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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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Zoomed in


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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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Overwhelmed by Technology!?!

A recently read an article with one of my students today about technology, thank you New York Times, A School Distance From Technology Faces Its Intrusion.  It got me thinking…

What would we do without technology?  What did we all do before it!?  I don’t know about you, but I didn’t get my first cell phone until college, a little after Freshman year and the only reason I even got one was because my sister hit a turkey with her car (looong story–I might have to elaborate on this soon because the anniversary of “Kill Turkey w/Civic” incident is coming up!)

Anywho…Facebook came out when I was in college, MySpace was the newest thing, Twitter hadn’t even been a thought…and now we are bombarded by technology.  It seems like companies develop the latest devices and gadgets every other minute and we are encouraged to buy them.  It has moved so quickly, just think back, think about the last 10-12 years…it will blow your mind!  I’m sure it was the same back in the 50’s-60’s when TVs and kitchen appliances were taking over the world…people see the value in them and want them!

BUT, what has happened to us!  We are constantly glued to our smartphones, tablets, & computers, and there are many of us that have no sense of directions because we can just find it using our GPS!

But then again, we don’t want to be left behind, technology–for most of us is a way to reach out & inform others about our lives, our needs/wants, educate or encourage those follow their passions!  We use technology to blog!  I love my devices, I use my iPad & iPhone to check Twitter, Flipboard, Facebook, you name it…these devices allow me to stay in contact with family & friends, I get to Facetime with my sister, skype with my in-laws.  I realize paper is becoming obsolete, but even if I choose to read the “paper” or the virtual copy of it, I’m still reading it!  And I feel like I’m okay with that!  But the thing that gets me is how overwhelmed I feel…there is SO MUCH to take in sometimes…everyone now a days has something to say and I’m constantly trying to stay up to date on people’s blogs, I feel like it’s a constantly battle of time management, there are just not enough hours in the day to work, read blogs, check social media, relax, watch tv, cook dinner & anything else for that matter.

Is that technology’s fault?  I don’t know.  Is it my fault for driving head first into it…probably…but like I said before, I don’t want to be left behind.  I don’t want to be THAT person who hasn’t see the latest YouTube sensation or missed out on important giveaway…hell, at work I teach my students how to use technology to their fullest advantage…I can’t get away from it, and I don’t really want too, it’s apart of my life now.

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How do you manage your time with technology?