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Thread: Macro Advice

  1. #1
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    Macro Advice

    Camera: Canon EOS 500D
    Lenses: Canon EFS 17-85, EFS 55-250, EF 50 f1.8 II.

    I have a need to travel light to comply with carry-on luggage restrictions on some of the smaller aircraft operating in Australia, typically 1 small bag or camera bag weighing no more than 4KG.
    I usually travel with the 17-85 and if possible include the 50mm f1.8 and or the 55-250 depending on location to be visited and have been able to obtain acceptable results of botanical subjects except some of the smaller wild flowers I have found.

    My macro/close-up requirements are reasonably modest, mainly flowers and other static botanical subjects so minimum distance is not a critical issue. Due to weight and space restrictions my options do not include a dedicated macro lens (although I may invest later). My options appear to be extension tubes (Kenko or Canon) or a close-up filter/lens, of these the Canon Close-up/filter lens 250D or 500D have received good reviews.
    Does this sound like a viable option and what close-up filter/lens or extension tube would provide the best results on my collection of lenses?

    Thanks.

  2. #2
    Jim B.'s Avatar
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    Re: Macro Advice

    Haven't used either, but this might be of interest to you.
    http://www.the-digital-picture.com/R...ns-Review.aspx

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    Re: Macro Advice

    I have the Canon D500 and use it occasionally with my Nikon 70-200 lens. Probably your 55-250 lens would be the most suitable. The D500 has a working distance of about 50 cm. With my Nikon camera it can only be used in manual focus. To get acceptable results with the D500 requires some practice, but a true macro lens is far better.

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    Re: Macro Advice

    I have a set of extension tubes, it's brand unknown. The most important is that you buy those which have electrical contacts build in, so the lens can communicate with your camera body. As extension tubes are just empty tubes, the brand does not matter that much. Canon air is equal kenko air. Extension tubes do not influence the optical qualities of your lenses, you only loose some light.
    If you go for a real macro lens, consider the Canon ef-s 60mm macro. If's a relative small lens, has USM, and is known for it optical quality. As this is a very solid lens, you might consider to buy a use one. I have this lens and love it for macro of flowers etc. It also will make a beautifull portrait lens as 60 mm will act as a 96mm lens on your 500D

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    Re: Macro Advice

    Thanks for taking the time to reply, I will do some more web research and decide between the Kenko set of 3 extension tubes or the D500 for my light weight travel. The Canon 60mm Macro is on my wish list although the new Canon 100mm IS macro lens sounds interesting. I will wait and see what the reviews of the new lens are like and of course the cost compared to the 60 MM Macro.

    Thanks for helping me narrow down the options, I have only had the Canon DSLR for 6 months and still learning what I can and can't achieve and when it goes wrong working out if was the camera or me, on that score camera 0% me 100% cause of the problems. I can only improve....

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    Re: Macro Advice

    Quote Originally Posted by GiantTristan View Post
    I have the Canon D500 and use it occasionally with my Nikon 70-200 lens. Probably your 55-250 lens would be the most suitable. The D500 has a working distance of about 50 cm. With my Nikon camera it can only be used in manual focus. To get acceptable results with the D500 requires some practice, but a true macro lens is far better.
    GiantTristan What magnification do you achieve with the D500 at the extremes of the 70-200 lens?
    Last edited by Fine Woody; 31st January 2010 at 10:41 PM.

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    Re: Macro Advice

    Quote Originally Posted by Fine Woody View Post
    GiantTristan What magnification do you achieve with the D500 at the extremes of the 70-200 lens?
    The magnification with focus at infinity is computed as follows:

    Magnification = Focal length of zoom lens/Focal length of diopter

    Therefore: at 70mm: Magnification = 70/500 = 0.14
    at 200mm: Magnification =200/500 = 0.40

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    Re: Macro Advice

    Quote Originally Posted by GiantTristan View Post
    The magnification with focus at infinity is computed as follows:

    Magnification = Focal length of zoom lens/Focal length of diopter

    Therefore: at 70mm: Magnification = 70/500 = 0.14
    at 200mm: Magnification =200/500 = 0.40
    Hi there,

    Would I be correct in thinking that to compare those figures to those commonly used for a macro lens, you would divide one by them?
    e.g.
    1/0.14 = 1:7.1 and
    1/0.40 = 1:2.5

    Or am I completely off the track?

    Cheers,

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    Re: Macro Advice

    This is correct.

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    Re: Macro Advice

    Thanks to all for the advice, now off to the camera shop and order the Canon 500D close-up filter/lens.

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    Re: Macro Advice

    WOW!!! I thought that the 10 kilo carry-on restrictions of China Airlines was strict. A 4 kilo restriction will really have a photographer thinking about getting the best capabilities for the weight carried.

