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FORUMS Canon Cameras, Lenses & Accessories Canon EF and EF-S Lenses 
Thread started 27 Mar 2013 (Wednesday) 22:33
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Close Macro Lens / Shooting Very Small Objects

 
adza77
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Mar 27, 2013 22:33 |  #1

Hi,

I'm interested in adding a Macro lens to my equipment and having a play around with macro photography.

What I'm really looking for are shots that can be taken very close (or will enlarge a subject) significantly so we can see things that we normally don't with a human eye.

(The colors and detail on a fly's skin for instance, or large images of a spider, etc).

I've been advised to go with around 100mm because I don't get that close to a subject to block out the light - but i was wondering - would I be likely to get larger shots with a 50mm closer up, or should a 100mm further back give me larger shots?

The 50mm looks to be much cheaper - so I was just wanting to know what the differences would be from a 'close up of small subject' point of view?

Cheers

Adza


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vengence
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Mar 27, 2013 22:42 |  #2

The 100mm and the 50mm will give you the same max size shots. However, the 100mm will allow you to be farther way from the end of the lens while taking that shot. For subjects like spiders and bugs that will spook, the 100mm is the better choice by far (letting you be ~6" from the end of the lens while taking shots) IMHO.




  
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gjl711
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Mar 27, 2013 22:46 |  #3

The 100mm will get you close but will only get you 1:1 which is marginal for fly skin details. :) If you really want to get close, like bug eyeball close go right for the MPE-65.

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Leffe67
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Mar 27, 2013 22:50 |  #4

That's a pretty stunning dragonfly shot. Wow.


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1Tanker
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Mar 27, 2013 22:58 as a reply to  @ Leffe67's post |  #5

Yeah, you're either going to need the MP-E65, or a 100mm with extension-tubes (or a reversed lens setup). A straight 100mm will take hard cropping, to get real close.


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adza77
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Mar 28, 2013 00:41 |  #6

Thanks guys (except JJ - because all you've done now is made sure that I won't be satisfied until I get a MP-E65 ;) Very nice shot! )

How much difference can I expect if I was to go something such as the extention tubes please?


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DreDaze
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Mar 28, 2013 02:17 |  #7

you're going to need a flash with any of your choices...

a 100mm with a full set of tubes will get you pretty close...

here you can see the different ways to get close, and how they compare:
https://photography-on-the.net/forum/showthre​ad.php?t=578274


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msowsun
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Mar 28, 2013 08:06 |  #8

adza77 wrote in post #15764138 (external link)
Thanks guys (except JJ - because all you've done now is made sure that I won't be satisfied until I get a MP-E65 ;) Very nice shot! )

How much difference can I expect if I was to go something such as the extention tubes please?

Keep in mind that those kinds of shots can not be made just by mounting a MP-E65 on your camera at pointing at something small.

At high magnification the Depth Of Field is very small and you will need to do "Focus Stacking" to get the entire subject in focus. This means taking multiple images at different focus settings and then merging them together using software.

http://en.wikipedia.or​g/wiki/Focus_stacking (external link)


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gjl711
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Mar 28, 2013 08:35 |  #9

msowsun wrote in post #15764697 (external link)
Keep in mind that those kinds of shots can not be made just by mounting a MP-E65 on your camera at pointing at something small.

That's true, but that will be true for the 100mm as well. Anytime you get really close DOF get mighty thin.

Example of 100mm, no stacking pretty much at MFD.

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adza77
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Apr 06, 2013 04:03 |  #10

Incredible shots. Thanks guys.

Well - I figure that if I went Macro, I'd probably want extension tubes as well, so I ended up deciding to buy them first - so I can at least see what I can get for a cheap price.

I took this photo today in the back yard. (Full photo shrunk down)

IMAGE: https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-LYhS6vpeZzk/UV_h7Sl2EMI/AAAAAAAAAss/g74C6Cc9JiE/s800/bee01.jpg


This is 50% crop:

IMAGE: https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-aMK1556dcNs/UV_jRwA1jwI/AAAAAAAAAtM/JSjLQgX7uPM/s1085/bee03.jpg

Both were with 6D and 70-200 2.8 USM II. I had all 3 tubes (13mm, 21mm and 31mm on for maximum effect).

Shot at f/14 at ISO 12800 1/1250 sec. Not sure what I was doing, I figured the smaller the aperture the more DOF which I probably want for my first outing. (Which used high ISO to compensate). Not sure if I would have been better off with a smaller focal lens, and the 550D (for the crop sensor) (and maybe a tripod :)) Open to any and all suggestions. :)

But it at least gives me something to start with to see whether it's worth spending more cash on Macro stuff. Nice to be able to play around the yard a bit more instead of having to go out.

