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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre Macro Talk 
Thread started 29 Nov 2017 (Wednesday) 22:40
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Thinking about getting into Macro

 
Justin-nj
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Nov 29, 2017 22:40 |  #1

Hi all -

I have always been interested in macro photography but never took the dive. I don't really know what my target is but i'd be interest in insects, water drops, snowflakes and maybe even try things around the house.

Any lens and other equipment recommendations.

I will be shooting with a 60D and have a solid tripod, a mono-pod and a 580ex flash.

Thanks for any advise

Justin




  
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Nogo
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Nov 29, 2017 23:56 |  #2

The cheapest way to get started in Macro without sacrificing quality is to get a good quality set of macro tubes. The Kenko Extension Tube Set (external link) (Canon) is highly regarded.

I recommend getting a set of tubes first and then get a good quality macro lens. I own and highly recommend the Canon 100 mm f2.8L IS Macro. If you only bought one, I would get the lens, but if you get into it you are eventually going to buy the extension tubes anyway so you may as well buy them first to "dip your toes in the water" for less investment. Lighting is very important for macro. Your flash will do a good job. Just check the forum for DIY macro light modifiers. There are plenty that will do a good enough job to get you started.


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Nov 30, 2017 06:11 |  #3

I don't know what you need (external link) and what macro lens should you buy? (external link) -both worth taking the time to read, if I do say so myself.


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Justin-nj
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Nov 30, 2017 07:21 as a reply to  @ Nogo's post |  #4

For $109 it's a very easy investment to get started - so thank you for that. My guess is that I could strap these to my 18-135 and get somewhat ok results?

The 100 2.8L you are referring to happens to be on sale for 749 from BH, but I'll take a look for a used one and see if that can get me into the lens for a few $'s cheaper.

I have only owned Canon lens since changing over to canon, but what about a Sigma?




  
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Post edited 7 months ago by TeamSpeed. (4 edits in all)
     
Nov 30, 2017 07:33 |  #5

Lighting is key, because you will be combating very thin DOF with very small apertures (if you don't focus stack).

https://photographylif​e.com …ography-lighting-tutorial (external link)

Some good high level thoughts in that post.

There are hardly any bad macro lenses, even 3rd party macro lenses are very, very good. Sigma 105 and 150 are great. Just remember that the longer the focal length of your macro lens, the more working distance you have between you and the subject material, and in the cases of those things that bite or sting, that is a good thing.

$400 will get you one from an Amazon seller. Had one of these, very nice indeed...

https://www.amazon.com …mbc?ie=UTF8&con​dition=all (external link)


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Dec 01, 2017 09:22 |  #6

Forum member selling the OS version of the Sigma 150 (newer model) for a very good price.

https://photography-on-the.net …/showthread.php​?t=1489507


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PhotosGuy
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Dec 01, 2017 09:37 |  #7

You might look into focus stacking too, but I don't do it so can't recommend the best program for it.


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Dec 01, 2017 09:44 |  #8

Read LordV's sticky in the Macro Talk forum. Lots of great info about the whole process. Lens and light are just the beginning. Process and technique are in some ways more important when you go small.


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Dec 01, 2017 09:44 |  #9

Justin-nj wrote in post #18507147 (external link)
Hi all -

I have always been interested in macro photography but never took the dive. I don't really know what my target is but i'd be interest in insects, water drops, snowflakes and maybe even try things around the house.

Any lens and other equipment recommendations.

I will be shooting with a 60D and have a solid tripod, a mono-pod and a 580ex flash.

Thanks for any advise

Justin

Hi Justin,

You have what is needed to get started. The flash is a big component that many neglect early on. You don't have to have a macro lens, you can use other things like already pointed out such as the extension tubes to change your minimum focus distance. You can get inexpensive ones that maintain electronic contact/control so that you can maintain control over your aperture. That said, I would recommend a macro lens, it makes things easier ultimately. The Canon 100 F2.8 (non-L) is great, and cheap. Sigma has a 105mm with OS that is very good and less costly than a Canon L version. And then you have Tamon's 90mm F2.8 VC which can be had for $350~400 and it's very good too, with image stabilization too (and weather sealing). Hunt around, shop used, and get something like that, one of those, any o f them, will do the job. I will suggest getting something with image stabilization if you can, it's helpful, but it also opens doors down the road if you get into more creative lighting methods including dragging the shutter, etc. Lots of options.

