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LensBaby!

After reading Courtney’s post @ Click It Up A Notch about her lensbaby it totally reminded me about the pictures I took on vacation with my lensbaby!  Now my isn’t top of the line, actually it was a surprise gift from the hubby, in hopes he could use it on the D70, but how all things go I took it over of course!  He bought the Lensbaby Spark, which was on sale and as simple & manual as you can get (it has a fixed aperture at 1.8 too, which doesn’t help).  He thought it would be a fun tool to play with though and so far it has been!  Being in historic Gettysburg, PA, I thought the effect and creatively of the lensbaby would come in handy.

What I found out was, A) It was hard than it looked and B) you have to put a little thought into what you want to shoot. (Plus lots of practice!!!)

The hubby and I both experimented with it: (I edited them all in Lightroom and processed some with an old time effect-I used The Beautiful Things Collection from One Willow Presets on most of these photos!)

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To Macro or Not to Macro!

Since I had such a positive experience renting a lens for my maternity shoot in January, I thought I would do it again for my recent newborn session!  This time I rented 2 lens, Nikon’s 24-70 2.8 again, and Nikon’s 105mm micro VR 2.8 (or macro).  I was really excited about this one because it would allow me to get those precious little details that every mother wishes she could capture forever, (you know, baby eyelashes, fingers & toes, not to mention those cute, chubby cheeks & lips!)

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I was unsure of it’s true capabilities and was excited to test them out.  It looks very impressive right out of the box and would also make an excellent portrait lens outdoors…the only thing I didn’t care too much about was the focus, it was kind of sluggish (remember, I am dealing with a rental) & slow to focus.  Don’t get me wrong it is sharp & able to focus right up close, but I personally found it difficult to clearly focus without the focal plane moving on me (in auto-focus).  I found this article by Ken Rockwell very helpful with this!  It was still an excellent lens, though I would need to try a few more micro/macro lens first before buying one.

I took a few shots for you to show you the 105mm true capabilities, sorry for the uncreative subject.  I have compared the 105mm with my 50mm side by side to show you the differences.  I was the same distance away, leaning up against my dining room table.

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Ever Rent a Lens? Do You Want Too!

You should really give it a try!

Last month I was very much looking forward to my first maternity shoot and was eager to try out a new lens.  Of course buying a lens was out of the question, since it wasn’t in the budget, so what’s a girl to do?  Rent!  We rent movies, cars, power tools, hell we can even rent-a-date!  But whatever you decide to rent, we all know it’s WAY cheaper than buying, plus if you are afraid of commitment, this might be the perfect path for you!  It can be overwhelming choosing a respectable business to rent a lens, since there are many websites & places out there.  But thanks to one of my favorite blogs, Click It Up A Notch, she decided to do a whole post about renting lens, which you can read here!  It got me thinking and since I had been dying to try Nikon’s 24-70mm 2.8 lens and it retails for $1800, buying was NOT AN OPTION!

I  decided to start with BorrowLenses.com and Adorama Rentals as she had suggested, and thought Adorama would be my best bet, but because I in such a hurry, I didn’t realize I had forgotten to get the lens shipped to my house.  Instead the lens had been scheduled for pickup, which is in NYC…I live in Maine!  Oops…

I also found it very stressful that I MUST have the same amount or more on my card for insurance purposes before renting (which makes sense, but seeing that number before purchasing is anxiety producing)…I ended up canceling the order all together because it just wasn’t going to work out.

Now me being the greatest procrastinator in the world, I really, really wanted to rent that lens, so what do I do when I’m in a jam?  Email the hubby at work for help!  He was able to find me a local website called Glass and Gear with local pickup spots.  I emailed them in hopes the lens would still be in stock and it wasn’t so short notice…well it was my lucky day for sure, not only was it in stock, but I could pick it up the next afternoon  at their local Hunt’s Photo store (in Manchester, NH).  And the best part of the whole thing…it only cost me $40 bucks for a three day rental (Fri-Mon)!

The only negative was they don’t really have a huge selection of Nikon lens to choose from, but the entire experience was excellent and I would defiantly rent from them again!  And as for the lens, I’m in love!  It was fast, it gave me the wide angle and the close up portrait shots that I wanted, with the pretty bokeh that I needed.  Plus it looked professional and I felt professional using it!  It was so much fun to play with!  I will be saving my pennies for sure!

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