It’s strange but when many photographers are asked to name a lens they use or would use for taking some wedding photographs a macro lens seldom makes the list and it never ceases to amaze me. I have to admit that I never use a macro lens for portrait photography (check out this article for more details – if you’re interested of course) so I would never take photos of the bride, groom, bridesmaids or any other people at a wedding however I always make sure I have a macro lens with me when I go photographing a wedding.
I don’t use the macro lens for people (well not their faces) I use it to capture close up photos of non-human subjects. I use a macro lens to get close up photos of the lace on the bridal gown, a close up of the wedding bands, a close up of the happy couple signing the marriage register (of their hands – not their face), close up photos of the bridal bouquet and other flowers, close up photos of the table settings, close up photos of the after wedding party decorations…… the list of subjects you can capture with a macro lens is vast, and I often find it all too easy to focus on getting close up shots of non-human subjects than the actual people!
Using a macro lens for wedding photography allows me to be more creative and capture unique, individual and more personal wedding photos. I do, of course, take wedding photos of the bride and groom, the bride being walked down the aisle, the ceremony, the bridesmaids, the wedding guests etc. but I also like to capture arty photos the happy couple haven’t even thought about for their wedding album.
In my experience it is these more unique and personal shots that make wedding photographers stand out from the competition. All wedding photographers take the “people” type shots at weddings, this is of course the main part of wedding photography, but not all of them do that little bit extra and take photos of some non-human subjects during the day. My wedding photography portfolio comprises a small section of the typical and traditional wedding photos (the bride, the bride and bridesmaids, the groom, the groom and best man/ushers, shots of the bride and groom and their respective families etc. etc.) and a large section of unique and more arty shots I have captured in the past. I know for a fact I have been asked to take the wedding photos based on my arty type wedding photos rather than my people type shots because “there are several wedding photographers who can take great (and in some instances better – that comment was a little cutting) people shots who don’t do anything else”.
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:- $350.00/£330.00
The first thing you will notice about the Tokina macro lens is build quality, which is nothing less than bombproof. Tokina are well known for creating tough, durable and rugged lenses and this macro lens is no different. This lens is one tough cookie and will provide years of trouble free service. This superior build quality does come at a cost though, and not just in monetary terms. Compared to other macro lenses this lens is big and heavy, which may or may not be a problem for you.
The image quality of this lens is very good, however it is not the best of the macro lenses. That said you do have to go pixel peeping or have to create super large prints to notice this. When dealing with web based photos and smaller prints the image quality is very impressive and plenty good enough to impress family, friends and peers.
This lens is priced on the high side and whilst the build quality commands a premium in price the image quality of this lens doesn’t. There are cheaper macro lenses out there with better image quality, but not the same level of build quality.
If you want the toughest and most rugged macro lens on the market the Tokina macro lens is definitely one you should take a look at. Buy the Tokina 100mm macro lens from Amazon.com or buy from Amazon.co.uk.
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:- $570.00/£320.00
This is one of Sigma’s budget lenses making it ideal if you don’t have a lot of money to spend on a macro lens, can’t justify spending a lot of money on a macro lens or simply don’t want to spend a lot of money on a macro lens.
Being a budget lens Sigma have cut corners (to keep the costs down) and scrimped on build quality and image quality. The build quality is good, and it is a pretty sturdy lens but it is nowhere near the level of the Tokina and Canon branded macro lenses.
This lens is capable of capturing some very good shots that are good enough quality for a wedding shoot but the image quality won’t be good enough for super large prints. If the happy couple only want electronic copies of the photos, as many do nowadays, the image quality of this lens is plenty good enough and in this digital age, and the popularity of E-wedding albums super high quality and ultra-high resolutions images are becoming a thing of the past.
Buy the Sigma 105mm macro lens from Amazon.com or buy from Amazon.co.uk.
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.