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Seeking thoughts on EF-s 35mm f/2.8 macro
  
 
Greg Lavaty
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Seeking thoughts on EF-s 35mm f/2.8 macro


Iím considering this lens to use to photograph things like poison dart frogs, orchids and similar subjects when I visit Costa Rica. I have a 100mm f/2.8 Macro USM (non-L) but havenít brought it in the past because it is more weight and bulk than I typically want to carry with all my other gear. The built-in light on the 35 seems interesting but from the videos I have watched of it in use I seriously wonder if it will be bright enough to actually make a difference. It would be cool to not have to carry a flash but I am guessing at this point that that idea is probably just a pipe dream. Anyway, I would love to hear the thoughts of others on this topic. I would pretty much only be using this lens as a macro lens on an 80D or 7d mk2.


Sep 18, 2017 at 03:05 PM
garydavidjones
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Seeking thoughts on EF-s 35mm f/2.8 macro


Have the ef-s 35 macro. built-in light is weak. only effective when very close.
useful for orchid shows with poor lighting, which is the reason I bought the lens.

I use 100 macro L/5DSR combo for photographing flowers. lightweight.

for frogs I use 100-400 II L or Canon 180 mm L macro with the 5DRS.



Sep 18, 2017 at 03:39 PM
Greg Lavaty
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Seeking thoughts on EF-s 35mm f/2.8 macro


Thanks for the feedback, last year when I was photographing frogs with my 100-400 mk2 I found it a bit challenging because the working distance was so long and the rig was pretty heavy. I had to use one hand to try to keep the frog from running off which was not ideal. My primary purpose for the trip is bird photography but I am doing the frogs, flowers, bugs... as an add on so I am trying to limit the amount of extra gear, the birding rig is already plenty heavy.


Sep 18, 2017 at 03:55 PM
jcolwell
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Seeking thoughts on EF-s 35mm f/2.8 macro


I use a 500D close-up aux lens with my 100-400L IS II for bees & stuff. It gives magnification up to 0.7, with a decent working distance, and no light loss.


Sep 18, 2017 at 04:17 PM
Greg Lavaty
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Seeking thoughts on EF-s 35mm f/2.8 macro


Please bear with me as I donít seem to be asking the right question. My issue isnít that I am not getting enough magnification with my 100-400 IS II but rather that it is too big and heavy for me to use for the frogs. For the orchids I can get away with the 100-400 but I am looking for the level of detail that you would expect from a macro lens in that case. With the frogs I mostly have been able to find them at night. The problem is that when I shine a light on them to take a picture they get nervous and crawl around the back side of whatever they are hanging onto or close their eyes because the light is too bright. I need to be able to work quickly before the shot is gone. The problem is that I donít have someone with me to wrangle the frogs so I have to do it myself which is why I need a smaller lighter rig.

My thinking is that the light on the 35mm macro might be enough to help get everything in focus without frightening the frog away and then an external flash (I have an old 420EX that I plan to use with an off camera shoe cord) would actually illuminate the picture.

I donít want to blow $350 on a lens that I wonít end up using so I would love to get some feedback from anyone who has been using it for macro photography but I would also like to hear from those who have experience photographing the frogs.

Thanks



Sep 18, 2017 at 06:07 PM
pshyvers
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Seeking thoughts on EF-s 35mm f/2.8 macro


Greg, I am not at all an expert at this but I too was thinking an external flash would be the trick. But instead of the macro lites, what about some red night vision flashlight type illumination? Does that scare the frogs?

I also wonder how close you can get to frogs before scaring them. 35mm has got to be pretty darn close. I'm just learning with my 100L, and I'm still only inches away.



Sep 18, 2017 at 11:43 PM
Greg Lavaty
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Seeking thoughts on EF-s 35mm f/2.8 macro


What happened last time I tried to photograph the frogs I went out at night along a trail in the rain forest and checked pools of water along the trail until I found frogs. I would scoop them up with my hand and put them on nearby vegetation and most of the time they would just sit there . I used a flashlight to focus on the frog's eye and the take the photo using a camera mounted flash to illuminate the photo. To get enough light for the camera to focus using my 100-400 I had to have the flashlight on its brightest setting which did seem to bother the frogs as they would turn their heads away and close their eyes and often crawl around to the back side of whatever they were sitting on. My hope is that a f/2.8 lens would require far less light for focusing so I would be able to use a dimmer setting on the flashlight but the built in light seems like it would be even better since it would be one less item that I would need to hold while trying to take the photo. Trying to use the 100-400 with one hand was also a huge challenge and I think it will even be a struggle with my 100mm macro lens. I am sure others here have photographed frogs at night, hopefully someone with experience can chime in.


