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PostPosted: Sat Oct 27, 2007 4:14 am 
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Hello!
I've been thinking about getting a macro and doing my research I found that there is quite a range of macro lenses available for my Canon 400D. What lens would you recommend for this type of work? All these pictures were taken with my 28mm lens plus Cokin +3 closeup.


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 27, 2007 9:19 am 
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Hi csnaus!
I'm not sure why you're looking for a new macro-lens when you're happy with what you've achieved so far.
But let me interpret what's behind your question: You want to get an even larger magnification. My guess is that you current photos are at around 1:3-1:4. And what you want is perhaps at least 1:2 or even 1:1!? Please correct me if I'm wrong.
That in turn would normally be followed by suggesting that you get a 60mm, 90mm, 105mm or even 180mm fixed focal macro-lens which costs you around 300-400-1,300EUR :shock:
Whats the major difference between the focal lenghts? That you have a greater distance from your subject with a longer focal length! Example: With a 180mm lens you have typically 36cm distance from your front-lens to the subject at 1:1 magnification, with the 60mm macro you'll have only 12cm distance front-lens to subject. the latter in turn is often too short for critical life-subjects like insects, because you seldom can get that close. There is also the prob of lighting the subject correctly when the lens is so close.

There are also zooms with macro-capabilities, but normally only up to 1:2 magnification (which might perfectly fit your needs. But normally the IQ if the fixed.length macro is clearly better than the zoom-macro.

And you could go with a close-up lens (very good the Canon 500D) on a longer lens like a xx-200mm zoom. That should get you beyond 1:2, but perhaps not down to 1:1. If you already own the objective, than the close-up-lens is certainly a cheap and way to extend the capabilities of your exisintg gear, just like ou did with tthe 28mm (would be helpful if you post your gear in your signature, so we know, what you already own!)

Extension-tubes is the next alternative, but only viable if all automatic funcktions of your lens still work with the extension-tube. Also the quality of the pics degrades quite pronouncedly as you leave the range ofoptimal correction for the respective lens.

Also you could go for a 2x tele-converter which alows you to have 2x the magnification of the original lens at 2 stops less aperture. And tele-converters reduce the resolution of the original lens by 2 (which might not be a problem with an excellent lens).

As a last but very unpopular choice there are reverse-mounts that do just that: mounting your original lens with the front-lens to the camera. This is normally only used for magnification far beyond 1:1. So is not for "everyday" macro shots...

Good read:
http://www.cameralabs.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=1214
http://www.cameralabs.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=829
http://www.cameralabs.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=808
http://www.cameralabs.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=336

As an aside:
Forget about IS with macros! Not that IS isn't of any value for macro-photograpy - to the contrary. But there are no stabilized macro-lenses for the Canon-system :cry:

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 28, 2007 1:23 am 
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Hi Thomas! What a great reply! Thanks for this.

Quote:
... But let me interpret what's behind your question: You want to get an even larger magnification. My guess is that you current photos are at around 1:3-1:4. And what you want is perhaps at least 1:2 or even 1:1!? Please correct me if I'm wrong.


You are absolutely right. That's what I actually meant but failed to convey in my rather cryptic and hastily written, original question.

Quote:
... There are also zooms with macro-capabilities, but normally only up to 1:2 magnification (which might perfectly fit your needs. But normally the IQ if the fixed.length macro is clearly better than the zoom-macro.


I am a biased, perhaps unreasonably, a bit against zooms so I was looking at Canon and Sigma macro primes.

Quote:
And you could go with a close-up lens (very good the Canon 500D) on a longer lens like a xx-200mm zoom. That should get you beyond 1:2, but perhaps not down to 1:1. If you already own the objective, than the close-up-lens is certainly a cheap and way to extend the capabilities of your exisintg gear, just like ou did with tthe 28mm (would be helpful if you post your gear in your signature, so we know, what you already own!)


Hmm... that sounds like an idea! I never thought about this possibility and perhaps it is time to bite the bullet and look seriously at a zoom lens? Sounds good because it gives me better closeup than my current gear (I'll fix my signature soon, promise!) and also adds a lens which can be used for other types of photography.

Quote:
Extension-tubes ... a 2x tele-converter ... reverse-mount


I knew about these options but somehow they did not feel "right" and that's why I would not consider them at this stage.

Quote:
As an aside:
Forget about IS with macros! Not that IS isn't of any value for macro-photograpy - to the contrary. But there are no stabilized macro-lenses for the Canon-system :cry:


I know about it and I did a lot of :cry: myself, but I have to live with consequences of my decision to build up Canon based system


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 28, 2007 1:37 am 
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Sigma 70-300mm Macro?

