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Archive 2013 · Complete Macro Newbie, Looking For Advice
  
 
kalisti
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Complete Macro Newbie, Looking For Advice


Hi,

I've never shot macro before, but currently have a project where I need some closeups of very small mushrooms in situ out in the woods.

My zoom lenses just don't seem to be able to do it. I broke out my old Tamron 28-300 'macro' to see if that would do it, but it also doesn't seem up to the task.

So, I'm looking to get a setup that will allow me to do what I need.

Currently I'm looking at the Canon 100L Macro, the Canon 50 2.5 Macro, and the Canon MP-E 65 2.5 1-5x.

I won't say price is no object - I'd always rather have more to spend on glass I'll use more often - but I do want to get good shots, and if that means an extra $700, so be it.

So, my questions are:

Is the MP-E 65mm useful in the situation I'm looking at? Small (but not extremely tiny) mushrooms? Or would that be overkill? I've seen some great spider closeups with this lens, and while that looks fun, it isn't something I'm tasking this with.

How big a quality difference will I see between the 50 2.5 and the 100L?

More importantly, will I likely run into self-inflicted shadow issues if I use the 50? As I say, I've never shot macro, so don't quite know how much of a different length makes.

Finally, would it be an option for me to do this whole reversing-a-lens thing I keep reading about? Or extension tubes? I don't have any hugely long lenses, but I do have a 70-200L I use for portraiture – with an extension tube would that allow me to get pretty close-up?

Sorry for the complete ignorance in this field – I know comparing some of these is apples and oranges, I just have no real basis for comparison right now, I just know what I want to do, and that I'd like to get the best value for money.



Aug 28, 2013 at 04:19 AM
Eyvind Ness
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Complete Macro Newbie, Looking For Advice


The 100L is your best option, no doubt. I own all three of those, and a couple of more macro lenses The 50 f2.5 only goes to 1:2 magnification, without extra accessories, and the MP-E is *starting at* 1:1 magnification, so it would be too close, for your purposes much of the time, as iit has no ability to focus at infinity.


Aug 28, 2013 at 04:25 AM
kalisti
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Complete Macro Newbie, Looking For Advice


Thank you! Exactly what I needed to know. I assume the lens-reversal method would also get me too close?


Aug 28, 2013 at 04:26 AM
Kathy White
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Complete Macro Newbie, Looking For Advice


If it matters, the 100L also makes a great portrait lens. So you wouldn't be buying something that is only for macro. I have this lens, and it is an extremely sharp lens for any use that 100mm is desired. Not to mention, it has IS.



Aug 28, 2013 at 04:50 AM
kalisti
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Complete Macro Newbie, Looking For Advice


That is definitely an added bonus. Do you have the 70-200 2.8L by any chance? It is significantly better IQ than that lens?


Aug 28, 2013 at 04:56 AM
onesickpuppy
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Complete Macro Newbie, Looking For Advice


kalisti.....I have the 100 L version too....and the quality is excellent for the price range....and yes....it works great for portraits and such, even general use.

It will serve quite well on the mushrooms and other items too. I find the shorter length too short...and some like the 180 range...but I find the 100 is a great "general" range that works for me.

Here are a couple shots done about a month ago in a local park

Hope this helps



onesickpuppy 2013

Sweet rose

  Canon EOS 5D Mark III    EF100mm f/2.8L Macro IS USM lens    100mm    f/2.8    1/320s    160 ISO    +1.3 EV  





onesickpuppy 2013

Bee at lunch

  Canon EOS 5D Mark III    EF100mm f/2.8L Macro IS USM lens    100mm    f/4.0    1/320s    160 ISO    +0.7 EV  




Aug 28, 2013 at 05:18 AM
kalisti
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Complete Macro Newbie, Looking For Advice


Excellent. I'm sold! Thank you all so much!


Aug 28, 2013 at 05:19 AM
Pixel Perfect
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Complete Macro Newbie, Looking For Advice


100L is excellent lens, but you should realise in the macro world bascially all the lenses are excellent from third party manufacturers too.

