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Alissa Morris
26th of July 2006 (Wed), 13:18
I've been seriously tempted by this extreme macro lens, thanks to pictures like these (http://www.photocamel.com/forum/canon-forum/3517-canon-mp-e-65-macro-lens.html) that I've seen posted on the web.

Before I lay out the big bucks for this lens, I'd like to collect all the feedback I can get. Have you used it? Impressions? Thanks

KevNJ
26th of July 2006 (Wed), 14:02
Are you new to macro ?

This lens is all manual, so a tripod and shutter release would be best. I would suggest getting your feet wet with the canon 60 or 100 before jumping into the MPE.

red hot sheep
26th of July 2006 (Wed), 14:03
Also, your working distance at higher magnifications is very small, so you may need to purchase a macro flash.

Leorooster
26th of July 2006 (Wed), 14:41
As other suggested, if you are new to macro, the MPE65 is not for you (at least for now) :). You may start off with tubes, then go on getting a real macro lens, such as Canon 100mm. Or, you may use the combination of the 100mm macro lens and tubes to obtain higher magnifications. At this point, if you still want higher magnifcation and don't mind the short working distance (i.e., 2" from the bug), you may want the consider the MPE65. Depending on the subjects, you might need a tripod. For fast moving subjects (i.e., insects), you can forget about the tripod as most poeple shooting insects without tripod (because by the time you have the tripod set up, the bug is long gone ;)). A flash is a must though ;) Hope this help!

Alissa Morris
26th of July 2006 (Wed), 16:33
As other suggested, if you are new to macro, the MPE65 is not for you (at least for now) :). You may start off with tubes, then go on getting a real macro lens, such as Canon 100mm. Or, you may use the combination of the 100mm macro lens and tubes to obtain higher magnifications. At this point, if you still want higher magnifcation and don't mind the short working distance (i.e., 2" from the bug), you may want the consider the MPE65. Depending on the subjects, you might need a tripod. For fast moving subjects (i.e., insects), you can forget about the tripod as most poeple shooting insects without tripod (because by the time you have the tripod set up, the bug is long gone ;)). A flash is a must though ;) Hope this help!

The photos above are all insects, so this person manually focused these while on a tripod you think? That would be hard!

Leorooster
27th of July 2006 (Thu), 09:34
I can't see the images as it requires user id and password. The majority of macro shooters in the macro forum, including myself, don't use tirpod. Here is a link which contains some pics that I took with the MPE65.

http://photography-on-the.net/forum/showthread.php?t=194548

EDIT: MF is almost always used for macrophtography.

Lester Wareham
28th of July 2006 (Fri), 09:47
I can't see the example photo but I like others in the macro section use the MP-E quite a lot. I am assuming you are new to macro.

The MP-E is a specialist macro lens, you should understand that it can't focus further away than life size, a distance of 101mm from the end of the lens. At maximum magnification of 5:1 it is at a distance of 41mm. This means your stalking skills need to be quite good to get that close with many species.

In any event you will still need a conventional macro lens to cover from infinity disntance down to life size. Almost all macro lenses are good, for a number of reasons I would recommend the Canon 100mm f2.8 macro.

This would be a good place to start giving you life size at a working distance of about 140mm and reasonable weight, as Leo pointed out you normally end up working handheald with insects.

A flash, possibly macro flash if you are serious would also be a good investment. If you get on with all this you might want to try the MP-E then.

baybud
28th of July 2006 (Fri), 09:56
As others have said its a very serious macro lens, funnily enough the first lens i bought with my 20D!
You need to be prepared for alot of crap shots whilst getting to know it, a flash is essential i use the twin flash.
LOL as for tripod im not sure anyone has ever tried but quite frankly i can't see that working, unless of course your at 1:1 and your subject is stopping for a cup of tea cos short of that you ain't gonna get it.

It is perhaps one of my most beloved lenses, sharing crown with the 300 2.8IS.
Optically i would say the lens is at its peak 1:1-2.5 life size, but thats pretty obvious that it would fall apart optically the more its racked out, that said its still very useable, it just doesn't have the sharpness that it does at smaller mag.

I actually used mine the other day with a 1.4 extender and the full set of kenko extention tubes, the results were less than pleasing, but that figures.

The working distance is incredibly short, skittish insects like alot of leaf hoppers, grass hoppers will often flee before you can aquire focus "which isn't even manual, its move closer or further away! lol"
But i love it, try and photo some Salticids "which tend to be fairly curious rather than scared of the camera" and you will think god this is great :D

As far as starting with a lesser macro lens i would say why bother? All you need to ask yourself is are you going to commit the time needed to do the lens justice? If so then you may aswell get started with the Mp-e, but the ring or twin flash in my mind is essential.

