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Messages - Chuck Alaimo

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451
There is no quality loss when using tubes. It is only air inside of them and no glass. You loose 1-2 stops, and you have an extreme narrow depth of field, but you will get youre macro.

Lenses are generally optimised optically at infinity.  I have the 50/2.5 macro.  It has a floating element system, which means it changes optically as it focuses closer, so at 1:2 its not the same as at infinity.  It is better when focused to 1:2, than focused at infinity with the EF25mm.  It is also better at 1:1 with the life-size adapter that has glass than with my EF25mm extension tube.  Simple lenses such as the nifty fifty simply rack the entire optical system further from the focal plane.

However, the (slight) reduction in optical quality may be acceptable.  This will vary between lenses.  My 70-200/4 (non-IS) is definitely less sharp than my 200/2.8 when used with the EF25mm extension tube. Indeed, I suggest that for the OP, extension tubes would meet his needs optically and financially, but a close-up lens would be easier when busy on the job.

I'll do some comparison shots in a few hours of the 50/2.5 with extension tube, life-size converter and with 250D closeup lens.

Cheers

TY man...the more images I see from each option the better informed I am as I move forward!

452
Time to get this back on track ---repeating a question:

Question re: tubes...  Realizing that of course - " extension tubes stretch lenses beyond their specification," how does the modest 12mm stack up?  I fully realize this is a move which requires compromising... So how much of a falloff in IQ would I see with a 12mm tube vs the 250 close-up vs just sticking with what I have and cropping?

I'd love to hear more thoughts and see more images taken with tubes and close-ups.  Because right now, the general consensus is to break my budget..

So, I will layout my general for the year gear plan so you can get a better idea of my dilemma, which may lead to more sound advice:

Needs!

Backup/secondary body, either a 6d or a refurb mk3 ($1800-2800)

Replace 70-200 2.8 non IS with  70-200 2.8ISv2 ($2200 - minus $1000 in resale ---approximate final cost $1200ish)

replace 24-70 v1 with 24-70 v2 (maybe) - (resale value $1200, purchase value $2300, approximate final cost of $1100ish) ----- or, (resale value of $1200, purchase value of $1500, approxmiate final cost of $3-400ish).

So, with all that said, a 12mm tube is about $90.  Using existing tools and cropping will cost me $0.00.   Some say the tubes are a great stop gap, others say they are rubbish.  I'm trying to read between the lines here and it basically comes down to that question:

Question re: tubes...  Realizing that of course - " extension tubes stretch lenses beyond their specification," how does the modest 12mm stack up?  I fully realize this is a move which requires compromising... So how much of a falloff in IQ would I see with a 12mm tube vs the 250 close-up vs just sticking with what I have and cropping?

I think the only way you're going to know if it is going to work for you is to get the tube(s) from somewhere you can return it/them to no questions asked. Then you can play with it over the course of a few days, and see if it will work for you with your current lenses (and which ones), compare it to your crops, and you can gauge if the output is acceptable to your eye. If it isn't, you know you're looking at a lens. If it is, you're all set.

I don't think a 12mm tube is going to do very much in terms of stretching your lenses though.

Yeah, It does kind of boil right down to that...and if I am to do that, manswell just start with the cheapest option first!

453
A big question about how to approach this I'd say is ----- Are you thinking about shooting more weddings after this one?  If the answer is yes, then within reason go for broke on it ---rent a backup body and a 70-200 lens, read, research, watch tutorial videos...if you can, find some other events and get access to them, shoot them, learn from the experience.

If the answer is no, and this is just a one time deal to help a friend - then let them know this is what I have to offer and do your best!  Enjoy the open bar, have fun shooting!

Also, 16-35 vs 24-70 --- each have their own uses....bring them both!!!!...for the ceremony, set your gear bag in an easy to access spot.  That 16-35 will get you great big shots of the overall happenings...and if you can get close to the B&G, some very dramatic shots as well.  That's touch and go though, you don't want to be so close that your an annoyance to guests, B&G or the venue itself.  Regarding switching lenses during the ceremony...depends on the ceremony!  Some are very Quick...10-15 minutes...but some can take up to an hour, and ---for those hour long jobs...there's a lot of nothing going on for long periods of time (readings, prayers and blessings, kneel and be silent while the organ plays...so you have to be ready for the action when it happens...so mange that downtime well!!!! 

