Which macro?

digitalfailure

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#1
I'm thinking of adding a 50mm lense to my bag as a sort of multi-purpose walk around lens. it'll fit in between the 17-40L f4 and my current 75-300 Is...(70-200 f 2.8 L Is on the to do list)

So, while looking at the canon 50mm's the f1.4 and the 1.8 I noticed the f2.5 compact macro.

This got me thinking about the summer and the proliferation of bugs which appear in the warmer weather :shock:

I've never done any macro shooting, so I'm swayed towards a 50mm which will also handle close up stuff.

The choice is between the Canon 50mm Compact macro f2.5, which isn't a true macro lens as it's 0.5x and the sigma 50mm EX DG macro f2.8 which as far as I can tell offers true 1:1 images.

I'm suspecting both lenses will offer decent portrait performance too, DoF i'm hoping will be sufficient for non close up shots iirc they go to around f32 or f42.

Thoughs, comments and advice pleaseeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee 8)
 

MattEg

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#2
If you want it for bugs 50mm is too short.

On APS-C sized sensors you can get away with 90/100/105mm from Tamron/Canon/Sigma.
With full frame 180mm will be required.

The bugs will depart the scene before you get close enough with that 50mm.
 

CT

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#3
If you don't currently have a 50mm lens, a 50mm macro makes a lot of sense as it fulfills a traditional standard lens role with the advantage of being able to do macro shots too. As it would become an 80mm effectively on your 20D it's also quite a useful portrait lens and very useful walk around lens in available light situations as they're usually a respectably large max aperture.

For a lens being bought specifically for macro the longer the focal length the better. I've owned two 100mm macro lenses and the increased working distance it gives you from your subject is a huge bonus. As usual though - the problem is money.

I can't comment on the two you mention having never used them but I'd make 1:1 reproduction a minimum requirement.
 

MattEg

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#4
All of the lenses mentioned above have a magnification ratio of 1:1.

Sigma have also introduced a 150mm macro lens.

I'm not one to be had with this effective/equivilent nonsense.

A 50mm lens is a 50mm lens.
A 100mm lens is a 100mm lens
and a 500mm lens is 500mm lens no matter what camera you put it on.

You don't gane any magnification what so ever by using an aps-c sensor over a full frame sensor/film.
What you do get is a narrower field of view.

Please, please don't fall into the trap of effectiveness/equivilentness. :LOL:
 

CT

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#5
I thought about going the same route DF is considering, but in the end I bought a 1.4 50mm lens and will probably get the Canon 180 macro - I'll just have to wait a while. A 150mm Sigma Macro sounds well worth considering though.
 

CT

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#6
Matt said:
All of the lenses mentioned above have a magnification ratio of 1:1.

Sigma have also introduced a 150mm macro lens.

I'm not one to be had with this effective/equivilent nonsense.

A 50mm lens is a 50mm lens.
A 100mm lens is a 100mm lens
and a 500mm lens is 500mm lens no matter what camera you put it on.

You don't gane any magnification what so ever by using an aps-c sensor over a full frame sensor/film.
What you do get is a narrower field of view.

Please, please don't fall into the trap of effectiveness/equivilentness. :LOL:
You're preaching to the converted there. :wink: The common misconception is that you gain some increased maginification due the 1.6X crop factor. What doesn't help is that it's sometimes misleadingly referred to as a 1.6X magnification factor, which it isn't - it's a quite substantial crop. Nevertheless, it's still quite valid to refer to it as an equivalent in that the field of view is the same as would be achieved with no crop factor and an equivalent lens, albeit on a substantially smaller sensor.
 
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digitalfailure

digitalfailure

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#7
Everything I read about the EF 50mm compact macro says that it'll only go to 1:1 when used with the optional accessory life size converter.

I take on board the comments about the longer focal length, for what I have planned the 50mm will have to do.......some of us are on budgets for toy buying you know....:D

if they try and fly or crawl away, a quick zap of the wife's hairspray will stop em in their tracks ;)
 

CT

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#8
Well people can and do take some exceptional bug shots with 50mm macro lenses. They don't all fly away. :LOL:
 
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#9
On the subject of Macros, does anyone here have any experience with the Canon 100mm Macro? Seriously thinking of getting one this weekend, and am interested to see what people think. I've read good reviews, but want first-hand experience :)
 
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#10
Over at FM, they're very keen on it. One of my neighbours recently gave me a few old copies of Practical Photography and various macro lens were reviewed in the March 2004 edition i.e.

Cosina 100mm 85% £125
Tamron 90mm 93% £285
Sigma 50mm 89% £220
Sigma 105mm 92% £280
Pentax 100mm 92% £550
Canon 100mm 94% £520
Nikon 105mm 91% £660
Tamron 180mm 90% £630
Sigma 180 90% £480
Nikon 70-180mm 89% £835


Bearing in mind the review’s a year old and new lenses may have been introduced, and prices have dropped, the mag summed up:

In an excellent group of lenses, one stands out – the Canon 100mm. The price is steep, and those who aren’t Canon users can only look on in envy, but it is superb both physically and optically.
 

dod

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#11
Kate said:
On the subject of Macros, does anyone here have any experience with the Canon 100mm Macro? Seriously thinking of getting one this weekend, and am interested to see what people think. I've read good reviews, but want first-hand experience :)
It's fantastic :) I got that ladybird yesterday, here's another using it as a telephoto.

http://www.hardmuircroft.plus.com/Wildlife/slides/swansig.jpg
 
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#12
dod said:
Kate said:
On the subject of Macros, does anyone here have any experience with the Canon 100mm Macro? Seriously thinking of getting one this weekend, and am interested to see what people think. I've read good reviews, but want first-hand experience :)
It's fantastic :) I got that ladybird yesterday, here's another using it as a telephoto.

http://www.hardmuircroft.plus.com/Wildlife/slides/swansig.jpg
I do like your ladybird shot quite a lot. Was it a hand held or tripod shot?

