Helpful Posts Helpful Posts:  0
Results 1 to 14 of 14

Thread: Canon Macro

  1. #1
    New Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Posts
    1
    Real Name
    CJ

    Canon Macro

    I have a Canon 400D. My interest in Macro photography has recently been massively increased and I'm looking to buy a macro lense. I have become aware that many people prefer the 100mm, but a close friend has a preference for a 50mm version. i trust his judgement but wanted some wider views also. I think he prefers 50mm due to the sharpness and focus (?).

    My budget is probably in region of 500 up to 800 absolute max. Does anyone have any infor that would help me. I have never ventured much into Macro and want to be able to take the detailed photos Macro would allow - mostly of everyday objects and I like the idea of water droplets and their colours (and possibly insects) .

  2. #2
    Bear's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Near Bern
    Posts
    44
    Real Name
    John T

    Re: Canon Macro

    I have the EF-100L 2.8 IS Macro and I am very happy with it, and not just for macro. It is outstanding just for the 100mm focal length, then the 4 stop hybrid IS making it very versatile for many subjects. Mine is very sharp indeed and the 100mm gives you a little extra working space for macro. The price of the lens should be within your budget, but that will depend upon where you buy it.

    The 50 f/2.5 is certainly an excellent macro lens, however the working distance is very small and it has no IS which can be very useful when doing handheld macro.

    If you do not already have them, it would be a good idea to budget in a good tripod and head if you are serious about macro.

  3. #3
    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Windsor, Berks, UK
    Posts
    16,323
    Real Name
    Dave Humphries :)

    Re: Canon Macro

    Hi CeeJay,

    Crucially, you haven't said what subjects either you or your friend shoot, nor which camera body (APS-C or FF), your friend uses.

    Those factors will (or should) influence what is best for you more than you trusting your friend's preference.

    That said, your friend's advice maybe good because s/he knows the answers to my questions, but until we do, we cannot safely advise you.

    If the subects are say, flowers, then 50mm may be the best focal length, but if you want to shoot insects, the advice should be 100mm minimum, longer still would be better (e.g. Sigma do a 150mm and 180mm).

    Have you read the macro tutorial here at CiC? There are two follow ons linked from the bottom of that page too. All well worth reading.

    Welcome to the CiC forums from ....

  4. #4
    rpcrowe's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Southern California, USA
    Posts
    13,301
    Real Name
    Richard

    Re: Canon Macro

    There are two factors regarding the Canon 50mm f/2.5 Macro lens. First, it is not capable of achieving 1:1 imagery without an adapter which both increases the cost of the lens and makes the area between 1:2 and 1:1 image ratio more difficult since you need to add the adapter. Second, the lens to subject distance is quite short which makes shooting creepie crawlies difficult and also makes lighting a macro more difficult. (note: I almost always add light to my macros indoors or out).

    IMO, a 90-100mm macro is a good compromise between achieving good lens to subject distance against weight and price of longer focal length macro lenses.

    I like my 90mm f/2.8 Tamron Macro but, would be equally as happy with a Canon 100mm f/2.8 Macro. (Note: the IS capablity of the 100mm f/2.8L IS Macro would be great but, it is, IMO, not absolutely necessary). Photographers have been shooting macros without IS in their lenses until just recently.

  5. #5
    Glenn NK's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Victoria BC
    Posts
    1,510

    Re: Canon Macro

    My comments are based on personal experience.

    For a crop camera, I would never use anything shorter than 90 or 100 mm focal length.

    For a FF camera, I am using a 100 mm focal length and it's simply too short so I have to resort to extension rings - a nuisance. I'm struggling with the 100 mm with my 5DII and am seriously looking for something between 150 and 180 mm. A 200 mm true macro would be wonderful.

    Whether shooting insects or flowers, backing up from the object is usually always an option - moving in is not very often an option. With insects the short focal length puts the camera too close; with flower closeups/macros the camera often blocks the light.

    Opinions vary on the use of a tripod - I literally never shoot without one, particularly macro because the depth of field is so shallow that a slight movement puts the focus off. And for focus stacking, shooting without a tripod would be insanity (in my opinion).

    If you look at the link below, all but two or three images were taken with a crop body, a 100 mm macro, and a tripod.

    Glenn

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    South Island, New Zealand
    Posts
    547
    Real Name
    Ken

    Re: Canon Macro

    I use a Sigma 105mm 2.8 lens (Canon fit) on a 5D Mk 11, and am very happy with it. No matter what macro you use the depth of field is very small, when at close to 1:1 magnification. Attached is an example that I took today, handheld, as the wind precluded using the tripod. 1/400 sec, f 3.2, ISO 400.

