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Author Topic: Macro decisions  (Read 4784 times)

Razor2012

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Macro decisions
« on: May 08, 2012, 05:19:33 PM »
You guys totally impressed me with your macro shots, especially the MP-E65 ones.  I went and looked at a 65 today and also the 100 2.8L (the 180 3.5L wasn't in).  The 100 was nice with the AF and stuff but didn't compare to the 65.  But buying the MP-E65 would mean buying a flash also, namely the MT-24EX.  I guess if a person is really into macro, going this route would pay off in the long run.  What do you guys use for a bellows/rail system? 
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Macro decisions
« on: May 08, 2012, 05:19:33 PM »

NWPhil

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Re: Macro decisions
« Reply #1 on: May 08, 2012, 05:53:54 PM »
I don't have the MP-E65, but when Use my 50mm with reverse ring or any other contraption , I do use a rail system to achieve the focus and/or stacking.
If you read the lens manual, I believe it actually says that focus above 1x is indeed obtained by moving the lens closer of further from the subject...
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Razor2012

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Re: Macro decisions
« Reply #2 on: May 08, 2012, 05:58:46 PM »
I don't have the MP-E65, but when Use my 50mm with reverse ring or any other contraption , I do use a rail system to achieve the focus and/or stacking.
If you read the lens manual, I believe it actually says that focus above 1x is indeed obtained by moving the lens closer of further from the subject...

I noticed that when I was looking at it today.  Adjusting the lens changes magnification, so you have to move the lens forward or back for focus.  I don't think Canon has any kind of bellows or rail system.  Maybe years back.
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NWPhil

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Re: Macro decisions
« Reply #3 on: May 08, 2012, 06:38:37 PM »
I don't have the MP-E65, but when Use my 50mm with reverse ring or any other contraption , I do use a rail system to achieve the focus and/or stacking.
If you read the lens manual, I believe it actually says that focus above 1x is indeed obtained by moving the lens closer of further from the subject...

I noticed that when I was looking at it today.  Adjusting the lens changes magnification, so you have to move the lens forward or back for focus.  I don't think Canon has any kind of bellows or rail system.  Maybe years back.
No, it does not. Plenty of after market stuff, but spendy too, just like Canon's macro dedicated flashes
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wickidwombat

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Re: Macro decisions
« Reply #4 on: May 08, 2012, 07:13:08 PM »
I use novoflex gear

http://www.novoflex.com/en/products/macro-accessories/focusing-racks/

its not cheap but awesome quality
B&H sell their full range
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Razor2012

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Re: Macro decisions
« Reply #5 on: May 08, 2012, 07:39:58 PM »
I use novoflex gear

http://www.novoflex.com/en/products/macro-accessories/focusing-racks/

its not cheap but awesome quality
B&H sell their full range

Thanks I'll check them out.
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Razor2012

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Re: Macro decisions
« Reply #6 on: May 08, 2012, 08:27:43 PM »
I use novoflex gear

http://www.novoflex.com/en/products/macro-accessories/focusing-racks/

its not cheap but awesome quality
B&H sell their full range

I was reading some reviews and some said they weren't quite good enough for micro-adjustment (beyond 1:1), 1:1 was good though.  Also it was stated that the knobs were too small and you had to watch your fingers when removing, etc. 
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Re: Macro decisions
« Reply #6 on: May 08, 2012, 08:27:43 PM »

Razor2012

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Re: Macro decisions
« Reply #7 on: May 09, 2012, 09:10:57 PM »
Read some reviews on the Velbon Super Mag Slider Macro Rail, well-built, sturdy and inexpensive (around $115).
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revup67

