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Author Topic: Amateur looking at a Macro, Prime and Walkabout lenses... input please!  (Read 4800 times)

wopbv4

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Re: Amateur looking at a Macro, Prime and Walkabout lenses... input please!
« Reply #15 on: February 03, 2012, 05:20:01 PM »
Hi,

if you want to make real detailed pictures of jewellery, focus stacking will help a great deal. You will need all the usual stuff such a macro lens, tripod, decent light etc.

Please have a read at the helicon website. I use the software a lot to photograph old jewellery and it works extremely well.

It is not cheap, but you can try the limited edition for a month for free

http://www.heliconsoft.com/heliconfocus.html
1DX, 7D and lots of gear

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Re: Amateur looking at a Macro, Prime and Walkabout lenses... input please!
« Reply #15 on: February 03, 2012, 05:20:01 PM »

DeadPixel

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Re: Amateur looking at a Macro, Prime and Walkabout lenses... input please!
« Reply #16 on: February 03, 2012, 06:51:47 PM »
Again, a huge thanks for the information so far!!

Tijn – I have been shooting in RAW + JPEG mode so I do have some RAW images to play with.  At a recommendation from a friend I acquired Corel Paint Shop pro, however I haven’t found it particularly friendly.  Regrettably I have no formal training in post processing and its becoming apparent I need to get some – all I’ve managed to successfully do Paint Shop is correct white balances fairly well, everything else I try to do with saturation, etc. tend to leave me an image that looks worse than what I started with.   

I didn’t know that programs like Lightroom can actually compensate based on known lenses – does it also take into account the focal length used in the shot?  Historically I haven’t seriously considered 3rd party lenses, I read several that made it sound like getting a good lens from them is pretty much rolling the dice.  I see though I have more than one recommendation, perhaps I should seriously consider this as the prices are better. 

Girod199 – thank you for voicing your dissatisfaction with the 28-135, based on what I’m hearing I don’t think I will pursue that any more.  A noisy autofocus isn’t really something that bothers me, the 50mm F/1.8 is pretty loud anyway!  Some more Tamron fact finding seems to be in order for me now too…..  Out of curiosity how is the resale value of the Tamrons?  Would it be compatible with a future full frame camera or would I need to sell it?

Positron – Thanks for the vote against the 28-135, those that have used it before have much better knowledge of it than myself!  I think the Macro lens is #1 on the list with the walkabout being #2.  If I need to wait a for some extra paychecks before being able to get a good walkabout lens, I’m okay with that.  I’d rather wait and get something better as opposed to being a cheapskate and wishing I waited a little longer to get a good lens.  It seems you do get what you pay for a lot of the time! 

I’d honestly never looked into monolights, but it sure looks like I need to do some research into them now…..

Hesbehindyou – The 50mm F/1.8 has allowed me to play with indoor photography without a flash for the first time (realizing I’m sacrificing image quality with higher ISO’s) and its been a quite fun.  I actually didn’t know that the full frame equivalent would be a thinner depth of field….amazing what you learn! 

After reading all the comments on the 28mm short end being unsatisfactory for a crop camera, I’m thinking that I may stick with a superior EF-S lens on this body.  You don’t sound flippant at all and I do appreciate the candid advice for either getting closer or swapping on the fly.  Funnily enough, I hadn't considered leaving a tele on by default... that could work well for me.  Wow that sigma 50-500 is a beast of a range – I just looked over at amazon and saw the fully extended photo of it, that would draw attention!

Wopbv4 – I’ve heard of focus stacking, but naturally never tried it.  It looks interesting, but how much effort/training/practice is required to get good at it with something like the Helicon software?

This feedback from people who actually know is fantastic!  Please keep sharing!

wickidwombat

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Re: Amateur looking at a Macro, Prime and Walkabout lenses... input please!
« Reply #17 on: February 03, 2012, 07:07:37 PM »
I seriously recommend staying away from tamron the quality is really extremely bad
Sigma is not too bad for certain lenses but you have to make sure its not one that has common faults and they also turn out some rubbish lenses just like the tamrons.

also unless you have a 1D 5D or 7D you wont have AF microadjust on the camera and the non canon versions have a much higher risk of having AF issues which a little adjust in the camera can fix but if the body doesnt do it you are screwed. So stick with canon gear

for your walkaround this might be ok
http://www.thedigitalpicture.com/Reviews/Canon-EF-S-18-200mm-f-3.5-5.6-IS-Lens-Review.aspx

its not great definately not on a par with the Nikon equivalent. what sort of money are you looking at spending?

