Using a long lens for close ups

Sony 100-400mm GM lens for close up photography . . .

Most of my time is taken up with being a drone pilot or other commercial photography / video jobs for my clients but now and again it’s so nice to have a day off and indulge myself with other types of photography.

The majority of us buy a long lens (70-200, 50-500, 100-400 etc) to take photos of things far away but don’t overlook the fact that they are superb for close ups and portraits as well.

The photos in the gallery below were taken with the Sony A7R3 and the Sony 100-400mm GM lens. I bought this lens primarily for wildlife, birds and photos of aircraft flying – things that typically you can’t get close to – but it is also a stunning lens for close up work, product photography and portraits.

If  you want to photograph the hairs on a spider’s throat in amazing detail it’s not going to replace a dedicated macro lens but the quality of the photos I took yesterday – for me – shows it isn’t a million miles away.

The photos were taken at ISO 400 as it was a bit of a overcast day – perfect for this sort of photography – and f5.6 to give a pleasant depth of field and to blur the background out beautifully (bokeh) so that your eyes are drawn instantly to the subject. The shooting speed was between 1/80th sec and 1/160th sec.

Modern cameras like the Sony A7 and A9 series have such amazingly good In Body Image Stabilisation (IBIS) that the relatively slow shutter speeds I used for such a long lens are easily achievable.

I have cropped the images slightly in Lightroom and added a touch of vibrance but other than that they are pretty much as shot.