In conjunction with Sigma and Hunt’s Photo, I recently lead a garden photography workshop at The Botanic Garden of Smith College in Northampton, MA. There and anywhere I lead a workshop dealing with macro photography, I always stress the importance of choosing your f-stops wisely.
Macro lenses are for making pictures of bugs, watch parts, coins, jewelry and other tiny stuff. Right? Well not necessarily. Recently one of my model buddies wanted some beauty photographs that mimic Cover Girl makeup ads. We gathered one Friday morning at my studio and went to work. I set up an evenly lit white background using V-Flats while Hope had her makeup done by Kristen White.
Judging by the number of questions I get from photographers concerning the working distances of macro lenses I think it is a good subject to talk about.
The working distance of a macro lens, not to be confused with minimum focus distance, is the distance between the front of your lens and the subject. This is different from the minimum focus distance which instead means the distance to the subject as measured from the focal plane mark on the camera body, not from the front of the lens. Working distance is a more important figure since it tells how much space you have between the front of your lens and your subject. Working distance generally increases with longer focal length lenses, shorter lenses usually have shorter working distances.
Justin Wojtczak of 375 Photography has been shooting tons of images with an assortment of Sigma lenses over the past few months and put together this great highlight reel on Vimeo showcasing his great images made with Sigma gear. We asked him to give some background and tips into how he made each shot so you can take his advice and apply it to your own upcoming shoots.
The Sigma Dp3 Merrill is the newest member of the DP family, and the fourth camera in the Sigma line built around the amazing Merill Generation Foveon Direct Image Sensor. The Dp3 Merrill is fitted with a 50mm F2.8 DP prime lens that equates to 75mm on the APS-C stacked image sensor. And, in a first for the DP lineup, it offers 1:3 macro magnification.
First announced at Photokina 2012, The Sigma 17-70mm F2.8-4.0 DC Macro is the first in the Contemporary line of lenses in the Sigma Global Vision to be released. This fast, compact, variable aperture standard zoom for APS-C DSLRs is going to make a lot of photographers very happy. Even though it covers a very similar focal range as the often-bundled starter lens with many DSLRs, It is a serious step up from the typical kit offering, including true macro capture.
When traveling as light as possible while maximizing versatility, an all-in-one zoom lens like the new Sigma 18-250mm F3.5-6.3 is a great choice. This recently redesigned lens is built specifically for DSLRs with the smaller APS-C sensors, and now adds 1:2.9 macro capture for even more flexibility and creativity in an even more compact package than its predecessor.