this is the absolute best jack of all trades
http://www.thedigitalpicture.com/Reviews/Canon-EF-28-300mm-f-3.5-5.6-L-IS-USM-Lens-Review.aspx
I had one its a great lens just totally massive but it is king of the superzoom category
« Last Edit: February 03, 2012, 07:15:24 PM by wickidwombat »
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girod199

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Re: Amateur looking at a Macro, Prime and Walkabout lenses... input please!
« Reply #18 on: February 03, 2012, 07:37:00 PM »
The Tamron is $414 new from B&H with the rebate. And yes, unfortunately you would have to sell it when you upgrade to full frame. I recently sold mine for $360 on Amazon and got $318 after all the fees. I still feel it was worth it. Now that I have a full frame, I don't have a general purpose lens. If I want the 24-70 2.8, I have to pay around $1200 and it is heavy and huge. I really miss that lens. Here is a review that helped me make my decision and maybe it will help you. http://www.the-digital-picture.com/Reviews/Tamron-17-50mm-f-2.8-XR-Di-II-Lens-Review.aspx I would also say that other brands that are not Canon, including Tamron, make some rubbish lenses but this particular lens is not rubbish. This was my first non-Canon brand lens and it beat out all the previous Canon lenses I have owned. Once you go full frame I do suggest sticking to Canon, though. For the crop camera, I was extremely happy with the Tamron.
« Last Edit: February 03, 2012, 07:45:39 PM by girod199 »

revup67

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Re: Amateur looking at a Macro, Prime and Walkabout lenses... input please!
« Reply #19 on: February 03, 2012, 09:49:53 PM »
DeadPixel

On the site you reference earlier, http://the-digital-picture.com , click TOOLS, ISO1233, then pick the 15-85mm on one end and the 16-35 mkii on the other.  Notice how both lenses are extremely close in edge sharpness.  The only reason I got the 16-35 (also own the 15-85) is I plan on acquiring the 5D mkiii when it arrives later this year.

In my honest opinion, the 15-85 is a fantastic walk around lens.  I've taken some of my best photos with it.  The reason why it is not as expensive as some of the L lenses is that it costs less to reproduce as per my initial inquiry with Canon as are "all" EF-S lenses.  If you use flickr, there's a group that features photos with this lens specifcally http://www.flickr.com/groups/canon1585/pool/with/6774142481/ . I also own the 100mm 2.8 L.  It's razor sharp as others have stated and offers a unique feature that is limited to only this lens which is Macro AI Servo (I believe is the exact name).

Hope this helps you
Thanks
Rev
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Mt Spokane Photography

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Re: Amateur looking at a Macro, Prime and Walkabout lenses... input please!
« Reply #20 on: February 04, 2012, 02:07:59 AM »
I tried my 7D and 15-85mm EF-S at a very low light high School Play last week.  Most of the images did not have enough light or were noisy, but here is one that managed to come off at ISO 1000.  Even at !SO 1000, the 7D is noisy.

We used fast primes for most of the photos, but the IS allowed me to snap images when the subjects were not moving.

7D, 15-85mm @67mm  F/5.6 1/100 sec


Michael_pfh

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Re: Amateur looking at a Macro, Prime and Walkabout lenses... input please!
« Reply #21 on: February 04, 2012, 02:15:56 AM »
I tried my 7D and 15-85mm EF-S at a very low light high School Play last week.  Most of the images did not have enough light or were noisy, but here is one that managed to come off at ISO 1000.  Even at !SO 1000, the 7D is noisy.

That's why the 7D doesn't carry the price tag of a 5D2... :D
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Re: Amateur looking at a Macro, Prime and Walkabout lenses... input please!
« Reply #21 on: February 04, 2012, 02:15:56 AM »

Tijn

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Re: Amateur looking at a Macro, Prime and Walkabout lenses... input please!
« Reply #22 on: February 04, 2012, 02:57:30 AM »
I didn’t know that programs like Lightroom can actually compensate based on known lenses – does it also take into account the focal length used in the shot?
Yes. And if for some particular shot you feel that it is over-correcting (or if you would have liked some vignetting intact), you can use a slider to decrease or increase the correction - but I've not had to move any slider away from 100% (100% of the lens profile correction) for any of my test shots yet.