    I have a suggestion: get rid of the 50mm f/1.8 lens and replace it with a Tamron 60mm f/2 Macro. Basically, anything you can do with the "nifty-fifty" you can do better with the Tamron macro.

    http://www.dpreview.com/news/0903/09...ron60macro.asp

    The Tamron would give you 1:1 macro capability with only a 270 gram increase in lens weights (Tamron at 400 g. minus Canon at 130 g. = 270 g. increase). This happens to be the exact weight of a set of Kenko extension tubes for Canon EOS mounts.

    This substitution would also provide you with a great portrait capability - the 7 bladed aperture giving much more pleasing bokeh than the ragged bokeh of the 5 bladed "nifty-fifty". Besides being important for portraiture; bokeh (not to be confused with depth of field, although the Tamron will give you a shorter DOF also) is very important in macro photography since much of the image is out of focus. A ragged bokeh is unflattering and often distracting in both macros and portraiture. I use a 90mm f/2.8 Tamron macro lens and the bokeh is absolutely creamy and delicious in looks.

  12. #12
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    Re: Macro Advice

    Nice lens, like the built in USM focus motor (essential for D3000/5000), just a shame it doesn't also have VR/IS

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    Re: Macro Advice

    Quote Originally Posted by rpcrowe View Post
    WOW!!! I thought that the 10 kilo carry-on restrictions of China Airlines was strict. A 4 kilo restriction will really have a photographer thinking about getting the best capabilities for the weight carried.

    I have a suggestion: get rid of the 50mm f/1.8 lens and replace it with a Tamron 60mm f/2 Macro. Basically, anything you can do with the "nifty-fifty" you can do better with the Tamron macro.

    http://www.dpreview.com/news/0903/09...ron60macro.asp

    The Tamron would give you 1:1 macro capability with only a 270 gram increase in lens weights (Tamron at 400 g. minus Canon at 130 g. = 270 g. increase). This happens to be the exact weight of a set of Kenko extension tubes for Canon EOS mounts.

    This substitution would also provide you with a great portrait capability - the 7 bladed aperture giving much more pleasing bokeh than the ragged bokeh of the 5 bladed "nifty-fifty". Besides being important for portraiture; bokeh (not to be confused with depth of field, although the Tamron will give you a shorter DOF also) is very important in macro photography since much of the image is out of focus. A ragged bokeh is unflattering and often distracting in both macros and portraiture. I use a 90mm f/2.8 Tamron macro lens and the bokeh is absolutely creamy and delicious in looks.

  14. #14
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    Re: Macro Advice

    i believe you can even just detach the lens and hold it with your hand in front of the lens body. this will cause light leaks but it's a quick macro solution, and you can even cover most of the gap with your hand(s). see freelensing.

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    Re: Macro Advice

    Quote Originally Posted by rpcrowe View Post
    WOW!!! I thought that the 10 kilo carry-on restrictions of China Airlines was strict. A 4 kilo restriction will really have a photographer thinking about getting the best capabilities for the weight carried.

    I have a suggestion: get rid of the 50mm f/1.8 lens and replace it with a Tamron 60mm f/2 Macro. Basically, anything you can do with the "nifty-fifty" you can do better with the Tamron macro.

    http://www.dpreview.com/news/0903/09...ron60macro.asp

    The Tamron would give you 1:1 macro capability with only a 270 gram increase in lens weights (Tamron at 400 g. minus Canon at 130 g. = 270 g. increase). This happens to be the exact weight of a set of Kenko extension tubes for Canon EOS mounts.

    This substitution would also provide you with a great portrait capability - the 7 bladed aperture giving much more pleasing bokeh than the ragged bokeh of the 5 bladed "nifty-fifty". Besides being important for portraiture; bokeh (not to be confused with depth of field, although the Tamron will give you a shorter DOF also) is very important in macro photography since much of the image is out of focus. A ragged bokeh is unflattering and often distracting in both macros and portraiture. I use a 90mm f/2.8 Tamron macro lens and the bokeh is absolutely creamy and delicious in looks.
    Thanks, excellent suggestion, the Tamron 60mm Macro had escaped my attention. I have been waiting for my local camera store to get stock of the close-up lens and extension tubes so I still have all options open. The weight limit of 4Kg carry on and 14Kg check in apply to a Dash-8 twin turbo prop service from Sydney to Lord Howe Island where there is a very short runway and a 2 hour flight so these limits are enforced. Other jet domestic services in Australia have an 8kg carry on limit and Dash-8 have a 5Kg carry on limit (sometimes enforced). Unfortunately fares at the moment to Lord Howe Island cost almost as much as a return to Europe. No doubt the result of a single carrier and no competition. If the fares cannot be obtained on sale then the weight limit maybe academic.

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