Stretch beyond your comfort, for the focal point of the horizon is at infinity. -V. A.Gonce
Today my Floral Friday is a bit different. I’ve been studying macro and ultra macro photography for a few months now, and reading up on the MP-E 65MM from Canon. As a result, I have developed a healthy fear of the darn thing. It is designed for extreme macro shots that are greater than the standard 1:1 magnification. This lens’ capacity for magnification is 1:1-5:1.
With this particular lens, there is no focusing ring and no autofocus. Focus is achieved by moving the camera or the tripod into position, or by changing the magnification ring. Because it is really impossible to move a camera on a tripod the tiny increments required to achieve focus, macro focusing rails are necessary. These rails sit between the camera and the tripod, and act much like the stage of a microscope in that you move the platforms by turning knobs. Some focusing rails only move along the Y axis, while others move along an X and Y axis.
I decided that the only way to know if I’d really like the lens was to rent it and the rails, and they arrived this morning. In the last couple of hours, I’ve learned that the learning curve for this lens is indeed quite steep. I’ve also learned that quality in your equipment is very important. Even the slightest shakes and shimmies will blur the photo. Think of powerful binoculars, and trying to stay targeted on one subject. If you move even in the slightest, the subject moves greatly. The same is true for this lens.
I think, however, that the lens is capable of fantastic images, if given the dedication to stretch beyond my comfort zone. I have it for the weekend, and hope it will end in a love for this lens, rather than despising it. In the meantime, below are the first photo experiments with this lens. Please let me know what you think.
*As an interesting side note, none of the photos above were cropped. The third image is a focus stacked image. I also did very little tweaking in post processing.