    Canon Macro

  7. #7
    DanK's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    New England
    Posts
    3,993
    Real Name
    Dan

    Re: Canon Macro

    I shoot mostly macro, and like you, I have a crop sensor camera. I would second some of Dave and Richard's comments. My experience is not consistent with Glenn's.

    First, if you are serious about macro, I would skip the 50mm for one of the reasons Richard gave: it is only 1:2, not 1:1. It was my first macro lens, years ago, and I kept it only a short time for that reason. In that focal length range (more on this in a moment), my choice would be the EF-S 60mm. It's a fabulous lens optically, and it has USM/ full time manual focusing, which I consider important for macro work. (I keep AF on the back button, and USM allows me to switch between automatic and manual focusing without flipping a switch.)

    However, I would start with Dave's point: the ideal focal length depends on your use. I own both the 60mm and the EF 100mm L. I almost always take the 100mm for bugs so that I don't have to get quite as close. I almost always use the 60mm for tripod shots of flowers because the shorter working distance is a plus unless you have a large working surface. The shorter focal length also gives you more magnification for a given length of extension tube. If you want to do both, I think I would recommend 100mm or close to it. It's heavier and harder to hand-hold, but the extra distance is worth it. It also provides more background blur.

    I'll post a couple.

    60mm, several images stacked for greater DOF:

    Canon Macro

    100mm, single image, with a 36mm extension tube:

    Canon Macro

    Re IS: conventional IS is virtually no help in macro work. It compensates for angular motion, which has very little impact at such short distances. The "hybrid IS" in the 100mm L also compensates for motion parallel to the sensor, which does have a big impact at macro distances. It's worth perhaps 1.5 or at best 2 stops. however, a lot of macro work is done with a tripod or monopod. The non-L 100mm is optically very close in quality but lacks IS.

  8. #8
    Administrator Manfred M's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Ottawa, Canada
    Posts
    12,988
    Real Name
    Manfred Mueller

    Re: Canon Macro

    I have not done a lot macro shooting, but did borrow a short and longer lens (60mm and 105mm). My first impression was that I enjoyed working with the longer lens as I was far enough away to do things comfortably, without crowding and bumping into the subject matter.

    Lighting the scene was a lot easier with the longer lens; both for natural lighting (longer lens meant I didn't get my shadow into the shots) and when I shot with a ring-flash I got nice, even lighting.

  9. #9
    rpcrowe's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Southern California, USA
    Posts
    13,301
    Real Name
    Richard

    Re: Canon Macro

    Quote Originally Posted by CeeJay View Post
    I have become aware that many people prefer the 100mm, but a close friend has a preference for a 50mm version. i trust his judgement but wanted some wider views also. I think he prefers 50mm due to the sharpness and focus (?).
    I just wanted to add that virtually all macro lenses are very sharp. This even includes the one-hundred U.S. Dollar Phoenix 100mm f/3.4 macro lens. This lens is sold under several different labels: Phoenix, Cosina, Vivitar and Pentax. Because of the very low price, it is nicknamed "The Poorman's Macro". It is also distributed with several mounts including: Nikon, Canon and Pentax.

    http://www.nikonians.org/html/resour.../100f35-1.html

    This lens only achieves 1:2 imagery without using the supplied adaptor but, the price makes it interesting. It is priced less than a decent set of Kenko extension tubes.

    BTW: speaking about extension tubes, they are used not only to achieve macro capability with non macro lenses, they can be used in conjunction with a true macro lens for some really large image ratios. Along that line, I have learned that I "could" use a 1.4x teleconverter along with my 90mm f/2.8 Tamron Macro lens to increase the focal length to a 126mm f/4 macro. I have not done so because I would need to add an extension tube to enable my Canon TC to physically fit with the 90mm Tamron. I don't own an extension tube but, I have been surfing eBay to find a good (with focus and exposure connection) tube for a decent price. So far I have been unsuccessful and have been out bid on any that I tried for. Apparently, other photographers want the tube/tubes more than I do...

    http://www.nikonians.org/html/resour.../100f35-1.html
    Last edited by rpcrowe; 22nd April 2012 at 03:25 PM.

  10. #10
    Scott Stephen's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Pennsylvania, USA
    Posts
    292
    Real Name
    Scott

    Re: Canon Macro

    I am not sure of the exchange rate, but I do believe $800 pounds would definitely get you into a Canon MP-E65 f/2.8 1-5 x Macro (about $950 dollars US). If you are really serious about macro, this is the thermonuclear version. True Macro is 1:1 and this one actually does 5:1. From what I have read, though, it takes some serious practice, it is by no means a hand-held proposition, and you probably need to stack 10 images to get a good insect eye or whatever it is you are shooting. The results in the hands of a good shooter are truly awe-inspiring, though.
    If you are working tabletop, I am told you can avoid buying an expensive macro ringlight by using little battery powered reading lights from IKEA, but I don't actually know that.