Hope this helped and good luck :)

edit.
In regards to using it with the flash, if you use it in manual mode, and want the subject lit only by the flash then presuming you have stopped down enough to kill any ambient light your "effective" shutter speed becomes the flash duration, which i think is 1.4ms.
In this circumstance presuming you are well ballenced camera shake is less likely to occur, of course not everyone wants a shot composed entirely from the flash. Worth thinking about though.

Alissa Morris
29th of July 2006 (Sat), 20:31
Baybud, thanks. Why did you buy that as your first lens?

halfmoonray
29th of July 2006 (Sat), 22:07
It took me a half an hour to more or less perfectly capture a bug with it at over 2x magnification (about 2.5x). The lens is high quality and produces great pictures. The variable magnification is also very convenient. I like the lens a lot. If you are at all into macro it opens a new world. Over 3x magnification, it is much much more difficult to use and you may end up not using it beyond 3x magnification. A flash is definitely necessary, although I have taken pictures with it outdoors and indoors without a flash ok. A flash bracket also as necessary and a good tripod.

Lester Wareham
30th of July 2006 (Sun), 04:01
As I say it is a great lens but an ordinary macro lens in addition is advisable, not only for working distance but for the larger bugs and flowers.

Alissa Morris
30th of July 2006 (Sun), 12:05
As I say it is a great lens but an ordinary macro lens in addition is advisable, not only for working distance but for the larger bugs and flowers.

To me it seems like it might be one of those lenses you buy, use for a while, and then let it sit on the shelf. Right?

Lester Wareham
30th of July 2006 (Sun), 16:10
To me it seems like it might be one of those lenses you buy, use for a while, and then let it sit on the shelf. Right?

Not for me, but then I shoot a lot of bugs, many of which are 1-5mm long.

Alissa Morris
2nd of August 2006 (Wed), 13:03
Not for me, but then I shoot a lot of bugs, many of which are 1-5mm long.

So is this primarily a bug lens? Any other applications?

FlashZebra
2nd of August 2006 (Wed), 13:16
I am not aware of the attributes of the "MP-E 65 ultra macro lens".

Is there any possibility that this lens does not even have a focusing mechanism and must be used on a bellow unit?

Enjoy! Lon

CorruptedPhotographer
2nd of August 2006 (Wed), 13:18
just remmeber its not a normal lens. When you hold it up and look through the viewfinder, everything is OoF (out of focus - blurred) unless what you are pointing the lens at is 12cm away or less.

Its not only for bugs. I bought it primarily for non-bug macro photography. Its tough to use, well tough for me because I havent found as many subjects as I thought I would. Meaning, you are so close to the subject, that if it lacks detail (any sort of detail), the image isnt really creative.

CorruptedPhotographer
2nd of August 2006 (Wed), 13:19
To me it seems like it might be one of those lenses you buy, use for a while, and then let it sit on the shelf. Right?

Nope. But any lens can fit the description you mentioned.

FlashZebra
2nd of August 2006 (Wed), 13:21
So is this primarily a bug lens? Any other applications?
Collecting an image of anything about the size of a bug.

Like stamps, coins, crystals, circuit boards, skin rashes, flower details, seeds, fasteners, etc., etc, etc.

There could be thousands of different things that could be photographed with this lens.

Enjoy! Lon

CorruptedPhotographer
2nd of August 2006 (Wed), 13:45
here are some of my ideas...

the bubbles from sparkling water...the ones that stick to cubes of ice or the glass itself...

;)

im lettin out too many of my macro secrets..

stuartf287
2nd of August 2006 (Wed), 14:45
The MP-E 65 isn't used on a bellows. It is manual focus of course. The zoom-like feature is used primarily/exclusively to adjust the magnification ratio (from 1:1 to 5:1). With an aps-sized sensor (10D, 20D, 30D, 300/350D) I think the magnification effect is exaggerated, as in 1.6:1 through 8:1, but I'm not sure about that. The actual size of the image on the camera's sensor is 1:1 at lowest magnification, but if you print a 4x6 from such a shot you should get an image that is 1.6 times as large as you would get from a 35mm negative shot at 1:1. More grist for the crop-factor vs. multiplication factor debate here.

In any event, the only way to focus the MP-E 65 lens at a given magnification ratio is to move the lens (and camera) relative to the subject. A focussing rail would work well in the right situations, but I just handhold mine with the MT-24EX dual macro flash attached. I find it extremely difficult to keep up with fast-moving insects handholding the camera alone; with a tripod and focussing rail attached it would be impossible.

