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Author Topic: New camera...shooting macros  (Read 2516 times)

Leadfingers

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New camera...shooting macros
« on: May 10, 2012, 02:20:55 PM »
I'm on the cusp of ordering a new setup from the Canon Loyalty Program.  The current plan is to get a T3i with the 24-105 F4/L lens and the 50mm F1.8 prime.  (Vegas odds makers are wagering 100:1 that Canon releases the T4i about 90 seconds after I receive this, but I'm just tired of waiting...)


So the question is...how usefull will either lens be for macro photography?  I spend most of my time on portraits and landscapes, but my wife loves taking pictures of flowers. 
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New camera...shooting macros
« on: May 10, 2012, 02:20:55 PM »

neuroanatomist

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Re: New camera...shooting macros
« Reply #1 on: May 10, 2012, 02:48:58 PM »
One thing I should point out, given that you mention shooting landscapes - you will not have a wide angle lens.  24mm on APS-C is equivalent to 38mm on FF, that's normal, not wide angle, much less ultrawide.  For the same price, I think the EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 makes a much better general purpose lens on the 7D - gives you wide angle, one stop faster aperture (better for low light and portraits), and the IQ is just slightly better than the 24-105mm when comparing them on the same crop body.

Having said that, the 24-105mm has a better native maximum magnification that the 17-55mm (0.23x vs. 0.16x), and can do ok for flowers.  Here's an example of the 24-105mm on a 7D (105mm, f/4, 1/160 s, ISO 200):
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Leadfingers

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Re: New camera...shooting macros
« Reply #2 on: May 10, 2012, 03:04:47 PM »
What do you mean by
Quote
the IQ is just slightly better than the 24-105mm when comparing them on the same crop body.

The 17-55 is an EF-S lens...the 24-105 is an L lens.  I would assume that the 24-105 would be *much* better in the IQ department. 

How would the prime lens work for macros?
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neuroanatomist

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Re: New camera...shooting macros
« Reply #3 on: May 10, 2012, 03:17:36 PM »
What do you mean by
Quote
the IQ is just slightly better than the 24-105mm when comparing them on the same crop body.
The 17-55 is an EF-S lens...the 24-105 is an L lens.  I would assume that the 24-105 would be *much* better in the IQ department. 

That would be an incorrect assumption.  The 24-105mm wins on build quality, but not IQ.  Designing a standard zoom (wide to tele) is challenging for a FF camera, especially on the wide end.  As a result, the EF-S lens can be designed to deliver better optical performance over the smaller image circle.  FWIW, the 17-55mm also has two UD elements instead of one, meaning less CA.  The only area where the L lens clearly wins is that it has less vignetting (always the case using an EF lens on a crop body).  Even distortion is similar between the two lenses (despite the fact that most of the 24-105's distortion is cropped away, it's much worse on FF).

How would the prime lens work for macros?

On it's own, poorly - maximum magnification is 0.15x.  If you add some extension tubes, it would do fine (but you'd need lots of light, since extension tubes cost you light. 
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Leadfingers

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Re: New camera...shooting macros
« Reply #4 on: May 10, 2012, 04:24:40 PM »
Quote
FWIW, the 17-55mm also has two UD elements instead of one, meaning less CA.  The only area where the L lens clearly wins is that it has less vignetting (always the case using an EF lens on a crop body).

Eh?  Can you try that in english?
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preppyak

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Re: New camera...shooting macros
« Reply #5 on: May 10, 2012, 04:56:21 PM »
A potential thought. Rather than getting the 24-105 (though an excellent lens), it would seem that something like the 15-85 lens would suit what you do better than the 24-105 (gives you a MUCH wider field of view for landscapes), and the money you save could go towards a macro lens. The added benefit would be that a macro lens (Tamron 90mm, Canon 100mm USM, EF-S 60mm, etc) could also become your 2nd prime for portraits along with the 50mm lens.

Having gone the macro tube route, and now owning a macro lens, there's no substitute for the real thing. Id imagine you could find a lens combo that fits both your needs, and I'm not sure the 24-105 is that.

edit: It also depends on what you mean by "likes taking pictures of flowers". If you mean she likes taking snapshots of them, then a lens with .25x magnification will be fine. Some cropping and you'll get a bunch of good photos. If she's committed to flowers like birders are to birds or bug people are to bugs, then anything less than a macro lens would disappoint, because it won't capture the important details that make it cool
« Last Edit: May 10, 2012, 05:07:42 PM by preppyak »

Leadfingers

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Re: New camera...shooting macros
« Reply #6 on: May 10, 2012, 05:51:50 PM »
The flower pic posted by neuroanatomist is the type of shot that my wife likes taking.  Bear in mind that we're upgrading from an old SX100 point and shoot, so I imagine that pretty much anything is going to be a huge upgrade.

Ill look at the 15-85, but I think the extra little bit of zoom on the 24-105 will carry the day for me...

How are you calculting the magnification on the lens?  (You guys use acronyms almost as much as the military... ::)
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Re: New camera...shooting macros
« Reply #6 on: May 10, 2012, 05:51:50 PM »

neuroanatomist

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Re: New camera...shooting macros
« Reply #7 on: May 10, 2012, 07:36:29 PM »
In a nutshell, in terms of overall IQ on a 7D, I'd rank them as 17-55 > 24-105 = 15-85.  Honestly, the differences aren't likely relevant in real world shots - they're excellent and I'd actually recommend against considering IQ in the decision. Instead, these are the relevant factors

  • 17-55mm - wide angle to short tele, fast f/2.8 aperture
  • 15-85mm - wide angle to mid tele, slow and variable aperture (f/3.5 but drops f/4 by 18mm then incrementally to f/5.6 by 60mm
  • 24-105mm - normal to mid tele, moderately slow aperture

The faster aperture means two things - f/2.8 is twice as much light as f/4 and four times as much as f/5.6. Also, the wider the aperture, the shallower the DoF.  An f/4 lens on APS-C isn't going to give a lot of background blur on APS-C.  In my experience, one of the main things that distinguishes images from a dSLR from a P&S is that shallow DoF. But then, you'll have the 50/1.8 for that.

