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How I Fell Instantly In Love With Macro Photography

How I Fell Instantly In Love With Macro Photography

Photographing with the FE 90mm f/2.8 G OSS Macro lens

All my friends will readily admit that I’m a detail freak. Yup that’s me. A bit OCD. But — hey, its gotten better over the years. Hand raised high in the air… acknowledging the fact….that’s me…a detail freak. And I’m proud of it. I’m the guy that loves to do all the detail shots at weddings. I’m hyper focused on the little details all the time when I’m photographing. Don’t get me wrong though, I can see the big picture easily. But to me, its the attention to the tiniest details that make or break an image.

“While using the FE 90mm f/2.8 Macro, I fell instantly in love with macro photography.”

Truth be told, I’ve never been a macro kind of guy. Most macro lenses have seemed fussy to me. And I always thought that you needed some extra gear to pull off fancy macro shots. Well…I’m hear to tell you that that’s not the case. All you need is a camera body and a macro lens. Not just any old macro lens will do. In this case I’m talking about the Sony FE 90mm f/2.8 Macro G OSS. This lens HAS CHANGED MY LIFE. Bold statement I know. And I’ll quantify that in this blog post. While using the 90mm f/2.8 Macro I fell instantly in love with macro photography. And the coolest thing is…I didn’t need any fancy gear besides my camera body and lens to capture visually exciting images really close up.

When I purchased the Sony FE 90mm f/2.8 Macro G OSS, I wasn’t sure what to expect. Wasn’t sure what it was capable of, how sharp it was or what I’d end up using it for. I experimented with it around the house a bit and saw how cool it was to photograph a dime at 1:1. But how did it behave in the real world? When I was out hiking? Or spending time atop a mountain in Aspen with wild flowers? Was it easy to use as a walk around lens stashed in my shoulder bag?

How I Fell Instantly In Love With Macro Photography

a7s, ISO 4000, 1/100th, f/ 2.8

Before I get into the Visual Review I’d like to cover the lens build and some of its functions.

Update: DxO Mark has touted the Sony FE 90mm f/2.8 Macro G OSS for optical excellence over its rivals.

Lens Build & Nomenclature
The lens is solidly built. Its approximately 6″ tall with no hood, and approximately 8″ tall with the accompanying lens hood attached. Yes it large. But well balanced on any of the Sony Alpha a7 bodies with a vertical grip. A 3 part scale is clearly etched & color coded on the barrel. The Feet {foot} scale is in orange, Meters are in white and a Macro scale is in blue. There is also a button located just under the large G on the barrel that when depressed with hold focus. Closer to the camera lens flange are two switches: The top switch has three settings for Focusing length performance, FULL, Inifity-0.5m and 0.5m to 0.28m. Underneath that and ON | OFF switch for the OPTICAL STEAD SHOT {that’s the OSS}.

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The Clutch
Unique to the Sony 90mm f/2.8 Macro G OSS is its clutch. Essentially the textured focusing barrel can be in one of two positions, hence it acts as a clutch. a) When the focusing barrel is pushed forward toward to the front of the lens it is in Auto Focus mode. Auto focus locks on quickly and accurately. b) When the focusing barrel is pulled back towards the camera body it is in Manual Focus mode. Manual Focus is easily achieved with Sony’s focus peeking. The manual focus ring action is smooth, supple and well dampened.

Lens Fidelity
Lens acuity is bitingly sharp in just the right places with pleasing bokeh. There is no evidence of vignetting. When stopped down sharpness is edge to edge. When wide open the rendering is magically pleasing and lovely with wonderful fall off giving the photograph a dream like quality. You’ll see in samples below the lens has an uncanny ability to isolate the subject from f/2.8 up through f/6.3. Colors are softly and faithfully rendered. I’ve used the lens in very bright sunlight and there is no evidence at all of chromatic aberration. I found the sweet spots to be f/2.8 for dream like images, f/6.3 for deeper range of focus but still with ample bokeh and f/9.0 and above for maximum depth of field with remarkable acuity.

A Visual Review

“For me the proof is always in the captured image.”

You can see an image that I photographed with the 90mm Macro here attached to the ground breaking a7RII which clearly illustrates the remarkable acuity and isolation capabilities at f/6.3. All the images below were {hand held} photographed on my a7s over a period of 12 days while on a road trip through Moab–>Aspen–> Denver –> and Sedona. The 90mm Macro was always in my Think Tank Speed Racer shoulder bag, and spent allot of time attached to my Sony a7s. For me, the proof is always in the captured image. I can go on and on about what the lens is capable of, but in the end its the image that tells the story the best. And here’s 39 images that illustrate what this lens is all about. All images are photographed RAW and post processed in Adobe Lightroom 6.1.1.

How I Fell Instantly In Love With Macro Photography

a7s, ISO 400, 1/100th, f/2.8

How I Fell Instantly In Love With Macro Photography

Maroon Bells Creek trail, Aspen, CO | a7s, ISO 400, 1/100th, f/2.8.

