Canon macro lenses?

Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by Ganoderma, Aug 13, 2009.

  1. Ganoderma

    Ganoderma TPF Noob!

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    i am in need of a good macro lens. i have a telephoto/"macro" lens, but 70mm is too far away....i need to be able to get close (ideally right in there, but DSLR are not good in that regard it seems.... so closer the better.

    I really need something that can catch detail really well of insane close ups (i am doing things like plant skin cells, pollen, flowers etc etc...also with a microscope but still need the macroscopic shots). DOF is important, and *most* subjects will be still (not so many animals, mostly plants/fungus)

    i use cannon EOS digital (kiss x). the problem is i am limited for $, so gotta be under $500 USD.

    until I saw the price i was looking at the MP-E 65mm f/2.8 1-5x Macro, but costs too much for me.

    also looked at the Canon 28-105mm f3.5-4.5 Macro USM, anyone here worked with this? how good is it at getting in there and details?

    any ideas?
     
  2. Milky

    Milky No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    cheap alternative, get a M42 manual lense with an M42 to EOS adaptator, and get some cheap fast 50mm manual lense, with extension. Got the whole thing for less than 30euros / $40
     
  3. Jaszek

    Jaszek No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 . it has something like .35 m focusing distance.
     
  4. usayit

    usayit No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Get the 100mm f/2.8 macro. It gives you decent working distance, it is a sharp lens, and doubles as a good portrait lens. Don't forget to read up on macro photography as lighting is just as important as the lens and camera (tripod too).

    Unless you have significant experience with macro, I would steer far away from the MP-E 60mm macro. It is a fairly difficult lens to use and a proper "setup" is a must (at a price); macro lighting, darn stable tripod, and focusing rails. The MP-E is not a true Canon EF lens as it is a pure manual focusing lens.
     
  5. Hardrock

    Hardrock TPF Noob!

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    Canon 100mm macro 2.8f is a great lense! Well worth the money.
     
  6. Ganoderma

    Ganoderma TPF Noob!

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    sounds like a winner. before i go buy one, how is the tokina version?
    Tokina AT-X 100mm 100 f/2.8

    or the Sigma 105mm f/2.8 EX Macro?
     
  7. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    You have to be careful about the word 'macro'. It is sometimes used as an advertising catch word and tacked onto the name of a lens. Canon 28-105mm f3.5-4.5 Macro USM, for example. I don't think that lens is capable of 1:1 magnification, which is what many people consider to be the standard for an actual Macro lens.

    The characteristic that really makes these lenses capable of 'macro' photography is the minimum focus distance. The closer you can get to the subject, and still be able to focus on it, the bigger it will be in the photo. A longer focal length gives you more working room. You could get a 50mm macro lens, but you would have to be so close to your subject to get 1:1 magnification, that you would likely be blocking off most of the ambient light. A lot of people prefer the longer macro lenses because you don't have to be so close....although they are pretty expensive.

    A cheap alternative is to just use extension tubes. They go behind the lens and reduce the minimum focus distance, allowing you to get closer. They can be used with your existing lenses.
     
  8. Ganoderma

    Ganoderma TPF Noob!

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    ya i hear you, i am definitely wanting true macro capabilities. i have read a bunch of reviews of the 100 mm suggested above, and it seems like a great lens!

    you mention the longer distances involved, i can see how that is very useful, but in my situation i already have a lens for distance macro, so the closer ones would actually be best. quite often i am sitting at a desk with the subject sitting right in front of me and i need to take the photo there. with my old cool pix prosumer (i would still use it now but the lens broke, which prompted my upgrade to dSLR a little while ago) i was so happy at being able to get a few cm away, i realise teh lighting issue, but these distances are often times needed for my specific shots.

    so closer=better. i am usually about 10-50cm away from my subjects about 80% of the time, for the other 20% i got a lens that i am ok with now :)

    how is the Canon EF 50/1.8 II for close ups? its cheap and im thinking maybe as an additional gift :)

    thanks for all your imput guys, i am really happy to have this place to learn from!!!
     
  9. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    I don't know it's minimum focus distance, off the top of my head, but I'd say that it's OK. Not bad but not outstanding. You could pair this up with an extension tube for a very cheap macro option.

    The 50mm F1.8 is the most recommended lens in the line up, mostly because it's cheap. The optical quality is actually quite good for a $100 lens but the build quality is quite cheap compared to better lenses like the 50mm F1.4 USM.
     
  10. usayit

    usayit No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Being physically "closer" is different from magnification.

    A good working distance is often useful for things like insects as getting to close would disturb them. It also comes in useful when the tripod itself is difficult to position close to the subject.
     
  11. Josh66

    Josh66 Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Yeah. Is your "long macro lens" actually a macro lens? Can it do 1:1?

    Say you have a 50mm, 60mm & 100mm macro lens that all do 1:1, they will each give you the same level of magnification. The only difference is how close you have to be to do it.

    With the 100mm macro at 1:1, the subject is only 3-4 inches from the front of the lens. With a shorter macro (1:1) lens, that would be somewhere around 1-2 inches.

    Keep in mind - the minimum focusing distance is measured from the film/sensor plane, not the front of the lens.
     
  12. camz

    camz No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    ^^^

    I may stand corrected but I thought minimal focus distance is measured from the nodal point where the image is inversed. I think having it at a teared distance from the film/sensor will vary because of the different builds of each individual camera. So to remain consistant relative to the subjects displacement, I think it's actually measured from the reference nodal of the lens which is indicated as a spec on all the lenses.
     
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2009

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