For FF I'd also consider Sigma 150 f/2.8 OS and for crop, also consider Tamron 90 f/2.8 VC and Sigma 105 f/2.8 OS. You will see very little difference in IQ. I have Sigma 150 f/2.9 and 100L and they are very very good even wide open. I prefer 150mm for extra working distance for insects, and subject isolation for flower portraits. But 100mm is better for general walk-around lens. So 50-50 choice, or you buy both.



Aug 28, 2013 at 05:33 AM
kalisti
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Complete Macro Newbie, Looking For Advice


Ah, just when I'd made my decision, you throw another perspective!

I'm on a 5D3, so FF. I will look at the Sigma 150 I guess since I know nothing about the field, I was just defaulting to a Canon L, figuring that would be safe. But some of my favorite lenses are actually Sigma, so I will give this one a closer look.



Aug 28, 2013 at 05:34 AM
UCSB
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · Complete Macro Newbie, Looking For Advice


If this is just a rare project, you might consider extension tubes on one of your existing good quality lenses. Third party extension tubes might be all that you need and it would be a very inexpensive approach with excellent results.

I have the 5DIII + 100L and it will do a great job, but for much more than the extension tubes above. I also own the EF-S 60mm Macro. I can use it on my 7D and EOS M (with adapter). It will give you great results on a crop camera, if you have one available, for a modest price of entry.



Aug 28, 2013 at 05:49 AM
 

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kalisti
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · Complete Macro Newbie, Looking For Advice


I've been looking at extension tubes, but the loss of light worries me a bit I'll be shooting in dark woods (mushrooms) most of the time, and while I'll be using reflectors, would like to stay with natural light as much as I can. Even one stop could hurt.

I will look at the EF-S 60 as well. I think I'm fairly sold on the 100L. I'll be doing this project for about three months, and at the end if the lens hasn't won me over as a portrait lens (or if I don't completely catch the macro bug), I figure I can always resell it without too hefty a loss.



Aug 28, 2013 at 05:53 AM
Imagemaster
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · Complete Macro Newbie, Looking For Advice


kalisti wrote:
Is the MP-E 65mm useful in the situation I'm looking at? Small (but not extremely tiny) mushrooms? Or would that be overkill?


It would be overkill. Do not buy one. It is one of the most difficult lenses to use.

For a one-time project, you do not need to buy a macro lens. Get a set of extension tubes and use them on your 70-200 or any other lenses that you have.

Have a look at the Macro Forum and maybe post this same thread over there.



Aug 28, 2013 at 06:04 AM
Imagemaster
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · Complete Macro Newbie, Looking For Advice


kalisti wrote:
I've been looking at extension tubes, but the loss of light worries me a bit I'll be shooting in dark woods (mushrooms) most of the time, and while I'll be using reflectors, would like to stay with natural light as much as I can. Even one stop could hurt.


You should be using a tripod with MLU and remote shutter release, so one stop should not matter.



Aug 28, 2013 at 06:07 AM
Paul Mo
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · Complete Macro Newbie, Looking For Advice


I disagree. Buy the 100L and shoot your 'shrooms. If you ever need more mag then use tubes and strobes with it.



Aug 28, 2013 at 06:10 AM
verbiage
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p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · Complete Macro Newbie, Looking For Advice


kalisti wrote:
I will look at the EF-S 60 as well. I think I'm fairly sold on the 100L. I'll be doing this project for about three months, and at the end if the lens hasn't won me over as a portrait lens (or if I don't completely catch the macro bug), I figure I can always resell it without too hefty a loss.


Why would you look at EF-S 60 (or any EF-S lens, for that matter) if you're shooting a full-frame 5D III? It just won't fit your camera without an adapter (or some heavy modification), and even that it would probably vignette rather badly.

If you're not interested in shooting insects or other skittish creatures, then a 100mm focal lengths might be all you need. Longer macro lenses (150, 180, etc) are helpful when you want to fill the frame with your small subject, but want to keep a reasonable distance from it not to scare it off.