You can get some amazing pictures with this lens. The first week I had mine I kept showing shots to my wife and asking "what is this?" "Guess what this is." She finally snatched the camera & lens away and took some of her own "guess what" shots for me to identify. Holes in a salt shaker filled with grains the (apparent) size of boulders, a frame filled with 1 or 2 links in a zipper, the tips of 2 tines of a dinner fork -- stunningly clear and sharp pictures of things too small for the eye to see (at least, for middle-aged eyes such as mine).

Lester Wareham
2nd of August 2006 (Wed), 15:06
So is this primarily a bug lens? Any other applications?

A good question. The macro area has great potential for creative photography tending towards the abstract. Of course when shooting insects the technical demads are so great that it is difficult not to just produce documentary work - I guess that is the challenge of that field.

Lester Wareham
2nd of August 2006 (Wed), 15:15
I am not aware of the attributes of the "MP-E 65 ultra macro lens".

Is there any possibility that this lens does not even have a focusing mechanism and must be used on a bellow unit?

Enjoy! Lon

No it is focussed by overall linear extension via a double heilical thread, in addition there is a floating element that corrects for chromatic aberation over this wide magnification range. This review (http://www.luminous-landscape.com/reviews/lenses/mp-e-65.shtml) includes a shot of the lens at full extension.

In construction (apart from the floating element) it is rather like the 20-40mm focal length microphoto lenses that used to be manufactured for bellows by people like Olympus in the mid 70s and 80s but with the bellows replaced by the double heilical thread.

It makes it possible to take photographs in the 3:1 to 5:1 magnification range in the field fairly routinly, something that was only realy feasible in the studio with a bellows system.

AKRover
2nd of August 2006 (Wed), 15:16
The MP-E is the first and only macro lens I have purchase and I really like it. At the same time I bought the twin flash because I knew that I wasn't going to want to be tied to a tri pod. The reason I bought this combination was because after seeing some of the images that Seth Resnick took with it while attending a mini-workshop with him I was amazed. This was my first exposure to macro and I new right away that I wanted to take pictures like that.

If you are interested in macro and you don't mind owning a lens that is useless for anything else then I would say get it.

FlashZebra
2nd of August 2006 (Wed), 16:35
No it is focussed by overall linear extension via a double heilical thread, in addition there is a floating element that corrects for chromatic aberation over this wide magnification range. This review (http://www.luminous-landscape.com/reviews/lenses/mp-e-65.shtml) includes a shot of the lens at full extension.

In construction (apart from the floating element) it is rather like the 20-40mm focal length microphoto lenses that used to be manufactured for bellows by people like Olympus in the mid 70s and 80s but with the bellows replaced by the double heilical thread.

It makes it possible to take photographs in the 3:1 to 5:1 magnification range in the field fairly routinly, something that was only realy feasible in the studio with a bellows system.
Thank you for this kind info, especially that nice link.

I was aware of the fine Olympus OM "bellows only" lenses. In fact that is what prompted me to think this speciality Canon lens might be a like offering.

Enjoy! Lon

Alissa Morris
3rd of August 2006 (Thu), 16:26
The MP-E is the first and only macro lens I have purchase and I really like it. At the same time I bought the twin flash because I knew that I wasn't going to want to be tied to a tri pod. The reason I bought this combination was because after seeing some of the images that Seth Resnick took with it while attending a mini-workshop with him I was amazed. This was my first exposure to macro and I new right away that I wanted to take pictures like that.

If you are interested in macro and you don't mind owning a lens that is useless for anything else then I would say get it.

Do you find you have to use the twin flash with the lens?

AKRover
3rd of August 2006 (Thu), 16:36
Do you find you have to use the twin flash with the lens?
For me yes. Only because it has been cloudy for a really long time and to get as much depth of field as I can I usually shoot at around f16. If I was able to use a tripod and somehow find a subject that doesnt move at all then the flash wouldn't be needed. Keep in mind too that at high magnifications the slightest disturbance in the air can seem like a tornado just blew through your subject.

CorruptedPhotographer
3rd of August 2006 (Thu), 16:39
Alissa,

Define "have" to?

Not neccessarily, maybe natural light available is enough or even dictates the outcome of the shot you want. But the flash helps because one tends to set the exposure mode to M (manual) , set the aperture as needed (usually f/16 or narrowest to get maximum DoF) and a shutter speed between 1/100 and 1/250. Faster shutter speeds because the view gets shaky at 1:1 (true macro) and closer (more maginified),so the faster shutter speed eliminates (but not totally) the need for a tripod. And lastly, the flash is your main source of light.

