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FORUMS Canon Cameras, Lenses & Accessories Canon EF and EF-S Lenses 
Thread started 03 Feb 2013 (Sunday) 07:46
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Cheap macro lens recomendation please

 
fazlu
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Feb 03, 2013 07:46 |  #1

So far, been using manual extention tubes with my existing lenses.
Sucha pain to use em
so thinking of getting a cheap Macro lens for my macro Needs
How is Sigma 70-300 DG MACRO LENS for macros?
Any other recommendation?


Canon 7D, 18-135mm , 50mm 1.8, 55-250, 100mm macro , a lightweight tripod for travel, intervalometer, my camera bag , thats all i got :D

  
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LV ­ Moose
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Feb 03, 2013 08:25 |  #2

At a max ratio of 1:2, that lens isn't what I'd consider macro.


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jt354
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Feb 03, 2013 08:29 |  #3

A "macro" designation on a zoom lens is usually must marketing fluff. Go for a prime in the 50-100mm range, such as the Canon 50mm f/2.5 compact macro (1:2), Sigma 50mm macro, Sigma 70mm macro, or Canon 60mm macro.


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Earwax69
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Feb 03, 2013 08:32 |  #4

Tamron 90mm f2.8 Macro


Canon 6D | S35mm f1.4 | 135mm f2 The rest: T3i, 20D, 15mm f2.8, 15-85mm, 24mm f2.8, 50mm f1.8, 85mm f1.8, 90mm f2.8 macro, 55-250mm.
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Sirrith
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Feb 03, 2013 08:35 |  #5

How cheap exactly?


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mnphotos
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Feb 03, 2013 09:44 |  #6

Earwax69 wrote in post #15567089 (external link)
Tamron 90mm f2.8 Macro

+1

It's a great macro lens.




  
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xeodragon
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Feb 03, 2013 10:01 |  #7

Canon 60/100/100L macro are good options depending on your budget.




  
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DreDaze
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Feb 03, 2013 10:18 |  #8

maybe just getting tubes with contacts would work...depends on just how cheap you're looking to go...if the $150 price of the sigma 70-300mm is it though, i'd just save up, or get tubes with contacts


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snakeman55
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Feb 03, 2013 12:10 |  #9

The Tamron is a nice one, but check this (external link) out. I used to have it before I could afford the Canon. Pretty nice actually.


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Dragos ­ Jianu
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Feb 03, 2013 12:17 |  #10

The cheapest option would be using extension tubes. And they're worth owning even if you own an expensive macro lens. So that would be my 2c.




  
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tkbslc
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Feb 03, 2013 12:22 |  #11

People go on like the only place anyone ever uses a macro lens is at MFD. If you are shooting insect headshots, then sure, you need a 1:1 and a lot of cropping. If you are doing closeups of plant-life, then 1:3 is enough. 1:2 is what a lot of cheaper macro options are, prime or zoom. That phoenix 100mm and the Canon 50mm macro both only do 1:2 without an adapter.

OP, it looks like you need a telephoto, too, so the Sigma or Tamron 70-300 options that do 1:2 are not a bad way to go. The 55-250 IS does 1:3, which is not bad.

Honestly, If I were you, I'd sell the 7D and use the money to get some decent lenses. You are camera rich and lens poor right now. It seems sad to put a $80 ebay telephoto on a 7D when you could be using a 60mm macro on a 60D for the same cost.


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AbPho
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Feb 03, 2013 12:25 as a reply to  @ Dragos Jianu's post |  #12

If macro is your thing then save up the money and spend it on the real thing. Nothing beats a dedicated macro lens.

Reversing a lens onto the body is cheaper, and you can control the aperture with a manual lens. Adapters are $10 from E-bay. Lenses can go anywhere from free and up. But if you want autofocus and aperture control via the camera then stick to buying an EF macro lens.


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LV ­ Moose
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Feb 03, 2013 12:28 |  #13

fazlu wrote in post #15566989 (external link)
.... for my macro Needs

I guess we should have asked up front; what are your macro needs? What do shoot, or want to shoot?


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amfoto1
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Feb 03, 2013 13:20 |  #14

My $60 US macro lens...

IMAGE: http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5017/5453385847_10a2a40bec_b.jpg

A vintage Tamron SP 90mm f2.5 "Adaptall 2"

IMAGE: http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5259/5431199989_e9b97ce29e_z.jpg
IMAGE: http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5253/5431808414_f7b31fe45e_z.jpg

On the left the lens is shown with hood, a set of Kenko extension tubes and several Canon extension tubes. On the right, it's shown with the hood reversed for storage, an EOD Adaptall-2 mount on it and a Nikon F Adaptall-2 mount alongside.

The lens cost me $20 at a local second hand shop. It came with the hood, 1:1 adapter, caps and the Nikon mount on it. I've used several copies of this lens over the years and knew it was a good one, so I grabbed it up. The Adaptall-2 EOS mount I got off eBay and cost me $40, including from China. It's the "chipped" type so that the camera's Focus Confirmation still functions (at reasonable apertures), it works fine and arrived in just a few days.

This lens is manual focus, manual aperture. As such, on your purely manual extension tubes, it's far easier to change the aperture than it is with one of your electronic. Note the aperture scale on the lens. Many old manual focus lenses adapted for use on Canon use this sort of aperture control and will be fully usable on those extension tubes. Of course, it also works just fine on the Kenko and Canon tubes with the electronic contacts (they just doen't do anything, since both focus and aperture control are manual).

