I own two macro lenses which I use for my macro photography. One is a Canon 100mm macro lens (the older, non-L lens, for you photo geeks). This is a great lens which provides up to life size (1:1 magnification) pictures. This is also a nice portrait lens. Despite the name, it can be used for non-macro work as well and is my favorite lens among the ones that I own.
Canon, however, also makes a specialty macro lens, called the MP-E 65. It's a 65mm lens that is exclusively a macro lens. It cannot focus on anything more than a few centimeters away. This lens, however, is capable of providing up to 5x magnification. This lens, however, has some unique challenges, such as the lack of an auto-focus feature. It's all manual focus and the only way to get your subject in focus is to manually move the camera (or your subject) back or forth until the focus is right. In addition, the higher the magnification you chose, the more challenging the shots become. As a result, I find myself most often using it at 2-3x.
I like to shoot insects with my macro lens. Or, rather, I should say, I like to *try* to shoot insects. The little buggies, however, rarely stand still long enough for me to set up with my manual-focus macro lens. Needless to say, taking such pictures, while fun, is sometimes quite challenging and when I do end up with a nice, clear image, I like to consider it a victory.
Which brings us to this picture. I set up a plate on my back porch with a piece of apple and some honey, hoping to attract some bees or wasps. All I got was a very young fly. As it turns out, that was a blessing for me. Since the fly was young, he(?) hadn't yet learned to be overly fearful. As a result, he was willing to sit on the apple and pose while my camera lens got thisclose to him. The result:
Canon XSi, MP-E 65mm lens at 3x, f/8, 1/20 second, ISO 800
As always, comments, critiques and criticisms are welcome, encouraged and appreciated.