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Thread: Another Canon lens question

  1. #1
    lizzy310's Avatar
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    Another Canon lens question

    OK...maybe it's good I had to send the camera back. I am thinking about something and want more opinions on it. I was just curious and looking at macro lenses. I LOVE macro photography. So one of the lenses that was raved about on Amazon reviews was Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L IS USM 1-to-1 Macro. In the reviews people said they used it for portraits, and landscapes and it worked amazingly well. It got 5 stars consistently. So...to get the most versatile lens, how would this work instead of the 24-105mm that I was going to get. I know the difference in f stops. But I want to understand how they would differ for a walk around lens. If I am going to spend $1000 on a lens, it would be nice to have one that does as much as possible. Maybe I am way off base in even thinking this, and I would like some other views on this. Also taking into consideration that I am going to get a 70-200 lens for telephoto, and cover my bases that way. Obi Juans...Grasshopper awaits your superior knowledge!

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    Re: Another Canon lens question

    Hi Liz,

    They're really different tools for different jobs; sure, a 100mm macro lens CAN take a very nice portrait or landscape, but ONLY if it's a 100mm lens that's required for that shot. For example, if you need a 24mm lens to capture a particular scene that's in front of you - and all you have is a 100mm lens - then it's going to be a lot like a mechanic trying to remove a 24mm bolt head with only a 100mm spanner.

    Macro lenses let you "get in close" - zoom lenses give you versatility. For a general-purpose walk-about lens, the 24-105 wins hands down in my opinion. For close up shots, the macro lens wins hands down.

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    Re: Another Canon lens question

    Hi Liz
    Don't forget that you can always use tubes or macro filters on the 24-105 to use it for macro but you will never be able to turn the 100mm into a zoom.

    So for versatility I would say the 24-105 should win.

    Cheers
    Steve

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    lizzy310's Avatar
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    Re: Another Canon lens question

    I am really pretty amateur at all this. And still in learning mode about the mm stuff and everything. Thanks for clearing it up for me.

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    Re: Another Canon lens question

    As Steve said, the 24-105 lens with a 25 mm extension tube will get you as close to the subject as a 100 mm macro lens for macro photography; give or take a little bit.

    And if you are really keen on insect macro work I would recommend the larger 150 mm macro lens anyway. With insects etc the run/fly away distance is more important that having 1:1 at a couple of inches.

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    Re: Another Canon lens question

    I agree with the above comments... The 24-105mm f/4L IS zoom is far more versatile than the 100mm macro lens, although the 100mm macro is absoutely "GREAT" for macro work and for portrait work when you have the room to use it.

    If you haunt eBay like I used to do before I ended up with the lenses I wanted/needed; you will occasionally come up with a Tamron 90mm f/2.8 AF SP macro Lens. This is the model previous to the present Tamron 90mm f/2.8 AF SP [B]Di[B] Macro Lens but produces excellent image quality at 1:1 image ratio and works fine on my Canon DSLR vameras. It also producxes absolutely beautiful bokeh and is nicknamed "The Portrait Macro" because of that creamy smooth bokeh.

    I purchased my Tamron a few years ago used on eBay and paid less than $100 for the lens. It has served me great and I certainly don't have much invested in it. BTW: this is NOT the Tamron 90mm f/2.5 Adaptall lens which is a manual focus lens that doesn't have the image quality of my lens.

    Another Canon lens question

    Another Canon lens question
    Last edited by rpcrowe; 4th October 2011 at 01:52 PM.

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    Re: Another Canon lens question

    Richard...those are absolutely beautiful photos. WOW! can I ask a totally amateur question? What is bokeh? I think I will stick with my original choices and then get a macro lens later. It probably isn't what I am going to use most. I will look for a deal like you found on a used one. For $100 it doesn't matter whether it lasts only a year or so. Thanks for the good info.

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    Re: Another Canon lens question

    Bokeh is the out of focus elements in a picture. When you look at the 2nd image above, the plants are out of focus to the point where they are smooth green blobs. Looks pretty doesnt it!

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    Re: Another Canon lens question

    I love that effect. Bokeh...do the letters stand for something? I have taken lots of close up photos with my little G10, but never understood you to make the background come out like that. Reading and learning right now, so I will be able to do it too.

