know that the Uborka readership contains a disproportionately high percentage of photographers, so I’m firing up the Ubork-symbol (it’s a big cucumber projected onto the base of the clouds), making sure it’s in focus (naturally) and saying “here’s the comments box, let’s talk about macro.”