manual vs. auto


inspired by other photographers, who look at life in minute detail through the viewfinder of their cameras, i have long been dreaming of having some way of shooting in macro. on a mission in london to find spools for my vintage kodak brownie, i came across a shop run by guys who know stuff about cameras and photography.

i had a fantastic discussion with old camera shop guy about macro lenses and was advised by him to go for macro rings, rather than a specific macro lens, because i can fit them to the camera with any of my other lenses. this man’s logic made sense to me.

next to ponder – do i go auto (for £150), or manual (for £6 from amazon).

the difference (besides the price) between them is simple:

  1. full auto contains all the wiring required for the camera to talk through the rings to the lens. this means that anytime i need to adjust something (ISO etc), it’s the same as any other time
  2. manual contains no wiring. every time i need to adjust the settings, it means removing the macro rings, plugging the lens back in, changing the settings, taking the lens off, putting the macro rings and then the lens back on. there’s no auto focus here either, it’s manual all the way…

i decided to get the manual set first; try them out for a bit to see whether or not i can justify spending the money on a full auto set.

and i’ve discovered that i like them… having the rings between the camera and the lens has forced me to think about my subject. what the light is like, how close i want to get (how many rings to use), where to shoot from to get the best shot.

bluebells, kew gardens
bluebells, kew gardens

this post includes a couple of my favourite shots using the macro rings attached.

i generally shoot using my 50mm prime f/1.8 II, though i have also used the rings with a 70-300mm f/4.0-5.6 USM lens with surprising results.

5 thoughts on “manual vs. auto

  • LOve love lovE the first photo!!!! Beautiful!!! You are experimenting quite a lot these days…love that too!!! and YOU! xx

  • I have learnt something today – thank you. What amazing photos – a lovely effect. Great stuff.

  • those shots are both stunning! i’m very inspired by the time and effort you have put into experimenting with the rings. i’m so often in too much of a hurry for that kind of experiment but i can see that it is the only way to get new results. bravo!

  • ohhhhhhhhh … very cool. thanks honey!! its so much cheaper than investing in a macro lens which i just can’t justify right now :-) you so rock!! xoxox

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