Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Macro magic

Tax free weekend here in Massachusetts was good to me. Last week as a whole was extraordinary - family visits, group dinner, estate sales with my dad, meeting Andrew McMahon .... I digress.
I've wanted a macro lens for SO so so long. An old point and shoot Fuji camera I used to use has the best macro feature and I used to take super close photos of everything with that camera. Recently, I was scouring Canon's website to assist my boss in picking out a camera to share between my company's various satellite offices which do not have editors equipped with DSLRs they purchased on their own. I try to avoid that website, as I can spend hours dreaming over the number of lenses I'd like to add to my arsenal. Tax free weekend was just screaming "Buy a lens, buy a lens!" I listened.
Our local camera store, Hunts, has a really fantastic employee named Steve. My Mum and I have purchased numerous cameras, lenses and accessories through him over the past few years. He's beyond knowledgeable, fair and I value his opinion as both a film and digital photographer. Truthfully, I think he enjoys speaking to a photographer who is not a student at the Five Colleges, pretending to know what aperture and ISO are. When he told me last year to purchase the Canon 7D over the older, less expensive Canon 50D because it would soon become obsolete, I listened. (Mum goes, "Which would you suggest if she was your daughter?" Steve said the 7D. Mum goes, "Welp, 7D it is!") Best purchase ever! His suggestion for the Canon 85mm prime lens over a 50mm was excellent - that lens is a beautiful piece of glass and works great for shooting weddings. So, as I was himming and hawing over the 50mm and 60mm  and Canon vs Sigma vs Tamrac, I sought his advice.
While I may joke about Canon > Nikon, I'm really not a brand-specific person. Canon and Nikon are both excellent camera brands. The same can be said for Sigma and Tamrac. I actually own a Quantaray 55-200mm 5.6 telephoto lens and enjoy it. It's slower than a Canon, but at the time when I purchased it four years ago, it was within my college student budget.
Because tax free weekend was such a draw for customers at electronic and tech stores, the Canon 50 and 60mm weren't in stock. Steve suggested the Sigma 50mm 2.8. Remembering that I purchased the 7D, he let me try it out on the in-store 7D (You can't get customer service like that anymore!) and I fell in love. I purchased it, a  UV filter to protect the lens ( please please buy these to protect your lenses!!!) and $400 + later, I was out and about shooting away. In addition to macro shots, it doubles as a great 50mm lens for sharp portraits, which fills a hole with the lenses I already own.
I've been in a photo slump lately, and this is just the thing to bring me out and shoot again!

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