I'm getting one pretty soon, 1.5m focusing distance normal, 95cm on macro mode which can be enabled at 200mm - 300mm

I think the magnification is around 1:2

I had a brief use of one, focusing was reasonably fast, and even though there is no IS (or OS as sigma call it) it was still pretty shake free for me @ 300mm on a Canon 350D - images arn't that sharp at 300mm, so don't expect to be over the moon with 100% crops, but it does give pretty darn good performance for £149 (£199 for APO version)

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 29, 2007 3:38 am 
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DD_nVidia wrote:
Sigma 70-300mm Macro?

I'm getting one pretty soon, 1.5m focusing distance normal, 95cm on macro mode which can be enabled at 200mm - 300mm

I think the magnification is around 1:2

I had a brief use of one, focusing was reasonably fast, and even though there is no IS (or OS as sigma call it) it was still pretty shake free for me @ 300mm on a Canon 350D - images arn't that sharp at 300mm, so don't expect to be over the moon with 100% crops, but it does give pretty darn good performance for £149 (£199 for APO version)

Hi Daniel!
It does look like a good deal on price/performace ratio. I've read some reviews and generally people are happy with the lens. However, for about AUD700 (around GBP 310) one can get excellent Canon 100mm macro or Sigma 150mm macro. Taking into account my preference for primes I am strongly considering those two. Trouble is that when I start to read about all these lenses available, it makes decision even harder :?

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 29, 2007 9:58 am 
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csnaus wrote:
...However, for about AUD700 (around GBP 310) one can get excellent Canon 100mm macro or Sigma 150mm macro...

I am aware of two sites which have tested both the Canon 100mm macro and the Sigma 150mm macro so, with the usual health warnings, you can use their reviews to help the choice.

At Photozone the Canon is here and the Sigma is here.

At SLRGear the Canon is here and the Sigma is here.

Apologies if you have already seen these reviews but even if you have they may be of interest to other members considering these lenses.

Bob.

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 29, 2007 11:32 am 
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Bob Andersson wrote:
... At Photozone the Canon is here and the Sigma is here.

At SLRGear the Canon is here and the Sigma is here.
...


Bob,
I've read reviews at slrgear and was under impression that sigma is an absolute gem however photozone indicates that there might be some problem with Sigma's QA practices. I think someone else in this forum had problem with otherwise reputable Sigma lens. Oh, decisions, decisions ... :?

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 29, 2007 7:03 pm 
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Hi csnaus, Thomas here again!
If you think about the tele-zoom plus close-up lens, which could be a very rewarding combination, don't forget that any combo to get macro-shots benefits from the IQ of each component.
I know, because at one time I tried to "enhance" my Nikkor VR 18-200mm with a cheap close-up lens: absolutely terrible! The Nikkor is not good at close-up and a simple close-up lens made things only worse.
So here's my advice: If your lens delivers acceptable IQ at close distances then you can combine this with a good close-up lens (Canon 500D recommended). Don't try anything less or you'll be disappointed.
The charm of this solution is that you don't need to (buy and) carry around an extra specialized macro-lens. And believe me, macro-lenses tend to be sitting forgotten at home when your out there with just that fantastic flower sitting in front of you :?

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 30, 2007 1:06 am 
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Yeah I was also considering primes but for my needs it kills two birds with one stone, doing my telephoto and macro work, so that I always have it on hand for both.

I'd go for 100mm Macro since 150 might be a bit much on a APS-C sensor as 100mm has an effective focal length of 160mm (100x1.6)

Still though, if you don't have a telephoto lens, the 70-300 would be a more logical choice, although if you really are just into macro work, then the 100mm Canon should be fine (Extender tubes or tele-converters would be a good thing for it later on)

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 30, 2007 10:34 pm 
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Okay guys, you've convinced me that tele zoom will be a better option for me at this stage. I am looking at 70-(2 or 3)00 zoom plus 500D. But here is another decision I need to make. Within the same price range are two great lenses: 70-200L (no IS) or 70-300 IS. I'd love to get 70-200 f4L IS but it has very low WAF :wink: So far I tend to think that 70-300 is a better choice as it offers IS and an extra bit on the long side. What do you reckon?

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 30, 2007 10:53 pm 
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Still...1.5m CFD on the Canon 70-300 IS no macro mode.

70-200 F/4 L USM - was looking at one on ebay, was so tempted to bid, but once it went above £300 I was out lol!

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 31, 2007 7:48 pm 
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Csnaus: before deciding to go that route, make sure that the Canon 500D close-up lens is available at a filter-thread that matches the lens that you're aiming at!
Normally that should not be a problem, but please check out.

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