454
Time to get this back on track ---repeating a question:

Question re: tubes...  Realizing that of course - " extension tubes stretch lenses beyond their specification," how does the modest 12mm stack up?  I fully realize this is a move which requires compromising... So how much of a falloff in IQ would I see with a 12mm tube vs the 250 close-up vs just sticking with what I have and cropping?

I'd love to hear more thoughts and see more images taken with tubes and close-ups.  Because right now, the general consensus is to break my budget..

So, I will layout my general for the year gear plan so you can get a better idea of my dilemma, which may lead to more sound advice:

Needs!

Backup/secondary body, either a 6d or a refurb mk3 ($1800-2800)

Replace 70-200 2.8 non IS with  70-200 2.8ISv2 ($2200 - minus $1000 in resale ---approximate final cost $1200ish)

replace 24-70 v1 with 24-70 v2 (maybe) - (resale value $1200, purchase value $2300, approximate final cost of $1100ish) ----- or, (resale value of $1200, purchase value of $1500, approxmiate final cost of $3-400ish).

So, with all that said, a 12mm tube is about $90.  Using existing tools and cropping will cost me $0.00.   Some say the tubes are a great stop gap, others say they are rubbish.  I'm trying to read between the lines here and it basically comes down to that question:

Question re: tubes...  Realizing that of course - " extension tubes stretch lenses beyond their specification," how does the modest 12mm stack up?  I fully realize this is a move which requires compromising... So how much of a falloff in IQ would I see with a 12mm tube vs the 250 close-up vs just sticking with what I have and cropping?


455
Canon General / Re: the rebate program... what a sham!
« on: April 30, 2013, 03:46:54 PM »
The grass is always greener right on the other side?  Whenever I see threads like this I like to check the amazon top sellers list.  It's currently dominated by Canon.  12 of the top 20 selling bodies are canons - 8 are nikons.  The 6d body only is ranked at 12th, 6d with kit lens ranked at 13th, and the 5d3 ranked at 14th.

In the next rung down ranked 20-40, canon has 8 , nikon 11, panasonic slips in there with 1 --- the d800 ranks at 26, and, the d600 sneaks in at 37th.  Oddly, the aged 7d is ranked higher than the d800. 

What many here are also seeming to forget is that nikon created the same problem for themselves with pro/entry level FF bodies ---5d3/6d - d800/d600.  While we ague about the spec sheet for each of these bodies, consumers are buying more of the canon's than the nikons.

I still fully believe that nikon played a gamble and may be shooting themselves in the foot with their pricing strategy.  I can't be certain on this ---but... it kind of points towards 2 things ---

a) nikon saved enough on R&D by outsourcing their exmor sensor that they can sell it at under 3k and still make a profit,

or,

b) nikon should have priced the d800 closer to the mk3, but is selling it as a loss leader in order to snag market share and make up the loss with periphery equipment (lenses, flashes, etc, etc).

The problem with the B option is that they are getting flip flop buyers!!!  Some (and this is most likely the minority due to cost) of these people are investing in both systems, because both have their uses.  But many are just flipping - selling gear bag A for gear bag B.  Banking on flip floppers is a dangerous game, why, because they've flipped once so they'll do it again!  What happens in the next cycle?  Canon launches their big MP camera, if it's 46 MP with new sensor process and boat loads of DR, what are all those people who sold canon gear to go d800 gonna do, they will most likely repeat the process!!!!



 


456
I would go for a dedicated macro lens, they can be used for a lot more then just macro, here are some shots I got with my Sigma 105mm F/2.8 EX DG Macro.




















Love the images!!!!  It made me go see what the cost of sigma is...and uggg...it's $969, $769 with rebate...If I was in ---I am gonna start doing a lot more macro mode then I'd have no problem dropping that kind of $$$  (in fact...I'd be asking to see more images from this sigma, and more from the canon 100L...and 180L because I'd want the very best tool for the job).  But as of now, my resources have to go to places that give more of an impact to my overall needs.  I'd like to solve this without spending much...hence why tubes or close-ups seem to be winning in my mind.

