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FORUMS Canon Cameras, Lenses & Accessories Canon EOS Digital Cameras 
Thread started 08 Mar 2014 (Saturday) 09:12
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which camera for macro insects butterflys etc,

 
aladyforty
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Mar 08, 2014 09:12 |  #1

is a crop camera going to be better for taking butterfly shots than a full frame, i mean being as you can get closer with a crop, I'm assuming it will excel in this department


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MalVeauX
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Mar 08, 2014 09:22 |  #2

Heya,

Depends on what you want. A full frame senor will have a better dynamic range, and will be a bit sharper due to pixel density being less, and handle more ISO. But if you're shooing with flash (which for bug hunting is the way to go anyways), then it really doesn't matter.

You get a bit more total magnification with shorter lenses with the crop sensor of course. And the minimum focus distance remains the same. So yes, you can get a more magnified image at the end of the process. Just remember, more pixel density on the crop sensor for that image, so it's less forgiving and if it's not in focus, or not sharp, it will be obvious.

That said, I'd suggest you just use your 5D3 unless you're trying to avoid running the shutter up. You already have the 100mm F2.8L macro lens anyways. If you wanted a crop sensor for more magnification (perceived reach) and to keep your 5D3 from racking up shutter counts, then maybe look into a used inexpensive crop. You don't need anything special. A used 60D for example would do it.

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jt354
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Mar 08, 2014 09:33 |  #3

With the 100L macro I think the crop camera could potentially yield better results. The 1.6x FOV multiplier should work in your favor for bugs, and the extra depth of field at a given focal length is useful for macro work. Are you shooting available light or flash? If available light, you may want to consider the full frame camera because of its better high ISO performance (as you will likely want to stop down to f/8 or so for bug photography).


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Mar 08, 2014 09:36 |  #4

It really depends on the macro lens you plan on using. The longer the lens the more working room and the less likely you are to scare it. As mentioned lighting is important as is a very sturdy tripod and a remote release.


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Mar 08, 2014 09:38 as a reply to  @ MalVeauX's post |  #5

Crops have been generally better for me when doing macros (pixel density, etc, results seem generally better and easier to work with), but the 5D3 will do very well. Just get a 100 or 150mm macro lens to give you some working distance, get some light on the subject and you will be golden. Since you have both formats, and like L glass, pick up a 100L and you can then be flexible on which you use when. :)

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aladyforty
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Mar 08, 2014 09:53 |  #6

Thanks guys, its a toss up between my 7D or 5DIII with my 100f2.8L macro lens, I was thinking the 7D may result in "closer" shots. using natural light.


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Mar 08, 2014 10:01 |  #7

aladyforty wrote in post #16743272 (external link)
Thanks guys, its a toss up between my 7D or 5DIII with my 100f2.8L macro lens, I was thinking the 7D may result in "closer" shots. using natural light.

It won't give you closer shots (1:1 is what you will get), but you will have more pixels on target, so when viewing at 100%, it will look like it is magnified. The 5D3 has better ISO at its disposal, and when you shut down to f16 for example, you will need to raise the ISO quite a bit to compensate so you can have some sort of reasonable shutter speed. That is where the 5D3 is better than the 7D. The 100L, having IS, helps alot too.

However in sunlight or really good light, I would use my crop bodies.


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Mar 08, 2014 10:05 |  #8

Another benefit of a crop on macro that hasn't been mentioned is DOF. Since the magnification is greater, you don't have to be as close as you would have to be with a full frame for the same framing with the same focal length. The further you are away, the wider the DOF. Many people dislike crops for this reason because they like to have a really thin depth of field. But on macro it works to your advantage since the problem in macro is usually the opposite and you want a wider depth of field so that more than a single eye is in focus.


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Mar 08, 2014 10:09 |  #9

aladyforty wrote in post #16743187 (external link)
is a crop camera going to be better for taking butterfly shots than a full frame, i mean being as you can get closer with a crop, I'm assuming it will excel in this department

No you can't get closer with a crop.......the camera just did cropping for you already


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paddler4
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Mar 08, 2014 10:21 |  #10

is a crop camera going to be better for taking butterfly shots than a full frame,

In some respects, yes:

-- at minimum working distance (the same for both sensors), that is, working at 1:1 magnification, the bug will fill more of the frame on the crop, and therefore, you will have more pixels on target. how big this difference is depends on the pixel densities of the two sensors, but if you are comparing cameras with relatively close pixel counts (say, 7D and 5D3), the difference is large.

--when you are at longer distances, the extra reach of the crop helps: you can fill the frame at a greater distance, given any focal length.

--The crop rig will be smaller and lighter, which I find a big advantage when chasing bugs.

The big advantage of FF for macro, assuming you are not going to print very large, is better high-ISO noise, which lets you shoot with less available light. however, a great deal of macro work is done with flash, and then this advantage doesn't matter.

It's true that a crop has more DOF, but given the better high-ISO performance of most FFs, you can just shut down a stop or so to compensate.

To make this concrete: I shoot a lot of bugs (see my signature), and I own both a 5DIII and a 50D. The 50D has fewer pixels than current crops, lessening the first advantage, it handles high ISOs poorly, and it has a mediocre AF system. Nonetheless, when I go bug hunting this summer, I have a hunch I will more often take the 50D.


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Mar 08, 2014 10:22 |  #11

I feel compelled to correct the misinformation about DOF that has occurred.


