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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre Macro Talk 
Thread started 07 Jan 2016 (Thursday) 11:44
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Macro Lens Comparison

 
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John ­ Koerner
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Feb 15, 2016 20:17 |  #31
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BlakeC wrote in post #17899292 (external link)
This is where I am at. Don't know enough to make an educated decision yet so I am also researching. I honestly don't pay attention or care what order you put them in. I am more interested in your experience with them and how the lens would suit me. I know it is your opinion and I am more than capable of picking out the parts that are your opinion and the parts that apply to me. Some people just like to nitpick. :lol:

Ah, a breath of reasoned, fresh air :-P

Exactly: pay no attention to how "I" shuffled the deck.

Read the descriptions, strengths, and weaknesses of each lens, and make an educated decision based on your objectives.

I am glad at least 2% understand the point of the entry :p




  
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Dalantech
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Feb 16, 2016 01:12 |  #32

John Koerner wrote in post #17899760 (external link)
Broaden your mind:

All taken in natural light, with my old Canon 7D + 180 mm macro.

That was another point of the article, namely that the 180 mm focus distance offers better reach (and, hence, the ability to use natural light, which creates better colors IMO, as well as better bokeh).

I have now upgraded to the Nikon D810, and have some nice lenses on the way, so we will see what the new season brings :)

...and not a single one of those frames is at 1x or higher. I completely understand where you're coming from -from the standpoint of someone who shoots closeups and, due to the magnification, has a lot of available natural light to work with. But once you start shooting at 1x and higher you'll understand how difficult it is to freeze motion without a flash. Even the 1/focal length rule for hand holding a lens breaks down at life size and higher mag (you have to start doubling, if not tripling, the shutter speed and that's for a motionless subject).

Once you get some real experience shooting macro, and by macro I mean 1x to 10x mag, then you'll understand this (external link).


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Dalantech
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Feb 16, 2016 01:17 |  #33

John Koerner wrote in post #17899773 (external link)
Hi John. Your mantis shot looks like another staged shot of a bug on a stick.

Natural = untouched by man.

That your lens can show you details you can't see with your eye is irrelevant.

The criteria is, did you affect the subject? Or did you take the shot undisturbed, unmanipulated?

So by your definition of macro that Mantis shot is natural, because I did not manipulate it in any way. But because I used a flash I know of a lot of photographers who would argue that it's not a natural image (didn't use natural light).

There's also one additional problem: Due to the way I framed it you can't tell if I manipulated the subject or not. You assumed that I did, simply because I am open about my techniques and I sometimes do manipulate a scene. But if I didn't tell you then you wouldn't know, you'd have no idea how I take my images unless you happen to see the "bait" or my finger in the frame...


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Dalantech
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Feb 16, 2016 01:21 |  #34

John Koerner wrote in post #17899773 (external link)
At several points in the article, I invited the reader to re-shuffle the ratings, based on their own individual needs and shooting preferences.

How much more un-biased can I be?

That you can't yet understand this, despite multiple efforts to point your nose at the wording (here and on other forums) is tragic IMO ...

Jack

No Jack, what's tragic is that you can't see how biased the article is by your own personal preferences. It doesn't matter how many times you put a disclaimer into it, it's still biased.

You walked into a macro forum, full of experienced macro shooters, and proceed to claim that you knew the best lens for shooting macro. That's not just tragic Jack, that's also a wee bit arrogant...


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Swiftlet
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Post edited over 3 years ago by Swiftlet.
     
Feb 20, 2016 07:51 |  #35

John your piece on the Sigma 180 seems fair enough to me, & informative. Of course you're biased towards your use etc, but that's not unreasonable; it seems quite tiresome to try to pick holes in what you wrote... It's a darned good lens.

Something which caught my eye though:

I have replaced my Canon MP-E 65 with a set of all-manual, all-metal old school Nikon lenses, with reverse-rings (external link), so I hope to begin this new season with some improved results.