Nothing like the shots posted by you guys - but for $40 or so, I was happy with the initial result.

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DreDaze
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Apr 06, 2013 11:47 |  #11

if you want to get closer, put the tubes on a lens with shorter focal length


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paddler4
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Apr 06, 2013 13:27 |  #12

Well - I figure that if I went Macro, I'd probably want extension tubes as well,

good move. tubes on a dedicated macro lens, once you get one, will get you well over 1:1 magnification.

The 100mm and the 50mm will give you the same max size shots.

Not if it is the Canon 50mm 'compact macro.' That is a max 1:2 lens. However, the comment is true of almost all dedicated macro lenses, which are 1:1.

However, the 100mm will allow you to be farther way from the end of the lens while taking that shot. For subjects like spiders and bugs that will spook, the 100mm is the better choice by far

I agree with this. I have both a 60mm and a 100mm macro, and I almost always select the 100 for bugs. You can do bugs with a 60mm, but it's harder, and you will have fewer keepers.

because all you've done now is made sure that I won't be satisfied until I get a MP-E65

You won't get shots like the one GLJ posted with a regular macro lens, but the MP-E 65 is a highly specialized lens. You won't need it unless you are going bigger than 1.5 or 2:1. I have been shooting macro for years and still don't have one. Macro is technically very tough, and I think the best is to stick with 1:1 for a while until you are really comfortable with it, then slowly work up. A set of tubes lets you work up slowly.

I've been advised to go with around 100mm because I don't get that close to a subject to block out the light

I've never had that problem and have shot a lot with the EF-S 60mm. If you have lighting arranged right, this is not a problem.

Re your bee shots: very nice first tries! A suggestion: depth of field is very narrow at macro distances. If you can, try to keep the area you want in focus as close to parallel to the sensor as you can, to keep more in focus.

Two shots just to put magnification into perspective:

100mm macro, 36mm tube:

IMAGE: http://dkoretz.smugmug.com/Bugs/butterflies-damselflies/i-k3s69PC/1/L/_MG_7328-L.jpg

60mm macro, 68mm tube. (As DreDaze said, for any length of tube, you get more magnification with a shorter lens.) For scale, that is my fingernail on the left.
IMAGE: http://dkoretz.smugmug.com/Bugs/Bugs/i-8SvM6wb/0/L/_MG_2234-L.jpg

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vengence
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Apr 06, 2013 15:01 |  #13

On the other side of the balance is the bokah difference increased focal length macros give you. Here's www.the-digital-picture.com.com's (external link) standard comparision shot. Note the same settings for each.

IMAGE NOT FOUND
IMAGE IS A REDIRECT OR MISSING!
HTTP response: NOT FOUND | MIME changed to 'binary/octet-stream'


The other things longer focal length gives you, is a longer distance between the end of your lens and th subject for 1:1 mag.

Now if you really want to go crazy beyond 1:1, there's always the MP-E 65mm 1-5X



  
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TweakMDS
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Apr 06, 2013 18:05 |  #14

Shooting beyond 1:1 macro is extremely difficult and will require you to train in focusing, framing as well as using a flash. To get any sort of depth of field, you'll need to squeeze down the aperture to f/11 and smaller, and at high magnifications, this often results in nearly black frames if you shoot in the shade at 1/250th at moderately low ISO's.

If you have the money to spend, the mp-e 65mm with Canon's twin flash system is pretty much the macro photographer's dream, but I would recommend making a more cautious transition into the macro world.
I'd recommend a 100mm with a set of tubes. 1:1 to 5:1 is quite extreme, and I still find myself shooting between 1:5 and 1:1 a lot (pretty much the range between a regular 100mm lens and the 100mm macro's MFD).
Check out the "Show us your macro rig" thread for various lighting and magnification options.

My current favorite way to shoot is the 100mm with a 36mm tube and two radiocontrolled Nikon SB-80DX flashes with mini softboxes on a Manfrotto 330B bracket.
A bit of a frankencamera and it certainly gives my arm some work out, but if I stick on one spot for long I usually put it on a monopod. I do think that I might be ready to add an MP-E 65mm to my kit, but have other gear priorities first.


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alazgr8
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Apr 07, 2013 02:52 |  #15

I have the Canon 100 f/2.8L Macro lens, and believe me those sharp images that have been posted here don't come easy. When you start adding extension tubes you once again increase the learning curve. I have tried the MP-E 65mm and it is even harder to use to it's potential than the 100L Macro and tubes. Get the 100L Macro and start shooting, later on add tubes. Rick


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Close Macro Lens / Shooting Very Small Objects
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