So yes, if you are out in the field bug hunting without a tripod and natural light is not adeqaute, the flash tends to be a must in order to achieve sharp pictures.

What are you planning on shooting Alissa?

Lester Wareham
4th of August 2006 (Fri), 03:04
I do mostly use the MP-E with flash, the twin flash in my case but some use the ring flash or even ordinary flashed on brackets.

However this is because I am mostly using it for bug photography and so working handheld, having said that I have taken low magnification shots handheld of the odd bug. I tend to use the 100mm macro for ambient light work.

Just to prove it with the MP-E @ ~1.5:1:
http://www.zen20934.zen.co.uk/photography/GalleryPics/Photos/Insects/Insects%20Grasshopper%20D%20002.jpg
same chap with flash
http://www.zen20934.zen.co.uk/photography/GalleryPics/Photos/Insects/Insects%20Grasshopper%20D%20004.jpg

If the subject is still so there is no upper limit on shutter speed then ambient light work on a tripod is OK. Because the slightest breeze causes significant movement in macro this tends to be a studio activity.

stacked from 3 frames
http://www.zen20934.zen.co.uk/photography/GalleryPics/Photos/Flowers/Blossom/Flowers%20White%20Group%20B%20001-003.jpg

Alissa Morris
4th of August 2006 (Fri), 18:50
Those are amazing pics, lester.

Lester Wareham
5th of August 2006 (Sat), 09:04
Those are amazing pics, lester.

You'r very kind Alissa, but if you look through the macro forum (http://photography-on-the.net/forum/forumdisplay.php?f=38)you will see some much better pics by people like LordV, pix8 et al. ;)

Alissa Morris
8th of August 2006 (Tue), 13:09
You'r very kind Alissa, but if you look through the macro forum (http://photography-on-the.net/forum/forumdisplay.php?f=38)you will see some much better pics by people like LordV, pix8 et al. ;)

Yes, but I was looking specifically for Mp-e shots.

Lester Wareham
9th of August 2006 (Wed), 04:28
Yes, but I was looking specifically for Mp-e shots.

A lot of people in the macro forum will be using the MP-E - it seems to have caught on a lot this year. :)

Alissa Morris
15th of September 2006 (Fri), 17:45
A lot of people in the macro forum will be using the MP-E - it seems to have caught on a lot this year. :)

Please direct me to shots from this lens.

AKRover
15th of September 2006 (Fri), 18:06
Here is one I posted.

http://photography-on-the.net/forum/showthread.php?t=216185

Anything I have posted in the Macro forum will be from this lens since it's the only macro lens that I own.

Lester Wareham
16th of September 2006 (Sat), 03:58
Please direct me to shots from this lens.

Look for posts by LordV in the macro area, he is using the MP-E almost exlusivly this year. You can also look through my web page and check the exif for shots with a focal length of 65mm.

Larry Weinman
16th of September 2006 (Sat), 07:47
a MT24 EX speedlight unit is almost mandatory when using this lens so chalk up another $7oo or so for that unit. Macro has a real learning curve and the sightest movements of the subject or photographer are magnified. Try the 100mm macro. This will give you a little working distance. You can add tubes and or a 500d closeup lens for increased magnification. If you like what you see then you can get the Mp-65. Another issue with this lens is that things look rather dark in the viewfinder, that is where the modeling lights on the MT24-EX are very helpful.

Alissa Morris
16th of September 2006 (Sat), 13:55
Here is one I posted.

http://photography-on-the.net/forum/showthread.php?t=216185

Anything I have posted in the Macro forum will be from this lens since it's the only macro lens that I own.

Nice, Larry.

Alissa Morris
24th of February 2007 (Sat), 14:58
Fyi, found an incredible gallery of photos (http://www.flickr.com/photos/lordv/sets/590338/) taken with this lens.

joseb552
24th of February 2007 (Sat), 15:31
Fyi, found an incredible gallery of photos (http://www.flickr.com/photos/lordv/sets/590338/) taken with this lens.


Lord V (photographer of above gallery) happens to be a member of POTN, I believe his name is the same here (Lord V), check out some of his work in the Macro Forum, absolutely STUNNING.

Lester Wareham
24th of February 2007 (Sat), 16:05
Lord V (photographer of above gallery) happens to be a member of POTN, I believe his name is the same here (Lord V), check out some of his work in the Macro Forum, absolutely STUNNING.

That is what I said a few months back....

joseb552
24th of February 2007 (Sat), 17:55
That is what I said a few months back....


Indeed it is! :) Sorry I was at work and was more 'skimming' than reading...

