So I have just taken delivery of a Go Pro Hero 6 action camera, and I have to say that at first glance it meets my expectations. I was going to make an un-boxing video, but I am a bit late to the Hero 6 party and think I have missed the boat on that one. There are loads of Go Pro Hero 6 un-boxing clips so to make another one would be a waste of your time watching it, and my time making it. Besides, most of the un-boxing clips out there are way better than I could ever do.
Whilst the Hero 6 unboxing clips clearly show what is in the box what they fail to show is why the reviewer bought the Hero 6 in the first instance. Call me sceptical, but I kind of think that most of the un-boxing clips are by people given the Hero 6 to unbox for their channel, or paid to unbox for their channel.
I have never been given any product to review and test, let alone a top end Hero 6 action camera, so I have had to part with my hard earned money to get my hands on this Hero 6. This Go Pro, being the flagship model isn’t cheap and I guess spending a few hundred quid on it may be a little stupid, but I really wanted one.
So why did I buy the Go Pro Hero 6?
Firstly, I wanted an action camera that is tough, durable, waterproof and can take as much abuse as I can give it. Being an owner of a Go Pro Session action camera I know that Go Pro cameras are the toughest around, and from what I had read and seen the Hero 6 is no different.
The second reason I bought this is because I wanted an action camera with the best image quality and this seemed to fit the bill perfectly. With various shooting modes from 4K down to 720P the Hero 6 had everything covered.
The third reason I bought this action camera is because I wanted an action camera that allowed some manual intervention. Many action cameras out there are fully automatic, and what I would call plug n play. You don’t have any input with these cameras and the camera decides its exposure settings. With this action camera I can tweak various exposure settings to get the sort of shots I want to get and not just the sort of shots the camera thinks I want to take.
The fourth reason I bought the Hero 6 is for slow motion. This camera can shoot at 1080 and 240fps, which is awesome, and the best out there. Below is my first attempt at slow motion photography using the Go Pro Hero 6:-
The fifth reason I bought this action camera is for the rear touch screen and the ability to see what is being recorded without having to hook it up to my phone and look at that. Being able to look at the back of the camera and know what is being recorded really appealed to me.
Okay, the Go Pro Hero 6 is a bit extravagant but then it is supposed to be the best action camera out there, and you have to pay for that right? Hopefully, the Hero 6 will exceed my expectations and do everything I want it to, and more. I guess we’ll see about that, but in the mean time I need to get out there and start shooting some footage.
Macro specific lenses are prime lenses with maximum widest apertures of f2.8. As with everything, there are some exceptions to this such as the Canon 50mm macro lens, which has a maximum widest aperture of f2.5, and the Canon 180mm macro lens, which has a maximum widest aperture of f3.5. Both of these are prime lenses though.
Consequently, when it comes to buying a macro lens the choice of maximum widest apertures is limited and if you like your ultra-wide maximum apertures, i.e. f1.8 and less, you’re not going to get a macro lens that opens up this wide.
The most important thing to consider when buying a macro lens is the subjects you are going to be using it for. Arguably, you can use any macro lens for all subjects but you will struggle using specific macro lenses with certain subjects, and your keeper rate will be non-existent.
Before you even start to look at the different macro lenses available you need to think about your subjects and think about what you want to achieve. Jumping in both feet first and buying a macro lens before doing this could end up being a costly mistake.
Macro photography typically involves photographing still subjects, moving/living subjects and a mixture of the two.
If you want to photograph still subjects you can use any macro lens with no problems. When shooting still subjects you can use a cheap and cheerful 50mm f2.5 macro lens or you can use a top end 180mm f3.5 professional lens. The final decision will ultimately come down to which lens delivers the image quality you want, which lens is built to the specification you want, and how much you are willing to spend on a macro lens. The professional grade macro lenses are, as you’d expect, tougher and more durable, and have superior image quality over the cheaper macro lenses but they are significantly more expensive
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If you want to photograph moving/living subjects you need to buy a macro lens with the longest focal length you can afford. The longer the focal length, the greater the working distance (i.e. the greater the distance between the subject and the lens), the less chance you will spook the creature before you get the shot.
When taking shots of living/moving subjects you need a macro lens with a focal length of at least 100mm to get a good working distance. Okay, you could use a 50mm or 60mm macro lens but I would never recommend doing so. The working distance of these short focal length macro lenses simply isn’t enough to get close to the creature before scaring it away on a consistent basis. Sure, you may nail one or two shots but your hit rate will be very low, which is not only frustrating but may be the catalyst that sees you quit macro photography.
There are plenty of 100mm macro lenses out there, all of which are ideal for taking macro shots of moving/living subjects. As you’d expect the price of 100mm macro lenses varies with the professional grade macro lenses having more features (such as image stabilisation), better build quality (i.e. they are tougher and more robust) and better image quality (i.e. they are sharper and deliver better contrast). The professional grade macro lenses are, as you’d expect, more expensive so you have to weigh up what you want from a macro lens, and how much you are prepared to pay, before choosing which macro lens to buy.
