Not Everything That Glitters is Gold

If you have followed my blog, you probably know that I have a great respect and admiration towards photographers.  I consider them to be our modern day historians, culture spreaders, artists, scientists, and what have you.  Lately I am dedicating a few hours a day studying the techniques and gear of close-up or macro photography.  What a macro lens is able to discover is absolutely amazing.  Creation is much more than what you can see with your naked eye.

Ideal subjects for photographing with close-up lens include portraits, flowers, and details.  I plan to use my close-up lenses for photographing details and flowers.  Shooting details offers a great way of capturing the spirit of a place or object.  With a close up lens you can get near enough to photograph a particular detail.   Life-size (1:1) magnification is not that difficult if you have the right tools and the proper skills to use them.  I’m working on both.

Yesterday morning I went out to my wife’s miniscule garden to take a few close-up picture of an Aloe vera plant with two of my cameras, (e.g., a DSLR Canon EOS Rebel T2i and a P&S Canon PowerShot A720 IS).  My goal was to test a new lens that I recently purchased from Amazon.  So far the results have been disappointing, but I’m still testing to see if I’m the problem, or the problem lies in the low quality of the macro lens.  I’m referring to the Vivitar 0.43x professional wide-angle lens with macro.  Yesterday I worked with the macro part which can be separated from the wide-angle lens.

Below are the results of both devices:

I.  DSLR Canon EOS Rebel T2i with a Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 fixed lens and a Vivitar macro lens screwed on top

A close-up shot of one of the stems of an Aloe vera plant in our front yard. Notice the soft creamy bokeh on the background. Photo by ©Omar Upegui R.
Photo by ©Omar Upegui R.
My goal was to take a tack sharp picture of the plant. This was as sharp as I could get. Even though this was not my intention, the unexpected results looks pretty nice. Photo by ©Omar Upegui R.

II.  P&S Canon PowerShot A720 IS

Everything in this shot is razor sharp. This was my goal when I decided to shoot this plant. Definitely this P&S baby is worth its salt. I’m happy. Notice a tiny insect on one of the stems of the plant. Photo by ©Omar Upegui R.
This exact image was in my head the evening before I took the shot. A tack sharp picture of an Aloe vera plant. Amazing! Photo by ©Omar Upegui R.

If at the end of the day, the Vivitar macro lens doesn’t perform as advertised, no problem.  I can always depend on my P&S camera for decent results.  Of course I’m anxious to see how the Fujifilm X-30 will behave.  That’s another option under my sleeve.  Good Day.


11 thoughts on “Not Everything That Glitters is Gold”

  1. Still following your photo progress. Really nice and I see the bug, too! We had a praying mantas in our yard that I was able to get some good macro shoots with their huge eyes, so cool!! Barbara

  2. Morning Barbara,

    I’m glad that you are following my blog on a daily basis. I’m honored. If you wish, please share with us your pictures of the praying mantras. It would be nice to see those creatures up close.



  3. A convenient method to of storing photograph is using a software called Photobucket. You can open an account which is free of charge and start uploading your pictures from your hard disk to their servers.

    Then you will be able to copy them from Photobucket to WordPress. The process is straight forward and easy to do. If you need further help, please let me know. Sharing your work is great.

    I’m anxious to see your work.



  4. This is all very new to me, haha. But I posted some on my wordpress. I don’t have a blog per se but it shows some photos I uploaded. I did put them on Photobucket but realized when posting to wordpress, I could directly drag and drop them there.

  5. If you enjoy photography and communicating with other people around the world, I would slightly suggest you think about opening a blog and write just about anything you can think of.

    You’ll be amazed how fun it is. For example, yesterday I found out that my blog is read on a daily basis in a small rural town in Russia. Isn’t that something?

    If you need some assistance in this process, please let me know. I’ll be more than glad to help you out. I’ve been blogging for more than six years and it’s getting better as years slowly float by.

    Enjoy the rest of the day,


    1. How cool to know someone on the other side of the world is following your journey! You are very kind to offer you assistance. I will take this slowly 🙂 Many blessings!

  6. It’s fun to figure out this new equipment, isn’t it? Well, sort of. There still are mysteries aplenty with my new camera. Part of the problem is lack of time spent figuring it out, and part of the problem is not enough time spent figuring it out. 😉

    I’m really having trouble with my macro shots. I think part of my problem there is that I’ve spent too much time looking at photos of people with hotshot macro lenses, and I expect my camera to do things it’s not capable of. That’s my tenative judgment, anyhow.

    But on we go! every day a chance to learn something new!

  7. Hi Linda,

    I’m sorry to hear about your lack of time to explore the features of your new camera. I understand first hand how complex and sophisticated they are building the new cameras.

    I’m having problems with a new macro lens that I purchased from Amazon, but it really doesn’t matter much because the investment was only $26.00. So far my old P&S Canon PowerShot A720 IS is doing a remarkable job.

    I’m planning to buy a new camera sometime next February which has great reviews on the Internet and praised by reknown photographers. Since I have ample time to read the manuals and experiment with new devices, I’m crossing my fingers that excellent macro shots are within the reach of the new camera. This is an area of photography that has captured my immediate attention. There is so much out there that the naked human eye can not see.

    Tomorrow I will publish several pictures of an experiment I did with a leaf frozen in water which displays minuscle air bubbles. I had lots of fun shooting these macro images.

    Yep, every day there is something new under the sun. Thank you for your comments; they mean a lot to me.

    Take Care,


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