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FORUMS Canon Cameras, Lenses & Accessories Canon EF and EF-S Lenses 
Thread started 22 Apr 2010 (Thursday) 14:16
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Lens magnification explanation

 
mosesport
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Apr 22, 2010 14:16 |  #1

Hi, just trying to fill the brain with more random photography info.

I'm curious if anyone is able to explain what the magnification numbers mean...for example, I was looking at a macro lens earlier today and it said maximum magnification 1:1. I'm assuming that means one to one, but I don't really get what that's saying as far as the picture goes. If a lens is different than 1:1, how does that affect the overall picture?

Thanks in advance.


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ben_r_
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Apr 22, 2010 14:20 |  #2

It means that the lens is capable of displaying a subject on the sensor the exact same size it is in real life. Something pretty much only dedicated macro lenses can do as most make the subject smaller once they reach the sensor.


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krb
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Apr 22, 2010 14:25 |  #3

The image sensor in your T2i is 22.3mm x 14.9mm. If you use a lens that gives 1:1 magnification and take a picture of something that is 22mm wide then it will fill the entire frame, leaving only a .15mm gap on each side. If you change the focus so that you are at 1:2 magnification then that 22mm wide object will only take up half of the frame.


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Deep ­ Pocket
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Apr 22, 2010 14:26 |  #4
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1:1 displays the image as the exact same size in real life, meanwhile 2:1 would be twice as big, 5:1 5x, etc..

The 100 2.8 Macro (L and non L variants) along with the Sigma/Tamron/Tokina 100mms and the MPE-65 are the only lenses able to go 1:1, with the MP-E being able to go up to 5:1. You can increase the magnification by adding extension tubes, which are pretty much a bunch of tubes without anything between them placing your lens further away from the camera sensor, forcing it to magnify your subject more. There are pretty much 2 types of tubes..
a) Electrical contacts- E.g. Kenko, Pro-Optic. Cost a lot more but you can change your aperture when they're mounted
b) Non-electrical contacts- E.g. cheapo Ebay Tubes. VERY cheap, often about only $3, but you have to remount your lens and hold down the DOF preview button, remove the lens and remount with tubes, everytime you want to change the aperture.

A full set of tubes on a 1:1 lens will get you about 1.68:1 (someone confirm for me please?), but then I remember someone telling me about how it's actually about 1.9-2 : 1 due to some min focusing distance thing..

Or you could always take a regular lens, get a reverse adapter and mount it backwards and add some tubes. Only drawback is you have to remove your lens and remount properly everytime you change your aperture (annoying), but I heard that the 50 1.8 reversed + tubes can do up to 3:1.. (again, unsure, but look in the Macro section, there is a thread dedicated to reversed 50mm shots)


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mosesport
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Apr 22, 2010 14:47 |  #5

Wow, thanks for the detailed explanation. While we're on the subject, I was actually looking at the Canon 100mm. After reviewing some images, I'm not seeing a whole lot of difference between the L and non L. Of course there's always going to be debate in that aspect no matter the focal length or type of lens, but can anyone here vouch for the extra 400 dollars being worth it on the L?


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krb
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Apr 22, 2010 14:54 |  #6

The L is weather sealed and has the new image stabilizer. Up to you whether it is worth the price.

There are some current threads comparing the two and they may have more info.


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ben_r_
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Apr 22, 2010 14:54 |  #7

mosesport wrote in post #10046174 (external link)
Wow, thanks for the detailed explanation. While we're on the subject, I was actually looking at the Canon 100mm. After reviewing some images, I'm not seeing a whole lot of difference between the L and non L. Of course there's always going to be debate in that aspect no matter the focal length or type of lens, but can anyone here vouch for the extra 400 dollars being worth it on the L?

I just made the upgrade to the L from the non L myself and I honestly didnt do it for any IQ increase, but rather just for IS and for L build quality. Optically, from what I have seen so far, they are nearly identical.


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Apr 22, 2010 15:02 |  #8
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mosesport wrote in post #10046174 (external link)
Wow, thanks for the detailed explanation. While we're on the subject, I was actually looking at the Canon 100mm. After reviewing some images, I'm not seeing a whole lot of difference between the L and non L. Of course there's always going to be debate in that aspect no matter the focal length or type of lens, but can anyone here vouch for the extra 400 dollars being worth it on the L?

an used 100 2.8 goes for about $450, often slightly lower if you look around

You pay twice as much for:
a) IS- Getting handheld 1/30 shots for your non-Macro applications (Will you use this for non-macro stuff)
b) Weather-sealing- do you like to shoot in the light rain?


and build, if you're someone who likes sturdy lenses. The build on the 100 2.8 is still good though so I wouldn't think too much about it..


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mosesport
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Apr 22, 2010 15:05 |  #9

Yeah I'd be using it strictly during the day and always on a tripod...so if the IQ is pretty much the same, my decision is made for me. Thanks for the tips guys :)


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toxic
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Apr 22, 2010 15:07 |  #10

forthewinwin wrote in post #10046267 (external link)
You pay twice as much for:
a) IS- Getting handheld 1/30 shots for your non-Macro applications (Will you use this for non-macro stuff)
b) Weather-sealing- do you like to shoot in the light rain?

- The point of giving the L macro Hybrid IS is to help photographers to shoot macro handheld. It's not just a non-macro thing.

- Weathersealing is for very bad weather, not "light rain." On a non-sealed body, though, all it does is slow down dust buildup.




  
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Madweasel
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Apr 25, 2010 17:20 |  #11

forthewinwin wrote in post #10046027 (external link)
...A full set of tubes on a 1:1 lens will get you about 1.68:1 (someone confirm for me please?)...

The effect of tubes on magnification depends on the length of tube and the focal length of the lens. Shorter focal lengths give bigger magnifications with the same length of tube, but working distances can then get very short (i.e. you have to get very close to your subject with the front of the lens).


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Deep ­ Pocket
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Apr 25, 2010 19:46 |  #12
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toxic wrote in post #10046297 (external link)
- The point of giving the L macro Hybrid IS is to help photographers to shoot macro handheld. It's not just a non-macro thing.

- Weathersealing is for very bad weather, not "light rain." On a non-sealed body, though, all it does is slow down dust buildup.

at such close magnifications every little movement will be like an earthquake; the IS will do little help. If going beyond 1:1, chances are a flash is going to be required, while lowering the shutter below 1/100 won't help much (where IS would normally be of most use)


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krb
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Apr 25, 2010 20:26 |  #13

forthewinwin wrote in post #10064546 (external link)
at such close magnifications every little movement will be like an earthquake; the IS will do little help.

Are you speaking from personal experience or are you making assumptions?

The whole point of the "hybrid" IS system is that it handles not just the up/down and side to side movements that most IS systems handle but it also handles front-back movement so that it is easier to work with the narrow DOF at macro distance.


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Lens magnification explanation
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