You can use your flash in the hotshoe of your camera, and rig up a diffuser panel and bounce board to channel the light. You don't need anything elaborate. Here's an example setup that I unashamedly mimicked from Kurt on the boards:

IMAGE: https://farm6.staticflickr.com/5791/20521291916_6b07d8e46f_b.jpg
IMAGE LINK: https://flic.kr/p/xgoZ​8S  (external link) IMG_8174 (external link) by Martin Wise (external link), on Flickr

Styrofoam serving tray, cut & taped to my lens hood. I put a few layers of paper napkins with spray adhesive on there to cut down the hot spot from the flash to even out the lighting.

IMAGE: https://farm6.staticflickr.com/5684/19924917704_36acb9cdba_b.jpg
IMAGE LINK: https://flic.kr/p/wmGp​RS  (external link) IMG_8173 (external link) by Martin Wise (external link), on Flickr

Taped a piece of cardboard that I wrapped in tinfoil on the flash head so that the light would bounce off it and down onto the styrofoam, just increasing how much light I'm channeling towards it. You can create complete funnels, etc. I found this is simple, not complicated, and works well enough.

I generally photograph spiders, the small jumping kind, etc, around my yard.
I primarily look for dark, shaded areas to find them. They don't like the sun.
I approach them slowly, they generally don't mind me and often will stop to look at me.
I use autofocus. I use one-shot drive method on my center point and with a macro lens (for me a Tamron 90mm F2.8 VC). It locks and exposes. I free handhold, rarely use tripods, etc.
I try to get under them when possible so that I can control the background if possible (can't always).

I set focal-ratio (f-stop) to whatever I need for depth of field (usually around F8 to F11).
When using flash, I use sync or slower shutter speeds (1/200s or less, sometimes as slow as 1/50s if I want more ambient light).
I do not use ETTL on my flash, I use manual. I find pre-flash from ETTL startles lots of insects and they move.
I set ISO based on whatever I need for ambient and to keep flash power lower (for more shots and faster recycle time).
I slightly under-expose my ambient light with camera settings (via shutter speed or lower ISO), but I try to keep some ambient so its not just a black background.
I expose the subject with the flash manually; I do it by just setting it to a value like 1/4th power and exposing a subject at a specific distance; If I keep that distance, the output will be close to constant so I don't have to adjust it.

Examples using above gear and methods:

IMAGE: https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7612/27970372101_ce28e7b41a_b.jpg
IMAGE LINK: https://flic.kr/p/JBDt​9R  (external link) IMG_3810 (external link) by Martin Wise (external link), on Flickr

IMAGE: https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1627/26532965871_7947115978_b.jpg
IMAGE LINK: https://flic.kr/p/GqCo​mP  (external link) IMG_3134 (external link) by Martin Wise (external link), on Flickr

IMAGE: https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7740/27040877842_fa079dbb37_b.jpg
IMAGE LINK: https://flic.kr/p/Hcvy​TL  (external link) IMG_3501 (external link) by Martin Wise (external link), on Flickr

IMAGE: https://farm6.staticflickr.com/5689/20544143335_b3d9556e6a_b.jpg
IMAGE LINK: https://flic.kr/p/xiq7​4R  (external link) IMG_4925 (external link) by Martin Wise (external link), on Flickr

And for giggles, here's a 180mm macro lens with a 2.0x TC for a 360mm that does 2:1 magnification at 18 inches:

IMAGE: https://farm4.staticflickr.com/3892/15109651662_641d8d62f1_b.jpg
IMAGE LINK: https://flic.kr/p/p2bV​2y  (external link) IMG_0536 (external link) by Martin Wise (external link), on Flickr

Practice and have fun!

Check out OrionMystery's stuff (Kurt).