I am a huge fan of 100mm L for its excellent image quality and IS (and some other features), but I often wish I had something longer when chasing insects in the field. Fungi shouldn't be that much of a problem, though. And IS would help a bit, I presume, as they are not very likely to rock in the breeze as much as long-stem grasses do.

Good luck with your choice,
Slav Kovalsky



Aug 28, 2013 at 06:16 AM
Pixel Perfect
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p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · Complete Macro Newbie, Looking For Advice


kalisti wrote:
I've been looking at extension tubes, but the loss of light worries me a bit I'll be shooting in dark woods (mushrooms) most of the time, and while I'll be using reflectors, would like to stay with natural light as much as I can. Even one stop could hurt.

I will look at the EF-S 60 as well. I think I'm fairly sold on the 100L. I'll be doing this project for about three months, and at the end if the lens hasn't won me over as a portrait lens (or if I don't completely catch the macro bug), I
...Show more

I would never recommend the 60mm over a 100mm. Not because of IQ, but because of working distance which is very important IMO for insects and when working in awkward positions.

I wouldn't worry about light loss too much with tubes. Unless you are using a lot of extension say 40% of FL where you would lose 1 stop, 5D III IQ is so god even an a doubling of ISO below ISO3200 won't be too much to worry about.



Aug 28, 2013 at 06:16 AM
Imagemaster
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p.1 #17 · p.1 #17 · Complete Macro Newbie, Looking For Advice


You can buy the Tamron 90mm macro for half the price of the Canon 100L.

http://www.fredmiranda.com/reviews/showproduct.php?product=249&sort=7&cat=44&page=1




  Canon EOS 10D    90.0 mm lens    90mm    f/8.0    1/250s    400 ISO    0.0 EV  






  Canon EOS 10D    90.0 mm lens    90mm    f/22.0    1/200s    400 ISO    0.0 EV  




Aug 28, 2013 at 06:19 AM
kalisti
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p.1 #18 · p.1 #18 · Complete Macro Newbie, Looking For Advice


One more question, and then I'll stop bugging everyone. Thinking about tripod made me realize that the IS on the 100L might be overkill for what I need. Is there much of a difference in IQ between the 100L and the non-L, or is it just weathersealing/IS?


Aug 28, 2013 at 06:32 AM
philber
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p.1 #19 · p.1 #19 · Complete Macro Newbie, Looking For Advice


Kalisti, let me try to summarize. As a beginner, you should get your basics right first. If you intend to shoot in dark places, you can't avoid tripod shooting, even with a 100L, which has a good stabilizer. Because, to get depth-of-field, you will stop down almost all the way. In that case, think not only tripod, but also something like the Manfrotto cross bar to get your lens in position.
Once that is done, choose your magnification factor: is 1:2 enough? Then you have lots of choices. Need 1:1? Need a dedicated hard-core macro lens More? Go tubes.
Next step, decide what focal length you want. The longer the focal length, the further you can afford to be from your mushroom, but the thinner your depth-of-field.
Lastly, balance IQ with budget. Any decent lens with tubes will give you shots which, if executed properly, should be highly satisfactory for publishing. That said, differences do exist, and say a 100L will give you better IQ than a regular lens with tubes. But not so much that it is a make-or-break difference, expecially for a one-time project.
Hope this helps



Aug 28, 2013 at 06:51 AM
Paul Mo
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p.1 #20 · p.1 #20 · Complete Macro Newbie, Looking For Advice


Pixel Perfect wrote:
5D III IQ is so god even an a doubling of ISO below ISO3200 won't be too much to worry about.


Careful - high ISO's kill macro details.

philber wrote:
Need 1:1? Need a dedicated hard-core macro lens More? Go tubes.


Which what I said. Plus, as others have said, you want a stable camera, no wind, plenty of light, a remote, live view at 10x mag, et al.


Edited on Aug 28, 2013 at 07:04 AM · View previous versions



Aug 28, 2013 at 07:02 AM
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