If you get the 24-105, you might want a wider lens for landscapes.  The wide end will be similar to your SX100 (which is equivalent to 36mm on FF, while the 24mm lens will be like 38mm for comparison.

I get the magnification numbers from the-digital-picture.com - you'll also find excellent reviews there.
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pj1974

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Re: New camera...shooting macros
« Reply #8 on: May 10, 2012, 08:24:06 PM »
+1 for the Canon 15-85mm.  I have a Canon 7D as well as a Canon 350D.  The 15-85mm is such a great all purpose lens for APS-C cameras. I've used a Canon 24-105mm L lens too - which certainly has a nice L feel and build quality to it.  In terms of image quality, the 15-85mm is very comparable to the 24-105mm: both have great sharpness, contrast and good bokeh.

The difference between 15mm and 24mm is substantial.  15mm on an APS-C camera is suitably wide for many landscapes, whereas 24mm is not so wide. There are going The difference between 85mm and 105mm is not so noticable as many people think.  85mm is sufficient on a APS-C camera for portraits, also as the 15-85mm is sharp wide open. The 50mm f1.8 is suitable for a shallower depth of field, or in lower light situations.

I had a good copy of the Canon 28-135mm, which I used as my walk around before I bought the 15-85mm. Photos of whole flowers usually do not require a dedicated macro lens. I've taken many successful flower photos with both my 15-85mm and 28-135mm. If your wife wants to take close ups of PARTS of flowers, a more dedicated macro lens may be required.  The 15-85mm focusses quite close though.

I hope your purchase decision is a good one, and look forward to seeing some of your photos.

Regards

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.

preppyak

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Re: New camera...shooting macros
« Reply #9 on: May 10, 2012, 09:48:26 PM »
The flower pic posted by neuroanatomist is the type of shot that my wife likes taking.  Bear in mind that we're upgrading from an old SX100 point and shoot, so I imagine that pretty much anything is going to be a huge upgrade.
Cool, then you'll be fine with pretty much whatever you get for yourself. Actually, she may find herself liking the 50mm lens the most, because she'll be able to blur the non-flower parts out for cool shots.

As for the lens stuff, consider this comparison between 15mm and 24mm. One allows you to include a lot more in the frame.


That said, you'd potentially find the 15-85 frustrating for portraits, since it can only do f/5.6 in the long end where you'd use it. You'd have to decide if its worth losing the wide angle to get some light back and a little more reach (24-105), or if you'd sacrifice some reach for better low-light and depth of field (17-55).

If you're just coming from a point-and-shoot, another option is the 18-135...cheaper investment and very flexible while you learn the camera. Then when you realize you shoot certain focal lengths, you can invest in those zooms or primes. But, it's definitely not as nice a lens as the other 3 options.

Hope that helps

birtembuk

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Re: New camera...shooting macros
« Reply #10 on: May 10, 2012, 11:45:40 PM »
Hmmm, landscape, portrait, macro with a budget of about $ 1200. You already have pretty comprehensive and wise comments here. So I’d just like to add my 2 more cts.

Selecting a lens is always a matter of compromise. And never an easy process, even when you’ve got the big bucks. A 24-105 becomes a 38-168 on a Rebel. As said, you might miss on the wide end as 38mm is relatively tight for landscape where 24mm is a real advantage. Meanwhile, don’t expect a huge difference between say 168mm and 135mm. Actually, a little cropping in post-processing can easily bring back the difference.

Honestly, and as suggested above, the EFS 15-85 would fill the bill nicely. It’s a sharp, contrasty and well-built lens. It covers 24-135mm on Rebel. For landscape and casual shots, it’s near perfect at the price point.

Since you’re left with some cash compared with 24-105 + 50/1.8, I would really suggest you to have a look at the EFS-60mm/2.8 Macro. You see, upgrading to DSLR from point-n-shoot provides an opportunity to change the way we approach photography. To grow. 

Give your wife and yourself a treat : take the EFS-60mm. This will blow your mind and totally open new opportunities to both of you: macro, portrait, landscape, low available light … You’ll see, that lens may eventually stay on your Rebel more that 50% of the time. This is the kind of lens that makes the difference between DSLR and P&S. The kind of lens that makes the upgrade worthy.  Later, when you become addict, like some of us here, you will drool for much more expensive stuff, I can tell you...

For now anyway, I would think a combo 15-85 + 60Macro would make a little more sense than 24-105 + 50/1.8 

wickidwombat

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Re: New camera...shooting macros
« Reply #11 on: May 11, 2012, 12:01:29 AM »
I would suggest getting the 17-55 f2.8 EF-S and consider the 100mm f2.8
for macro and longer stuff, since this lens can do many things including great portraits very sharp lens
http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/Canon-EF-100mm-f-2-8-F2-8-Macro-USM-58mm-UV-600D-60D-5D-II-7D-/140744478315?pt=AU_Lenses&hash=item20c5064e6b

if you want to spend more money and want/need IS on the 100mm
the 100mm f2.8L IS macro is awesome but almost double the cost

http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/Canon-EF-100mm-f-2-8L-Macro-USM-2-8-L-7D-60D-5D-II-1D-IV-III-X-1Ds-/120898286295?pt=AU_Lenses&hash=item1c261972d7



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Re: New camera...shooting macros
« Reply #11 on: May 11, 2012, 12:01:29 AM »