There are some macro lenses with a focal length greater than 100mm, with the 105mm Sigma and the 180mm Canon lenses springing to mind. Both of these lenses offer a greater working distance than the 100mm macro lens but there are other things to consider. For example, the 180mm macro lens is significantly larger and heavier, and without any image stabilisation trying to capture sharp hand held shots can be a real challenge. It is also a very expensive lens. This is just something else to throw in to the mix.
Personally, I don’t see the point in getting a macro lens with a focal length of any more than 100mm or 105mm, but that’s just me. I know other people have a different opinion.
To sum up:-
If you want to take macro photos of still life subjects a 50mm or 60mm macro lens is ideal, provided you are happy with the image quality and the build quality of course.
If you want to take macro photos of moving/living subjects, or think you may want to in the future then you need to buy a 100mm or 105mm macro lens in the first instance.
Highly rated macro lenses
Below are some top rated macro lenses, all of which consistently get great reviews and write ups.
CANON EF 100MM F2.8L IS
Focal Length – Full frame/APS-C:- 100mm/ 160mm/ Aperture:- 2.8 - 32/ Min focus:- 11.8"/Dimensions:- 3.1" x 4.7"/ Weight:- 22.1 oz/ Image stabilization:- Yes/ Price (approx.) $USD/£ GBP:-$800.00/£685.00
TOKINA 100MM F2.8 AT-X MACRO
Focal Length – Full frame/APS-C:- 100mm/160mm/ Aperture:- 2.8 - 32/ Min focus:- 11.8”/ Dimensions:- 2.87” x 3.75”/ Weight:- 19.0oz/ Image stabilization:- No/ Price (approx.) $USD/£ GBP:- $410.00/£450.00
Check the price of the Tokina 100mm f2.8 macro lens on:-
SIGMA 105MM F2.8 MACRO
Focal Length – Full frame/APS-C:- 105mm/168mm/ Aperture:- 2.8 - 22/ Min focus:- 12.3”/ Dimensions:- 2.95” x 4.13”/ Weight:- 15.9oz/ Image stabilization:- No/ Price (approx.) $USD/£ GBP:- $620.00/£300.00
Check the price of the Sigma 105mm f2.8 macro lens on:-
TAMRON 90MM F2.8 MACRO
Focal Length – Full frame/APS-C:- 90mm/144mm/ Aperture:- 2.8 - 32/ Min focus:- 11.4”/ Dimensions:- 2.83” x 4.22”/ Weight:- 14.3oz/ Image stabilization:- No/ Price (approx.) $USD/£ GBP:- $650.00/£570.00
Check the price of the Tamron 90mm f2.8 macro lens on:-
Photography ramblings video play list that may be of interest.....
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There are many photographers out there that would argue prime lenses are superior to zoom lenses, and whilst this may be the case in specific circumstances, there are times when a zoom lens is better than a prime lens, and 5 of these include:-
1. When outdoors in dusty environments
Swapping lenses exposes the camera’s internals, which in turn increases the chances of dust and dirt sticking to the camera’s sensor, which can lead to dust spots on the photos. It may be possible to remove the dust spots using some photo editing software, but this is a long winded and painful process. Rather than swapping between prime lenses in dirty and dusty environments a zoom lens allows you to change the focal length without having to remove the lens, which in turn eliminates dust spots.
2. When you want to shoot quickly
Swapping lenses takes time, and these takes interrupts the shoot and can lead to subjects/models standing around getting bored. If you use a zoom lens you can change the focal length with a simple twist or pull of the lens barrel. Changing the focal length of a zoom lens is quick, efficient and allows the shoot to continue without interruption.
3. When you want a one lens solution
A zoom lens covers a range of focal lengths and if you want to cover the same range of focal lengths with a prime lens you would need several separate prime lenses. Carrying around multiple lenses brings about several problems and issues. For example, you need somewhere to store the lenses that aren’t on the camera, you need to make sure you keep an eye on the lenses that aren’t on the camera to make sure they don’t get pinched or you leave one (or more) behind etc. etc. Having a single zoom lens eliminates all of these problems.
4. When you need a long reach lens
If you need a long reach lens, i.e. one with a long focal length, a zoom lens is usually the best option. Long reach prime lenses, whilst faster than long reach zoom lenses, are big, heavy and take up a lot of room. Long reach zoom lenses, whilst slower, are smaller, more compact and also transportable. I should also point out that long reach prime lenses are damn expensive and significantly more expensive than a zoom lens with the same reach.
5. When you confined to the spot
If you are confined to a shooting position and unable to move closer to, or further away from the subject a zoom lens is much better than a fixed focal length prime lens. In these circumstances a zoom lens allows you to alter the framing and the composition to capture a large variety of shots. Using a prime lens in these circumstances results in a series of photos that are all the same.
The above are just 5 situations and scenarios when zoom lenses are better than prime lenses, and there are many others too. The key to getting the most out of zoom lenses is to know when, and in what situations to use them.
Keen photographer addicted to cameras, lenses and everything photography related. Feel free to follow me in my photography ramblings, and if you have any thoughts, comments, queries or anything else to add I would love to hear from you.