Close up lens recommendation please

bradleyheathhays

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I'm an amateur 'photographer' with just enough knowledge to be dangerous to myself. I have the typical Canon Rebel T7 with 18-55mm lens package and I pretty much shoot with it on auto all the time. Only problem I have is that I can't get close in shots with this lens.

I'll be needing to make some close up shots of really small insects here shortly and need a recommendation for a close up lens that's about my speed. A good and cheap (if the combination exists) lens is exactly what I'm looking for. Just whatever gets the job done.

Any recommendations for a lens? Thanks.
 

ac12

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What I did with my Nikon is to buy an old manual focus Nikon macro lens. By old I mean a 40 year old lens.
I have to manually focus the lens, there is no autofocus. But that is OK for still life, where I can take all the time I want to to focus.

You have to determine if you want autofocus and camera controlled aperture.
If YES, then the old (and cheap) manual lens option is out.

Then, a cheap option is to get a set of close up lenses/filters, to put on your 18-55 lens.
That will retain the autofocus and camera controled aperture of that lens.
The IQ is OK.
I think there are GOOD closeup lens/filters, but those are more expensive, and hard to find.
 

petrochemist

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What I did with my Nikon is to buy an old manual focus Nikon macro lens. By old I mean a 40 year old lens.
I have to manually focus the lens, there is no autofocus. But that is OK for still life, where I can take all the time I want to to focus.

You have to determine if you want autofocus and camera controlled aperture.
If YES, then the old (and cheap) manual lens option is out.

Then, a cheap option is to get a set of close up lenses/filters, to put on your 18-55 lens.
That will retain the autofocus and camera controled aperture of that lens.
The IQ is OK.
I think there are GOOD closeup lens/filters, but those are more expensive, and hard to find.
Raynox do some good supplementary lenses that are reasonably affordable, alternatively old primes (wide to normal work best) that can be reversed in front of your normal lens - turning them into high quality supplementarys. Coupling rings are available to mount the lens like this, but simple hand holding it typically gives an idea of how it will work. Not all combinations work some give considerable vignetting.
 

dunfly

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If you do not want to pay the big bucks for a macro lens, one option is to use extension tubes. To be honest, I have not tried them but there are a lot of articles that recommend that as a less expensive option. Here is an example but not a recommendation (this is for Nikon, but they also have a Canon mount set).


Given what you said in your original post, I would go this route and spend a little money on a longer zoom, which would be more useful in the long run.
 
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Strodav

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You have a couple of options. The most cost effective way of doing macro photography is to buy a set of extension tubes. You can find them on Adorama.com or Amazon. Just make sure they are compatible with your camera and lens. The way most of us go is to buy a macro lens. There are two major types, high magnification, i.e., 2x, or the more common 1:1 macro lens. Then there's focal length. My first purchase was a 60mm f/2.8 and my 2nd purchase was a 105mm f/2.8. The 60mm has a wider FOV, but at the expense of being close to your subject, which can block ambient light. The 105mm lets you get a little further back, but has a more narrow FOV. I use the 105mm a lot more often than the 60mm. Many 3rd party macro lenses are manual focus only, but a lot of macro photography is done manual focus in Live View mode. I recommend the AF glass as you will be able to use your macro lenses for general purpose photography as well.

Then there's the whole focus stacking discussion ...
 

cgw

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Look for a used 50/1.8 and a short extension tube. Better still is a Canon mount(Canon or offbrand)macro lens. I'd recommend against anything that promises to serve as a screw-in close-up lens other than a Canon dual element diopter. Extension tubes involve less optical compromise but can present metering and DOF issues.
 

RAZKY

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I'm an amateur 'photographer' with just enough knowledge to be dangerous to myself. I have the typical Canon Rebel T7 with 18-55mm lens package and I pretty much shoot with it on auto all the time. Only problem I have is that I can't get close in shots with this lens.

I'll be needing to make some close up shots of really small insects here shortly and need a recommendation for a close up lens that's about my speed. A good and cheap (if the combination exists) lens is exactly what I'm looking for. Just whatever gets the job done.

Any recommendations for a lens? Thanks.
Are the bugs dead or alive?
Edit: How much magnification do you wish to attain?
 
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RacePhoto

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I think there are enough of the same best answer here, but I'd like to add one more for extension tubes. You are going to be manual anyway, so get some manual tubes of the right lens mount.

A bellows is a nice alternative, but then the price goes up. And the answer that a good prime lens, with those extension tubes will make even better images, is also a good answer.

Tripod or copy stand is mandatory. Something so the camera is firmly mounted. Cable release with the self timer on.

Cheap and good in a lens is a contradiction. :chuncky:

For just over $100 eBay, my favorite, and what I'd say for you, is the Canon MACRO LENS EF 100mm f/2.8 the original version. It's also a very sharp 100mm standard lens. Not just for macro. On the crop body it's a dandy! You don't need the IS version for mounted and shooting bugs? 1:1 ratio

If you want a nice short tele that can be a macro lens too? And buy the extension tubes anyway for even closer shots.

Next you are going to find out the depth of field is about the thickness of a gnats wing and probably start thinking about stacking images. There's free software that does that if you don't have some good photo editor already that does.
 

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