My Gear : Canon 100mm 2.8L Macro Lens

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Next up is a lens that in the past I’ve used for one purpose but am now finding new ways to use on a wedding day!  It’s the Canon 100 2.8L macro!  If you been following this series you’ve read about my baby the 50 1.2L and my new friend the 35 1.4L, stay tuned next week when I cover the 70-200 4.0L.

Since I started photographing weddings I’ve always had a 100 2.8 macro in my arsenal.  It allows me to get those supercloseup ring shots that everyone loves!  I’m still working on perfecting my ring shots but one obstacle I ran into was that to get enough depth of field to my shots I had to bump up my aperture and slow down my shutter speed.  I’m shaky enough when it comes to ring shots at 1/125 let alone trying to do them at 1/60!  Enter the new Canon 100 2.8L version with Image Stabilization.  Those two lovely words give me at least a stop or two more of light without me getting too shaky.  It doesn’t help that I seem to naturally sway when shooting but at least as I sway and shoot I get a few in sharp focus!  Plus as with the other red ring Canon lenses the L glass is super sharp!

Since getting it I’m starting to work it into other parts of the wedding day like the special dances!  I love the 35 to tell more of the story of the couple dancing while showing off architectural details from floor to ceiling.  The 50 gets me a bit closer while still showing friends and family looking on.  The 100 gets me nice and close without being on the dance floor dancing with my couples!  haha!  I can stay safely on the sidelines and get wonderful shots of the couple waist up typically where they fill the frame and the photo is all about their moment.  I just happened to pull this lens out while second shooting one time for the first dance and I really loved the close up photos of joy on their faces!  Since then I try to remember to keep it close by when it comes to those events.  It works great for toasts too!  Typically you will find me near the DJ’s table with my 35, 50 and 100 lined up nice and neat for easy access to swap throughout these dances.  Yes I do own a zillion camera bags but this setup just works better for me during this time :)!

Top : ISO1600 f/2.8 1/125 plus OCF  –  There was still enough daylight coming in the windows that I just used the flash for a small pop of extra light on their faces since they were facing away from the window light.  I went with a 2.8 because it is as wide as this lens allows and it give me plenty of depth of field while allowing the guests in the back to fall to a blur.  ISO 1600 to capture the ambient light in the room.  I kept my ss at 125 to stop their motion since my flash was not at a high enough power to do that.  I was using the flash for a pop not to light the entire scene.

Bottom : ISO3200 f/2.8 1/125 plus OCF – Just a bit later so I bumped my ISO to get an extra stop of light.  Same reasoning as above!

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ISO3200 f/3.2 1/100 –  So this shot turned out pretty well, my cropping could have been better ;)!  I was pushing the MK3 here to try out higher ISO levels, with my MK1 I would not have tried this above 800 unless I was desperate.  I’m excited to be able to shoot details at high ISO levels with no worries about noise!  I was using a table lamp to give me extra light since I shot this during the reception dancing.  I picked my ISO first because I was comfortable trying 3200 but not anything above that.  I picked my SS next and went with 1/100 because I tend to sway when shooting so I didn’t want to go too low and have a blur.  I need to test out the IS on this lens better though so I should try 1/60 or 1/30 next time.  I would have preferred a higher aperture but with my other setting decided 3.2 was as small as I could go.  The DOF is pretty good on this though, you can see the main diamond facets plus the wedding band diamonds.  I did crop this some in LR but not too much.

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ISO 2500 f/3.5 1/100 – Very similar to the shot above.  This shot works even better because I’m tilting the camera to put the two rings on a more similar plane.

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Left : ISO 6400 f/2.8 1/80 – So I was shooting this outdoors while guests were eating and I was battling sunset.  In fact I think this was taken in that time right after the sun dipped below the horizon.  I went with the widest aperture, the lowest SS I was comfortable trying out and bumped my ISO way up!!  I knew that since I wanted to get the whole folded fish in the image too that my DOF would be okay it was just a matter of getting the rings in focus!

Right : ISO 1600 f/5.6 1/80 – This is a sneak peek at an image for Thursdays post!  I shot this after sunset in a room with lots of light and natural reflectors and I used my flash!  This was a complete experiment with using flash for ring shots but I think it will be fun to play with this more!  Next time I might add in some OCF too!  So settings wise I knew that trying to balance these rings on the straw meant that they would not be on the same plane.  I was just trying to keep them from falling into the glass.  I went with 5.6 because I thought that would give me enough DOF, 1/80 because I felt fine hand holding that, ISO 1600 to keep my flash from being too powerful.  I would have liked more DOF so I should have backed up and then cropped in LR later.  Oh well lesson learned, it is still a pretty ring shot!

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ISO 12800 f/2.8 1/80 – So remember I said I was shooting this after the sunset you can see that within just a few minutes I had to bump my ISO from 6400 to 12800.  I like it though and while I’d prefer not to bump my ISO that high at least I know it is an option.

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ISO 1600 f/5.6 1/80 –  In this one the wedding bands are in focus but the diamond of the engagement is out of focus.  To get them all I would have had to back up and crop in LR or get them all on the same plane.  This is to show you that I’m still working on m ring shots and have a lot to learn 😉

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ISO 1600 f/5.6 1/80 – So while I try to get images of all the rings in focus I also go for just showing off the engagement ring bling!  This is a perfect example of that where the diamond is center stage and the bands just back it up.

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