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul in PDX View Post
    Bokeh is the out of focus elements in a picture. When you look at the 2nd image above, the plants are out of focus to the point where they are smooth green blobs. Looks pretty doesnt it!

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    Re: Another Canon lens question

    Quote Originally Posted by lizzy310 View Post
    I love that effect. Bokeh...do the letters stand for something?
    Hi Liz,

    According to wikipedia ...

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bokeh

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    BOKEH vs. DEPTH OF FIELD

    Liz...

    IMO, the reason that the term BOKEH gets mixed up with the term DEPTH OF FIELD is that, although they have different meanings (Remember: the adjectives used to modify the term BOKEH are subjective such as: pretty, creamy or ugly. While the adjectives used to modify the term DEPTH OF FIELD are objective such as: narow and wide.) they are somewhat intertwined.

    BOKEH MOST OFTEN becomes a factor when you have a large area of the image out of focus due to a narrow depth of field. Here is an example of extreme selective focus with only the bronze statue in focus.

    Another Canon lens question

    Now imagine if the out of focus area which includes the red and yellow Chinese characters was ragged and choppy. Instead of complementing the bronze statue the background would compete for attention with the subject itself.

    This image was shot with a 70-200mm f/4L IS lens which has been designed with rounded shutter blades because generally the more perfectly rounded the aperture, the smoother the bokeh. Quite often, apertures with more blades (such as eight on the 90mm Tamron Macro) create a smoother looking bokeh than apertures formed by fewer blades (such as the five on the Canon 50mm f/1.8 Mk-II). Canon went the one step further by designing rounded blades for the 70-200mm f/4L IS and 70-200mm f/2.8L IS ii lenses...

    You can have some fun by creating your own specially shaped out of focus look. Heart shaped is the one that is most often used in this fun project but, most any simple shape will work...

    http://www.diyphotography.net/diy_create_your_own_bokeh

    BTW:

    As PeterP mentioned below, "macro" is a term that has been very loosely interpreted by camera and lens manufacturers. Originally back in the Dark Ages of film and before macro lenses were generally available "macro" photography was that which started at a 1:1 image ratio (the image on the negative or film being the same size as the subject). We normally used either extension tubes or bellows assemblies to achieve this ratio. Close-up photography was the term used for image ratios of less than 1:1.

    When "true" macro lenses were introduced, they were capable of a 1:1 image ratio, either bare or with an adapter. The term "macro" was applied to these lenses (Nikon called some of theirs: Micro). However, the camera companies realized what a selling point the term "macro" could be, they applied this term to many of their zoom lenses which were in reality only close focusing lenses which could produce an image ratio of somewhere around 1:4 or 1:6 (wherein the image was 1/4 or 1/6 the size of the subject).

    The rationale behind labeling the lenses as macro-zooms was, besides making money, that virtually no one uses an image shot with either 35mm film or a digital sensor at the size the sensor produces it. Most photographers who have their images printed end up with U.S. 6x4" size or European A6 (or somewhere close to it. This actuallly will bring an image which is perhaps 1:4 image ratio up to 1:1 or larger.

    My first "macro" lens was a 90mm f/2.5 Vivital Series One. It could produce 1:2 imagery bare and up to 1:1 imagery with an adapter. Canon still produces a "macro" lens, the 50mm f/2.5 macro, that needs an adapter to make it capable of 1:1 image capture. There is a very inexpensive macro lens sold under the Phoenix name (as well as several other brands) that is 100mm f/3.5. This lens also produces 1:2 imagery bare and is capable of 1:1 imagery with a converter. It is, however, very inexpensive and seems to produce fairly good imagery.

    There are several other ways to produce macro imagery. Each of these methods has its positive and negative aspects...

    1. Extension tubes
    2. Close-up filters
    3. Reversing your lens with an adapter
    4. Adding a reversed lens in front of your lens using an adapter

    A Google search using the parameters: close up photography or macro photography will give you more information about these various ways of achieving macro imagery.

    Finally: You can adapt manual focusing lenses to the Canon EOS bodies. If you use a Canon FD mount manual focus lens, you lose capability to achieve infinity focus unless you use an adapter with an optical component which degrades the imagery somewhat. However, for just close-up and macro work, infinity is not required. On the other hand, the prices of used manual focus lenses have gone up over the last few years so, adapting a manual macro lens might not be a cost saving idea like it once was.
    Last edited by rpcrowe; 5th October 2011 at 02:10 AM.

