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Thread: Another Macro lens advise question

  1. #41
    Ausphotography Regular
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    I (presently - since 2004) have two macro lenses, both Canon. I have basically explained why I bought the EF 100/2.8M - primarily for use as a macro lens on both APS-C and 135 Format, but additionally for its use as a Prime Lens to sit between my 85 and 135.

    I have mainly always chosen use Prime Lenses for the majority of my photography: up until 2004 I think I owned only one zoom lens and then, until about 2010, I only owned two zoom lenses . . . I spoiled myself in 2010 and bought a "general purpose" zoom, the EF24 to 105 L F/4 IS USM. Subsequently I bought two more zoom and inherited another one, so I have six zooms now: that still feels quite odd to me.

    The other macro lens I have is the EF50/2.5 (and the life size converter). This lens I purchased primarily for my business use: forensic and archival image recording, for example images of Client's artworks, stamps, coins etc. In addition I found it quite an handy lens to have in the bag for a quick and easy close-up style rings / cake champagne glasses shot at a Wedding reception. It is a cute little lens and it doesn't get much use now, but it has always been difficult for me to sell a lens which is little used but still usable.

    Prior to 2004, when we cut over to digital, (and changed systems) our 135 format gear was Nikon and we had no Nikon micro lenses, because we had no day to day need for one, especially considering that we had 645 and 6x7 format bellows and suitable lenses if any macros or close-ups were required.

    For my personal work, I don't do much macro, but for several years I've has hot and cold thoughts about buying the MP-E 65mm just for the thrill of fiddling at (much) closer than 1:1. After reading Steve's comments I have the hot feelings for the lens again . . . (so if I buy the MP-E this afternoon, I can blame Steve).

    It is interesting to read the to and fro opinions about Nikon's Micro lenses.

    WW

  2. #42
    http://steveaxford.smugmug.com/
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    I do apologise, William, because the MP-E is a very easy lens to hate. It can only be used in one of two ways (at least, that is my experience).
    1. As hand held with a flash (I use the Canon macro twin flash) and you focus by moving the camera. This takes some practice, but is quite fast and produces good pictures when you get the hang of it. Even some rudimentary focus stacking is possible using this method. The disadvantages of this method are dof (lack of good focus stacking) and you have to use a flash, which gives you a black background and harsh lighting.
    2. Use with a tripod and good focus macro rail, something like RRS. This is slow, painful and produces beautiful pictures when you get it right, which isn't easy. I use this method for things that don't move and the flash for things that do.

    It is also a very easy lens to love as it takes wonderful pics even if it is very time consuming.

  3. #43
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    I am still belly laughing after reading your opening sentence of apology - that certainly lightened my day, thanks . . .

    As a technical comment though, I haven't devoted a great deal of time to researching the functions, techniques and procedures of those who use the MP-E, but contained within the research that I have done I haven't noticed nor did I even consider that the lens could be used as per procedure (1.) above. That is inspiring news indeed and puts me a step closer to a purchase.

    Tripods, suitable heads and a fine adjustment, sturdy two way macro focusing rail - all I already have and I had budgeted on buying the Canon (dedicated) twin flash, if I buy the MP-E lens.

    ***

    . . . It is also a very easy lens to love as it takes wonderful pics even if it is very time consuming . . .
    oh dear, you know how to stress a man . . . the credit card is very close to being used.

    Seriously though, thank you very much for the information: your comments have been extremely informative and very useful for me.

    WW

  4. #44
    http://steveaxford.smugmug.com/
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    Glad to be of help - and you can't say I didn't warn you.
    Just another word on hand held. It is very hard to hold the camera steady enough to catch the focus with hand held. I found that by doing things like holding the subject in your left hand (eg a stick with a small insect on one end) and resting the camera on your left arm works well. That ensures that while the camera and subject may move, they move together. Resting the arm holding the camera on a tree or other steady object is also good, provided the subject stays still and is within range. I always used the flash in manual as ETTL never worked very well. One thing about flash is that you don't have to worry about the distant background as there isn't any. It is black.
    With a tripod and no flash you need to worry about the background. The lens picks up bright spots that are way out of the supposed field of view, but once you get used to that you can get some really good photos.

  5. #45
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    Ta.

    Have a great weekend.

    regards,

    William

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