  11. #11
    rpcrowe's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Southern California, USA
    Posts
    13,301
    Real Name
    Richard

    Re: Canon Macro

    Scott,

    Although the Canon MP-E65 is a truly awesome lens, it is certainly not the lens I would recommend for most "macro" work which, in reality, is usually more close up photography than it is "true macro".

    The MP-E65 cannot focus further from your subject than at a 1:1 ratio. That means, the largest area you could cover with that lens is 36x24mm on a full frame camera and 22.2x14.8mm on a 1.6x crop camera. This rules out most flower photography, must butterflies and quite a few other insects. It certainly rules out using that lens as a short telephoto for portraits and other use.

    The Canon mount macro lenses, other than the MP-E65, can focus from infinity to either 1:1 (most macro lenses) or 1:2 (Canon 50mm f/2.5 and Phoenix 100mm f/3.4).

    I agree with you that a shot of a flies eye is quite impressive but, it is seldom that I am called upon to shoot such an image. If I were occasionally desiring of such magnification, I would probably add some tubes to my Tamron 90mm f/2.8 Macro....
    Last edited by rpcrowe; 23rd April 2012 at 12:58 AM.

  12. #12
    Markvetnz's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Auckland, NZ
    Posts
    639
    Real Name
    Mark

    Re: Canon Macro

    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Stephen View Post
    I am not sure of the exchange rate, but I do believe $800 pounds would definitely get you into a Canon MP-E65 f/2.8 1-5 x Macro (about $950 dollars US). If you are really serious about macro, this is the thermonuclear version. True Macro is 1:1 and this one actually does 5:1. From what I have read, though, it takes some serious practice, it is by no means a hand-held proposition, and you probably need to stack 10 images to get a good insect eye or whatever it is you are shooting. The results in the hands of a good shooter are truly awe-inspiring, though.
    If you are working tabletop, I am told you can avoid buying an expensive macro ringlight by using little battery powered reading lights from IKEA, but I don't actually know that.
    I have one of these lenses. They are hard to use, but definitely can be used hand held (only with a flash to eliminate motion blur). A ring flash or a MP 24 EX is essential. The focal distance is so short that the viewfinder becomes very dark at high magnification. Focus stacking with this lens is not simple because there is no actual focus ring. You have to move the lens to achieve focus or increase / decrease magnification. Both of these actions changes the composition. Bugs tend to move around, which also affects your chances of getting multiple shots with different focal points of exactly the same composition.

    The biggest mistake macro photographers make is using too shallow depth of field. The DOF is already very shallow and at high magnification it is even tighter.

    Here is a shot I posted on another thread. F16 (fully stopped down), ISO 100, 1/100th sec, ettl flash (ratio1:2), some ambient light at this exposure, hand held, Lens to subject 2.4cm. If you are taking shots of insects in the field then a tripod is hopeless. Too cumbersome, too time consuming and you are way too close to the bugs to make it practical.

    Canon Macro

  13. #13
    Markvetnz's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Auckland, NZ
    Posts
    639
    Real Name
    Mark

    Re: Canon Macro

    Quote Originally Posted by rpcrowe View Post
    Scott,

    Although the Canon MP-E65 is a truly awesome lens, it is certainly not the lens I would recommend for most "macro" work which, in reality, is usually more close up photography than it is "true macro".

    The MP-E65 cannot focus further from your subject than at a 1:1 ratio. That means, the largest area you could cover with that lens is 36x24mm on a full frame camera and 22.2x14.8mm on a 1.6x crop camera. This rules out most flower photography, must butterflies and quite a few other insects. It certainly rules out using that lens as a short telephoto for portraits and other use.

    The Canon mount macro lenses, other than the MP-E65, can focus from infinity to either 1:1 (most macros
    lenses) or 1:2 (Canon 50mm f/2.5 and Phoenix 100mm f/3.4).

    I agree with you that a shot of a flies eye is quite impressive but, it is seldom that I am called upon to shoot such an image. If I were occasionally desiring of such magnification, I would probably add some tubes to my Tamron 90mm f/2.8 Macro....
    I agree with everything you say. The MP E65 is purely an enthusiast's lens. It is not 1:1 macro photography. It is really "magnification" photography. It isn't an everyday lens and I wouldn't recommend to to macro beginners at all. An expensive flash is essential. In all honesty the only reason I bought one is I had used my sister in law's one and when I saw one with the flash come up for 1/2 the new price I took it.

    I must say that I'm having a huge amount of fun producing images that would otherwise be impossible.

  14. #14
    Scott Stephen's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Pennsylvania, USA
    Posts
    292
    Real Name
    Scott

    Re: Canon Macro

    True. That is just what I decided after I briefly considered getting one. And still-wow! Someday when I have more time and patience, that would be a really neat lens to have and use.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •