Going macro with canon

Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by Overread, May 16, 2008.

  1. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Well I have recently shifted to doing macro photography and have discovered an unknown and unexpected interest in it. So along with the other big update of this year (that being a 70-200f2.8 L) I am now seeing if I might be able to budget for a really good macro lens (if not this year then next). I have had a look about and the canon 100mm f2.8 macro seems to be getting good reviews and is being recommended by many. Partially as it has a good working distance for living subjects so you don't have to worry as much about disturbing them

    Now would it be a good idea for me to go for a canon 100mm f2.8macro? Are there any other lenses which people would recommend?

    Also whilst I accept that lighting is very key with macro and that that thing on my camera that pops-up is really no good I simply don't think I will be able to get hold of the funds for a good lighting set-up to go with the lens for the moment (so I will have to hope for bright sunny skies)
     
  2. soylentgreen

    soylentgreen TPF Noob!

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    The 100 f/2.8 Macro is a great lens. Only surpassed in resolution by the EF-S 60mm f/2.8 Macro and EF 180mm f/3.5L Macro. The 180 offers the most working distance and is so freaky sharp you will bleed. With an extension tube, you can get ridiculous magnification. Hurts the wallet though.
     
  3. Josh66

    Josh66 Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    The 100mm f/2.8 Macro is a great lens. You'll love it.

    The pop up flash will work, but you'll be wanting the ring-lite eventually. The 100mm Marco will not make a shadow (even at 1:1) with the pop up flash (with the 350D anyway), so it'll work 'till you get something better.

    Keep in mind that at 1:1 you're still going to be pretty close (a few inches).
     
  4. lifeafter2am

    lifeafter2am TPF Noob!

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    I don't know about the 60mm, but the 180L has LOWER resolution figures than the 100mm. The 100 is FREAKISHLY sharp and an excellent lens. I find it has plenty of working distance, even for most jumpy subjects.

    Eventually I would reccomend a ring light or an off-camera flash setup. While it is not used as much (key phrase) on the 100mm as the MP-E 65, it is still used quite a bit.
     
  5. RyanLilly

    RyanLilly No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    It's not quite as convenient as a ring flash or one of those dual head setups, but some cheap strobes and sync cables will do the trick with some cleaver mounting on stands or duct-taped to things. Probably too clunky, cumbersome and slow for living subjects, but for dead things..I mean, non-living thing where you have a bit of set up time it could do the trick.
     
  6. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

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    hmm good to hear support for the canon 100mm macro - however a bit of looking and the Sigma 150mm f/2.8 EX IF HSM macro is another I could afford. Its a little more in cost, but does offer a slightly bigger working distance (not a huge difference but a little more.
    Any thoughts?
    *the other advantage is that it gives me an excuse to get the sigma 1.4*converter to use with it - as I would have to use a 3rd party converter for the 100mm macro anyway*
     
  7. lifeafter2am

    lifeafter2am TPF Noob!

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    The Sigma does give you a longer working distance (about 3 inches longer). But this made me a little nervous when I read it:
    Probably just a fluke, but still makes me nervous. I was looking to pick one up in addition to my 100mm, but decided to spend the money on a macro friendly tripod, focus rail, and an external flash.
     
  8. Chris of Arabia

    Chris of Arabia Herding cats since 1988... Supporting Member

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    I've got the 60mm and it's a great lens (not just for macro stuff either). It's a little limited in terms of the working distance you can get from a subject, but for all that it's still very usable.

    As far as lighting for macro subjects goes, I'm using the 430EX with a Lumiquest Softbox plonked on it - so far that's very effective, though to look at it, you'd think it would shoot the light over the top of the subject when working close - not so though.
     
  9. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

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    I would be interested if any others have found views like that - I know that the canon 100-400mm was plagued in the early years and still is to a more limited extend with softer versions due to construction errors = something that could be fixed for free by canon, but possibly not always noticed by users as a fault and also its more time without the lens ;)
     
  10. 250Gimp

    250Gimp TPF Noob!

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    ONe thing to remember with the sigma is that it will be a fair bit heavier thatn the canon 100mm macro, so hand holding will be tougher.

    I have heard that most of the dedicated macros from various manufacturers in the 90-105mm range are all very sharp. They just have different features. For instance the canon is internally focussing, but the tamron I believe extends as it focusses.

    Cheers
     
  11. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Ok so I decided to do some price work and have two basic choices now:
    Sigma EX DG HSM 180mm Macro
    or
    Sigma AF 150mm f/2.8 EX APO DG macro + sigma 1.4 teleconverter.

    This is based on the prices I just found on Camera King - having ordered from them through amazon I think they are a good company to trust, but this order would be outside of Amazon - anyone had any bad experiences with them?
    Provided that the prices hold (or lower :)) I think the sigma 180 is the best to aim for - get the teleconverter much later

    Any thoughts?
     
  12. lifeafter2am

    lifeafter2am TPF Noob!

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    I would go with the 150mm, it gets much better reviews than 180mm.

    If you want to shoot insects, I can guarantee that you are going to want to shoot in the f/11 range, because of the shallowness of the DOF at 1:1.
     

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