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Thread: canon macro lens

  1. #1
    Member GerryK's Avatar
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    canon macro lens

    Folks, I am starting to look for a macro lens to partner with my 5DM3 body and am seeking your assistance/direction. Prime use will be flowers, fungi, bugs of various persuasions.
    If I had buckets of cash the Canon MP-E 65mm would be tempting. f2.8 would be desireable.

    How do the tamrons/sigmas compare with canon quality, usability and price wise?

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    this is a write-up comparing the lenses to the older 100mm Canon Macro
    I want to save for the new 100mm Canon IS L macro..... but havent got there yet

    http://www.the-digital-picture.com/R...ns-Review.aspx
    50D, 50 f/1.8, 24-105L, 70-200L f/2.8 IS 11, Understanding Wife
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    Member JJM's Avatar
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    I recently hired a Canon 100mm F2.8L Macro Lens and fell in love with it, I tried the non L version at a store and it was nearly as good but I felt the IS of L version was worthwhile.

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    Quote Originally Posted by GerryK View Post
    Folks, I am starting to look for a macro lens to partner with my 5DM3 body and am seeking your assistance/direction. Prime use will be flowers, fungi, bugs of various persuasions.

    Most Photographers who get into generalist Macro Photography choose a Macro Lens based upon the Lens’s FOCAL LENGTH such that it provides a suitable WORKING DISTANCE from the SUBJECT. Typically, for a 135 format camera (aka ‘full frame’ camera) a lens around the Focal Length of 90mm to 105mm is suited to most purposes.

    We use two canon macro lenses: the EF50/2.5 and the EF 100/2.8. When I make photos of Flowers and Bugs and Fungi with my 5D Series cameras, I use the EF 100 F/2.8 Macro and I find this lens to be excellent for those purposes, excellent enough not to warrant selling what I own and buying the newer IS version; though if I were buying a 100/2.8 macro today, I would buy the IS version, because to have the IS is better than not.

    I have used the both my 100/2.8M lens and also the newer ‘L IS’ version of it side by side and the ‘EF 100F/2.8L IS’ version is a tad sharper wide open than the earlier non-IS version – but it takes scrutiny to see that difference in the final print/image.

    The 100/2.8 makes an excellent 100mm F/2.8 Prime Lens for general use also, (for portraiture it is excellent) but not so good for situations where lightning fast AF is required (don’t take it to use at a basketball game)

    Additionally, dedicated Macro work often requires other tools such as, but not limited to:
    A tripod
    Suitable tripod head
    Remote Release
    Marco specific Flash Lighting and/or Modifiers
    Focussing Rails

    *

    Quote Originally Posted by GerryK View Post
    If I had buckets of cash the Canon MP-E 65mm would be tempting.
    The MP-E 65 is a very specialized tool and it is certainly NOT a general purpose Macro lens.

    *

    Quote Originally Posted by GerryK View Post
    f2.8 would be desireable.
    Why?

    *

    Quote Originally Posted by GerryK View Post
    How do the tamrons/sigmas compare with canon quality, usability and price wise?

    Have not used them.

    WW

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    Loves The Wildlife. Mary Anne's Avatar
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    I use a Tamron 90mm Macro 1/3 the price of what I paid for this at the time > Canon 100mmL macro I also shoot the friendly Birds with this one.
    I also have the the MP-E-65 mm that I use for the real small stuff. Just stick to any of the macro lenses between 90-105mm and you will be right

    I would not recommend the MP-E-65mm to a beginner Macro shooter, shoot with a normal macro lens for about two years.
    Then see if you can hire one and try before you buy as it a very close up lens and you wont be shooting flowers with it unless they are very small.
    The closest focal distance at 1x is 10 cms and that will scare off most Insects, at 5x its 4 cms now that's close shooting its also a Manual Focus lens and only goes to f/16
    You cannot see through the viewfinder at 5x unless you are in Bright Sunlight and you will need a Flash for this one, where with the 90 and 100mm above sometimes you can shoot without one.
    Hope this helps.

    I shoot with Canon And Olympus Cameras



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    Member johntorcasio's Avatar
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    I have the 100mm 2.8L IS macro lens the IS is that good i can easily shoot bee's in flight
    hand held ..

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    Quote Originally Posted by johntorcasio View Post
    I have the 100mm 2.8L IS macro lens the IS is that good i can easily shoot bee's in flight hand held ..
    That statement just yearns for an example image to be posted here and also for an explanation as to why it is the lens that allows the shot.

    - - - please.



