My poor, unloved Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro USM lens spends most of its days in a neoprene cover in storage.
I’ve come to the point in my life where I don’t want to carry a bunch of ‘stuff.’ Whether it’s just my personal items or all the gear in my photography bag, less is more, as they say.
This means that many times when I am heading out with the camera, it’s just me, the camera and one lens. I might grab my bag and I might not. Extra batteries and memory cards fit easily in pockets.
That brings me to this particular outing in Chicago.
The 100mm lens: It’s not just for macro.
I feel like I went through a fun macro stage but have moved on from that for now. I do, from time to time, take it out in nature with me as well.
Every so often I grab one of my two lenses that rarely get used, just to use them. This time, I chose the 100mm to take with me. I knew I wouldn’t be photographing macro images during the day because where we were going there were no tripods allowed. Hand-holding is an option but in a lower-light place, I knew it wouldn’t be conducive to sharp images.
A tour of Union Station
A friend and I signed up for a walking tour of Union Station. It was just a one-hour tour but with the station decorated for the holidays and access to a few rooms you don’t normally get to go in, it was well worth it.
Typically in Union Station, I’d use my Canon EF 17-40mm f/4L USM lens to capture the Great Hall, the trains and tracks and the overall space.
While it was easy enough to focus on the details around me, finding the middle framing that the 100mm allowed really pushed me a bit to find different compositions than I would normally.
The architecture was another story
My architectural photography tends to be all about shapes, lines, light and details. Those details are captured using my Tamron 100-400 f/4.5-6.3 Di VC USD about 90% of the time.
Talk about framing and reframing my images before pressing the shutter, whew. I will even admit to grabbing the focus ring and turning it, thinking that I could zoom in with my 100mm lens. Needless to say, that didn’t work. Old habits die hard.
What caught my attention and what I saw was the same no matter which lens I had. Eventually, my thought process changed and I started looking at a bit larger space to capture. I still moved my lens around until what I saw in the frame made sense to me.
Will I use my 100mm to photograph architecture again? I will. It really made me look for new compositions and framing options that I would normally pass on.
We’ve talked about this exercise many times here on Photofocus. One lens. This is still one of my favorite ways to shake up my brain when I’m out with my camera. Have you tried it? If so, we’d love to see your results. Share them with us in the Photofocus Community.