Advice on macro.

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by tomhooper, Jul 6, 2008.

  1. tomhooper

    tomhooper TPF Noob!

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    I need some opinions and advice. I have been shooting macro with a Phoenix 100mm macro that I bought some 10 years ago for my Elan IIe. It has served me well, but I have found spots on the inside surface of the lens. It is time to move up. I am torn with what to buy. I shoot Rebel XT's and am very happy with them. I am contemplating either the Canon 100 mm Macro or possibly even the 180 mm Macro "L". Question is do I need 180mm or would the 100mm do me just as well?

    Additionally, I have never used extension tubes and really have no idea how or why I would need them. Does anyone know of a good tutorial on extension tubes?

    Any opinions, advice, and suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks
    Tom Hooper
    Gary, Texas
    Canon Gear
     
  2. Bifurcator

    Bifurcator TPF Noob!

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  3. RyanLilly

    RyanLilly No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I have heard very good things about the 100mm macro, and I would guess thet the 180L is quite nice. The deciding factor would be, Are you happy with the working distance at 100mm, or do you desire more space between you and your subject?

    Extension tubes move your lens farther from the film plane allowing a much closer minimum focusing distance, usually they are used to allow you to get much more magnification out of a non macro lens. You can do the same thing with a bellows. there are extension tubes available that maintain all of the electrical connections, between the body and lens, but IMO its not worth it for the price.


    Edit
    Oh, and if you combine extension tubes with a real macro lens, you get larger than life magnification, bigger then 1:1
     
  4. Robin

    Robin TPF Noob!

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    I have the Canon 100mm Macro and I'm very happy with it. Do you NEED 180mm? Of course not, though there are benefits to 180mm, you've been happily using 100mm for a long time now. The question really is, do you WANT 180mm and if so, are you willing to pay the pretty large price difference for it? If not, you might want to consider Sigma's 150mm F2.8 Macro instead or even Sigma's 180mm F3.5 Macro.

    Have a look at these reviews, if you haven't already:

    http://www.the-digital-picture.com/Canon-Lenses/Canon-Macro-Lens.aspx

    http://www.the-digital-picture.com/Reviews/Canon-EF-100mm-f-2.8-USM-Macro-Lens-Review.aspx

    http://www.the-digital-picture.com/Reviews/Canon-EF-180mm-f-3.5-L-USM-Macro-Lens-Review.aspx

    http://www.the-digital-picture.com/Reviews/Sigma-150mm-f-2.8-EX-DG-HSM-Macro-Lens-Review.aspx

    I went with the Canon 100mm because the L was too expensive, too big (for me, I'm a petite person) and the AF too slow. I liked the 100mm because it was the right price for me and it was usable as a good portrait/telephoto lens - the versatility of that appealed to me. But if you can afford it, the size doesn't bother you and you won't be using it for anything other than macro than the L might be the better choice for you. If the price is too high, again, the Sigma's are a good compromise.
     
  5. tomhooper

    tomhooper TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for all the input. Economics is not really an issue but since a do a lot of walk-around Macro shooting where-ever I find it and lugging around a tripod would be inconvenient, I think the 100 it is. Also think I'll hold off on the extension tubes for now. Thanks again.
     
  6. doenoe

    doenoe TPF Noob!

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    i dont know of you have a flash, but that also comes in very handy when shooting macro. Works even better if you have a difuser or (like i use) the lumiquest softbox. If money really isnt a problem, a ringlight would be very nice.
    But why a flash? Well, if you have a flash you can shoot at, lets say, 1/200 with a aperture of F14. This gives you a nice DOF when shooting bugs. Also, there wont be a need for a tripod and you get a nice light on your subject. It does mean you have a bit more to carry around though, but i think thats worth it.
     
  7. tomhooper

    tomhooper TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for the input, I had already decided to buy a ring light. But I do like hearing info from someone who has actually used it. Thanks again.
     
  8. Bifurcator

    Bifurcator TPF Noob!

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