Lester Wareham
25th of February 2007 (Sun), 02:10
Indeed it is! :) Sorry I was at work and was more 'skimming' than reading...

Not meant as a critisism. ;)

Alissa Morris
26th of February 2007 (Mon), 05:54
Lord V (photographer of above gallery) happens to be a member of POTN, I believe his name is the same here (Lord V), check out some of his work in the Macro Forum, absolutely STUNNING.

Very nice indeed.

JaneDorn
13th of March 2007 (Tue), 00:41
Those are amazing shots. I don't like the idea that it's manual focus, though.

Leorooster
13th of March 2007 (Tue), 00:58
Those are amazing shots. I don't like the idea that it's manual focus, though.

AF just doesn't cut it for macros..........I would say the majority, if not all, of the serious macro shooters use MF.

Alissa Morris
20th of March 2007 (Tue), 06:20
AF just doesn't cut it for macros..........I would say the majority, if not all, of the serious macro shooters use MF.


I use AF. If your eyes aren't that great, it's hard to use MF.

b.d.bop
31st of March 2008 (Mon), 08:18
a MT24 EX speedlight unit is almost mandatory when using this lens so chalk up another $7oo or so for that unit. Macro has a real learning curve and the sightest movements of the subject or photographer are magnified. Try the 100mm macro. This will give you a little working distance. You can add tubes and or a 500d closeup lens for increased magnification. If you like what you see then you can get the Mp-65. Another issue with this lens is that things look rather dark in the viewfinder, that is where the modeling lights on the MT24-EX are very helpful.

I find the modeling light on the MT-24 to be insufficient both in intensity and especially in duration in order to make fine adjustments. When using the MP-E 65 lens at magnifications greater than 1x, it becomes quite a feat, in fact.

Any tips there?

Also, as most macro shots (referring to bugs) are done handheld or braced rather than on a tripod, is it more a matter of luck to get the right plane of focus, etc., with such high magnification?

Lester Wareham
31st of March 2008 (Mon), 13:26
I find the modeling light on the MT-24 to be insufficient both in intensity and especially in duration in order to make fine adjustments. When using the MP-E 65 lens at magnifications greater than 1x, it becomes quite a feat, in fact.

Any tips there?

Also, as most macro shots (referring to bugs) are done handheld or braced rather than on a tripod, is it more a matter of luck to get the right plane of focus, etc., with such high magnification?

Really I find the lights a life saver. If you are dealing with anything live you don't want anything two bright else they IR content will cook you subject! This is a big issue with microscopes but here you can use fibre optic illuminators with effective IR cut filters.

The duration is short. Make sure you use the flash custom function that lets you turn the lights on using a double tap of the shutter button. This makes it quick and simple to keep them going with minimal interruption.

It terms of difficulty I don't have much trouble up to 3X, it is harder at 5X; obviously a lot is down to techneque and braching yourself. But at these magnifications one is almost certainly going to use focus stack techniques I just let the stochastic nature of the focus plane location work for me. ;)

Canon Bob
31st of March 2008 (Mon), 14:24
ooops...double post

Bob

NeutronBoy
31st of March 2008 (Mon), 14:54
I am lusting for this lens

karusel
31st of March 2008 (Mon), 16:15
A buddy of mine has one and he'll swap it for one of my lenses for a month or so.

I've got a 550ex and the sigma 500 flash, but no MT-24, which, by the way, is it made of gold, by Gucci, or something? Sheesh, that's an expensive pair of specialized lights if I ever saw any. Anyway, first I thought I could use my flashes on a bracket, but then I realized my design was fatally flawed, when I learned the MP-E lens extends to a ridiculous length - being unable to carry the heavy hotshoe flashes. Do there exist brackets that are able to extend? I don't want to buy the twin lites (or shoot with ring lite, because control of light is too limited) just for this gig, as I dont' think I'd want to keep the MP-E.

b.d.bop
1st of April 2008 (Tue), 06:57
Really I find the lights a life saver. If you are dealing with anything live you don't want anything two bright else they IR content will cook you subject! This is a big issue with microscopes but here you can use fibre optic illuminators with effective IR cut filters.

The duration is short. Make sure you use the flash custom function that lets you turn the lights on using a double tap of the shutter button. This makes it quick and simple to keep them going with minimal interruption.

It terms of difficulty I don't have much trouble up to 3X, it is harder at 5X; obviously a lot is down to techneque and braching yourself. But at these magnifications one is almost certainly going to use focus stack techniques I just let the stochastic nature of the focus plane location work for me. ;)

Thanks, Lester. Very helpful reply, greatly appreciated. :)