Sep 19, 2017 at 02:37 AM
Jeff Nolten
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Seeking thoughts on EF-s 35mm f/2.8 macro


I have the 35 macro but have not used it a lot yet. I've also photographed poison dart frogs in Costa Rica but using the 100 L macro. I don't think the ring light on the lens is going to disturb the frogs, as Gary says its not that strong. I think the real question is will the frogs tolerate your getting that close. The tree frogs I photographed didn't seem too perturbed by my closeness but they were not true wild frogs. Anyway I think the ring light works well on the lens and is almost necessary because the working distance is so close that you risk blocking any outside light source. It certainly helps with framing and focusing on your subject. Further back and you might still need a flash.

The lens seems good as a true macro lens, the close working distance accepted. At close distances the IS and focus seem sharp but my use as a standard infinity focus prime has been quite limited. Too early to tell on that really. True macro distances require care and you can't expect the IS to overcome slow shutter speeds. Also, I found that even with the small frogs I had to stop down to get enough DOF to get most of the frog in focus. f2.8 may help focus but you probably need f8 to get the whole critter. The 35 mm should help with that compared to the 100 mm I was using. Other than that I think the 35 should be an ideal tree frog lens. I mentioned the 60 macro which is an excellent lens but may not be enough different than your 100 macro. The other lens I'd recommend is the 55-250 STM. It focuses close on its own and can take either 12 mm of extension or a 58 mm 500D close up filter/diopter. Enjoy your trip.

Here is an f4 example with the 100L. I think it needed at least f8.




  Canon EOS 5D Mark II    EF100mm f/2.8L Macro IS USM lens    100mm    f/4.0    1/100s    640 ISO    -0.3 EV  




Sep 19, 2017 at 06:10 AM
Greg Lavaty
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Seeking thoughts on EF-s 35mm f/2.8 macro


Thanks for the feedback, as I said my thought was that the ring light and the f/2.8 aperture would mainly be to make sure I can get focus in the dark. For the actual photographic exposure I would probably use my old 420EX with a diffuser and yes the aperture would be like f/5.6-f/8 or so.

I do own both the 60mm macro and the 55-250 STM. I had sort of factored out the 55-250 because the slow aperture seems like it would have the same issues I had before with my 100-400 though there is a huge weight benefit.

The 60mm was the other lens I was strongly considering. The built in ring light definitely caught my attention though. In my mind it could be a very nice focusing aid. The smaller size and weight would also be nice. I guess I will probably just end up buying the lens as it seems it might be too new at this point for a lot of people to have tried it.



Sep 19, 2017 at 03:56 PM
Jeff Nolten
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · Seeking thoughts on EF-s 35mm f/2.8 macro


Greg Lavaty wrote:
The 60mm was the other lens I was strongly considering. The built in ring light definitely caught my attention though. In my mind it could be a very nice focusing aid. The smaller size and weight would also be nice. I guess I will probably just end up buying the lens as it seems it might be too new at this point for a lot of people to have tried it.


So far I prefer the performance of the 60 macro to the 35 but the 60 lacks IS. I looked at the Canon ring lights but they are very expensive and cumbersome. I also noticed third party ring lights that are battery powered and behave like the built-in ring light on the 35, constant switchable on-off. Some are fairly inexpensive but I don't know how well built they are. Also, this just occurred to me, one of the small Canon flashes has a constant LED light, probably for video work, but it may work well for this application with the 60 as well. The 35 is certainly light and packable, that was my main motivation for trying it.

Edit: The Canon flash is the 320EX, no longer made but available for $150 refurbished through Amazon.



Sep 19, 2017 at 04:56 PM
 

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Greg Lavaty
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · Seeking thoughts on EF-s 35mm f/2.8 macro


Thanks again for the feedback. I figure I better just try the darn thing myself instead of stewing over it so I will hopefully have one in my hands on the 22nd. That way I can give it a try before the trip instead of getting any potential surprises when it really matters.


Sep 19, 2017 at 05:42 PM
Jeff Nolten
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · Seeking thoughts on EF-s 35mm f/2.8 macro


Its a fun little lens, you'll probably enjoy it.


Sep 21, 2017 at 12:11 AM
Greg Lavaty
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · Seeking thoughts on EF-s 35mm f/2.8 macro


I'm sure I will have fun with it, I just got the email a few minutes ago that it has shipped! I can't wait to start playing.


Sep 21, 2017 at 02:47 AM
Greg Lavaty
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · Seeking thoughts on EF-s 35mm f/2.8 macro


I'm sure I will have fun with it, I just got the email a few minutes ago that it has shipped! I can't wait to start playing.