I've used a few of those. I think you may have trouble equalling the MPE, as well as losing the auto diaphragm, which is more than a nuisance.
The edge performance is likely to be "off". It's often better if you reverse a lens on the front of a longer one, rather than straight on tubes/bellows.
The 8 element 28mm is quite good reversed on something like a 105 prime, but I'm sure the MPE beats it.
I do have some odds and ends which beat the MPE, but it's so much easier to use, that's the one I tend to go for.

You probably know that at the higher magnification end you lose detail because of diffraction, even shooting at wide aperture and stacking. Low power microscope objectives are the only way round that one.



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Feb 22, 2016 09:15 |  #36

John Koerner wrote in post #17899257 (external link)
Please show me a single wildlife image (not shot of ice, or an inanimate object), but wildlife photo taken with the MP-E 65 mm that was done, at over 1:1, without the use of flash or a macro rail.

This

IMAGE: https://farm1.staticflickr.com/716/20950567903_22a69a1dd3_n.jpg
IMAGE LINK: https://flic.kr/p/xVk8​VZ  (external link) IMG_8404jumpingspider (external link) by davholla2002 (external link), on Flickr

Was taken without a macro rail and with a cheapish flash not a twin flash.



  
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Feb 22, 2016 09:21 |  #37

John Koerner wrote in post #17899773 (external link)
If you bring only the MP-E 65 in the field, you can take some great macros ... but if your girlfriend strikes a cute pose, you can't do anything about it. If a bird lands 20' away, you can't do anything about it.

With the Sigma 180, you get to take 1:1 macro shots (WITH BETTER IMAGE QUALITY SCORES THAN ANYTHING BUT THE ZEISS), plus have the flexibility to take other shots, and have the reach to use natural light + the distance not to startle your subject.Jack

I have to say that I agree with that problem with the MP-E 65, although sadly for many months of the year I only get very small insects in my garden so the MPE is very useful.
BTW I can take good photos of my wife with my Canon EFS 60mm and good closes up of hummingbirds.
Last year when I went to Colombia I often carried 3 cameras with me, one for the EFS60, one for MP-E 65 and one for my Tamron. Sadly one broke (not related to that) and one was not mine so even though I have bought a camera I am still one down.
It was great and enabled me to get everything I wanted.




  
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John ­ Koerner
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Mar 14, 2016 23:23 |  #38
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davholla wrote in post #17908099 (external link)
This
QUOTED IMAGE
IMAGE LINK: https://flic.kr/p/xVk8​VZ  (external link) IMG_8404jumpingspider (external link) by davholla2002 (external link), on Flickr

Was taken without a macro rail and with a cheapish flash not a twin flash.

My mistake. I should have said, "Show me a quality image" ...




  
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John ­ Koerner
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Mar 14, 2016 23:25 |  #39
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Dalantech wrote in post #17900166 (external link)
...and not a single one of those frames is at 1x or higher. I completely understand where you're coming from -from the standpoint of someone who shoots closeups and, due to the magnification, has a lot of available natural light to work with. But once you start shooting at 1x and higher you'll understand how difficult it is to freeze motion without a flash. Even the 1/focal length rule for hand holding a lens breaks down at life size and higher mag (you have to start doubling, if not tripling, the shutter speed and that's for a motionless subject).

Once you get some real experience shooting macro, and by macro I mean 1x to 10x mag, then you'll understand this (external link).

Actually, once you get some experience reading correctly, you will see that I reversed the order of my list, for extreme macro shooting, placing the MPE at the top ...

You have a serious comprehension deficit, dude :rolleyes:




  
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Mar 14, 2016 23:27 |  #40
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Dalantech wrote in post #17900171 (external link)
So by your definition of macro that Mantis shot is natural, because I did not manipulate it in any way. But because I used a flash I know of a lot of photographers who would argue that it's not a natural image (didn't use natural light).

