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FORUMS Canon Cameras, Lenses & Accessories Canon EF and EF-S Lenses 
Thread started 17 Aug 2013 (Saturday) 19:01
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Any lens that meets this criteria?

 
Dick ­ Emery
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Aug 17, 2013 19:01 |  #1

I want a replacement for my kit lens that came with my 450D (18-55mm IS).

I went out with a Canon 55-250mm F4-5.6 and Canon 50mm F1.8 the other day and found both not suitable for the place I was in (a butterfly house). The focusing distance was the biggest issue. I could not get close enough to the subjects in cramped spaces. I could get a macro lens for sure. But I would prefer something a little more versatile. I note that some zoom lenses allow you to get closer to the subject (some too close apparently) and have macro tagged on to them. I don't really care for the macro moniker on these lenses. I just want something that allows me to get about a foot from the front of the lens (not sensor). Is bright at the widest end (F2.8 would be good). Is within the range of 17-24mm (closer to 17 preferable) to 40+ mm. But above all it must be *SHARP* at most focal lengths. Cromabs and distortion can be fixed to an extent but you can never really fix sharpness.

Cost is also an issue.

I've looked into the Sigma 17-70mm C version lens and it seems a lot of people are saying it's very 'mushy' at the edges and corners especially at the wide end (what about the older version?). I am wondering if there is say a 17/18-50/55mm lens that is a lot sharper or perhaps something else like 24-50mm?

Primes will always beat zooms on this front but if I can find something that meets me halfway with the above criteria I will probably be happy.

Any ideas/advice?


Canon 450D/XSi (Retired), Canon 70D, Canon 18-135mm F3.5-5.6 STM, Canon 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 EF-S IS, Canon 55-250mm f/4.0-5.6 EF-S IS, Canon 80-200mm f/4.5-5.6 EF II, Sigma 30mm F1.4, 430EX Mk I, Canon Powershot S2 IS, Canon Powershot S90 IS, Sigma 1.6x closeup lens.
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YashicaFX2
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Aug 17, 2013 20:13 |  #2
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The EF 24mm f/2.8 IS USM will focus down to 7.9" from the sensor. It doesn't zoom, though. But it does meet the rest of your criteria.


Dedicated APS-c shooter. Gripped 60D, 60 2.8, 10-22, 15-85, Σ70-200 OS and a big white something or other! Plus a 5D w/28-75.

  
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Evan ­ Idler
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Aug 17, 2013 20:47 |  #3

Get a set of Extension tubes, and use then with your 50 F/1.8 They will reduce the
focal distances, and increase the magnification of the lens. They will also work on
your other lenses as well.

Also take a look at the Tamron 17-50 F/2.8 It's a great little lens and my favorite
lens on my 7D when I'm just walking around town.

--Evan


Canon5DIII + Some L + Some non L + Some Sigma + Some Tamron + other stuff....
Patiently awaiting a winning Lottery Ticket to afford all the toys I would really like :-P

  
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kin2son
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Aug 17, 2013 21:02 |  #4
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If you are in the butterfly house, are you trying to take closeup of butterfly?

If so, what you need is a longer lens which can focus close (high magnification). Definitely NOT something within the 17-24 range.

Also, you'll need to stop down the lens to say f11 to get more dof.

My recommendation is something such as Canon/Tamron 60mm macro.

If you are simply taking photos of the surroundings, f2.8 is of no use as dof will be too thin.....what you need is a lens that is wide enough and with IS, stop down the lens to get more in focus. Therefore have a look into the Canon 17-55, Sigma 17-50 or Canon 15-85.


5D3 Gripped / 17-40L / Σ35 / 40 Pancake / Zeiss 50 MP / Σ85 / 100L Macro / 70-200 f2.8L II IS / 430 EX II / 580 EX II / Canon 2xIII TC / Kenko Ext. Tubes
EOS M / EF-M 18-55 / EF-M 22f2 / Ricoh GR aka Ultimate street camera :p
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FEChariot
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Aug 17, 2013 21:04 as a reply to  @ Evan Idler's post |  #5

I think you would be hard pressed to find a more versital lens than the Sigma 17-70 for your needs, but I like the tube idea above.


Canon 7D/350D, Σ17-50/2.8 OS, 18-55IS, 24-105/4 L IS, Σ30/1.4 EX, 50/1.8, C50/1.4, 55-250IS, 60/2.8, 70-200/4 L IS, 85/1.8, 100/2.8 IS L, 135/2 L 580EX II, 430EX II * 2, 270EX II.