Sep 21, 2017 at 02:47 AM
big_fish
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p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · Seeking thoughts on EF-s 35mm f/2.8 macro


Greg,

I've been using the 100mm f/2.8L IS for small reptile and amphibian photography for a number of years. Iíve also used the classic 50mm macro, 180mm L and MP-E 65mm and in my opinion the 100mm f/2.8L is the best option for field work - also consider it has weather sealing. Instead of investing in another lens, maybe work towards a multiple off camera light setup.

- Neil



Sep 21, 2017 at 01:42 PM
Greg Lavaty
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p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · Seeking thoughts on EF-s 35mm f/2.8 macro


Neil,

Thanks for sharing those awesome photos! I am sure that the 100mm L macro with a multi-light setup would probably be the best option (how can I argue with your results). I don't have the L but instead the older non L 100mm f/2.8 macro USM and last time I was in Costa Rica trying to photograph the frogs I was really struggling with it. I'm not a very serious macro shooter and though I think macro photography is extremely interesting I just don't spend much time doing it. Going for the L and a multi-light setup is probably more investment than I will be able to really take advantage of. I now own three macro lenses and I think based on the results of this trip I am going to probably soon only own one. I just have to figure out is the 35mm is too short or if the 60 is a better fit for me. I basically want something small and light that I can carry with me for occasional macro use when I see something neat while I'm out birding.



Sep 28, 2017 at 02:27 AM
Greg Lavaty
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p.1 #17 · p.1 #17 · Seeking thoughts on EF-s 35mm f/2.8 macro


I finally got the lens and though I havenít had time to really give it a try yet I couldnít help but to spend a few minutes in the back yard with it. I was a little surprised by how close the 35mm is in size to the 60mm macro, I had hoped the 35 would be a little smaller but oh well it is what it is. The anole didnít seem to know what to make of the flash though he didnít run away. Hopefully the working distance wonít be too short in Costa Rica. Both shots were taken with a 7D mk2 and 420 EX mounted in the hot shoe with a small diffuser on board. The rig is pretty manageable. I was a little worried the flash wouldnít be able to properly illuminate the subject at higher magnifications but so far it doesnít seem to be a problem. Now I'm hesitant to post my meager shots after what Neil posted!!!!

















Sep 28, 2017 at 02:28 AM
Greg Lavaty
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p.1 #18 · p.1 #18 · Seeking thoughts on EF-s 35mm f/2.8 macro


I made it back from the Costa Rica trip where thankfully I did get some chances to try out the 35mm macro on my 7D mk2. I also used an old 420 EX flash with a small plastic diffuser and I found that the setup actually worked better than I expected. The rig wasnít very heavy so I could easily support it with one hand, freeing up the other hand to either manipulate the subject or hold vegetation out of the wayÖ The little lights built into the lens also helped me see what I was doing and to focus. Iím looking forward to using this setup more and am pleased with my purchase. I really like that it is small, and light so it isnít too much of a hassle to travel with. This Red-eyed Tree Frog is one of the first images I edited when I got home.









Oct 13, 2017 at 01:30 PM
Jeff Nolten
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p.1 #19 · p.1 #19 · Seeking thoughts on EF-s 35mm f/2.8 macro


Looks nice. Glad you're happy with the lens. Since getting my SL2, I've been doing some comparisons with mine at non-macro distances and it seems to fare pretty well. I used both it and my 35 f2 IS to do some portraits of our puppy and can't really tell the two lenses apart. I figure I'd have to shoot brick walls or test patterns and pixel peep to tell any difference. At near infinity I compared my 15-85, 18-55, and 24 STMs and the 35 seemed just as sharp and contrasty as the others. I had two 18-55s in the comparison and they were the softest of the set, as I expected.

I think the 35 will make a nice versatile part of my SL2 or 80D kit. The 15-85 is good on the SL2 but kinda heavy and will probably see more use on the 80D as companion to the 100-400. I'm thinking the 10-18, 24, 35, and 55-250 STMs would make a nice light kit for the SL2.

You mentioned that there was little size difference between the 35 and the 60 macros. True, especially with the 35's hood, but there is a considerable weight difference. And IS. I like the 60 but prefer to use it with a tripod. Actually in my use the 35 benefits from a tripod or gorilla pod at true macro distances - as much for focus stability (motion towards the subject) as lateral movement.

I think the 35 will be a nice addition to my day hiking kit where I'm likely to run into things like flowers, dandelions, leaf patterns and small non-threatening or shy critters to capture. I'll have to experiment with the tiny manfrotto ball head on my walking stick to see if it provides enough stability for true macro flower pictures.



Oct 13, 2017 at 03:25 PM







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