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Beginning Macro/Macro Lenses

VivaMacro 5 4
20 Sep 2012 3:29PM
Hello all, I am definitely still a beginner when it comes to the technical aspects of photography, so go easy on me! I have been using a Canon EOS D30 for a few years now (I know, I know, it's ancient but it's all I can afford), and my favorite shots tend to be macro shots so that's what I would like to learn more about. I am thinking that upgrading to a nicer macro lens would be a logical step, but I have absolutely no idea how to compare different manufacturers and features. Can someone point me in the right direction or let me know what macro lens you would recommend? When I start to research lenses online, I get overwhelmed; any help or advice would be greatly appreciated! Thanks!

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puertouk 6 1.1k 17 United Kingdom
20 Sep 2012 4:47PM
The Canon 100mm macro. Type it on your google browser and look for reviews. I've read quite a few and they all rate this lens.
mikehit 8 8.0k 13 United Kingdom
20 Sep 2012 5:36PM
The longer the focal length of the lens, the further you can be from the subject and still get 1:1 magnification. This can be useful for photographing bugs and other small wildlife because it reduces the likelihood of scaring them off - but these lenses are also far more expensive.
If you are doing still life macro then a 50mm lens with extension tubes or a 60mm macro may be enough for you.
One of the benchmarks is the Tamorn 90mm macro which is rated very highly. A bit more is the Canon 100mm macro and (significantly) more expensive still is the Canon 100mm L macro - this last lens has inbuilt image stabilisation.

There are other lenses (such as Sigma) but these seem to be the most popular for Canon users.
Ade_Osman 15 4.5k 36 England
20 Sep 2012 5:40PM

Quote:The Canon 100mm macro

Very good indeed as is the Tamron SP Di 90mm, I have access to both. However, the Tamron is about to be superseded, by a newer model, which will mean that there will probably lots of the older models offered for sale on Ebay etc.......Might be worth a look once the newer model hits the shops, which is any time soon so I gather.

adrian_w Plus
10 3.7k 4 England
20 Sep 2012 7:15PM
The canon 100mm macro is a cracking lens. There are usually a few 2nd hand ones on flea-bay for around 300.
If the Tamron 90mm is about to be superseded there is a good chance that people like Wex will sell off their old stock at low prices to get rid so it may be a better bargain.
ianrobinson Plus
8 1.2k 8 United Kingdom
20 Sep 2012 9:24PM
Canon 100mm macro is superb and i have used it with a 2x converter on to get closer magnification, works very well indeed especially with the macro flash lights which gives a greater depth of field, a big bonus in macro lenses.
Ade_Osman 15 4.5k 36 England
20 Sep 2012 10:13PM
News on the Tamron's 90mm replacement HERE

VivaMacro 5 4
27 Sep 2012 3:54PM
Wow, so much helpful info! Thanks everyone, you rock!Grin
alistairfarrugia 5 164 88 Malta
9 Oct 2012 9:57AM
This was very helpful, I'm in the same position as VivaMacro, only in my case I have a 600D. Given the 1.6x crop factor, buying the 90mm Tamron would give me a picture that's around 90mm x 1.6 (=144mm) focal length, right? Also, would that mean I'd be able to be even further back to take the picture?
mikehit 8 8.0k 13 United Kingdom
9 Oct 2012 10:10AM
Crop factor does not affect the focusing distance.

Quote:Also, would that mean I'd be able to be even further back to take the picture?

If you have never used a 35mm sensor camera, then that question is irrelevant. You stand were need to to get (a) the framing you want, and (b) make sure you are not so close you can't focus.
alistairfarrugia 5 164 88 Malta
9 Oct 2012 10:34AM
mikehit, what I asked about was focal length, not focusing distance. I think they're not the same but I'm relatively a novice so I might be wrong. I'll try explain myself better.

Assume me and a friend are shooting the same insect, from the same distance. We both have (fixed) 90mm on, but my camera is 1.6 crop factor, his is full-frame. Would the insect in our picture occupy the same area relative to the whole picture after we compare the photos, or would my photo (using crop-sensor) appear as if it's even more zoomed in than the full-frame shot?

(I'm assuming the minimum focusing distance is lens-dependent not camera sensor related).

My "further back" comment above can be explained in reverse to the above - what I meant is, if the above is true, then to get the insect's size (in relation to the image) to be the same as in the full-frame shot, I would have to walk further back... right or wrong? :S
mikehit 8 8.0k 13 United Kingdom
9 Oct 2012 11:37AM
Assume you are shooting a ladybird - neither camera will give a full fame image even at the closest focussing distance.So you get as close as possible (minimum focus distance is the same for both cameras) and the ladybird will be the same size on both sensors, but on the full-frame sensor the ladybird will occupy less of the sensor area. Now this is where the confusing bit comes in:
If you crop both images so the ladybird fills the print then everything about the image is the same (depth of field, perspective etc)
If you print both images as A4 prints straight from the camera, the APS-C image is being magnified more than the 35mm image. This difference changes the apparent depth of field of the image equivalent to about 1 stop of aperture (depth of field is dependent on a lot of factors which include print size and viewing distance).

If you are shooting a full-length profile of a dragonfly, the full width exceeds the sensor size of both cameras and because the APS-C sensor is smaller you need to stand further back than your friend who is using the 35mm camera. So yes, you are correct.
But note that once you change your position, you get a difference in depth of field and perspective in the two images.

The reason I said 'irrelevant' is that the term 'crop factor' was introduced in the early days of digital when the only digital cameras were APS-C. Photographers had a stock of lenses and needed a 'quick reference' to understand how they needed to rethink the lenses they needed to shoot a specific scene. Instinctively they would say 'I need a 130mm lens for that shot for my 35mm film camera' and then convert that to 'Actually I need to stand further back or use a 90mm lens'.
So if you have never used a 35mm camera, my question would be 'further back than what?'
cambirder 14 7.2k England
9 Oct 2012 1:44PM
Your original post implies that you already have a macro lens, what is it?
alistairfarrugia 5 164 88 Malta
9 Oct 2012 2:50PM
Thanks mikehit for a very well explained reply. Smile Really appreciate it. Had never given the DOF issue much thought.
Boogie 5 58 United Kingdom
23 Oct 2012 11:17AM
I've just bought the Canon 100mm - I'm very much a beginner. One thing I've learned already is that I need a much better tripod to get those angles sorted!

by Boogs - enjoying the journey!

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