  
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Moonshiner
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Aug 19, 2013 14:15 |  #6

Canon 15-85..




  
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rx7speed
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Aug 19, 2013 16:30 |  #7

The 18-55 has a minimum focus distance of .9 feet. That is within your spec of wanting being able to focus within 1 foot of the creature.

So with that might I ask you to clarify when you say your issue was focusing distance how close are you really wanting to get to the creatures. I guess a better question to ask though would be what is it that was really your problem with the image?


digital: 7d 70-200L 2.8 IS MKII, 17-55 2.8 IS

  
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shinksma
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Aug 19, 2013 16:58 |  #8

Hmm, yes, as rx7speed pointed out, the 18-55 has the MFD you seem to want. But the problem might be that the max magnification you can get is 0.28 (1:3.57), whereas most macros are 1:1 or 1:2 at worst. Although for butterflies you don't need 1:1, or even 1:2.

The 55-250 has an MFD of 3.6 ft, giving a 1:4.76 (0.21x) ratio. That max mag ratio, while a little worse than the 18-55, probably isn't the real issue, it's probably the MFD. If you were trying to take a shot from a couple of feet away because that is all the room you had, then you wouldn't be able to.

I use a 100-400 for a lot of my butterfly shots, since I don't need 1:1 for things of such a size. With the 1:5 (0.2) max mag, and MFD of 5.9 feet, I find the the butterflies usually fill the frame nicely, and I sometimes back-up to capture more of the flower/plant, etc.

So...in other words, if you are forced to take tight shots (within a couple of feet of the front of the lens) and you want shots of butterflies, use the 18-55, and use an external flash. Put the camera into high-speed flash sync mode (I don't know if the XSi has this capability, my T3i does), manual mode, 1/400 sec or faster, f/8 or higher, ISO 800. You may wish to adjust the flash exposure to +1/3 Ev. Then play with shutter speed, aperture and ISO to try to get the overall background and depth of field you want. Sometimes you get stuck with dim backgrounds because the flash can't reach it without blowing out the subject.

For most close-ups of almost anything bug-like, you need a relatively fast shutter, especially for bugs that flit about like butterflies. And a relatively high aperture to get enough depth of field to see enough of the subject in focus. So you need to force the light with a flash - natural light only works in bright day-time sun from a clear sky, in my experience. And you need to force high-speed flash sync because otherwise the camera defaults to a max shutter speed of 1/200th sec.

Or buy a dedicated macro lens. The 100 f/2.8 macro (non-L) is a nice lens, and that's what I use. You'll still need the flash and other settings, though.

IMHO, dunno if that helps,

shinksma


5DII | T3i | EF 17-40 L | EF 24-105 L | EF 24 1.4 L II | EF 28 1.8 | EF 85 1.8 | EF 70-200 2.8 L IS II | EF 100-400 L | EF-S 15-85 IS USM | EF-S 17-55 2.8 IS USM | EF-S 10-22 USM | EF 100 2.8 Macro USM | EF-S 18-55 IS | EF 35-80 III | EF-S 55-250 IS | Rokinon 8mm FE | EF 75-300 non-USM III | SMC Takumar 50mm f/1.4 | Tamron 70-210 | 430EX II | Kenko 2x MC4 and 1.4x Pro300DGX TC

  
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Jarvis ­ Creative ­ Studios
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Aug 19, 2013 17:03 |  #9

I've seen a lot of great macro pics with the 50 1.8 and 1.4 with extension tubes. How close are you trying to get?
Got this picture walking around with my 85mm 1.8, not a great picture, but great for me, I hold the title for worst bug photographer on the planet haha.

IMAGE: http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3675/9547890535_715efed648_c.jpg
IMAGE LINK: http://www.flickr.com …100539812@N06/9​547890535/  (external link) It's a Dragon! (external link) by Jarvis Creative Studios (external link), on Flickr"]
(DUPLICATE IMAGE)
 (external link) It's a Dragon! (external link) by Jarvis Creative Studios, on Flickr (external link)
If you're not trying to go true macro, you could look into something like this.

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Sony HX90V || Sony a6500 || Sony a9 || Sony E 10-18 f4 OSS || Sony FE 24-70 f2.8 GM || Sony Sonnar T* FE 35 f2.8 ZA || Sony Sonnar T* FE 55 f1.8 ZA || Sony FE 70-200 f2.8 GM OSS || Sony FE 200-600 f5.6-6.3 G OSS || Godox speedlights and strobes

  
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amfoto1
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Aug 19, 2013 18:15 |  #10

Yes, what you actually need to photography butterflies from a reasonable distance is a telephoto with macro capabilities and there are lots of possiblities...

