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Reccomend me a macro!
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johnathon78


Feb 6, 2008, 10:28 AM
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Reccomend me a macro!
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Im interested in getting a macro lens for my Digital Canon Rebel XT. I'm mainly interested in shooting bugs and flowers. You know the real fine, small things. I've been researching it a little bit but I wanted some outside opinions....anyone?


pico23


Feb 6, 2008, 10:51 AM
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Re: [johnathon78] Reccomend me a macro! [In reply to]
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If you are shooting true macro, you will want manual focus anyway.

So that opens up the options of Kiron and Vivitar Series 1.

Kiron, Kino Precision optics, made all of Vivitars high end macro glass.

The best was the 105mm Series 1 macro.

This is a cult classic lens, still goes for a bargain on a good day.

The Tamron 90mm SP is a great lens as well and again sells for a bargain.

Then there is the prime + extension tubes option, but this decreases your working distance. For instance a 50mm prime with 60mm of extension gives you GREATER than 1:1 magnification but your working distance is quite small.

You can increase magnification with a 1.4X TC on a 1:1 macro lens and retain your working distance.

Avoid front of lens magnifiers (and TCs) if possible because you reduce the best lenses to just good lenses.

I currently have a bellows that can get me to 11X magnification + a macro focusing rail + extesnsion tubes, but I lack a true 1:1 macro lens. On my list is either a 50mm f/4 macro, or the two lenses listed above. I also just got a right angle viewfinder.

Actually, for flowers and nature type stuff, I'd highly recommend a right angle finder. Unless your camera has both live view AND a tilting LCD, you'll find yourself working laying on the ground, a right angle finder with 1.5-2.0 magnification will allow more comfortable working position, plus increase the size of the viewfinder for critical focusing. Macro is where live view is really nice, but unfortunately, to be truly useful it requires a tilting LCD.

Typically I use extension tubes in the field.



Only reasonably sharp shot I got on the blustery day.



littlebilly


Feb 6, 2008, 12:20 PM
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Re: [johnathon78] Reccomend me a macro! [In reply to]
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I have the canon 50mm macro and the 100mm macro. The 100mm is really good, sharp, and bright. I don't do a lot of macro work, but have always had excellent results


here is a 100% crop of the same image.

You can see how shallow the DoF is and this is f/11

This is at f/3.2

But the best review is to be found here: http://the-digital-picture.com/...cro-Lens-Review.aspx
You might be interested in the Canon EF-S 60mm f/2.8 Macro too. Only problem is it is an EF-S so if you upgrade to full frame you lose a lens, probably not a big concern in the scheme of things.

VL


(This post was edited by littlebilly on Feb 6, 2008, 12:33 PM)


monomyth


Feb 6, 2008, 12:52 PM
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Re: [johnathon78] Reccomend me a macro! [In reply to]
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The real small things cannot be shot without a tripod, I hope you have one. And usually you have to come very close to your subject.
Another problem is that with true macro it is really hard to trust auto-focusing, and you probably should have microprism focusing screen, and focus manually.

If you are just starting why don't you just get kenko tubes for your 50 f/1.8 (I assume all canon users have it :)? It's a cheap start.


atlnq9


Feb 9, 2008, 6:03 PM
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Re: [johnathon78] Reccomend me a macro! [In reply to]
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what lenses do you curently own? you may just be able to buy extensions and filter/lenses.


pico23


Feb 10, 2008, 1:14 PM
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Re: [atlnq9] Reccomend me a macro! [In reply to]
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atlnq9 wrote:
what lenses do you curently own? you may just be able to buy extensions and filter/lenses.

Using extensions quite a bit, I can say it's an option but a bitch.

For controlled environments, like taking photos on a table top of stamps and want not it's fine.

If you look up at my closed gentian shot, it was taken with tubes and a standard closer focusing lens.

The issue was even the slightest breeze moved the flowers out of the plane of focus which gets smaller and smalller the closer you get. I took about 30 shots over an hour to get that shot, and it's not that I love it, it's just that it was the best of an hours work.

Forget about getting close to insects, same deal, spent an hour shooting flys on some wildflowers. The motion from just the slightest breeze moved the flowers enough to make things a real challenge.

Tubes are a great cheap option, and definitely great if you are going light. I mean you can add the tubes to just about any lens (prime or zoom) and get nice macros.

I'd still recommend an older used 1:1 macro lens. Plus, the right angle view finder with magnification. And of course a tripod with macro focusing rails.


atlnq9


Feb 10, 2008, 1:25 PM
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Re: [pico23] Reccomend me a macro! [In reply to]
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yeah I know the aren't as nice, the very best option in my opinion would be the canon 120 lens, back before I switched to medium format I used 70-200 2.8 with extensions and the canon 500d filter ring lens. Could he use an old lens with the new digital, I thought digital needed special anti glare coatings and all that the older eos lenses didn't have? You have to have a good gitzo tripod and a good ballhead, focusing rails are nice too.


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