There's also one additional problem: Due to the way I framed it you can't tell if I manipulated the subject or not. You assumed that I did, simply because I am open about my techniques and I sometimes do manipulate a scene. But if I didn't tell you then you wouldn't know, you'd have no idea how I take my images unless you happen to see the "bait" or my finger in the frame...

If you want to call that mantis shot "wildlife" photography, go ahead and lie to yourself then.

Makes no difference to me.




  
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Mar 14, 2016 23:30 |  #41
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Dalantech wrote in post #17900172 (external link)
No Jack, what's tragic is that you can't see how biased the article is by your own personal preferences. It doesn't matter how many times you put a disclaimer into it, it's still biased.

You walked into a macro forum, full of experienced macro shooters, and proceed to claim that you knew the best lens for shooting macro. That's not just tragic Jack, that's also a wee bit arrogant...

Why don't we just agree to disagree.

I consider you to be a "backyard shooter," not a wildlife photographer.

Based on reviewing your photos, I think you take photos of baited bees, posed mantids, and maybe whatever lands in your garden.

Nothing wrong with shooting whatever it is you want to shoot, but don't misrepresent, okay?

In order to understand my article, you have to actually realize what I am talking about: an optimal, all-around macro lens, for wildlife excursions (not posed/staged shots in your backyard).

Jack




  
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Mar 14, 2016 23:37 |  #42
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Swiftlet wrote in post #17905519 (external link)
John your piece on the Sigma 180 seems fair enough to me, & informative. Of course you're biased towards your use etc, but that's not unreasonable; it seems quite tiresome to try to pick holes in what you wrote... It's a darned good lens.

Thank you for the comments and we agree.


Swiftlet wrote in post #17905519 (external link)
Something which caught my eye though:

I've used a few of those. I think you may have trouble equalling the MPE, as well as losing the auto diaphragm, which is more than a nuisance.
The edge performance is likely to be "off". It's often better if you reverse a lens on the front of a longer one, rather than straight on tubes/bellows.
The 8 element 28mm is quite good reversed on something like a 105 prime, but I'm sure the MPE beats it.
I do have some odds and ends which beat the MPE, but it's so much easier to use, that's the one I tend to go for.

Very good observations and again we agree.

If you take a look at my updated gear link, I have switched to Nikon and adopted your philosophy on reverse-rings, so point well-taken.
(I am also about to try the Venus LAOWA macros, 60mm 1-2x and the 15mm wide.)

I have also just sold my Sigma 180 and bought a Nikon 300 mm VR II for field use (with better stats than any macro lens on the planet) and now use a Voightlander APO 125 (external link) for studio macro, and static wildlife.

Haven't had a bunch of time to use it of late, but plan to as spring unfolds ...

Jack




  
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Mar 14, 2016 23:44 |  #43

I have also just sold my Sigma 180 and bought a Nikon 300 mm VR II

Oh that's why the Sigma's missing from your gear list!



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John ­ Koerner
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Mar 14, 2016 23:55 |  #44
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Swiftlet wrote in post #17935757 (external link)
Oh that's why the Sigma's missing from your gear list!

The Sigma is a great lens, for all the reasons specified.

However, no macro lens (and you can check the stats (external link)) can compare to uber-primes.
(It's an unfair comparison, as the Sigma is a $1700 lens and the Nikon 300 is a $5700 lens.)

If I only had 1 macro lens to have, the Sigma would still be it.

But most of the shots I take with the Sigma are of butterflies, mantids, scorpions, and such.

Macro lenses typically rate 800-900 in quality, whereas the high-end Nikon 300 is in the 1300s, so I can take a crop image from this lens and still have a better quality image than a full shot from a macro lens.

For my 1:1 needs, I have been playing with a 15-year old vintage lens (external link) that still has better stats than any modern macro lens.

Hope to share some photos soon ...

Jack




  
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Mar 14, 2016 23:59 |  #45

John Koerner wrote in post #17935749 (external link)
Voightlander

Hope you don't mind, but it's Voigtlander, no h, or even more correct, Voigtländer.


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