The reason it's important to me to be able to use extension tubes is because this lens is natively 1:2 or half life size (often enough, as noted above). It came with it's own dedicated adapter, but those are a bit of a pain to use (Tamron set them up to go between the lens and the Adaptall-2 mount, which means disassembling the lens any time you want to use the 1:1 adapter). So I just use the extension tubes instead.

It works pretty well...

IMAGE: http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5125/5283068575_5d2187dd6f_z.jpg
IMAGE: http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5045/5283668382_8eb76f9e38_z.jpg
IMAGE: http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5047/5283068637_5fb71ef4e8_z.jpg

All three of the above images were shot at f11 (7D at 1/400, handheld). The bee on the left and the poppy buds in the center were shot using an extension tube on the lens to increase magnification (25mm or 36mm tube, I forget which). The poppy buds on the right were shot without any extension tube, near the 1:2 limit of the lens, and shows how the lens renders bokeh pretty well (the background was ugly pavement and a garbage can). It can serve nicely as a candid portrait lens, too, if you don't mind manual focus and aperture control.

You probably won't get as lucky as me and find this lens so cheap, but there are always some selling and they aren't terribly expensive. Tamron made a number of different Adaptall-2 lenses over the years, some of which are excellent, especially the professional "SP" series. Besides the 90mm macro (several versions), they also offered SP 300mm f2.8, 180mm f2.5, 24mm f2.5, 500mm f8 mirror lens, 80-200/2.8 zoom that I've used personally. I haven't used the 350mm f5.6 mirror lens (rarer) or 400mm f4, among some others.

It is slower to work with manual focus, manual aperture lenses (modern, fully electronically controlled are easier, faster to use). When you stop them down to a small aperture to get enough depth of field, it can be tricky to focus because your viewfinder will dim down quite a bit. To get two or three good, in focus shots of the bee above, I probably too 50 to 75 shots. With other macros I use, such as the Canon 100mm f2.8 USM, I'd get more "keepers" with less effort, I know.

Though it's not as convenient, the Tamron 90mm is quite compact, when set to infinity it's less than half the size of the Canon 100/2.8, fits into the corner of one of my camera bags. So I like to pack it when I'm not expecting to do a lot of macro shooting and want it along "just in case". I also really like that I can easily swap mounts on the lens to use it with various vintage film gear I keep. In addition to the EOS mount, I've got Adaptall-2 mounts for vintage Konica, Nikon, Olympus and Pentax cameras. In fact, the lens is currently on a Nikon FG that I picked up for a few dollars a little while ago.

Again, with the type of extension tubes you have, the cheaper ones without electronic contacts, a fully manual lens like this is far more usable than your modern, electronically controlled lenses.

The alternative would be to get a set of the better extension tubes, with the electronic contacts. The Kenko set (of three: 12mm, 20mm & 36mm) is about the best value, IMO. It's close to $200 US for a new set today, that can be used with both EF and EF-S lenses. You might be able to find an older set used cheaper (there's not much to tubes to wear out). If you buy used, be aware that the ones marked CA/AFs (note the small "s") are usable with both EF and EF-S lenses. The earlier version marked CA/AF can only be used with EF lenses. Frankly, there aren't a lot of EF-S lenses that lend themselves to macro shooting anyway (usually prime lenses are preferable to zooms, and AFAIK there are only one or two EF-S primes), so this might not be a problem.

The Kenko tubes are virtually identical to the Canon tubes, except the Canon tubes are only sold individually and only in two sizes: 12mm ($95) and 25mm ($155). With the Canon tubes, if you want to use them with EF-S lenses, you need the current "Mark II" version.

Last time I checked, Kenko also sold individual 12mm and 25mm tubes.

There are also cheaper Ziekos and Opteka sets of tubes (Zeikos: 13mm, 21mm, 31mm. Opteka: 12mm, 20mm, 36mm.) The Zeikos are a bit more plasticky than the Canon or Kenko, but sell for $55 to $75 usually. The cheaper ones are really plasticky (including the bayonet mounts), while the others have metal bayonet mounts. The Opteka sell for $70 for a set. You'll find the Zeikos, in particular, selling under a lot of different brand names: Vivitar, Polaroid, ProOptic (Adorama house brand), Jessops (USK), Bower, and many more. I haven't seen or used the Opteka yet, am not familiar with their materials and construction. With the Zeikos (etc.) if you want to use them with EF-S lenses, be sure to get the version with the little, white square registration mark on them. And earlier version was EF only. I can't say if the Opteka can take both EF and EF-S lenses, but since they are relatively new on the market, I suspect they work with both.

Finally, there is also now a Macro Helicoid offered for Canon mount lenses and EOS cameras. This is essentially an adjustable macro extension tube... variable in length from 46mm to 68mm. I suspect this is made by Zeikos, but have mostly seen it marketed under the ProOptic (Adorama) brand. I have not used one so can't say anything about construction and quality, and haven't been able to confirm whether or not it's usable with both EF and EF-S lenses. I would note, though, that the minimum 46mm length is quite a bit of extension and this would likely be most usable with longer focal length lenses, probably 85mm on up. It might be too long for a lot of practical use on a 40mm or 50mm lens, for example. The ProOptic Macro Helicoid sells for just under $130 US, with free shipping.

Cheers!

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tkbslc
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Feb 03, 2013 13:21 |  #15

That's a great lens, but nobody else is going to find one for $60! Good score.


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Cheap macro lens recomendation please
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