    WW

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    Ausphotography Regular basketballfreak6's Avatar
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    canon mp-e 65 is very specialised lens, would not get it unless you know what you are doing and the 2.8 on it is useless, not like you can shoot portraits with it or something, you will stopping down for DOF

    100L macro if you can swing it, double up nicely as portrait lens, also the i personally find the IS invaluable not just to help reduce blur but also stabilise the image in the viewfinder making focusing a lot less of a chore and af works decently well even doing macro on a 5d3 body, i stack mine with a extension tube and 1.4x tc and get pretty good results

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    From all of the macro images I have seen on the forum I would make a guess that the quality of light is more important than any other aspect of the capture. Spend the money on getting light onto the subject with what you may consider "a lesser lens" and your images will be far better than those with a rolls-royce lens and poor lighting. Some wonderful set-ups shown in the macro forum to draw inspiration from
    Cheers Kieran

    Tamron 90 macro, Sigma 70-200 f2.8, Tokina 11-16 f2.8, Cannon 50 f1.8, Cannon 18-55. Cannon 550D

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    A royal pain in the bum! arthurking83's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by basketballfreak6 View Post
    canon mp-e 65 is very specialised lens, would not get it unless you know what you are doing and the 2.8 on it is useless, not like you can shoot portraits with it or something, you will stopping down for DOF

    ......

    The rating(or maximum size) of the 'aperture' of a lens is not only for the purpose of achieving a shallow DOF.
    Ever tried shooting with a f/8 or f/11 locked lens?

    Whilst modern DSLRs are view limited through the viewfinder(due to the design of the focusing screen), the faster the aperture value, the brighter the image through to both the viewfinder and LCD screen(eg. in liveview or an EVF).

    Some cameras have the option to change the focusing matte to one that works better for faster lenses .... I know that Canon have such a system available for some of their cameras, but if you mount a slower lens, the image through to the vf or sensor is reduced in brightness.
    Depending on the speed of the focusing matte, even an f/2.8 lens has the ability to darken the view through to the vf by a considerable amount.

    Of course it goes without saying that this brightness difference can also impact on the ease of focusing.

    Also .. because you mentioned it .. if you also use extension tubes, the faster aperture the lens gives you a brightness advantage.

    There is a simple formula to calculate effective aperture:

    Effective Aperture = Lens Aperture x (1 + Magnification)

    So imagine that the f/2.8 of the MPE lens at 5x magnification is going to be more like 6stops slower/smaller .... something like f/22 or so.
    Many microscope lenses(objectives) are deliberately made with what appears to be strangely fast (f/1.4) aperture values.
    Simply because of the effects of magnification(extension) on the lens. The microscope lenses tend to operate in the 5x and higher 40x is common .. so imagine if they were slower than f/1.4!
    Nikon D800E, D300, D70s
    {Nikon} -> 50/1.2 : 500/8(CPU'd) : 105/2.8VR Micro : 180/2.8ais : 105mm f/1.8ais : 24mm/2ais
    {Sigma}; ->10-20/4-5.6 : 50/1.4 : 12-24/4.5-5.6II : 150-600mm|S
    {Tamron}; -> 17-50/2.8 : 28-75/2.8 : 70-200/2.8 : 300/2.8 SP MF : 24-70/2.8VC


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    In Training MarkChap's Avatar
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    Most dedicated macro lenses will have a minimum aperture of f2.8
    The longer the focal length the longer your minimum focus/working distance will be
    Now this is not such an issue for things that don't move, but have you ever tried to sneak in to just a few centimeters away from a bee on a flower ?? good luck with that

    I have the Tamron 90mm, (the older pre VC and USM model) great lens, but if I was to buy a new macro lens, no doubt, I would be looking in 150mm focal length range
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    Ausphotography Regular basketballfreak6's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by arthurking83 View Post
    The rating(or maximum size) of the 'aperture' of a lens is not only for the purpose of achieving a shallow DOF.
    Ever tried shooting with a f/8 or f/11 locked lens?

    Whilst modern DSLRs are view limited through the viewfinder(due to the design of the focusing screen), the faster the aperture value, the brighter the image through to both the viewfinder and LCD screen(eg. in liveview or an EVF).

    Some cameras have the option to change the focusing matte to one that works better for faster lenses .... I know that Canon have such a system available for some of their cameras, but if you mount a slower lens, the image through to the vf or sensor is reduced in brightness.
    Depending on the speed of the focusing matte, even an f/2.8 lens has the ability to darken the view through to the vf by a considerable amount.

    Of course it goes without saying that this brightness difference can also impact on the ease of focusing.

    Also .. because you mentioned it .. if you also use extension tubes, the faster aperture the lens gives you a brightness advantage.