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    Re: Another Canon lens question

    I have the Canon 100mm L and can attest to its superior performance. A true macro lens must go to 1:1 at least. Most zoom macros don't. The 100mm L macro can also be used for portraits, but some may consider it too sharp as all blemishes will show!

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    Re: Another Canon lens question

    I have both the 24-105 and the previous version of the 100 macro (non IS, non L). Very different lenses.

    The 100 macro is obviously limited to one focal length, which limits its use to some extent. Certainly not one I'd personally use for landscapes. I use the 24-105 on both a 30D and 5DII. On the 30D, it's effectively like a 38-168 lens.

    I've found that the 100 macro isn't long enough for me on a FF body, so I generally use it on the 30D. An interesting result when using the 100 macro on the 5Dii is that to get the same image as the 30D, one must either move in much closer (which can be limited by minimum focus distance and kills DOF), or crop the image from the FF body.

    Using both bodies at the same distance from the subject, the FF image must be cropped by 0.625 x 0.625 to get the same framing. Applying this factor to the 21.1 MP of the 5Dii yields 8.2 MP - the 30D is a 8.1 MP body. So there is little to gain in resolution using the FF body with this lens compared to the 30D.

    So I may suggest that the 100 macro is fine with a crop body, but I would also suggest that for a FF body, the 180 macro could be more suitable. This of course depends on the subject being imaged.

    Glenn

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    Re: Another Canon lens question

    100mm IS L can be used for landscapes if you are willing to run around a lot. I spent 15 min trying to get this Seagull to move where i wanted him.

    Another Canon lens question

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    Re: Another Canon lens question

    Quote Originally Posted by Colin Southern View Post
    Hi Liz,

    According to wikipedia ...

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bokeh

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    Re: Another Canon lens question

    Richard...thank you for explaining so clearly about what it all means to an amateur like me. I may just start with the Tameron lens since lenses are so expensive and the main expense is the other 2.

    And thank you to Peter, Glenn and Paul for your input also. I think I will do more landscapes than close ups. It is good to hear from actual users of the lenses about how they worked with them.

    I am really learning so much on here and I do appreciate all the info.

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    Re: Another Canon lens question

    If you would like to get a feeling how different focal length looks like without having a real lense for testing you can take a closer look at the website from Tamron. It is a company that produces lenses, also for Canon cameras. I do not know what camera you are going to get. If it is a DSLR with an APS-C sized sensor, like the 4xxD, 5xxD, 60D or 7D choose "digital camera". If it is a full frame camera like the 5D or 7D than choose "35mm film camera". Under the picture is a slider that can be used to simulate different focal length settings.

    http://www.tamron.eu/uk/lenses/focal...omparison.html

    I suggest trying the lense before buying it if it's possible.

    Robert

  18. #18
    lizzy310's Avatar
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    Re: Another Canon lens question

    Thanks for that Link Robert...I will definitely check it out.
    Quote Originally Posted by Sunray View Post
    If you would like to get a feeling how different focal length looks like without having a real lense for testing you can take a closer look at the website from Tamron. It is a company that produces lenses, also for Canon cameras. I do not know what camera you are going to get. If it is a DSLR with an APS-C sized sensor, like the 4xxD, 5xxD, 60D or 7D choose "digital camera". If it is a full frame camera like the 5D or 7D than choose "35mm film camera". Under the picture is a slider that can be used to simulate different focal length settings.

    http://www.tamron.eu/uk/lenses/focal...omparison.html

    I suggest trying the lense before buying it if it's possible.

    Robert

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    Re: Another Canon lens question

    Liz,

    Have you looked at the 28-135 lens? It is a very good lens that has served me very well for the last 8 years. It is a great all around lens. I use it more than any of my L lenses. It's worth a look.

    Doug

  20. #20
    lizzy310's Avatar
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    Re: Another Canon lens question

    Thanks Doug....I will read about it. I have 2 months before I can actually get my lenses so I have time to really research all the different lenses. Appreciate the input.
    Quote Originally Posted by DTruex View Post
    Liz,

    Have you looked at the 28-135 lens? It is a very good lens that has served me very well for the last 8 years. It is a great all around lens. I use it more than any of my L lenses. It's worth a look.

    Doug

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