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Author Topic: To macro or not to macro  (Read 3042 times)

frozengogo

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To macro or not to macro
« on: June 24, 2012, 05:32:57 PM »
I've upgraded to a 5dIII, sold my EF-s 60mm macro and now I'm stuck. Do I buy the EF 100mm macro or just use my EF 24-105mm L lens. I used the 60mm for flower photos and portraits. Should I purchase a new macro or just use the EF 24-105mm L? I've used the 24-105 several times for flowers with good results so I'm thinking I should use the money on a different lens. Thoughts?

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To macro or not to macro
« on: June 24, 2012, 05:32:57 PM »

neuroanatomist

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Re: To macro or not to macro
« Reply #1 on: June 24, 2012, 05:39:37 PM »
The 24-105mm delivers a decent native max magnification of 0.23x (a standard macro lens is 1.0x) - quite good for many flowers.  Adding a relatively inexpensive extension tube gets you into the 0.5-0.6x range (at 24mm), at the cost of some light and loss of infinity focus with the tube mounted.

Unless you need to shoot at 1:1 a lot (sounds like you don't), I'd get an extension tube and start looking at another lens. The 85/1.8 makes a great portrait lens on FF.
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Mt Spokane Photography

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Re: To macro or not to macro
« Reply #2 on: June 24, 2012, 05:43:59 PM »
The 24-105 is fine for normal sized flowers.  A macro lens has low distortion, but that is not likely to be a issue for flowers.  You can add a extension tube or closeup lens in a pinch and get extra magnigication.
Truthly, however, I was very pleased with my 100mmL Macro lens, its much easier to get good images  ... for me.
 
 

Marsu42

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Re: To macro or not to macro
« Reply #3 on: June 26, 2012, 05:35:28 PM »
Unless you need to shoot at 1:1 a lot (sounds like you don't), I'd get an extension tube and start looking at another lens. The 85/1.8 makes a great portrait lens on FF.

+1 ... shooting small objects like flowers isn't "macro" in the technical sense, and any decent zoom with tubes or a tc should do just fine. As you know from your 60mm ef-s lens, real macro means that you nearly hit the object with your lens and the usable aperture goes down the drain, making either a tripod or high iso or larger apertures necessary. Good, professional macro shots are a big hassle, so for nice pictures of non-microscopic flowers you won't need a real macro lens.

drjlo

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Re: To macro or not to macro
« Reply #4 on: June 27, 2012, 09:14:17 PM »
I love my macro lenses including 100L macro, but the one I would consider is Sigma 70mm f/2.8 Macro which I used to own also. It can be bought $499 new, and it's insanely sharp, AT least as sharp as my 100L.
http://www.photozone.de/canon_eos_ff/559-sigma70ff28eosff?start=1

Just make sure buy it new from a store with good return policy, as one never knows with Sigma and Canon.


Marsu42

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Re: To macro or not to macro
« Reply #5 on: June 28, 2012, 04:17:47 AM »
I love my macro lenses including 100L macro, but the one I would consider is Sigma 70mm f/2.8 Macro which I used to own also.

Sharpness is not everything - I'd never want anything less than 100mm because of the working distance, actually I use mine frequently with a tc extending it to 140mm. For many applications like shooting snakes or insects, 180mm (+tc) is clearly even better, though more expensive and the one from Canon is older.

drjlo

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Re: To macro or not to macro
« Reply #6 on: June 28, 2012, 01:05:30 PM »
Agreed.  For live subjects that can run away, longer the working distance the better.  Sigma 70mm minimal focusing distance is 25.7 cm while Canon 100L MFD is 30.48 cm, so it's not a huge benefit.  Moving to Canon 180 mm f/3.5 gives you a nice 48 cm but at the cost of higher price and loss of f/stop which some may want for portrait work. 

I also try to avoid TC for macro work, as the TC degradations are magnified for macro shots, but sometimes one will have no choice..

The Sigma 70mm is nice because of a very nice bokeh with its 9-blades, ability to function as a walkaround lens on full-frame, while working as nice portrait lens on crop body. 
« Last Edit: June 28, 2012, 01:08:33 PM by drjlo »

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Re: To macro or not to macro
« Reply #6 on: June 28, 2012, 01:05:30 PM »

Kernuak

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Re: To macro or not to macro
« Reply #7 on: June 28, 2012, 02:44:47 PM »
Sometimes a longer focal length can be a hindrance. It depends on working space, if things are tight, then shorter is better. However, the other thing to consider is angle of view. While magnification on a macro lens is the same regardless of focal length, the narrower angle of view on a 180mm may mean the difference between a nice clean background and a great big blob of light distracting the viewer.
Extension tubes work quite well on the 24-105 and you can even use them creatively at the wide end to get some very strange shots, as the distortion is exaggerated.
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nonac

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Re: To macro or not to macro
« Reply #8 on: June 28, 2012, 06:06:20 PM »
I have the older non "L" 100mm Canon macro lens and it is wonderful.  I've never shot with the newer "L" version, so I can't comment on whether it is worth the extra $$.  I don't use mine as often as I should, but I'm glad I have it when I get the urge to go small!
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Timothy_Bruce

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Re: To macro or not to macro
« Reply #9 on: June 28, 2012, 06:25:36 PM »
I love my macro lenses including 100L macro, but the one I would consider is Sigma 70mm f/2.8 Macro which I used to own also. It can be bought $499 new, and it's insanely sharp, AT least as sharp as my 100L.
http://www.photozone.de/canon_eos_ff/559-sigma70ff28eosff?start=1

Just make sure buy it new from a store with good return policy, as one never knows with Sigma and Canon.


I can confirm my sigma 70 is also insane sharp ... awkward  to use at first because of  its non consistent length but you will get to it used quick! And on a crop body really a good lens for portrait!

SpareImp

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Re: To macro or not to macro
« Reply #10 on: June 28, 2012, 06:32:39 PM »
I personally use a $ 25 Olympus OM 28mm f/2.8 for macro work. It isn’t easy to use, but the results can be really great. The reason I didn’t buy a macro lens, is the fact that I didn’t think I would use it enough to justify the price. And the Olympus does fit in your pocket. It’s very convenient, especially if you already have a lens for portraits. Depending on what you use it for and how much, this might be an option worth mentioning.

Here’s my setup:
Canon 5D Mark II
Olympus OM 28mm f/2.8
Extension tubes (up to 55mm, but you have some flexibility here) without electronics
Reverse ring
External flash with soft box

Picture taken with this exact setup:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/spareimp/7357655202/#

Then a picture with a Helios 77m-4 (about $ 30-40 on ebay) of the same subject to demonstrate possible magnification:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/spareimp/7172437077/#

Both handheld. The first might be 2-3 pictures, stacked. Poor memory.

Richard8971

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Re: To macro or not to macro
« Reply #11 on: July 05, 2012, 11:22:30 PM »
I have both the EF-s 60mm macro and the EF 100mm macro and they are both awesome lenses. The 60mm will give you a greater DOF than the 100mm but the 100mm is as sharp as they come. I use the 100mm on my 5D2 and the 60mm on my T1i and 70D.

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Mt Spokane Photography

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Re: To macro or not to macro
« Reply #12 on: July 06, 2012, 12:04:02 AM »
I received my 40mm pancake today, and found it to be close focusing and very good for closeups of flowers.  Its cheap too.  i just snapped a few shots right out of the box, I will AFMA it and take some more in a few days.
 


 

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Re: To macro or not to macro
« Reply #12 on: July 06, 2012, 12:04:02 AM »