Is the 100mm Macro a specialised lens?

Have you ever wanted to experiment with macro photography, but didn’t want to spend all that money on a specialized lens? Instead you peek into the macro world by using extension tubes, reverse rings and what not? I have. And once I found out how captivating macro is, I no longer wanted to cope with the shortcomings of some cumbersome workarounds to achieve a true 1:1 reproduction ratio.

So… I bought myself a 100mm macro lens. I chose this focal length because it provides a good enough working distance, compared to shorter lenses, yet it is much less expensive that the longer ones. I bought the Tokina AF 100mm F/2.8 Macro AT-X 100AF PRO D – Nikon for £330. Amazing! This is one sharp and contrasty lens with great color rendition which gives so much depth and dimension to your subjects.

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You can check out some reviews here:

Ken Rockwell

YouTube Review

So far, so good… but let’s look at what you now have – a telephoto lens with a wide aperture of 2.8, depth, color, contrast… so it begs you to try it out as a portrait lens! And as such, it does deliver! Sharpness, skin tones, bokeh, you name it – it’s there.

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The good news doesn’t stop here, though. One of the good things when shooting with prime lenses is that you do not have the option to zoom (thanks Mike Browne!). This sometimes forces you to be more creative with your composition. So, what do you do when you only have a 100mm lens with you and a beautiful sunrise or sunset presents itself (whether you deliberately searched for it or not)? Well – you take the shot! It turns out that 100mm is not that constraining a focal length. In fact I find it perfectly suitable for taking these accents, details in a landscape that would otherwise get lost or diminish in a wider composition.

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Although my choice was the Tokina, the Nikon, Canon, Sony etc. offerings are all suitable, should this be your choice. A 100mm macro lens is just about perfect in a variety of situations. To me, it is probably the most versatile prime lens you could get.

Please, check out by Clickasnap  and my Flickr page

 


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7 Responses

  1. Interesting! I remember years ago being told a 105mm was great for people (facial) photos but never thought about this option. Thanks for taking the time to share it here with us.

    1. I actually bought a 100mm macro lens recently, i did have a choice of the 105mm macro but didn’t think the 5mm would make that much difference. I do wonder if it actually would have or not

  2. I bought a sigma 105mm macro a while ago now and must say it’s one of my most used lenses. Not just for macro as the article shows. It’s a great prime and comes with image stabilisation too so great for taking all kinds of photos. The 105mm on my canon 70d comes out at 168mm so a great length for outdoors but is restricted for indoor use. I love it though. Great article by the way!

  3. Image stabilization is a welcome addition to any telephoto lens, especially when shooting macro at small apertures.
    Thanks for reading!

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