Any of the 18-55, 17-50, 17-55 lenses will simply be too short focal length. You will need to be within a few inches of the subject with those short focal lengths, likely scaring them away or casting a shadow over them.

This was shot with a Tamron 90mm macro lens (a vintage, manual focus lens, but they also offer modern versions with AF)...

IMAGE: http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5125/5283068575_5d2187dd6f_z.jpg

This was shot with a Canon 100mm f2.8 USM macro lens...
IMAGE: http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5007/5310747604_24629e0980_z.jpg

This was shot with a Canon 180mm f3.5L macro lens...
IMAGE: http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5093/5585285923_f2d1d237aa_z.jpg

All the above are "true" macro lenses, not zoom lenses with a "macro" label that aren't really macro capable. But there are ways to use non-macro lenses very close, too.

This was taken with a Canon 70-200/2.8L IS with a 25mm macro extension tube on it...
IMAGE: http://farm7.staticflickr.com/6201/6143768203_ea64c95c2f_z.jpg

This was shot with a Canon 300/4L IS - the closest focusing of all Canon's super tele lenses, to about 5 feet...
IMAGE: http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8180/8004813561_3049812755_z.jpg

This was shot with a shot with a Canon 300/2.8L IS with a 1.4X teleconverter and a 36mm macro extension tube...
IMAGE: http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8487/8227383861_8152917e1d_z.jpg

And, finally, this was shot with a Tamron 500mm f8 "mirror" lens, which is amazingly close focusing - to about 5 feet - for such a long telephoto (the Canon 500/4L IS focuses to 12 feet)...
IMAGE: http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5063/5633942316_2acc010754_z.jpg

For a relatively low cost solution, I'd recommend you look at a set of macro extension tubes and use them on your 55-250mm. You'll need a set that's compatible with the EF-S lens mount. Those include the Kenko set of three marked "CA/AFs", note the small "s" (the earlier version just marked "CA/AF" won't fit). Or Canon tubes marked "II". The Canon only sell individually in 12mm and 25mm lengths. The Kenko set works out to be a bit better value with three tubes: 12mm, 20mm and 36mm. On a longer telephoto you need more extension to get significantly closer, so the 36mm or 36mm + 20mm in the Kenko set might be the best choice.

Hope this helps!

Alan Myers (external link) "Walk softly and carry a big lens."
5DII, 7DII(x2), 7D(x2) & other cameras. 10-22mm, Tokina 12-24/4, 20/2.8, TS 24/3.5L, 24-70/2.8L, 28/1.8, 28-135 IS (x2), TS 45/2.8, 50/1.4, Tamron 60/2.0, 70-200/4L IS, 70-200/2.8 IS, 85/1.8, Tamron 90/2.5 Macro, 100/2.8 USM, 100-400L II, 135/2L, 180/3.5L, 300/4L IS (x2), 300/2.8L IS, 500/4L IS, EF 1.4X II, EF 2X II. Flashes, studio strobes & various access. - FLICKR (external link) - ZENFOLIO (external link)

  
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Moonshiner
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Aug 19, 2013 19:00 |  #11

I still say 15-85... This was the closest I could get with a) scaring the poor creature and 2) that I could get focus lock on... This is not cropped in any way... Just sayin'... It still doesn't make it great...

IMAGE: http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8149/7324215966_9368efba5d_z.jpg
IMAGE LINK: http://www.flickr.com …/90444944@N00/7​324215966/  (external link)
IMG_1166 (external link) by chris(volume2) (external link), on Flickr

IMAGE: http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7102/7324219902_569e1c5e59_z.jpg
IMAGE LINK: http://www.flickr.com …/90444944@N00/7​324219902/  (external link)
IMG_1170 (external link) by chris(volume2) (external link), on Flickr



  
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Dick ­ Emery
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Aug 19, 2013 19:54 as a reply to  @ Moonshiner's post |  #12

Thanks guys. Interesting ideas. In hindsight I could have taken along my AF extension tubes for the 50mm. I would still have had issues with DOF though. But at least I would have got more useable shots. The bugs there were pretty chill (damned things landed on your and say on your hand/fingers/head no problemo so getting close was not a problem. But the DOF issue might annoy me some and having to use a flash etc all handheld of course.

