Lens question

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by nikki2291, Jan 19, 2009.

  1. nikki2291

    nikki2291 TPF Noob!

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    Is it possible to do any kind of macro photography with a telephoto zoom lens?
    I have a Canon EOS Rebel XS with the 55MM kit lens (I don't think you can do macro with that though, I had a Pentax DSLR and I could never do macro with its kit lens). I also have a Canon 75-300MM UltraSonic Zoom telephoto lens.
    I know that the easiest thing to do would be to go out and buy a macro lens but I can't do that just yet. I am interested in macro photography though and am wondering if it is possible with my telephoto lens? Any suggestions and tips would be great.
    Thanks in advance!

    ~Nikki~
     
  2. AlexColeman

    AlexColeman TPF Noob!

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    Yes, but it won't be true macro photography, just try it.
     
  3. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

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    chances are you need to reduce your minimum focusing distance in order to get the images of small things bigger in the frame,
    you can try using extension tubes which will reduce your minimum focusing distance, but they will also remove your infinate focus as well - which means further off subjects will not be possible whilst the tubes are fitted. Tubes only add air into the setup, so you can get 3rd party (much cheaper) options and still get the same image quality possible with the branded ones (as a hint a single tube from canon is about the same cost as 3 from kenko).
    Tubes come in 2 sorts - very cheap non-reporting ones (you have to meter shots yourself) and more expensive ones that allow communication between lens and camera - allowing metering and AF to be active.
     
  4. Katier

    Katier TPF Noob!

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    Assuming it has a 'macro' mode it should work fine. ( not sure about if it hasn't ).

    [​IMG]

    Was done on a 80-300 macro zoom as a quick test image. ( setup, ISO etc. was random - just done to work out the max magnification)
     
  5. AlexColeman

    AlexColeman TPF Noob!

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    Just try it, unless you know the minimum focussing distance.
     
  6. nikki2291

    nikki2291 TPF Noob!

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    My lens says that the minimum focusing distance is 1.5 meters. But I tried it out just to see how close I can get to a subject and it seems to go closer and focus fine. Although my 55MM can get alot closer to something then the 300MM. But it might work if you were at a certain distance...I don't have any tubes or anything like that though...

    ~Nikki~
     
  7. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

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    yah the canon 70-300mm has no close focusing setup so in order to get closer (macro) shots you will need to either use a macro lens or use the extension tubes to try and get closer.
    You can also try some macro filters, but many are not worth the glass they are made of - there are some exceptions and Raynox appear to have made a very good line of macro filters (Raynox DCR 250 is a well recomended filter)
     
  8. nikki2291

    nikki2291 TPF Noob!

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    I will hopefully have enough money for a macro lens by spring but if not then I will probably go for some extension tubes...any recommendations?

    ~Nikki~
     
  9. Battou

    Battou No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    This is because what you have is as you said it, a telephoto zoom lens and not a Macro Zoom lens. Macro zooms have a different design that allow closer focusing distances that a standard tele zoom. That is not to say it is not possible to do macro work with a standard telezoom, it just requires some specialty equipment.

    This shot was taken with a non macro focusing tele zoom, A Canon FD 100-200 (I think the minimum focusing distance is like 10 feet) using a bellows, in your case you are prolly looking at needing extention tubes.

    Shot with Canon FD 100-200mm at 200mm on Canon Bellows FL on Canon EF, ASA 800 (uncropped full frame)
    [​IMG]
    Bigger Here

    [​IMG]

    Another methoed is Macro Filters

    This one was taken with a standard prime lens but it has the same results on a telezoom, I just don't have any with the 100 - 200 handy at the moment.

    Taken (Handheld) with stacked Tiffen macro filters on Hoya 81A on Nikkor 50mm on Nikon FM, ASA 200 (uncropped full frame)

    [​IMG]
    Bigger Here

    His name is Martok BTW;)

    After that there is alway playing with paring up the different methoeds but now I am just playing to see how close I can get

    Taken with Canon FD 100-200 with Macro filters on Canon FL bellows on Canon EF, ASA 200 (Uncropped Full Frame)
    [​IMG]
    Bigger Here

    But anywho What I am getting at is if you want to do macro with a standatd telezoom you need to but some accesseries.
     
  10. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

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    for a macro lens or extensin tubes?
    For tubes I would say go for Kenko AF tubes - they cost more than non-AF tubes, but they let you keep your metering and such with the camera. They also appear to be a bit more sturdy in construction

    For a macro lens I don't know how much budget you have access to - but for macro lenses there is a good solid range of them --

    Canon EFS 60mm macro - the only downside to this lens is that it won't fit onto a full frame camera - its crop sensor only. However unless you are looking at a 5D any time soon its a good budget choice

    Canon 100mm macro - a good solid choice for canon cameras - its only drawbacks are that its lens hood (which apparently can't be used for macro work as its too long) and tripod collar are not sold with the lens - getting both these additional parts the price rises to about the same as the sigma 150mm (which can use its hood). Its also not compatable with canon teleconverters, but some 3rd party options (kenko or sigma) might fit - I just don't know

    Tamron 90mm macro - shortest recomended lens for macro insect work - a good solid performer - if possibly not as popular as some other options

    Sigma 70mm macro - good solid macro lens- and reportedly one of sigma's sharpest lenses in production

    Sigma 105mm macro - good solid choice of macro lens

    Sigma 150mm macro - this and the 180mm macro from sigma are their top class macro lenses - both have the high quality sigma build (EX); inner focusing (the lens does not extend as you alter the focus - it happens internally); teleconverter compatability; HSM focusing motors (better AF and quieter). The 150mm is about hte longest lens which is considered handhold able for macro work.

    Sigma 180mm macro - a very good lens and often chosen instead of the canon 180mm L macro because it gives the same optical quality for half the price - its a longer focal length, but its a bit heavy for prolonged hand held macro work - a lens more suited to tripod work

    Notes -
    of the lenses above there is no one that is a consitantly better performer than the others - they are pretty much sharp and well built lenses - which ever you choose will give good solid results and performance

    AF on macro lenses tends to be slower than on normal lenses - this is not a limitation for macro work as its done almost totally in manual mode

    sigma lenses compatable with teleconverters are compatable with sigma teleconverters only - some other 3rd party options might be possible, but its best to stick with sigma

    focal length - for bugs you idealy want 90mm or more since the longer the focal length the greater the distance from camera to bug at full magnification. That means there is less chance of spooking the bug when you get closer.

    I also encorage the use of a 1.4 teleconverter with macro work since it not only increases focal length but also increases magnification a bit whilst still being usable. That is great for getting a bit closer to smaller bugs - note that image quality is lessened only by a faction (harly noticable)

    My choice - I went with the sigma 150mm and have not regreted it one bit - one thing that I did like about the lens, aside from its longer focal length - is that its good for grabshots of other wildlife as well (being a 150mm lens).
     

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