Very best,

My Flickr (external link) :: My Astrobin (external link)

  
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Dec 01, 2017 11:34 |  #10

Justin-nj wrote in post #18507289 (external link)
For $109 it's a very easy investment to get started - so thank you for that. My guess is that I could strap these to my 18-135 and get somewhat ok results?

The 100 2.8L you are referring to happens to be on sale for 749 from BH, but I'll take a look for a used one and see if that can get me into the lens for a few $'s cheaper.

I have only owned Canon lens since changing over to canon, but what about a Sigma?

You do NOT want to use that zoom at a very short FL...set the lens to about 50mm or longer FL when you mount it on an extension tube, or else you can easily find it IMPOSSIBLE to achieve focus, because the focus can be theoretically 'inside the lens' with very short FL.


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Dec 01, 2017 18:31 |  #11

Wilt wrote in post #18508210 (external link)
You do NOT want to use that zoom at a very short FL...set the lens to about 50mm or longer FL when you mount it on an extension tube, or else you can easily find it IMPOSSIBLE to achieve focus, because the focus can be theoretically 'inside the lens' with very short FL.

Wilt is right, it depends on the lens and the extension tube length where the focus point will be, inside the lens or at the surface isn't very useful. Find some of the cheap chinese extension tubes on ebay and you can experiment with a static camera and subject to see what length extension tube will work for the focal length and lens that you have. They come in 3 sections so you can use each section separately or connect multiple for a longer extension. If it works well you can dish out the extra for the ones with all the electronics for autofocus.

These ones are ~$8 https://www.ebay.com …n-EF-EFS-Len/401238428961 (external link) and I've used pretty much the same ones for testing purposes. They will be crap quality so don't use them out in the field, you don't want your lens falling off randomly. They say they will confirm autofocus but I doubt it.

Buying a dedicated macro lens is probably the most simple way to go about it, but it costs a bit more. Which lens to buy can be a bit tricky, everyone will have their preferences based on what they shoot and how they shoot it. Since you probably want more of an all-rounder to start with, maybe try to find a cheap used tamron 90mm or canon 100mm USM (not the version prior to USM and not the L version, though you could buy the L version if you had a ton of extra cash). The 150mm Sigma is good if you need extra distance between you and the subject, eg. snakes or scorpions.

You can search macro on flickr and check the descriptions for the lens used and they might even have pictures of their setup in their gallery. Most macro shots can be recreated (for the most part) with almost any macro lens except for some special cases where the lens has extra magnification like the Canon MP-E 65mm, or they required image stabilization/vibratio​n control for non flash work.




  
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Wilt
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Post edited 7 months ago by Wilt. (5 edits in all)
     
Dec 03, 2017 17:38 |  #12

This distance from front of lens, or the ability to focus at a specific FL is dependent upon the optical design of a lens. I just put my Canon 17-55mm and my Tamron 28-75mm lenses on the same 13mm extension tube. Lenses were set to infinity focus for these measurements...

At 13/28mm scale (0.46X)

  • Canon at 28mm unable to achieve focus
  • Tamron at 28mm achieves focus at about 40mm from front of lens to subject


At 13/35mm scale (0.37X)
  • Canon at 35mm achieves focus at about 15mm from front of lens to subject
  • Tamron at 35mm achieves focus at about 60mm from front of lens to subject


...none of these distances are very good for shooting a live mobile subject
And good illumination of the subject, even a piece of flat 'art' (a postage stamp) is difficult at these distances.

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Justin-nj
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Dec 07, 2017 21:34 |  #13

Thanks all for the responses and sorry for the delay - was away for a few days.

I am leaning towards a lens to get started. It makes more sense then playing around with less expensive alternatives and will end up funding a lens anyway. Looks like the canon 100 2.8 USM non L used can be had for about $400.




  
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Temma
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Dec 07, 2017 23:53 |  #14

Let me highly recommend the Tokina 100mm macro lens.

I use one on my T4i and love it.

It's an excellent value for the money.




  
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Justin-nj
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Dec 08, 2017 07:02 as a reply to  @ Temma's post |  #15

Temma,

Thanks for the suggestion. I will take a look at it but I am kind of leaning towards a canon 100 and might splurge for the L.

Justin




  
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Thinking about getting into Macro
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