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Thread started 25 Mar 2023 (Saturday) 04:48
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Best cameras for a beginner (macro photography)

 
Kylian
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Mar 25, 2023 04:48 |  #1

Hello everyone, I'm Kylian and I want to invest in a new camera. I'm curious, what are some of the best cameras for a beginner like me? I am mostly interested in macro photography, and my budget is around $1000.




  
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JollyRoger523
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Mar 25, 2023 07:00 |  #2

I'm far from an expert, maybe others can give more detailed advice. In addition to the obvious camera and lens, you'll need either a tripod or a flash for macro work. Possibly both, so make sure they fit in the budget.

I'm only familiar with Canon offerings. I would look into a used xxD or Rebel series body. Then pick up a used EF-S 60mm macro or the EF 100 2.8 non-L macro. That should leave you with enough left over for the other accessories. Another option would be a more standard lens for general photography (if you want to shoot more than just macro) and a set of extension tubes to get into macro range.




  
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Kylian
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Apr 05, 2023 06:28 as a reply to  @ JollyRoger523's post |  #3

Thanks a lot for the advice :)




  
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kf095
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Apr 05, 2023 06:54 |  #4

Macro of what?
Still or life?


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Wilt
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Post edited 5 months ago by Wilt. (4 edits in all)
     
Apr 05, 2023 13:13 |  #5


  1. A camera which presents an image of what the lens sees....SLR, dSLR, mirrorless camera...is highly beneficial to macro composition and focus
  2. A lens -- with extension tube (for removeable lens camera) or with 2-element close-up filter (for fixed-lens camera) will permit you to focus closer
  3. A tripod, with a more convenient means of moving camera+lens very tiny distances closer/farther from subject for focusing is highly beneficial

Autofocus is NOT essential, in fact most folks with cameras that have AF simply move their equipment to fine focus! I cannot identify any particular feature that makes one camera better than another for macro work, other than bullet 1 (above)
But keep in mind that a key part of macro shooting is LIGHTING!
  • Shooting at the small apertures (for greater Dept of Field) means that you typically need to add a lot of light onto the subject in order to keep shutter speeds reasonably fast to mnimize subject motion
  • You can use a light tent or a single source of light for flat illumination of the subject for 'scientific' (well illuminated by not necessarily visually interesting) photos, but you need something that facilitates the creationof directional Main with overall Fill (mimicing conventional portrait photography lighting, just on a much smaller scale!) for dimensional and interesting photos.

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Archibald
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Post edited 5 months ago by Archibald.
     
Apr 05, 2023 14:32 |  #6

Hi, Kylian.

Please tell us more about what you want to photograph. What kind of subjects? Flowers? Bugs? Little items around the house? It can make a big difference to the approach.

And what magnification? I mean magnification as used in macro photography. The magnification will affect what gear you need.

Many think that they can do cool macro photography with the right camera and lens. But the key might be lighting instead (thanks, Wilt). The lighting has to be right or it will look like crap. For some subjects you can use natural light. For others, flash is best, and sometimes continuous (LED) is preferred.

So pls provide some more info on what you had in mind.


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Kylian
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Apr 08, 2023 06:40 as a reply to  @ Wilt's post |  #7

This is really very useful information, thanks a lot for the detailed answer.




  
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Kylian
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Apr 08, 2023 06:41 as a reply to  @ Archibald's post |  #8

Well, I would mostly photograph flowers and plants in nature.




  
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Kylian
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Apr 08, 2023 06:43 as a reply to  @ kf095's post |  #9

macro of flowers and plants




  
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Archibald
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Apr 08, 2023 07:54 as a reply to  @ Kylian's post |  #10

The main thing in flower photography is finding a perfect specimen, getting rid of distracting stuff around the main subject, and having the right lighting. Usually you avoid sunlight. Overcast is best. The wind is your enemy. Good flower photographers tend to be meticulous workers. Using a tripod helps in getting everything right.

The kind of camera doesn't matter much, and often in flower photography you are not getting super close (compared to say bug photography). Extension tubes or a closeup lens (they are lenses, not filters) can be suitable.

There are lots of exceptions to these generalities, so in the end it is your decision.


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Terry ­ McDaniel
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Apr 08, 2023 09:30 |  #11

A viable alternative to expensive dedicated macro lenses is the Raynox attachment lenses. They fit virtually anything and are really sharp. I recently broke mine, will order another soon. Nearly all the closeup photos in my gallery were shot with my kit 18-55 with a Raynox 1.5 attached.


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Archibald
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Post edited 5 months ago by Archibald.
     
Apr 08, 2023 11:48 |  #12

Terry McDaniel wrote in post #19503871 (external link)
A viable alternative to expensive dedicated macro lenses is the Raynox attachment lenses. They fit virtually anything and are really sharp. I recently broke mine, will order another soon. Nearly all the closeup photos in my gallery were shot with my kit 18-55 with a Raynox 1.5 attached.

Yes, Raynox lenses are a good choice and give very sharp results. They are a bit hard to figure out because there are different models with different power for different focal lengths.

I can't live with that clipon stuff though because it interferes with my lighting. But it is possible to remove the actual lens from the clippy stuff and mount it onto the front of the camera lens with a step-down adapter. And that works great. If you are just shooting with natural light, the clip is fine.

Canon makes an excellent closeup lens called 500D. It comes in different thread sizes. I used one for years with my 70-300mm lens.

Shooting with the 18-55mm lens + closeup lens works fine but you will be close to your subject. That is OK for flowers, but can scare bugs.

Having said all this, I know of a flower photographer who uses a point-and-shoot camera without any accessories. He shoots away happily at anything he finds in any weather.


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Wilt
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Post edited 5 months ago by Wilt. (4 edits in all)
     
Apr 08, 2023 15:24 |  #13

Traditionally, 'macro' referred to photographing an object at a scale (on film) which was 1:2 or higher (e.g. 3:1)...IOW, a 20mm object would be at leasr 10mm on the film (or sensor, today) If you are photographing flowers whose buds might be 4" wide, 4" onto a 24mm x 36mm FF sensor is slight less than 1:4 scale (0.25X). So while that is not traditional 'macro' it is definitely 'close focus' and requires closer than a typical lens would focus without some aid...extension tube or close focus filter. For example, the Canon EF100mm lens could only focus to about 3', and a 9" object would fill the narrow direction of the FF image, without use of some aid The max focus distance with the 500D would be 500mm (the FL of the close-up lens), or just over 19"; the max for 250D would be 250mm.


  • The 'close up lens' has a fixed FL. Using a zoom lens at 48mm with the addition of a Canon Close-Up Lens 500D, the formula calculates that the magnification is 48/500 = 0.1x
  • If you calculate for different lens FL used with the filter, we see that close-up lenses have more effect when they are used on a camera lens with a long FL than on shorter FL lenses.
  • OTOH with extension tubes, the amount of magnification decreases as the camera lens focal length increases.
  • If you're trying for really high magnifications, you can try using a macro lens + extension tubes + a close-up lens.

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kf095
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Apr 08, 2023 20:00 as a reply to  @ Kylian's post |  #14

Canon 5D MKII and 100L should fit this purpose under specified budged. No limiting tripod is required.


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Kylian
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Apr 09, 2023 13:47 as a reply to  @ Terry McDaniel's post |  #15

On another forum, someone also suggested that lens to me, I researched a little more and it really seems to me that this lens is excellent




  
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Best cameras for a beginner (macro photography)
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