A macro lens can be great for portraits too

Cassandra at Zilker Botanical Gardens - Austin, Texas

In the previous post, I mentioned that a macro lens works great for other things. It’s not just for closeups of flowers and geckos. They are typically very sharp and can be used for general purpose photography. But with a 100mm equivalent f2, portraiture especially comes to mind. It will nicely isolate as well as flatter your subject.

I shot this portrait of Cassandra at Zilker Botanical Gardens with the Olympus 4/3 50mm f2 macro on a 11-year-old E-1 DSLR.

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5 thoughts on “A macro lens can be great for portraits too

  1. A macro lens is the next on my radar. I was looking at the 75mm … but 100mm you say? Hmm. Sound very portrait length to me. I have the 45mm portrait lens … I ‘ll have to decide if this would be a bit redundant.

    1. Marilyn,

      I have both and use both. Technically, the 45mm and “Pen” combo is better, because first the contrast-based (and even perfect face-/eye-detection) autofocus works better and faster and also more reliably in most situations. Second, even when using flash the 45mm keeps the sharpness more consistent over a wider range of apertures, I found that the interactive charts at slrgear.com are pretty much correct in this regard.

      But: this ZD 50mm/2 macro has something which is hard to describe. It’s a thing which makes people go “Wow!” when they see your images. Even Robin Wong went “Wow!” on https://www.flickr.com/photos/wjlonien/8323196176/ (on my blog), and he also loves that lens. It’s like DPReview said, every Four Thirds user should have one (if you don’t already have the M.Zuiko Macro 60/2.8 which should focus faster on these Micro Four Thirds bodies).

      A “technically better” lens doesn’t mean that it’s always better for the pictures as well, if you understand what I mean. Oh, and that 50 macro is loud, slow, and heavy when compared to the 45mm – but still I love it.

      That said, it’s hard to resist that 75mm M.Zuiko – let’s see how long I can (but I more or less know I’d probably just should get one and be done with it). For my wife tho, it will be the 60mm Macro – perfect combination of both macro and portrait lens.

      Hope that helps,

      P.S.: thanks Andy, for the nice article and photo.

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