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Macro

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Overread
Overread  63806 forum posts England18 Constructive Critique Points
22 Jan 2012 - 7:53 PM

A few things to add to the above:

1) Extension tubes. You want to spend good money on these and get a proper set. Own brand Canon and Nikon tubes are very very overpriced for what you get and most people avoid them; better value are the Kenko extension tubes. These are pretty much your best bang for your buck - giving you a set of well built tubes (I've heard those that own both cant tell them apart from canon tubes) which have good mounts (some cheaper brands will have manufacture flaws and get stuck on your camera/lens) and also the all important metal communication contacts. These are critical as they allow you to retain control over your lens's aperture - without which you'll find macro even more challenging.

2) Close up lens attachments - as said avoid the super cheap, they are often single element constructs which, whilst they work, are not made well and will degrade performance significantly. Better value would be the Raynox series (eg the DCR 150 and 250) along with the Canon 500D and 250D. These are all multi-element attachments and give a very high quality result.

3) Tubes, macro lens or close up attachments - no matter how you approach macro photography your depth of field is always going to be tiny. As far as I can work out when in macro the depth of field is pretty much defined by your working aperture and the magnification; focal length seems to play no part (but does affect background blurring) whilst the optical setup has less input (though it should be noted if the optical setup affects the effective aperture of the setup it will have a subsequent effect on depth of field equal to the aperture change).



In the end a dedicated macro lens is the best approach, but extension tubes and close up lens attachments provide for a cheap way to test out macro without investing heavily. Furthermore nothing stops them being used on a dedicated macro lens at a later date, meaning you can push beyond the 1:1 limit of the macro lens.

I will also strongly note that the Canon MPE 65mm macro lens is a rare lens (internet groups might give the impression its more common, but it really is very rare) and very specialist. It is one of the hardest lenses to use, let alone use well and outside of specific conditions its not a lens I'd recommend to a beginner. It is also incapable of focusing on anything more than around 6cm infront of the lens - so it is pure macro only.

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22 Jan 2012 - 7:53 PM

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Ade_Osman
Ade_Osman e2 Member 114521 forum postsAde_Osman vcard England36 Constructive Critique Points
22 Jan 2012 - 8:02 PM


Quote: I will also strongly note that the Canon MPE 65mm macro lens is a rare lens (internet groups might give the impression its more common, but it really is very rare) and very specialist. It is one of the hardest lenses to use, let alone use well and outside of specific conditions its not a lens I'd recommend to a beginner. It is also incapable of focusing on anything more than around 6cm infront of the lens - so it is pure macro only.

I'll 2nd that, the learning curve with it is incredibly steep and you need various other bits of hardware and software to get the very best from it, I've had mine for just over a week now and am finding it easy...ish, but challenging at the same time. Definitely not for the faint hearted or beginner.....

Ade

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