DSLR Camera and Macro Lens Help please !!!


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Feb 25, 2012
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I would like to ask a question if anyone could help me, I am looking to buy a DSLR Camera with macro lens, first of all I want to tell you that what I need is to focus on details, example tooth ( would like to see not just basic tooth shape and color, also characterizations with all details).
So, I've been thinking between these 2 following cameras, lenses and flashes.

1. Canon EOS 60D + EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro IS USM + Macro Twin Lite MT-24EX

2. Nikon D7000 + AF-S VR Micro Nikkor 105mm f/2.8G IF-ED + R1 Close-up Speedlight system or maybe R1C1 Close-up.....

That would be my choice between Canon 60D or Nikon D7000, just looking which camera, lens could give me more details and sharper image.


EOS60D with Canon 100mm shot of a 1/4" microchip

Enough detail for you and I wouldn't waste the extra on the L myself as I wanted other things.
I may be wrong but I doubt that anyone with any certainty could state which one would give you a sharper more detailed image. I think this may be one of those cases where you couldn't go wrong with either one.

Well a macro lens is a macro lens - differences between them are generally very minor and many will be more due to copy variation than inherant differences. For the use you want the differences are likely to be so tiny that you'll never ever notice them. Either of those macro lenses, used corectly, will give you a clear, sharp and detailed photo to work from.

I'm unsure if either camera body is generally considered superior over the other (though with the way things are at present I'm willing to bet many will suggest the Nikon over the Canon but honestly either one would work well).

Of reviews I've read of lighting setups the Nikon flash system normally gets rated a bit higher than the canon, though interestingly the only good review comparison I've read of the two macro flash units rated the Canon higher than the Nikon.

But, as I said, in the end this is working with good lighting, in easy controlled conditions - either body would suit your needs and give you that detailed sharp shot.

One, aside question, any idea of the rough size (in mm) of the subject area you'd like to ideally be able to photograph? You mention teeth which has me thinking that you're a dentist (or working in that area) so many closer focusing setups are not going to be suitable (breath on the lens) but if you've other uses/needs then there might be a small cause for considering Canon over Nikon - but only if you have need of higher magnifications (ie working with much smaller subjects).
thanks for all responds, i am dental technician, and would be for use on patients, yes breathing could be a problem, haven't use macro lens before and not sure how close i can get to the patient.

Well rough size of the mm would be 10mm x 8mm (approximately size of your front tooth) if you look from the distance your tooth you see basic color, but if you look really close than you see more than that, color, translucence (blue, gray, orange, some crack lines, .....etc. all depends not the same all the time, so I want to capture those details. I forgot to mention, outside light would be blocked out, and would be used Ott light.
I've always read that Ringflashes were popular for dental work, giving you a somewhat flat, but even lighting over the whole of the subject area. The twinflash is a very good lighting setup and, controlled correctly, can give very good lighting - though you might find that its added controls cater more toward those trying to simulate good natural light (ie light from an above light source) as opposed to a full covering of even lighting. Of course a little contrast difference helps define edge details, though most ring flash units of good quality allow you to adjust the output of each of the two tubes - so as you can make a shadowing effect (thus giving you some contrast differences).

The sensor on the 60D is 22.3 x 14.9mm and a 1:1* magnification photo from the macro lens (the most it can do) would be taken at roughly 146mm from the front of the lens to the subject (called working distance, which is different to minimum focusing distance which is measured from the subject to the sensor/film inside the camera itself).
At 1:1 a 10mm by 8mm subject would be 10 by 8mm on the sensor itself, so you'd be looking at the tooth filling around half the frame length ways and around just over half height wise.

That might give you all the detail you find that you need in a subject, if, however, you wanted to use more you could use a 1.4 teleconverter to give you 1.4:1 magnification. This would increase the magnification of the lens, but would leave your minimum focusing distance (and thus working distance) unchanged.

* Size of subject as reflected on the sensor by the lens : size of subject in real life
Just adding, but the Canon 100mm is incompatible with canon teleconverters (they physically cannot be mounted to the lens). I'm unsure if 3rd party ones can be fitted. If they can't be attached direct many use an extension tube (kenko brand) fitted between the lens and the teleconverter. This reduces the minimum focusing distance and will also slightly increase the magnification as well as removing the lenses infinity focusing (the lens can't focus on anything far off - maximum focusing distance might drop to a few feet or even only inches). Though most of the reports I read state that only a short 12mm is needed so you would not loose too much working distance.

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