Quote
Historically I haven’t seriously considered 3rd party lenses, I read several that made it sound like getting a good lens from them is pretty much rolling the dice.  I see though I have more than one recommendation, perhaps I should seriously consider this as the prices are better.
I just got it (the Tamron 17-50 f/2.8 DI II non-VC) and I'm happy with it so far. I, too, have been sceptical of third-party lenses - I'm extra cautious of their image quality. But for this particular Tamron lens, the IQ is decent - as decent as some very good Canon (non-L) lenses. Of course it's a bit of a compromise, but in this case for 500eu (63%) less money than the Canon 17-55 f/2.8, it was very well worth it (for me).

The compromise for this lens is the noisy AF (but it's fast) and the inverted zoom ring direction (Canon 'zooms' counter-clockwise, while this Tamron zooms clockwise); and of course, it lacks IS (Tamron has a stabilized "VC" version of this lens as well, but its image quality is very bad). The AF noise and zoom direction I'm not at all bothered with (as long as the zoom is quick and accurate), and the lack of IS was worth the savings to me.

Quote
Out of curiosity how is the resale value of the Tamrons?  Would it be compatible with a future full frame camera or would I need to sell it?
Not sure about the resale values, but I assume that it'll be fair, as it's a nice wide aperture (f/2.8 ) lens that's probably about as cheap as it can get for such good sharpness in that range. This lens isn't compatible with full frame cameras though. In fact, vignetting is noticable on the crop camera, especially at 17mm (which, according to the-digital-picture.com, is somehow "wider" than Canon's 17mm as well - don't ask). But as said, shooting RAW and using the standard lens correction profile of that lens on all my pictures taken with it, I see none of it in Lightroom.

Quote
Hesbehindyou – The 50mm F/1.8 has allowed me to play with indoor photography without a flash for the first time (realizing I’m sacrificing image quality with higher ISO’s) and its been a quite fun.  I actually didn’t know that the full frame equivalent would be a thinner depth of field….amazing what you learn! 
There's a little bit more to it. 50mm on a crop camera will have the same DOF as it will on a full frame camera - if both cameras are at the same distance from the subject. However, that would result in a different framing from both cameras. (Since a crop camera factually 'crops' part of the fullframe image, it cuts off the edges, and so the framing is different. That's why a 24mm lens is wide on a full-frame camera, but narrower on a crop - the crop camera cuts away the wide edges of the image that the lens displays on the sensor. Still, the part of the image that is in focus is just as wide [or narrow] on both cameras - DOF is the same.)

But as explained, using a 50mm lens on a fullframe camera, you will always get a wider picture than on a crop camera. That means that to get the same framing of a subject, you will need to move closer to it with a full-frame camera. Doing thát will cause your camera to focus closer and increase the relative background distance (blowing it up) - and thát's what creates the reduced DOF and increased background blur from a different camera with the same lens.
« Last Edit: February 04, 2012, 03:03:17 AM by Tijn »

NormanBates

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Re: Amateur looking at a Macro, Prime and Walkabout lenses... input please!
« Reply #23 on: February 04, 2012, 03:18:04 AM »
RE: macro
if you're on a budget, you may want to try something like this before you buy a very expensive lens:
http://www.similaar.com/foto/tuten/520.html
it's definitely not as good as a real macro lens, but I think it's better than the other low-budget options (like front glass adapters); so far it's been good enough for me, it may be so for you too - and it's basically free

RE: prime and walkabout lenses
I've got a lens recommendations section on my site:
http://www.similaar.com/foto/equipment/us_lensc.html
you've already tried some of them (the 50mm f/1.8) - check the others
if you're in for some experimentation, I'd suggest the samyang section: the 85mm f/1.8 is absolutely superb, and might be the perfect companion for those macro tubes I linked above (there's more to image quality than sharpness, and this one shines because of its lovely bokeh: http://www.similaar.com/foto/tuten/330.html) - manual focus only, though, that's why I filed this under "experimentation"

if you're upgrading to full frame eventually, EF-S may not be optimal, but keep in mind that they usually deliver better image quality on APS-C at a lower price
and sometimes you just can't avoid it: the tokina 11-16mm f/2.8 is an amazing lens, and you won't find anything remotely close to it for less than twice its price
on that line of thought, for a walkabout lens, consider the tamron 17-50 f/2.8 non-VC: it may (or may not) lose more of its value over a couple of years. but it's extremely cheap compared with options that won't give you nicer pictures (read: L zooms in that range)
http://www.dvxuser.com/V6/showthread.php?272987-Tamron-17-50-VS-Canon-24-70-L

mb66energy

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Re: Amateur looking at a Macro, Prime and Walkabout lenses... input please!
« Reply #24 on: February 04, 2012, 03:25:38 AM »
Just some ideas:

If you are interested in low light level photography AND macro the 2.8 macro Non-IS and the 2.0 100mm might be a good combination:
Macro capability + good max aperture with the macro lens +
better max aperture and great IQ under all conditions with the 2.0 100 lens

The IQ of the 100 mm Non-IS macro seems to be comparable to the IS macro (tests and comparisons at photozone.de and dpreview.com) but the lens element count is different: 8 lens groups for the Non-IS and 12 lens groups for the IS version.
I observed that the count of lens groups allows great nominal sharpness (e.g. the 70-200 4.0 L USM) but the percepted sharpness is much better for older lens designs (primes!) despite their lower nominal sharpness values. I see the same problem for modern primes with additional lens groups for the IS system.
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pj1974

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Re: Amateur looking at a Macro, Prime and Walkabout lenses... input please!
« Reply #25 on: February 04, 2012, 06:13:46 AM »
You've been give a lot of good advice already.... Here is my 2 cents worth...   I can also vote for the Canon 100mm USM macro (nonL). It is a very sharp lens, and as most of your macro photography will probably be with a tripod, no need to buy the L (with IS) unless you really need that.  I have the 100mm macro non L and like it a lot (also use it on my 7D as a casual portrait lens, it's fast to focus - though some people state otherwise, one theory that some copies are slower). Also be aware that there is a non USM Canon 100mm macro (which I wouldn't recommend as highly).

I've also had the 28-135mm (as my main walk around on my 350D for some years). I had a good, quite sharp, and reasonably contrasty copy- but I recently sold it - as I bought a Canon 15-85mm USM which is definitely superior in every way, and has a more useful focal range as a walk around.  Regarding telezoom lenses, if I were you I would keep the 70-300mm IS, and sell the 55-250mm. There is just too much overlap between these 2.  A bit over a year ago I bought the 70-300mm IS USM L, whch is the best telezoom for my needs (I don't need a fast telezoom, as I don't do sports, etc). The size and usefulness is great.  Razor sharp and super fast focus too.

Regarding the 50mm primes, I had a 50mm f1.8, which yes could do amazing things, but the focus bugged me. It was noticeably better on my 7D than my 350D, but I ended up selling it, as it didn't cut the mustard for me. Also the bokeh was not quite pleasing enough for what I wanted. I'm waiting for an improved 50mm (I don't want to get the Sigma 50mm f1.4, as there are too many stories of it having focus issues that can vary body to body - though the optical quality is certainly very high).

Paul
I'm not a brand-fanatic. What I do appreciate is using my 7D and 350D cameras along with a host of lenses & many accessories to capture quality photos, and share with friends.

revup67

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Re: Amateur looking at a Macro, Prime and Walkabout lenses... input please!
« Reply #26 on: February 05, 2012, 03:22:34 PM »
Quote
I tried my 7D and 15-85mm EF-S at a very low light high School Play last week.  Most of the images did not have enough light or were noisy, but here is one that managed to come off at ISO 1000.  Even at !SO 1000, the 7D is noisy.

Did you shoot this in RAW?  If so, the DPP software program allows some excellent tools to mitigate any noise on the 3rd tab called NR Lens AIO.  I use it whenever I feel there's a noise issue and it does a great job of squelching.  Also check out the Blue Crane DVD's..some great tips in there such as not to use the Auto Lighting Optimizer as it can increase noise (doing this from memory but believe that was one way to also knock it down).
Thanks
Rev
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DeadPixel

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Re: Amateur looking at a Macro, Prime and Walkabout lenses... input please!
« Reply #27 on: February 05, 2012, 07:09:58 PM »
Okay, I looked at the 100mm Macro “L” a little more out of curiosity, and discovered the tripod ring is nearly $200!?!  http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/656021-REG/Canon_3562B001_Tripod_Mount_Ring_D.html   Why the world is this thing so much money and would it even be a necessary accessory for this lens?