Question re: tubes...  Realizing that of course - " extension tubes stretch lenses beyond their specification," how does the modest 12mm stack up?  I fully realize this is a move which requires compromising... So how much of a falloff in IQ would I see with a 12mm tube vs the 250 close-up vs just sticking with what I have and cropping?

457
OK...maye it's time to narrow things down and just cross of things from the list, while adding a few things

Lenses:

50mm 2.5
100 2.8 macro usm
100L 2.8 (cost is too high, overlapping focal length)
180L 3.5 (High cost, overlaps with 70-200, unless I can see some portrait examples taken that beat out the 70-200, the cost outweighs the need)

Other

tubes
close-up lens filters

If L quality glass is crossed off the list...how do tubes or filters stack up against the cheaper lenses?  It's process of elimination time!

PS - mind you, if I take one of the cheaper options (tubes or filters) and end up digging macro work and want to take it a step further, it's not like I can't step into one of the higher quality lenses --- lol...  kind of like doing a wine tasting, if I like I can always buy a bottle...

458
Quote
I will notice it, but will my clients?)
That, my friend, is a dissappointing statement coming from a professional.  You're saying less than my best is good enough for them.
Quote
Filters are rubbish, reversing rings lose electronuc control, extension tubes stretch lenses betond their specification.
Heed Paul's wisdom.  I use a 180 macro and the only time it's off my 1DsIII is when a 300 2.8 is mounted on it.
That lens is excellent for much more than macro work...takes great portraits.      ;)

It's not that I don't want to offer my best to my clients by any means...  the reality is that for most common folk, the minutia of detail we deliberate over is something most won't see.  My budget this year isn't that large and am trying to squeeze in as many upgrades as I can.  My focus is for sure going to be getting the best I possibly can of course, but for this issue...ring shots...it's going to be 2-10 shots (10 is even stretching it!).  If I am shelling out over $500 on any items now, it;s going to be on the 70-200 v2 (having IS on my longer lens will give me greater SS freedom and increase the keeper rate ---and that';s a focal range that will be used all day!  Or, the 135L 2.0, which would also get lots of use at the ceremony and the receptions (not to mention it being fantastic for portraits.  finding a macro option for ring shots accounts for like less than 1% of the wedding, and really has no other use for me at this stage.  (if I were to do more commercial work, product shots, etc, etc, a dedicated good quality macro would be a no brainer.  But...for the need I am trying to fill...do I compromise upgrades in other areas that will have a greater impact on the entire wedding...or blow the wad on glass that will sit in the bag 99.99% of the time?

"You're saying less than my best is good enough for them.".....  I'm not saying that at all, just trying to fill needs in my kit in the best way I can with the budget I have

459
So it may come down to whether or not you can count in having time during the wedding shoot to muck about with tubes, or not. After all...time is money.

Neuro is right with mucking about.  I have a 50/2.5 macro with lifesize converter, a 250D closeup lens and an EF25mm extension tube.

I would not recommend tubes for what you want.  The process would be:
- remove existing lens
- attach tube
- attach lens to front of tube
- take photo
- remove lens
- remove tube
- replace lens
Yeah, that process sounds like BLah!!!!

I use the tube on my 200/2.8 when taking photos of flighty subjects.

For most convenience  would be the 250D closeup lens.  Assuming you are shooting the 85, you simply need to screw it onto the front.  my 50mm has same filter size so I should be able to use this on both? This will give you between 1/3 and 1/2 life size, which is fine for wedding rings.  which is pretty much the only reason I am thinking macro This will give you sufficient working distance.  The closeup lens could stay in your pocket.  Quality of the Canon produce is absolutely fine for your purposes, not "rubbish" as claimed by another poster.  I have to wonder if the "rubbish" comment is because that poster assumed I will be making a bigger plunge into macro, but no, just really thinking ring shots I would get one to suit the lens you will use most often and not get a larger (and much more expensive) closeup lens with step-up ring.   That would most likely be my primes then, because within the next year I should be upgrading my 70-200 to the v2IS...which has the larger filter thread

Next option would be a dedicated macro lens.  The 50/2.5 would be fine for your purpose, even though it only goes down to 1/2 lifesize.  Advantages: cheap and relatively small - you want to minimise gear that you carry around.

