Five years ago when I bought my first DSLR, the numbers 50mm, 70-300mm, and 18-55mm meant almost nothing to me. I knew I needed a 50mm f/1.8—the internet told me so!—but I didn’t really understand what all those numbers and f-stops meant in terms of where and when to use each lens.

I learn mostly through trial, error, and accepting the fact that I’ll sift through an awful lot of mediocre pictures while mining for the gems.

[Click an image to enlarge on its Flickr page. Click a second time for an even better view.]


Thankfully I’m a student of the game, whatever the game might be. I like to learn new things. Monday afternoon my new Tamron AF 90mm f/2.8 Di SP AF/MF 1:1 Macro Lens for Nikon arrived in the mail and class is back in session. (Canon users, there’s one for you, too.)


This is my first experience with Tamron or macro photography (my 28-80mm f/3.3-5.6 gets close, but not like this). I’m wielding equipment precise as a surgeon’s scalpel, switching between auto and manual focus trying to find the sweet spot, the depth of field minute.

In the above photo the eye is in focus and a spot on the edge of the brow, but the lashes, nose, and the rest are blurred.


My lens and I crawled right up inside this rose.


Did you know that the axis (apparently it’s called a rachis) of a fern is hairy? I didn’t.



I’m not sure if I actually capture the image until it’s viewed on my computer; I hit the X (delete) key a lot and there’s a new black garbage bag in my camera bag for crawling on my elbows and knees.

When I exhale loudly after each shot it reminds me to breathe, I’m wound so close and tight, grappling with an elusive focal point.

Forget about it if the wind blows.




This lens can also be used as a portrait lens with an acceptable depth of field, but it is a prime lens (fixed focal length) so you have to move yourself instead of zooming.

I’m still very much in the testing stage and can’t wait to see the images this lens and I can produce with time.

Lens Mug

I got two lenses this week! The second, above, is actually an insulated travel mug. Pretty realistic, eh? Apparently my husband bought it weeks ago for my birthday and by coincidence, it’s a Tamron model.

The Tamron AF 90mm f/2.8 Di SP AF/MF 1:1 Macro Lens for Nikon currently sells for $499 and you can download a $50 rebate form (purchase by 6/30/13) directly from its Amazon page (look below the list price). It averages 4.7 out of a possible 5 stars in customer reviews.

Do you own a macro lens and if so, how often do you use it?

{If you’ve hopped over to my Camera page in the last few months, I owe you a big apology. Would you believe I listed the wrong camera model? A few months ago B&H Photo dropped their affiliate program in GA and I changed over my camera and lens links to Amazon links. Apparently I typed one too many zeros. I shoot with a full frame Nikon D700, not a D7000. Sorry for any confusion!}

Compensated affiliate links used.

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