On a non-macro front I was eying up the Sigma 17-70mm as an 'upgrade' to my kit 18-55mm IS but have read a few reviews about being very soft wide open and not sharpening up well it smaller apertures. The Canon 17-50 IS might be better but it's an F4 starting aperture. The new Sigma 17-35 F1.8 looks nice but it's expensive and lacks range. I can never seem to find a great zoom lens that covers a reasonable range that is fast, sturdy, sharp and not too expensive. Per haps I should just give in and get a cheapy Tamron 17-5 F2.8 instead.

The other option is to go grab myself a nice macro lens like the 100mm F2.8 L. Bit pricey too of course. Plus I would like a bigger and sharper tele at some point in the future.

I am also keen on the new 70D to replace my aging 450D ;)

Ahh! The money pit never ends. Heh.

Here's a couple of keepers.

IMAGE: https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7286/9521044790_1307bcc6f9_o.jpg

IMAGE: https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7408/9518260065_b4cc00622c_o.jpg

Canon 450D/XSi (Retired), Canon 70D, Canon 18-135mm F3.5-5.6 STM, Canon 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 EF-S IS, Canon 55-250mm f/4.0-5.6 EF-S IS, Canon 80-200mm f/4.5-5.6 EF II, Sigma 30mm F1.4, 430EX Mk I, Canon Powershot S2 IS, Canon Powershot S90 IS, Sigma 1.6x closeup lens.
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shinksma
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Aug 19, 2013 20:51 |  #13

Dick Emery, the shots you have taken are perfectly fine for size-of-subject and relative distance. If you can get that close for all of your butterfly shots, you don't need a dedicated macro lens. Macro lenses and/or extension tubes are de rigueur for small bugs, like lady bugs or ants, but larger things, like butterflies, are fine subjects for regular zoom/telephoto lenses.

I just did a couple of experiments:

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http://i868.photobucke​t.com …3032_1024_zpsc7​435e44.jpg (external link)

The (fake) flower is about the size of a black swallowtail butterfly or other "largish" butterfly found in my yard, so the framing is about right, IMHO. This was taken using my T3i and 55-250 lens, at 163mm, from about 5 feet away, in a not very bright kitchen. I could have gotten over a foot closer, with a wider zoom (maybe 100mm).

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This is the lens cap to the 55-250 lens, same flower, taken at MFD (or so) of 3.6 ft, also at 163mm.

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And this is the lens cap from the MFD with 55-250mm at 250mm. Yeah, not perfectly in focus...oh well, just a quick snap.

All shots taken with on-board flash in Tv mode. f/5.6 was what the camera wanted to use, but I could have cranked up to a higher aperture in manual mode for greater depth of field (but I would have used an external flash too).

Anyway, what I'm trying to show is that the lens and body you have may very well be "good enough" for experimenting with close-ups of larger bugs. When you get the itch to photograph the mandibles of an ant, then look at a true macro lens.

Dunno if that helps,

shinksma

5DII | T3i | EF 17-40 L | EF 24-105 L | EF 24 1.4 L II | EF 28 1.8 | EF 85 1.8 | EF 70-200 2.8 L IS II | EF 100-400 L | EF-S 15-85 IS USM | EF-S 17-55 2.8 IS USM | EF-S 10-22 USM | EF 100 2.8 Macro USM | EF-S 18-55 IS | EF 35-80 III | EF-S 55-250 IS | Rokinon 8mm FE | EF 75-300 non-USM III | SMC Takumar 50mm f/1.4 | Tamron 70-210 | 430EX II | Kenko 2x MC4 and 1.4x Pro300DGX TC

  
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2n10
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Aug 19, 2013 20:58 |  #14

I had the 55-250 and it works very nice as shown by shinksma as he stated. The 100 macro non L is also very good and extremely sharp.


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Dick ­ Emery
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Aug 19, 2013 21:07 as a reply to  @ 2n10's post |  #15

I'm thinking about getting the Sigma 17-70mm F2.8 C for now. Reason being whilst it would be great to go out bug shooting etc it's not something I do often and I could definitely do with a 'better' (and more versatile) walk around lens than my kit 18-55mm IS. It's never going to be super sharp at all focal lengths and apertures but it has to be better than the kit lens right? I guess if I buy it from Amazon at least I can test it out and if not happy return it with no quibbles.


Canon 450D/XSi (Retired), Canon 70D, Canon 18-135mm F3.5-5.6 STM, Canon 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 EF-S IS, Canon 55-250mm f/4.0-5.6 EF-S IS, Canon 80-200mm f/4.5-5.6 EF II, Sigma 30mm F1.4, 430EX Mk I, Canon Powershot S2 IS, Canon Powershot S90 IS, Sigma 1.6x closeup lens.
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Any lens that meets this criteria?
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