Lens Question(s)

carldelain

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Getting back into photography after a long winter break.
I liked to do a lot of macro. Particularly insects/arachnids and water drops.

I am looking for the right lens for very small things like jumping spiders.
I had always just used something like a 50mm f/1.8 reversed on some extension tubes, but i'm looking for a dedicated macro lens now.

I guess i'm torn between a few things like the canon 100mm f/2.8, and the sigma 180mm f3.5 or the sigma 150mm f/2.8.

Is there a huge difference between the sigma 180mm 3.5 and the more costly (almost double) 180mm f/2.8 version?
Is there enough of a difference between the canon 100mm f/2.8 and the L version to pay double the price?
I would choose the canon 100mm f/2.8 over something like the sigma 105mm solely because of the internal focusing.
But what about the canon 100mm f/2.8 compared to something like the sigma 150mm or 180mm?

Also, any other lenses anyone would recommend

Sorry for all the questions, but the budget is slim, and i can't afford to experiment! :lol:
 

Nervine

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I have never tried those Lena's and I shoot Sony. However I can advise that for me 100mm is long enough for shooting jumping spiders and other insects of similar size.
 
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carldelain

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For sure. I haven't read a bad review on any of them. It's just preference, really. I'm just wondering what most people prefer ;)
 

EDL

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Personally, from the tests and reviews I've seen I'm not sure the Canon L version of the 100mm macro is worth the cost for shooting macro. The reviews say the IS doesn't work too well in macro (shooting macro as you probably already know is a manual focus thing anyway). If you've priced IS vs non-IS lenses the IS adds a lot to the price. IQ in macro shooting seems to be about the same for both.

The other lenses you mention have all rated well too.

If macro is what you are really after, have you considered the Canon MP-E65? Granted, it is macro only, unlike the other 100mm+ ones listed, but it does go up to 5:1 and is in the same price range as the Canon 100mm f/2.8L. Being 65mm, the working distance is less than the longer lenses which may provide a challenge for jumpers or other skiddish bugs.

Overall though, The long macros you've listed all look pretty good. Do some reading on the reviews and judge for yourself.
 
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carldelain

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I did read a lot about the mp-e65, but it sounded like it would be quite difficult for handheld shooting as far as focusing and getting any usable shots of quickthem insects or spidersa goes. I've only seen a few youtube reviews though. It would be nice to hear from anyone here who has first hand experience with it!
 

Austin Greene

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I am looking for the right lens for very small things like jumping spiders.

...the budget is slim, and i can't afford to experiment! :lol:

Out of curiosity, what haven't you been satisfied with as far as your 50mm on tubes goes? If your looking for something cheap, stick with what you have and really hash out its characteristics. The 50mm f/1.8 on tubes can produce some incredible macro images when used correctly. Really the only thing you'll get with a high dollar lens is ease of use, DOF flexibility, and possibly some increased magnification depending on which one you choose. You may have already made your mind, but a little retrospect into how you've been using your lens might save you a lot of money!

If you didn't think the 50mm was good enough for jumpers, here is my macro album, full of jumpers.
 

EDL

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Are you just using extension tubes, or reversing the lens?

If you have a zoom also, you could reverse the 50mm on the end of it.

I imagine the longer 1:1 lenses would make it easier to get moving bugs in general due to the longer working distance, but there are plenty of examples of the mp-e65 used for practically every bug you can think of. For hand held with it, you'd probably want a macro flash too.

Togalive is right that these lenses just make it easier to use and easier to deal with DOF as it is a self contained system vs fiddling with tubes, reversed lenses, etc, but there are tons of stunning shots with tubes and reversed, etc.
 

gregtallica

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Out of curiosity, what haven't you been satisfied with as far as your 50mm on tubes goes? If your looking for something cheap, stick with what you have and really hash out its characteristics. The 50mm f/1.8 on tubes can produce some incredible macro images when used correctly. Really the only thing you'll get with a high dollar lens is ease of use, DOF flexibility, and possibly some increased magnification depending on which one you choose. You may have already made your mind, but a little retrospect into how you've been using your lens might save you a lot of money!

If you didn't think the 50mm was good enough for jumpers, here is my macro album, full of jumpers.


Not to hijack the thread, but are you using ext tubes, or are you reversing the lens? I have a 50mm 1.8 and I'd like to get into macro but have been having so many troubles understanding how to get started. Now that you said this, though, I think it must be easier than i imagine to get started.
 

EDL

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You can do either, or even combine them. In your case, you can use tubes, you can reverse the lens or you can do both at same time.

If you have a zoom in addition to your 50mm, you can reverse the 50mm onto the front of the zoom (with a coupling ring) and then use the zoom to change the magnification level, for example: 50mm reversed on a 70-300 zoom gives magnification level of 1.4:1 (at 70mm on the zoom lens) up to 6:1 (at 300mm on the zoom).

Wider lenses will produce higher magnification reversed (a 35mm lens has higher mag reversed than the 50mm).
 
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carldelain

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If you have a zoom in addition to your 50mm, you can reverse the 50mm onto the front of the zoom (with a coupling ring) and then use the zoom to change the magnification level, for example: 50mm reversed on a 70-300 zoom gives magnification level of 1.4:1 (at 70mm on the zoom lens) up to 6:1 (at 300mm on the zoom).

Very cool. What kind of focal distance do you have with a setup like that?
 

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