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FORUMS Canon Cameras, Lenses & Accessories Canon EF and EF-S Lenses 
Thread started 07 Apr 2014 (Monday) 12:20
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Macro question

 
docque
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Apr 07, 2014 12:20 |  #1

I wanted to try out macro photography so I went out and purchased a Sigma 70-300mm f/4-5.6 DG Macro Telephoto Zoom Lens. I do like the images that it takes, but think I may want to get a designated macro lens.

Let me explain what I think because I look at most people's description and get confused.

On a cloudy day, there is a high chance of a fuzzy picture because I tend to shake slightly. Also, I need to be about three feet away in order to get the lens to focus.

So, here is what I understand. I am looking at the Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro USM Lens specifically for macro pictures. I think I will be able to freehand pictures better do to it's lower focal length. However, I think that in order to take the pictures I need to be inches away instead of feet away. My assumption is less than six inches.

Is my understanding correct on this?




  
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Windsun33
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Apr 07, 2014 12:40 |  #2

Macro generally refers to pictures that are life size - that is, about 1:1 actual size vs what your camera image is. There is no such thing as a true zoom telephoto - if you look close at the specs it will probably say something like "Macro .5 to 1.4 meters". But even then it is not usually true macro.

There are only two ways to get a larger image on the screen - get closer or longer focal length. But to take a macro picture of a butterfly from 5 feet away might need a 600mm lens - not practical.

I have the lens you are looking at, and it ended up also being my most used lens for general photos, not just macro.


Canon EOS 6D EOS 70D | Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro IS USM EF 70-200mm f/4L IS USM EF 16-35mm f/2.8L II USM EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM | Canon Macro Twin Lite MT-24EX Speedlite 600EX-RT

  
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dpds68
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Apr 07, 2014 12:49 |  #3

Dont over look a good Tripod for Macro , yes the 100mm IS a Great Macro Lens not sure about all the versions of it but does that one that you are looking at have IS and is it the new Hybrid IS .

Also to add a good Flash for Macro is a great help .


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bseitz234
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Apr 07, 2014 12:49 |  #4

The IS on the 100 2.8 IS L Macro is nice for handholding shots- not that the non-L isn't a great lens, but if you're having issues with shake, I think the IS might come in handy. What are you trying to take pictures of? You probably don't need to get close enough to get true 1:1 magnification. If you want to take a picture of a dime, and have it fill the frame, then yes, you're looking at a matter of inches. If you're looking to get a picture of a butterfly to fill the frame... maybe a foot, foot and a half working distance?



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docque
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Apr 07, 2014 12:59 as a reply to  @ bseitz234's post |  #5

Most of the macro I currently do is flowers. When running around Arizona outside there is no need for any flash, but I went to a greenhouse in NY and it was cloudy. Even with flash the images were a bit rough.

I see what your saying about distance. It is much better than the other explanations that people post the mathematical equations.

So, if I fill the frame, side by side with both of the lenses the 100 will look much better?




  
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gasrocks
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Apr 07, 2014 13:04 |  #6

Best way to start into the macro world = buy a 12mm ext. tube and use it with a lens you already own.


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sirquack
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Apr 07, 2014 13:11 |  #7

What gasrocks said is the answer I found. The extension tubes allow you to shorten your Minimum Focusing Distance. I use my 85mm 1.8 as my primary macro lens now. I have a set of Vello extension tubes and it works wonders. If I can just get the flowers around here to bloom so I have something to take a picture of, I would be much happier.
This is my most recent Macro and it was with I think close to 30mm of extension tubes and my 85mm lens.

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LV ­ Moose
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Apr 07, 2014 13:20 as a reply to  @ gasrocks's post |  #8

I love the 100mm 2.8L IS. I hand-hold 95% of my macro shots, and the IS is indispensible if you have shaky hands. I suggest getting a flash if you don't already own one (I use a home-made extender/diffuser on my Speedlite).

Working distance is about 6" to get a 1:1 ratio. You may eventually want to add extension tubes to get even more magnification (and a decreased working distance).


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docque
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Apr 07, 2014 13:32 as a reply to  @ LV Moose's post |  #9

I do have the extension tubes. So I guess getting a dedicated macro lens may not be that much of a step up then.




  
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LV ­ Moose
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Apr 07, 2014 13:47 |  #10

docque wrote in post #16816335 (external link)
I do have the extension tubes. So I guess getting a dedicated macro lens may not be that much of a step up then.

I don't know. I think a macro lense would beat a 70-300mm f/4-5.6 with tubes, which will require a lot of light. Tubes in conjunction with a true macro lens will give you close to a 2:1 ratio.


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docque
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Apr 07, 2014 14:14 as a reply to  @ LV Moose's post |  #11

Doesn't the tubes cause the lens to need more light? If so, I am no better off than what I was.




  
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LV ­ Moose
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Apr 07, 2014 14:16 |  #12

docque wrote in post #16816437 (external link)
Doesn't the tubes cause the lens to need more light? If so, I am no better off than what I was.

Yes, but you're attaching them to an f/4-5.6, which is already "darker" than an f/2.8.


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docque
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Apr 07, 2014 14:48 |  #13

LV Moose wrote in post #16816446 (external link)
Yes, but you're attaching them to an f/4-5.6, which is already "darker" than an f/2.8.

I agree, that is why I think that a true macro lens would give me better pictures.




  
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Windsun33
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Apr 07, 2014 15:25 |  #14

docque wrote in post #16816437 (external link)
Doesn't the tubes cause the lens to need more light? If so, I am no better off than what I was.

Yes they do. I forget exactly how much, but vaguely recall that it is around 2 stops per 50mm extension.

I use tubes occasionally with my 100 macro, but since I do most of my shooting outdoors, I find them not all that useful due to wind, subject moving, etc.. To not be able to focus almost instantly at any distance is one big downside of tubes. If I want a wider shot of a field of flowers, and then close ups I can use the macro for both.

I have 5 different L lenses, but find that the macro lens has pretty much become my "standard" lens just because it is so versatile.

As far as f-stops go, you will probably find that the vast majority you end up using are in the f5.6 to f16 range. Though the Canon can go down to f32, the sharpness starts to decrease quite a bit past f20 even though you have more depth of field (that is true with any lens).


Canon EOS 6D EOS 70D | Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro IS USM EF 70-200mm f/4L IS USM EF 16-35mm f/2.8L II USM EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM | Canon Macro Twin Lite MT-24EX Speedlite 600EX-RT

  
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Apr 07, 2014 15:29 |  #15
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I've found the IS in the EF 100mm Macro invaluable. Having used a Tokina 100mm macro lens without any IS before the Canon, I definitely could tell the difference. I'd spring for it: the EF 100mm f/2.8L IS Macro is a superb lens: I don't use it much for macro lately, but it is my go to lens for most product photography and even portraits.


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Macro question
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