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Re: Macro decisions
« Reply #8 on: May 10, 2012, 02:22:58 AM »
If you do opt to acquire the MPE-65 the MT 24 EX is the way to go.  I picked up a generic Adorama Macro Rail for around $75 (no issues) with a Bogen tripod (heavy duty) and a Manfrotto 701HD head (real smooth) with a safety feature to fine tune the macro rail.  I've been able to do a bit of DOF stacking with that setup though the MPE-65 is not for the faint at heart.  Takes some time getting used to.  With the flash and lens on a 7D its a bit heavy to hand hold and most shoot at F16 to get max depth of field as there is barely none to begin with.  At F16 and 5x you are really shooting at 5x16= F80! a black hole literally.  You'll need to use live view almost exclusively and zoom in at 5 or 10 to be sure you are in focus.  Of course you know there's no focus ring  After keeping all of that in mind then check this out for your new MT 24EX flash
http://www.ebay.com/itm/DUALMOUNT-macro-flash-bracket-holder-fr-speedlight-Nikon-Canon-MT-24EX-/150694981418?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item23161eef2a and Stofen diffusers.  I put cotton inside mine to kill the harsh flash but have seen where the MT 24EX in manual mode produces some good results.
Thanks
Rev
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Razor2012

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Re: Macro decisions
« Reply #9 on: May 10, 2012, 11:02:54 AM »
If you do opt to acquire the MPE-65 the MT 24 EX is the way to go.  I picked up a generic Adorama Macro Rail for around $75 (no issues) with a Bogen tripod (heavy duty) and a Manfrotto 701HD head (real smooth) with a safety feature to fine tune the macro rail.  I've been able to do a bit of DOF stacking with that setup though the MPE-65 is not for the faint at heart.  Takes some time getting used to.  With the flash and lens on a 7D its a bit heavy to hand hold and most shoot at F16 to get max depth of field as there is barely none to begin with.  At F16 and 5x you are really shooting at 5x16= F80! a black hole literally.  You'll need to use live view almost exclusively and zoom in at 5 or 10 to be sure you are in focus.  Of course you know there's no focus ring  After keeping all of that in mind then check this out for your new MT 24EX flash
http://www.ebay.com/itm/DUALMOUNT-macro-flash-bracket-holder-fr-speedlight-Nikon-Canon-MT-24EX-/150694981418?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item23161eef2a and Stofen diffusers.  I put cotton inside mine to kill the harsh flash but have seen where the MT 24EX in manual mode produces some good results.

Thanks Rev, I had just actually seen those while browsing on eBay.  How do you like your 100 2.8 macro?  I'm still tossing around that, the 180 and the MP 65. 
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keithfullermusic

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Re: Macro decisions
« Reply #10 on: May 10, 2012, 11:41:03 AM »
I have the 100 2.8 non L and I think it's an amazing lens.  There isnt anything that i would change about it.  I've never used the L, so I can't comment on it.

Just curious, why do you like the 65 so much?  It's my understanding that you have to get really close to your subject with the 65, and that often times makes it harder (bugs and things like that).
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kirispupis

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Re: Macro decisions
« Reply #11 on: May 10, 2012, 11:59:41 AM »
Personally, I am sorry to be a bit rude but if you are comparing the 100 macro with the MP-E 65, wondering which to buy, then you do not really understand macro and you should therefore stick to the 100mm.  These are completely different lenses.  I own and heavily use both of them and they have completely different uses.  I use my 100L for small things in general - flowers, leaves, knick knacks, etc.  My MP-E 65 is used for small bugs.  I almost never use my MP-E 65 without an MT-24EX and CP-E4 (for longer battery life + quicker firing).

Here is a rather typical shot taken with the 100L (handheld)

http://500px.com/photo/7019881

Here is a rather typical shot taken with the MP-E 65 (handheld)

http://500px.com/photo/7389001

While I shoot most of my macro hand held, I do take some tripod based shots.  I do this most often with flowers - which means the 100L or TS-E 90.  I also use a tripod for my drop photography, but that is more for repeatability than for stabilization.

Keep in mind that if you are interested in tripod based macro, besides the obvious macro rail you'll need a very flexible tripod + head.  I use a Gitzo 2541EX - which is the Explorer arm type - and an Acratech GP ball head.  This allows a good deal of flexibility.

For the macro rails themselves I started with the Kirk rail - which is very similar to the Adorama one (I believe they are made by the same company).  I later moved to the RRS two rails system so that I can move in both the X and Y directions.  This rail is more precise and stable than the Kirk rail and I like it much better.  I have heard that the Novoflex is also very good, but have not used it.