Love the swans... I hadn't even thought about the telephoto aspect of this lens... just another plus for it! Just deciding where to get it from :)
 

dod

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#14
Kate said:
Was it a hand held or tripod shot?

Love the swans... I hadn't even thought about the telephoto aspect of this lens... just another plus for it! Just deciding where to get it from :)
Hand held, they wouldn't sit still long enough to use a tripod. You really are going to enjoy that lens. Chuck the tubes onto it and the results could be amazing :)
 
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#15
i have tried the macro 100mm canon a good week and finally bougth the macro 180mm ... you can do all with it .. portrait landscape and of course macro .. .. i love it
 
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#16
I have recently bought a Canon Power shot 95 and my interest is in reptile photography possibly in macro. I would br grateful for any advice, I have a little more time now due to retirement, Previously a snap shooter! but now looking for something a little more 'up-market'As you can gather I am totally ignorant of the photographic skills I need but I am willing to learn
 
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#17
jack said:
I have recently bought a Canon Power shot 95 and my interest is in reptile photography possibly in macro. I would br grateful for any advice, I have a little more time now due to retirement, Previously a snap shooter! but now looking for something a little more 'up-market'As you can gather I am totally ignorant of the photographic skills I need but I am willing to learn
You should have no problems shooting macro with your A95. Of course, you can get attachments/close-up lenses for it, but the bf has an A80 and it shoots macro beautifully.

The only thing I would advise is getting a tripod and a diffuser for your flash. You can get them from ebay (see link below). They're not official Canon accesories or anything, but when used it really brings out the smallest detail. All they are is a little piece of frosted perspex held over the flash. I'm sure you could make on yourself if you wanted.

Click for link
 
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#18
many thanks Kate for your quick reply I have had a problem with macro shots of a Blue phase frog and I had reflection problems (with flash) I will try and do better next time!
 
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#19
jack said:
many thanks Kate for your quick reply I have had a problem with macro shots of a Blue phase frog and I had reflection problems (with flash) I will try and do better next time!
Seriously, that little flash clip will solve all of your reflection problems. Leon photographs tarantulas quite a lot, and used to have problems. His photos have improved 100% since I bought his flash clip :)
 
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#20
Thanks for the link I have ordered a flash clip, I have a friend who is into reptiles etc and is always wanting to photograph so that he can share his collection with others
 
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#22
I have the Canon 100mm Macro lens and I love it. It does take a little practice getting use to the high magnification and thus the very small (mm) depth of field but you'll never stop hunting down those small critters :)
 

CT

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#23
I'm starting to think that I could get the 100 macro AND the Canon ringflash for less than the price of the 180 macro, or even the 100 macro and the twin flash macro set-up for around the same money.
 
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#24
If you are working on a tight budget you may want to consider the Canon 50mm f1.8 and used extention tubes to allow very close work (macro) If you shop around this combination (three extention tubes and the lens) could be bought for around £130. The added advantage is that the tubes will also work with your other lenses.

I don't know if this advice is to late but I thought I would throw it into the ring anyway.
 
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#25
Hmm, interesting Steve.

I love macro photography, but since moving to the 350D, I've been pushed a little away, as none of my lenses have a short enough minimum focal distance.

I'm looking for something that I can shoot flora, macro still life, and insects/other living stuff, general macros basically. Would you guys recommend the setup that Steve mentioned above, or a 100mm or so macro lense? Ideally I'd like to spend <£300.

Rob
 

CT

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#26
Extension tubes are a real alternative to a macro lens if you only occasionally shoot macro or simply don't want to spend the dosh. Even simpler are supplementary close up lenses which can be bought in various strengths and just fit over the front of your lens like a filter. Good results can be obtained with either method. Remember that with extension tubes, the more you extend the lens, the longer your exposure times become, and your viewfinder image becomes darker too which can be a problem in poor light.

Ultimately of course you wont get the results that you would with a macro lens, and if you're prepared to spend anywhere near 300 quid then you should get a macro.

7dayshop sell the Canon 50mm macro for £169 and the Canon 100mm macro for £339
 
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Steve

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#27
rob said:
I'm looking for something that I can shoot flora, macro still life, and insects/other living stuff, general macros basically. Would you guys recommend the setup that Steve mentioned above, or a 100mm or so macro lense? Ideally I'd like to spend <£300.

Rob
The images below where shot with the 50mm lens and extension tubes. The first in a still life that many will have seen before of water droplets on a CD and the second is photo of a ladybird which shows that with a little practice even the critter shots are attainable with this combination. The last is an extreme close up of the stamen from in the centre of a flower.







If macro is an areas of photography that you may just like to dabble with occasionally or like CT has already mentioned you are working on a budget this combination can return stunning results, as always though a dedicated macro lens will always be better but at a cost.

There are more examples of photos taken with the 50mm lens and extension tube combination here
 
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