The Barefoot Photographer®

a photography blog

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Could Your Best Macro Lens Be A Whole 'Nother Camera?

When I bought my third digital camera (Fuji S7000) I explored the world of macro photography at another level.  This fixed lens camera had capabilities I did not know about when I first chose it.  The macro setting was wonderful – but the super macro setting was unbelievable.  
The minimum focus distance in the super macro mode is 1 cm!  1 cm!  That is too darn close!  (Well, not really too close – but you know what I mean)  I loved taking photos with that camera – I took many great shots – but the macro shots were the best.  It opened another world – I had such options. 


The next time I was camera shopping (a year or so later) – the macro capabilities were an important part of the decision.  I had the Fuji still – but I wanted another – a back up with similar capabilities.  Could there be a camera out there to match what I had?  The Canon S2 IS came to my attention.  I had read all about it and wanted it months before it was available for purchase.  The minimum focus distance on this one – in the super macro mode – 0 cm!  Zero!& nbsp; The options you have with such a feature are endless.  The little Canon also came with a feature that I just love – it is called "Color Accent."  You can choose a color in your photo to be in color and the rest of the photo is black and white.  That is such a fun feature to play with.  Lately I have been using Photoshop Elements to desaturate a photo and then "put back" color in certain spots.  I really like that effect.


Aside from the color accent feature – I have yet to replace the macro capabilities of these fixed lens cameras with my digital SLR.  And really – why should I?  Why should I go out to find and purchase a macro lens that may or may not completely fit my needs when my fixed lens cameras do exactly what I want?  The Canon S2 IS even has this handy flip out and around LCD.  I always tell anyone that if anything should happen to that S2 – I will have to replace it with the latest version available at the moment.  Right now – the latest version is the S5 IS.  The S5 has more megapixels than my S2 and it has a hot shoe for Speedlite flashes, mine does not.  I am sure there are many other super cool enhancements over my almost three-year old camera – but as long as they keep that super macro mode with the 0 cm minimum focus distance – I will buy one.


Why do I need to consider purchasing a macro lens for my SLR?  I mean, I could, I would use it.  At some point I most likely will get one.  BUT – in the mean time I don't think I really "need" it.  I can take macro-ish-like photos with the SLR and the zoom I have now.  I am pleased with many of those shots.  But to get up close, use the natural light, and get that super macro shot with super thin depth of field – the S2 or the old Fuji is my choice.  I carry one of them with me in the camera bag, packed away like any other lens w ould be.


What have I bought lately?  More ink (I am always running out of magenta or light magenta – this time it was light magenta and yellow), some matte paper to try out, Ilford Smooth Pearl paper to try, a Manfrotto 190XPROB tripod and Manfrotto 808RC4 3-way pan/tilt head.  I haven't tried the papers yet.  Hurray! the ink came before I ran out of light magenta completely.  The tripod and head are awesome – but it is heavier than I was hoping.  Last time I bought a tripod based on it being light – I was unhappy with it (rickety) – so I will love this being heavy (sturdy) and being a good tripod for me.

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