Wickidwombat – I’d like to spend under $1k, but open to options as long as there is a noticeable improvement in my photos.  Earlier I had kind of wrote off the EF-S 18-200 from reading about barrel distortion, but I’m realizing there are programs like lighroom, etc that can actually fix this.  I think I am leaning a bit toward the EF-S 15-85mm now as well. 

Girod199 – The price on that Tamron is quite appealing, almost low enough I’d be willing to try it because of the minimal financial risk as far as lenses go.  Thanks for adding this to the consideration list! 

Revup67 – I actually never have used the ISO1233 tool before, thanks for pointing out this useful comparison tool!  I enjoyed taking a look at that flickr group, I think I’m leaning towards the 15-85 now…  You mentioned the 100mm 2.8 L is also in your collection, do you have the tripod adapter and do you consider it necessary?

Mt. Spokane – I’m probably just unfamiliar with what to look for, but the photo posted at the screen resolution looks great!   You’ve been pleased with the 15-85 then I take it. 

Tijn – thank you for the additional information and explanation on the DOF between crop and FF cameras, I think I get it now!

NormanBates – I enjoyed the links you provided, thanks for the example photos!

Mb66energy – at this point I’ve been enjoying the low light photography, but I think I’ll hold off a bit on investing more into it until I get better/learn more about it.  Just to be clear, you are saying that fewer lens groups is a better thing?

Pj1974 – I appreciate the $.02 and am glad to hear that you like both the 100mm non-L and 15-85 IS.   

Thanks for all the feedback!  I’m looking forward to adding a few lenses to my collection!

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Re: Amateur looking at a Macro, Prime and Walkabout lenses... input please!
« Reply #27 on: February 05, 2012, 07:09:58 PM »

wickidwombat

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Re: Amateur looking at a Macro, Prime and Walkabout lenses... input please!
« Reply #28 on: February 05, 2012, 08:47:01 PM »
Dont get the genuine tripod ring for the macro you dont need it the lens is light so you can just mount the camera to the tripod I bought the cheap $10 ebay version its avaerage but cheap and i never use it anyway so dont stress it.

It would be good if canon would release a 18-200 that was as good as the nikon one it would be the perfect lens for my parents then (they are still using the kit lens and learning) but its still a reasonable lens I think better than the other supertele options

with your budget I think perhaps look at the 100 macro and maybe pick up a kenko 1.4 dgx teleconverter
it turns it into a 140mm f4 if you want a bit more reach and can give you a good macro boost too (i dont think the genuine canon ones work on the 100 macro) i have the kenko and its great and much cheaper too

the 100f2.8L macro is amazingly sharp I wish they would make a 50mm f1.4L out of the same materials and build quality as this lens for a smaller lighter option than the f1.2L beast.
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revup67

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Re: Amateur looking at a Macro, Prime and Walkabout lenses... input please!
« Reply #29 on: February 06, 2012, 01:59:45 AM »
Quote
Revup67 – I actually never have used the ISO1233 tool before, thanks for pointing out this useful comparison tool!  I enjoyed taking a look at that flickr group, I think I’m leaning towards the 15-85 now…  You mentioned the 100mm 2.8 L is also in your collection, do you have the tripod adapter and do you consider it necessary?

Personally, the ring adapter I feel is not necessary for this lens as it is rather lightweight though I carry around a 400mm prime frequently..maybe my arms are use to the weight of the 400mm so when the 100mm is on the 7D its like a feather.  Mounting the camera body on the tripod with the 100mm and without the ring should be fine.  If in need of a superb tripod head may I suggest the http://acratech.net/product.php?productid=76 Model GP-s which can fit nicely on a Benro Travel Angel or any standard tripod Boegn, etc.  The GP-s head also acts as a Gimbal head.  No plates come with this however so you can pick and choose.  I got one for the 7D and 400mm.  The plate for the 7D with the 100mm attached is plenty as would be for a 5D mkii.  This head is rock solid - be sure to look at the instructional videos on this site.  It's a chunk of change but there's nothing worse than watching a $4000 rig fall to the ground because of a crappy tripod / head.  Luckily I caught my rig before it hit the sand.  The cheap tripod was in the trash moments later.
Thanks
Rev
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Re: Amateur looking at a Macro, Prime and Walkabout lenses... input please!
« Reply #29 on: February 06, 2012, 01:59:45 AM »