Ever since I rented that awesome Canon 100mm f2.8 L macro lens, and had a chance to try to take a few macro shots of water drops and bugs, I’ve been longing for owning a true macro lens. I have a Canon 50mm f1.4 lens that I would be happy to trade in for something with macro capabilities, but since the used value of that lens comes nowhere near the cost of a used 100mm macro, I decided to rent the old school Canon 50mm f2.5 macro lens to see if it’s comparable in image quality to the 50mm lens I have and to test how good it is for macro shots compared to the 100mm lens. Canon’s 50mm macro is ridiculously cheap and it can be had for less than $200.00 in the used market.
I did a random set of shots of some bugs and flowers today just to see what it’s capable of, not really expecting much at all. I’m not one to demand the quietest usm lenses and I’ve been perfectly happy with the level of noise the AF motor on my old-school Canon 135mm f2.8 VSF lens makes; but I was really surprised about how loud this lens really is. I seriously doubt that anybody will ever be able to take any macro shots of any living things with the lens set to AF, it is THAT loud. I usually use manual focus for most everything, so it’s not a deal breaker for me, but man it’s loud! I was pleasantly surprised about the quality of images though. I know that the sharpness of any given image has more to do with the person behind the camera than the performance of a lens, but this lens is capable of capturing at least as much detail as my 50mm 1.4, if not more and I’m really tempted to do the trade.
Anyway, none of the photos I took today are anything extraordinary. They are mostly haphazard shots of random things, but I got a big surprise when I pulled the below image of a fly on an iris flower on my computer.
(50mm, ISO 100, f/8.0, 1/320 sec)
At the first glance, it’s a boring image of the iris and you can barely see the fly hanging out on the flower petal – I was too scared to get any closer to take the photo thinking that I might scare the fly away, although the lens is capable of focusing way closer than this. In fact, when I took the image, I was pretty upset about not having closed down the aperture more to get that fly that is mid-air on it’s way somewhere else also in focus, he seemed more interesting to me than the one just hanging out. After zooming in on the computer screen, I was in for a nice surprise though – that fly on the flower petal has a bubble of something, either water or nectar, hanging out of his mouth. And it’s adorable, and I’ve never seen such thing before, and look how well the lens captured this, even zoomed in 100 percent and photo taken handheld with no real way to support the camera because of the position I was in while pressing the shutter.