    There is a simple formula to calculate effective aperture:

    Effective Aperture = Lens Aperture x (1 + Magnification)

    So imagine that the f/2.8 of the MPE lens at 5x magnification is going to be more like 6stops slower/smaller .... something like f/22 or so.
    Many microscope lenses(objectives) are deliberately made with what appears to be strangely fast (f/1.4) aperture values.
    Simply because of the effects of magnification(extension) on the lens. The microscope lenses tend to operate in the 5x and higher 40x is common .. so imagine if they were slower than f/1.4!
    Hey Arthur, great point about the viewfinder brightness factor, but when I say useless I meant in the practical sense in that with the mpe I doubt anyone would be using it at 2.8 as it would be dedicated macro and nothing else and that since we are comparing with other 2.8 (macro) lenses, I probably should've been more clear when saying "2.8 is useless" in this case lol

    i used to use a high precision focus screen when I shot with the 60D so I know what you mean about vf darkening when using lenses slower than 2.8
    Last edited by basketballfreak6; 28-06-2014 at 2:55pm.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MarkChap View Post
    Most dedicated macro lenses will have a minimum aperture of f2.8
    Mark probably meant "maximum aperture".

    Yes, many dedicated macro lenses have maximum aperture F/2.8: some don't, two canon ones for example, the 50 and the 180 don't.

    So in the Canon range, which sports six macro lenses (EF 50/2.5; EF-S 60/2.8; MP-E 65/2.8; EF 100/2.8; EF 100/2.8L; EF 180/3.5) 33% are not F/2.8

    The OP has Canon gear: the reason I asked the OP "Why?" ‘F/2.8 is desirable’ was more about seeking to find out what would be the problem using any of the other macro lenses whose maximum aperture is NOT F/2.8. It is not as if there is such a big difference.

    But the OP hasn’t answered the question yet.

    WW

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    In Training MarkChap's Avatar
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    hahahah, thanks William, yeah I meant Maximum.

    My comments about most having f2.8 were for the OP's benefit

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    You're welcome Mark.

    For clarity:
    ALL my comments in post #13 were for the OP's benefit - I was not debating with Mark.
    I was agreeing with Mark about the commonality of F/2.8 (or close to it) - that's why I asked the OP why the fuss about F/2.8.
    I merely quoted Mark's small error simply to correct it and so to avoid any ongoing confusion about exactly what were discussing.

    WW

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    Thank you to all who have contributed to this thread. It has certainly help me clarify my thoughts.

    My previous experience with macro photography is as follows.
    Mid 1980's to mid 1990s I used a minolta set up. SRT101, F1.4 50mm prime lens, bellows and extension tubes. This was brilliant. I tended to do very abstract work. From 2008 to 2013 I had Pentax with a number of zoom lens which had a macro setting. Great for flowers and other not to small things.

    Now having converted to Canon, I am seeking to expand the kit. I suspect I will go the 100mm F2.8. When the funds are flowing (post school fees) I will get an MP-E 65.

    So why f2.8? Very simple. Light. My experiences are that the smaller the aperture the harder it is so see when shooting macro. (I remember with fondness the 101 had a preview button which would close down the aperture providing an accurate view)

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    Autodidact & Amateur Sargimuss's Avatar
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    When it comes to technical experience and composition, I know very little. I'll post a couple of results from my 600D and 100mm 2.8 (non L). If you would like them removed, I'm more than happy to take them down, just thought I'd share my experiences with the lens and basic APS-c body. My EXIF is open too if you'd like to see what settings I was using for the pictures.

    Bumblebee No. 1 by Steve Sargent, on Flickr

    Bombyliidae Bee Fly by Steve Sargent, on Flickr

    Bumblebee by Steve Sargent, on Flickr

    Bee cleared for landing by Steve Sargent, on Flickr

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    Quote Originally Posted by GerryK View Post
    . . . So why f2.8? Very simple. Light. My experiences are that the smaller the aperture the harder it is so see when shooting macro. (I remember with fondness the 101 had a preview button which would close down the aperture providing an accurate view)
    The button on the SRT-101 is a 'Depth of Field Preview' Button. The EOS 5D MkIII also has a DoF Preview Button , see p.165 of the user manual for details.

    The fact that you were using bellows and an extension tube to ‘convert’ a Rokkor Prime Lens for macro use with your Minolta SRT-101, would mean that the viewfinder would be darker than it would normally be if the lens were directly attached to the camera. HOWEVER, when using a dedicated Macro Lens on the 5DMkIII, the viewfinder will remain as bright as the maximum aperture of the lens will allow.

    WW

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    Ausphotography Regular crafty1tutu's Avatar
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    I love macro photography and I have a Canon 180 mm 3.5 L series lens and it is my favourite lens. I like the length because you can stand back a little so that you don't startle the insects, but you can change the switch on the side depending how close you want to get. My dream lens would be the MP-E65 and one day I know I will buy it, but as Mary Anne said, it is more difficult to use. I have a friend who has the Tamron version of the 180 mm and he gets amazing results from this lens as well. You can see some of my work on Flickr if you wish.

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/836460...7645374925101/

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    Autodidact & Amateur Sargimuss's Avatar
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    Ann. Those Bees in Flight are amazing. What a great lens. There's definitely an art to shooting BiF and it looks like your combination of good hardware and knowing how to use it has payed off for you. the extra length looks to be very handy.

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