Macro lens And zoom lens


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Dec 30, 2011
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Hello! I need to get a macro and zoom lens for my canon 60d . I do a lot of hiking and other travels so I'll misty be shooting animals, landscapes and flowers... Im new to photography so I'm really not sure what would be good I don't want to spend too much though... Hope to get some advice soon :)
Define "too much" as a rough value. There is a wide market out there with low and high cost options and without some rough starting point its hard to give answers.

Also how "macro" are you thinking - wildflowers and the odd butterfly or are you thinking more much smaller insects and selective details of flowers?
Well I would say not more than 600 for both because I will be traveling too much this year already. I am not opposed to buying used since I'm just starting out.... As far as how macro... I think I would enjoy photographing insects as well as flowers. It also can't be too heavy because I backpack a lot so most of my nature photography will be done there lol. Thanks for the quick reply!!! :)
What do you have for lens(es) now? That could affect your choices. If, for example, you already have an 18-55 kit lens, there's no need for a zoom with a similar wide end. If you have just a nifty 50, then you'll want a zoom with a decent range, say 28-135 or my personal favorite (I used to have one), 18-135. That way you'll have a reasonable wide angle and a nice telephoto range all in one.

Although I'm not "into" macro photography (yet), I did experiment see what the 18-135 could do with flowers. Hand held, I simply looked at what the closest focusing distance was marked on the lens (about 2 feet), picked a flower and zoomed in. Very respectable results. I'm sure I could have zoomed in on an ant or two and gotten satisfactory results, too.
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600 what - you'll have to state your country since values on items do vary from nation to nation.

Lightest setup would be, for macro, getting yourself a set of kenko extension tubes. I'm assuming that you have a regular kit lens with the camera (some kind of 18-50mm or similar range type lens) thus you can simply combine the extension tubes with that lens to get a single setup that is capable of taking macro photos.

A "macro" lens is one capable of a reproduction ratio of 1:1 when focused to its closest focusing distance. With extension tubes the rough maths for calculating the magnification given is:

(Length of extension tube added (in mm) - divided by - focal length of the lens ) + base magnification of the lens = value : 1

for example for a 50mm prime (or zoom set to 50mm) you'd get:
50/50 = 1:1

Note I've left out the base magnification of the lens since for most its quite a small value, it will have an effect and if you want the proper maths the value will be stated on the lens spec sheet on the manufacturer website. However as you can see you can easily get the same magnification as a true macro lens (plus a bit more) with a set of kenko extension tubes and the regular lens.

That gives you a cheap and light option - though note adding extension tubes to a lens removes infinity focus and reduces the minimum focusing distance, thus you will have to get close to your subject to get a shot and further you'll also not be able to focus very far off either with the tubes attached (from a few feet down to just inches depending on the lens and amount of tube added).

If you'd prefer a regular macro lens, which would also retain its infinity focus whilst also allowing for true macro magnification photos then I would consider options such as the Canon EFS 60mm macro; Sigma 70mm macro; Tamron 90mm macro. These would be very capable and good quality lenses, which are also fairly small and light for travel (myself I use a 70mm sigma for a small macro lens).
I actually have a 18-135mm.. And I feel like it doesn't give me the kind of close up I would like. I live in Florida so $600 would be my max. I would prefer a macro lens instead of an extension tube... I will look into the reviews of the lens you guys put up, hopefully I'll find a good deal on Craigslist or amazon lol. :)

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