The ultimate rail in terms of precision and flexibility is the Cognisys Stackshot.  I own a copy and really like it.  I used it to take this stacked shot.  Note that I still use my RRS rails with it for X and coarse Y adjustments.


Crocus by CalevPhoto, on Flickr

Note that a bellows is significantly different from a macro rail.  You can use a bellows + certain lenses to achieve similar magnification (and greater) than the MP-E 65 but you lose the flexibility because a bellows is significantly larger and general is confined to a tripod.  I have seen some people use a Nikon bellows with Canon.  There are other options if you really want to go that route, but personally I find the MP-E 65 so much more useful and if I wanted higher magnification I would just attach a microscope objective to the front.
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Razor2012

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Re: Macro decisions
« Reply #12 on: May 10, 2012, 12:08:24 PM »
I have the 100 2.8 non L and I think it's an amazing lens.  There isnt anything that i would change about it.  I've never used the L, so I can't comment on it.

Just curious, why do you like the 65 so much?  It's my understanding that you have to get really close to your subject with the 65, and that often times makes it harder (bugs and things like that).

That's true, there's alot more work involved with the 65, but in the end the results are amazing.  I love detail and the 5x just takes it that much beyond 1:1.  I'm still contemplating the 100 and the 180 macros.
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Re: Macro decisions
« Reply #12 on: May 10, 2012, 12:08:24 PM »

Razor2012

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Re: Macro decisions
« Reply #13 on: May 10, 2012, 12:16:00 PM »
Personally, I am sorry to be a bit rude but if you are comparing the 100 macro with the MP-E 65, wondering which to buy, then you do not really understand macro and you should therefore stick to the 100mm.  These are completely different lenses.  I own and heavily use both of them and they have completely different uses.  I use my 100L for small things in general - flowers, leaves, knick knacks, etc.  My MP-E 65 is used for small bugs.  I almost never use my MP-E 65 without an MT-24EX and CP-E4 (for longer battery life + quicker firing).

While I shoot most of my macro hand held, I do take some tripod based shots.  I do this most often with flowers - which means the 100L or TS-E 90.  I also use a tripod for my drop photography, but that is more for repeatability than for stabilization.

Keep in mind that if you are interested in tripod based macro, besides the obvious macro rail you'll need a very flexible tripod + head.  I use a Gitzo 2541EX - which is the Explorer arm type - and an Acratech GP ball head.  This allows a good deal of flexibility.

For the macro rails themselves I started with the Kirk rail - which is very similar to the Adorama one (I believe they are made by the same company).  I later moved to the RRS two rails system so that I can move in both the X and Y directions.  This rail is more precise and stable than the Kirk rail and I like it much better.  I have heard that the Novoflex is also very good, but have not used it.

The ultimate rail in terms of precision and flexibility is the Cognisys Stackshot.  I own a copy and really like it.  I used it to take this stacked shot.  Note that I still use my RRS rails with it for X and coarse Y adjustments.

Note that a bellows is significantly different from a macro rail.  You can use a bellows + certain lenses to achieve similar magnification (and greater) than the MP-E 65 but you lose the flexibility because a bellows is significantly larger and general is confined to a tripod.  I have seen some people use a Nikon bellows with Canon.  There are other options if you really want to go that route, but personally I find the MP-E 65 so much more useful and if I wanted higher magnification I would just attach a microscope objective to the front.

Heh, no I'm not comparing the 2 lenses, I'm just deciding which route I want to go.  BTW nice handheld with the 65.   ;)
« Last Edit: May 10, 2012, 12:17:39 PM by Razor2012 »
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keithfullermusic

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Re: Macro decisions
« Reply #14 on: May 10, 2012, 02:46:42 PM »
I didn't realize the 65 was 5x.  I thought it was the same as e 100, so that's a very good reason to prefer it over the 100.
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Re: Macro decisions
« Reply #14 on: May 10, 2012, 02:46:42 PM »