Over the weekend I rented a Nikon 105mm f/2.8G ED-IF AF-S VR Micro-Nikkor Lens from LensRentals.com. Their review about it explicitly warns that once you try it you will want to keep it. It was so hard for me to ship it back yesterday because I did want to keep it. I currently use the 60mm f/2.8 from Nikon for my macro shots and while that is great, the compression on the 105mm just is so awesome. I definitely can see the benefit of having 45 extra mm hehehe! You are also less likely to be in the way of your own light and such. I feel like it's a lot easier to get a super big shot of a ring if you'd like it to fill the frame as well... or at least you don't have to do as much cropping in post compared to the 60mm. :)
It's currently around $900 bucks and if it weren't for the fact that I'm saving up for the D4, I'd totally snatch it up. But for now, at least I can rent it when I do weddings :) I always suggest renting a lens first before buying it so you can really see if you have a need for it!
Here's some shots of my own wedding ring taken with the 105mm - if you get a chance, rent it and try it out too!!
All of these were taken using items in my kitchen LOL.
Window light was coming in directly to the left of the kitchen table.
Here's what I had at my disposal:
- banana tree
- big fake diamond paperweight
- water bottles
- laptop cooler (the black thingy)
Note: I started out with auto focus, but quickly switched to manual. Auto is good in some respects, for the 105mm it's very fast, but sometimes it couldn't pick up what I wanted to be in focus since my ring is a bit ... elaborate and sometimes I wanted to the bigger diamond in focus but other times I wanted the side diamonds to be focused.
So.. when I started, I felt the shots were decent but.. nothing was like wow to me:
The bokeh in this first one is the water bottles, although it almost looks like.. the background could be a window with storefronts showing through or something.. at least in my mind lol.
ISO 1600, f/9, 1/60 sec
Then I tried getting some leading line action in...
ISO 1600, f/9, 1/125 sec
Eh, it's okay, it's a start hehe!
I took a minute to rethink things and do some rearranging.
This one is the banana tree hook with bokeh from its own wooden stand and I think there's a little brown candle box behind the stand as well.
ISO 800, f/5.6, 1/160 sec
This is my ring on my laptop's fan cooler.. with the big fake diamond paperweight serving as a reflective surface.
ISO 1600, f/7.1, 1/100 sec
This is the banana tree's hook with the big fake diamond paperweight serving as bokeh. I had to move the diamond around to make sure it caught the window light correctly to produce the different colors.
ISO 1600, f/7.1, 1/125 sec
As you can see, although the kitchen had a decent amount of light flowing in, the backgrounds seem to be rather black in the latter images. It has to do with light falloff. I'm not going to botch an explanation but basically, I placed my background items further back from the light source, and as a result, the light captured in the background by the camera tapers off dramatically. Also I was shooting at f/7.1 or higher for most of the pics.
So I'm happy with getting from where I started to where I ended up. I think that you can definitely find ways to turn something ordinary into something extraordinary. Not that I'm winning awards or anything but I am happy with what I was able to do with things I found in my kitchen hehehe!
I love the 105mm 2.8 for ring shots. I definitely see myself renting this for my upcoming weddings.
Hope my thought process didn't bore you too much hehe!