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Aspen, CO | a7s, ISO 100, 1/200th, f/5

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Shitake mushrooms, Maroon Bells Creek trial, Aspen, CO | a7s, ISO 4000, 1/100th, f/10

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Denver, CO, Botanical Gardens | a7s, f/2.8 and f/13

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(l) Wild Rosemary, Sedona AZ | a7s, ISO 100, 1/1250th, f/2.8 (r) Wild Miniature Strawberries, Maroon Bells Creek trial, Aspen, CO | a7s, ISO 3200, 1/100th, f/9

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(l) Leaf, Denver, Botanical Garden | a7s, ISO 400, 1/100th, f/8 (r) Desert flower head, Sedona, AZ | a7s, ISO 100, 1/100th, f/7.1

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Small tree with dew, Maroon Bells Creek trial | a7s, ISO 400, 1/100th, f/8

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Wild flowers, Aspen Mountain, Aspen, CO | a7s, f/8 and f/6.3

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Snail, Maroon Bells Creek trail, Aspen, CO | a7s, ISO 1600, 1/100th, f/2.8

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(l) Wild Raspberries, Aspen, CO | a7s, ISO 1250, 1/100th, f/2.8 (r) Leaf, Aspen, CO | a7s, ISO 100, 1/250th, f/7.1

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(l) Wild mushroom, Aspen, CO | a7s, ISO 5000, 1/100th, f/6.3

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Wild flowers, Aspen, CO | a7s, ISO 200, 1/100th, f/10

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Wild flower, Aspen, CO | a7s, ISO 100, 1/640th, f/2.8

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Wild flower, Aspen, CO | a7s, ISO 100, 1/320th, f/5.6

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Wild flowers, Aspen, CO | a7s, ISO 100, 1/250th, f/6.3

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Leaves, Aspen, CO | a7s, ISO 800, 1/250th, f/7.1

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Maroon Bells, Aspen, CO | a7s, ISO 100, 1/160th, f/13

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Denver Botanical Gardens, CO| a7s, ISO 200, 1/100th, f/2.8

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Bamboo, Denver Botanical Gardens, CO | a7s, ISO 8000, 1/100th, f/7.1

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Mating season, Denver Botanical Gardens, CO | a7s, ISO 100, 1/125th, f/5

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Denver Botanical Gardens, CO | a7s, ISO 200, 1/100th, f/11

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Denver Botanical Gardens, CO | a7s, ISO 200, 1/500th, f/5.6

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Wasp, Denver Botanical Gardens, CO | a7s, ISO 100, 1/320th, f/6.3

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(l) Denver Botanical Gardens, CO | a7s, ISO 100, 1/100th, f/10 (r) Acorn, Sedona, AZ | a7s, ISO 125, 1/100th, f/9

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Acorns, Sedona, AZ | a7s, ISO 125, 1/100th, f/9

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(l) Denver Botanical Gardens, CO | a7s, ISO 100, 1/200th, f/10 (r) Denver Botanical Gardens, CO | a7s, ISO 100, 1/160th, f/10

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(l) Heart shaped cactus, Sedona, AZ | a7s, ISO 100, 1/125th, f/2.8 (r) Razor cactus, Sedona, AZ , CO | a7s, ISO 100, 1/250th, f/5

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Seed pods, Sedona, AZ | a7s, ISO 2000, 1/100th, f/8.

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Desert flora, Sedona, AZ | a7s, ISO 1600, 1/100th, f/9

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Water spider, Denver Botanical Gardens, CO | a7s, ISO 400, 1/200th, f/6.3

sony 90mm f2.8 macro_0029

Sunflower, Denver Botanical Gardens, CO | a7s, ISO 1250, 1/100th, f/7.1

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Daisies, Denver Botanical Gardens, CO | a7s, ISO 250, 1/100th, f/4.5

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Critter, Sedona, AZ | a7s, ISO 2000, 1/100th, f/10

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Critter, Sedona, AZ | a7s, ISO 800, 1/100th, f/10

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Critter, Sedona, AZ | a7s, ISO 125, 1/100th, f/2.8

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(l) Monarch butterfly, Sedona, AZ | a7s, ISO 320, 1/100th, f/6.3 (r) Leaf with water drops, Denver Botanical Garden, CO | a7s, ISO 5000, 1/100th, f/4.5

Who is this Lens Perfect for?
I’ve found through extended use of the lens and testing over a period of three weeks that this is a perfect lens for a) portraits, b) macro photography {including food & wine photography}, and c) landscape photography. Making this lens a triple threat. With such versatility, the Sony 90mm f/2.8 Macro G OSS has quickly become on my favorite lenses. I also find myself using it on my luxury real estate shots for details and for capturing long throw images. In fact I’ve even gotten emails from my clients extolling the magnificent detail shots like they’ve never seen before. This lens has quickly found a permanent place in my heart and my photographic life and has become one of my go-to-lenses for all my photography genres.

 

Marc Weisberg is an award winning photographer and Sony Artist of Imagery based in Irvine, California. Specializing in Luxury Architecture & Real Estate Photography, Food + Wine Photography, and Weddings & Family Photography, he’s easy to work with and produces clean, crisp, and technically flawless images. Marc’s photography is published internationally in over a dozen books and magazines. You can contact Marc by phone at 949.494.5084…. or email.

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