The 100/2.8 macro is a little more expensive and goes to lifesize, but is much bigger.  You then have 50, 85, 100, 135 and 70-200 which is quite a focal length overlap for someone who will need to carry gear around.  Yeah, my bag is already pretty full!  I don't yet have the 135...but, i have a feeling I will at some point this season :)

I've done a few weddings.  The key is to be fleet on your feet and not be encumbered with gear.  that is exactly why I am looking to find a way to get a little closer to the rings without having to add another lens to the mix Hence, my suggestions.

Look in the quote for reply

460
To my way of thinking, if you are dealing with moving subjects (live insects, ec) or handheld, the 100L is the clear best choice. If you are dealing with static objects, out comes the tripod... IS is not needed, and you have all the time you want to make your shot using whatever techology suits your fancy.

no moving subjects...this would be primarily for wedding rings...looking to be handheld too.  I don't bring out the tripod for weddings..

461
A real macro lens will give the highest quality results, but the differences can be subtle.  For the difference in money it's probably not worth it for most shooters.


That's the crux of the issue right there.  100 2.8 used is $400.  Tubes or attachments are half that cost.  For what I'm thinking, is the difference going to be that substantial?  (And there comes the key...I will notice it, but will my clients?)

A 25mm tube on the 50/1.4 would give you 0.53x - 0.68x mag at 4.33" - 3.25" working distance.  A 12mm tube on the 50/1.4 would give you 0.24x - 0.39x mag at 8.9" - 5.6" working distance. 


a kenko tube set is $200 - http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/375102-REG/Kenko_AEXTUBEDGC_Auto_Extension_Tube_Set.html

12mm tube from canon is a very reasonable $85, the 25mm canon is $140....  I wish my local shops were a little bigger and carried this stuff so i could go there and play...

+ side...b&h has a good return policy...lol

462
here's another...again...just looking to get a weee bit closer

463
I've used tubes and close-up lenses, and I have the 100 L Macro.  All have pluses and minuses. 

Tubes: work best with short focal lengths (added mag is focal length / tube length), no optics so no direct effect on IQ, some lost light (autoexposure compensates).  The 40/2.8 with a 25mm tube works quite well.

Close-up lenses: work best with tele lenses (70-100mm is 'break even' between tubes and close-up lenses), no light loss, fixed working distance (front element to subject is 50cm with 500D, 25cm with 250D), slight optical decrement (but it was hard for me to distinguish the 100 L from the 500D on a 70-200 II in terms of IQ)

Macro lens: best IQ, most flexibility, most expensive

If I am reading this right then the tube would work nice with my 50 mm 1.4?  If I was thinking I'd get more into intensive macro work I'd shell out the dough for the 100L...but, if I go that route then I say bye bye to the lens I really want, the 135L...and so far in searching I have not seen enough reasons to say the 100L would replace anything I currently have for portraits....(where the 135L has that ohhh baby that's special look)

464
TY for the responses..

attached is one of my ring shots...as you can see, it's not the tight shot that I really want. 

I am someone that is willing to shell out the dough for the needed lens, but this one is hard because it really has such a limited use (one that I can conceivably accomplish with my current setup but I will have to crop).

I was considering that smaller filter one so i can push DOF ---but...if I went with the extension tube I would be able to use that with the 85 and the 70-200?  What happens with the DOF at 2.8 (both for the extension tube and the 500d, either size?)

Edit ---note, I am looking to do handheld, not tripod mounted.  I have a good tripod, but that generally stays in the trunk for weddings.


465
If your eventual goal is to acquire L glass the majority of the filter sizes would be 77mm. There are a few exceptions but that would be addressed by inexpensive step-up or step-down rings.

Most of my glass is L...only exception is the 2 primes.  I have the 70-200 2.8 (non-IS), 24-70 v1, and 16-35L...

77mm is the filter thread on both the 70-200 and the 24-70, but, I am also considering upgrading 1 or both to the newer versions...which means larger filter thread... (also thinking about the 135, which is 72 mm)

How bad does the vignetting get with step down rings?

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