I have been lamenting in recent blogs about my challenges with using this particular lens. I am probably the most stubborn person I know (and I bet my husband would agree). Let me first say, I love this lens and the possibilities it opens up for me as an abstract photographer. I thought I would share some of the things I have learned along the way, and who knows, before the year ends, maybe you’ll see a blog titled “I won the war” (I’m also working on my optimism this year).
Tip 1: Use a tripod. You cannot handhold this lens without a flash (see below). The slice of focus is so thin and narrow, it requires precision to get the image sharp in one spot.
Tip 2: For outdoor subjects use a flash. This lens will pick up the slightest movement or vibration. I have found it almost impossible to use outdoors without a flash. Also, it can be challenging to position yourself just right on a tripod if you are battling with things around you.
Tip 3: Move your subject indoors if possible. You will have a lot more control of the light, the positioning of your tripod, and it won’t move.
Tip 4: Clean your subject if possible. This lens will pick up everything – every speck of dust. I was looking through the viewfinder and saw a jungle of small microscopic spiders (which really freaked me out – I almost couldn’t enjoy my flower arrangement anymore)
Tip 5: Play with abstracts. Look past the obvious for shapes and colors.
When I first got this lens I was utterly frustrated. I found a great post on, Ophyrus Photography, which helped me understand how to start working with it. I have big plans for what this lens can do for me. I’ll keep you posted.