  1. If both APS-C and FF cameras capture an object a 1:1, both will have identical DOF!!!
  2. If both APS-C and FF camera capture an object to 'fill the frame', there will be more DOF exhibited by the APS-C shot, due to the use of 1.6x farther shooting distance with same FL lens.
    In practice, the DOF difference is negligible in magnitude. For example, using 100mm lens at 0.3m distance with FF, one has virtually no DOF at f/8, whereas same 100mm lens at 0.48m distance with APS-C one frames the same amount but with 0.07" DOF.
    At greater distances, DOF can be more considerable...100mm lens at 1m on FF vs. at 1.6m on APS-C results in 0.06m DOF on FF vs. 0.12m DOF on APS-C, or a difference of 0.06m or 2.36"
  3. IOW, at identical magnification the DOF is identical, regardless of frame size. At different magnification -- which is what happens when you use same FL on the APS-C camera and 'fill the frame'-- the DOF difference materializes, simply due to subject size not due to frame size.

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Mar 08, 2014 10:53 |  #12

aladyforty wrote in post #16743272 (external link)
Thanks guys, its a toss up between my 7D or 5DIII with my 100f2.8L macro lens, I was thinking the 7D may result in "closer" shots. using natural light.

Heya,

I'll save you the trouble of what's in your future, regarding natural light: get a flash.

If you try to shoot at anything less than F8 for your macro, chasing bugs, next to nothing will be in focus due to a thin depth of field. Super thin depth of field. Typical macro apertures are F8, F11, etc. Kind of like landscape. You're trying to sharpen it up, and get a wider depth of field. Flash is how you overcome the loss of light.

Some things can be done in natural light. And sure you can get some good shots at F4 or so. But you won't be shooting macro of bugs at F2.8 in natural light. You might get a leg in focus, and nothing else.

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Mar 08, 2014 10:57 |  #13

MalVeauX wrote in post #16743388 (external link)
Heya,

I'll save you the trouble of what's in your future, regarding natural light: get a flash.

If you try to shoot at anything less than F8 for your macro, chasing bugs, next to nothing will be in focus due to a thin depth of field. Super thin depth of field. Typical macro apertures are F8, F11, etc. Kind of like landscape. You're trying to sharpen it up, and get a wider depth of field. Flash is how you overcome the loss of light.

Some things can be done in natural light. And sure you can get some good shots at F4 or so. But you won't be shooting macro of bugs at F2.8 in natural light. You might get a leg in focus, and nothing else.

Very best,


If you are going to get a flash, then you have to get a wireless setup too. A flash on a camera with a long macro lens like a 150mm won't help much, you just get casted shadows. So the only way is to either get a ring flash around the lens, or put the flash on a remote trigger. The latest Yungnuo would work well, I just picked up a set of their transceivers.


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MalVeauX
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Mar 08, 2014 11:01 |  #14

TeamSpeed wrote in post #16743397 (external link)
If you are going to get a flash, then you have to get a wireless setup too. A flash on a camera with a long macro lens like a 150mm won't help much, you just get casted shadows. So the only way is to either get a ring flash around the lens, or put the flash on a remote trigger. The latest Yungnuo would work well, I just picked up a set of their transceivers.

Yeap,

I have my flash off camera, on a bracket, with a wireless trigger now (560III and RF603CII) and a big diffuser. Takes the flash forward and angles it.

Very best,


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Mar 08, 2014 11:04 |  #15

Wilt wrote in post #16743335 (external link)
I feel compelled to correct the misinformation about DOF that has occurred.


  1. If both APS-C and FF cameras capture an object a 1:1, both will have identical DOF!!!
  2. If both APS-C and FF camera capture an object to 'fill the frame', there will be more DOF exhibited by the APS-C shot, due to the use of 1.6x farther shooting distance with same FL lens.
    In practice, the DOF difference is negligible in magnitude. For example, using 100mm lens at 0.3m distance with FF, one has virtually no DOF at f/8, whereas same 100mm lens at 0.48m distance with APS-C one frames the same amount but with 0.07" DOF.
    At greater distances, DOF can be more considerable...100mm lens at 1m on FF vs. at 1.6m on APS-C results in 0.06m DOF on FF vs. 0.12m DOF on APS-C, or a difference of 0.06m or 2.36"
  3. IOW, at identical magnification the DOF is identical, regardless of frame size. At different magnification -- which is what happens when you use same FL on the APS-C camera and 'fill the frame'-- the DOF difference materializes, simply due to subject size not due to frame size.

That was a lot of work. But I don't see where there was a correction of misinformation. I stated plainly that the working distance is where the difference is. The word "magnification" wasn't even used. I was trying to keep it simple for the OP who doesn't appear to be schooled in all of the hard numbers. It was a simple statement saying that since they don't have to get as close, they may be able to benefit from a wider DOF. How much mileage one will get out of that will vary depending on the shooting distance but is this not an accurate statement? When the FL and aperture remain the same, getting further away physically increases DOF? And with a crop camera you get to be further away with the same subject framing? If not, I need to relearn everything I've learned in the last 30 years.

Also, someone above said that it was all the same and that a crop camera just does the cropping for you. That's not accurate. To crop a full frame image to the same FOV as a crop camera with the same pixel density, one would need a full frame of about 45MP.


EDIT: My bad. I think you were correcting someone else. I didn't see the post behind mine where the magnification was wrongly mentioned.


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