My Favorite Macro Shots from My Week with a Rented Canon 180mm 3.5 L Macro Lens

Boy do I love that lens, and boy is it hard to use for macro photography by an inexperienced macro shooter such as myself. But I enjoyed practicing, and I loved it for portraits as well. The lens is so hard to handhold at speeds lower than about 1/250 sec, add to that the relatively small apertures that one needs to use at close distances to get more than a tiny sliver of the image in focus and you have a really hard time getting enough light to reach the sensor unless you bump up the ISO to the point where, with my camera the noise becomes noticeable.

I tried using my camera on tripod, because, presumably you can use slower shutterspeeds when camera shake due to inability to handhold is no longer an issue, but I was completely dumbfounded by that experience. I put my camera on the tripod by our butterfly bush where lots of bugs hang around all the time, set my focus on a cluster of flowers, and waited. Yes, quite a few bugs came along, but they were too fast for the slower shutter speeds to get a clear photo of. Besides, I don’t have the patience to sit on one spot for too long, hoping that a bug will decide to land on a leaf that I’m focused on and sit still at the exactly perfect angle for me to take a photo. Besides, the best angles for each shot are too hard for me to determine before my subjects arrival.

The one thing I didn’t try, and that would have probably been the best solution for me was a macro ringlight. Those things are too darn expensive for somebody like me who only shoots macro occasionally for fun.

Despite all the difficulties, I did end up getting a few decent close-ups.

(180mm, ISO 800, f/9, 1/250 sec)


(180mm, ISO 1000, f/9, 1/250 sec)


The next one looks sort of like a caterpillar, but it’s actually a bee. Apparently bees appear to be really fuzzy from a certain angle close up.

(180mm, ISO 800, f/9, 1/250 sec)


(180mm, ISO 800, f/8, 1/350 sec)


4 responses to “My Favorite Macro Shots from My Week with a Rented Canon 180mm 3.5 L Macro Lens

    • I’m a bit torn on the bee shot myself. It was one of those shots where I really wished that I had had room to close down the aperture just a little bit more to get both of the bee’s eyes in sharp focus. But I like the ambiguity of the bug’s identity šŸ™‚ . I’m glad you liked it!

      Liked by 1 person

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