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Help! Macro Lens advice????


EmzLou1980 12 279 Scotland
2 Jun 2009 2:15PM
I've an 18-55mm lens for my canon eos 300d, if I bought the +10 marcro lense to put onto it, will my camera then be sufficient in macro?
Or do I need a seperate lense, if so what one is best for Macro?
Coleslaw 15 13.4k 28 Wales
2 Jun 2009 2:30PM
Depends on how much you want to spend.
Extension tubes would be my choice, other than a dedicated macro lens.
conrad 16 10.9k 116
2 Jun 2009 2:32PM
Why not try out what you have first, Emma, and then decide if you need something else. Your findings and your budget can then help you decide what you'll want to purchase next.
EmzLou1980 12 279 Scotland
2 Jun 2009 5:10PM
I messes about abit with the 18-55mm and found for example I couldnt get a decent focus of a penny full frame, but then my fuji s8100fd gives me a perfect macro and at handheld I get great shots almost every time..... I'm not sure what to do really, sometimes the fuji doesn't get as close as I like, ie i wanted to experement with right close ups of pollen with in the flower for example, the issue originally was taking my compact and slr every where i went, but then thats an easier thing to overcome as I've purchased a slr rucksack so I could fit everything i have in it.... the add on lens are only 15 and i've some spending money, so with budget and me being still inexperienced, maybe the add ons would be a reasonable addittion to my humble collection????
mohikan22 Plus
17 2.3k 2 United Kingdom
2 Jun 2009 5:54PM
i have a macro lens in the classified going cheaper than online shops atm unboxed. have a look.
matt.
Overread 12 4.1k 19 England
2 Jun 2009 5:59PM
For macro stop using the AF and start using the manual focus - seriously macro work and AF just don't go together well. Best way is to set the focus so the closest you can (or as close as you can whilst keeping the subject in frame) and then move the camera and lens closer and further from the subject to get focus - often you will have to gently rock back and forth very near to the point of focus to get it just right!
Leif 16 777
2 Jun 2009 11:00PM
I don't think you'll get good results with tubes on your zoom. Zooms tend to perform worst at the near end, and tubes just make that more obvious. Diopters (add on lenses) tend not to give good results unless you buy decent ones, such as Canon or Nikon, which are made of two elements. But they cost a fair bit.

When you say macro, what do you mean? Jewellery? Watches? Insects? Abstract? Flowers? The most versatile macro focal length is ~100mm. Most macro lenses are decent, some are superb. I use Nikon so I cannot recommend lenses, but in Nikon-land you can get a nice used ~100mm micro lens for ~100.

But you'll need to stop own the aperture, and that reduces light. So you'll most probably need a tripod and head. And a cable release. And maybe even mirror lock up if you have it!

Oh yes, and use MF.
Overread 12 4.1k 19 England
2 Jun 2009 11:14PM
For Diopters Raynox make a very good series of not to expensive macro ones.
As for zooms what you say is interesting - I have always been told (and experienced) zooms being weaker at the long end not the short - heck even weaker 70-300mm are often capable 70mm lenses.
LenShepherd 12 4.3k United Kingdom
3 Jun 2009 8:40AM

Quote: - seriously macro work and AF just don't go together well.

That depends - and is part wrong depending on the subject.
Tripod use and manual focus are fine with static subjects within easy reach of a tripod set up - but often insects and sometimes flowers do not co-operate.
A good shot using AF, flash and/or VR is better than no shot at all with subjects where a tripod and manual approach is difficult or impossible.
LenShepherd 12 4.3k United Kingdom
3 Jun 2009 8:48AM

Quote:I don't think you'll get good results with tubes on your zoom. Zooms tend to perform worst at the near end, and tubes just make that more obvious. Diopters (add on lenses) tend not to give good results unless you buy decent ones, such as Canon or Nikon, which are made of two elements.

Me thinks you have not used equipment in this way!
With zooms on tubes magnification is usually greater at shorter focal lengths, primarily because tubes provide more magnification with shorter focal lengths than longer ones.
A decent 2 element CU, whilst not cheap, is likely to give much better optical quality than a 10x CU, and in a size for a kit lens will cost less than half the price of AF tubes.
Leif 16 777
3 Jun 2009 8:59PM

Quote:Quote:"I don't think you'll get good results with tubes on your zoom. Zooms tend to perform worst at the near end, and tubes just make that more obvious. Diopters (add on lenses) tend not to give good results unless you buy decent ones, such as Canon or Nikon, which are made of two elements."
Me thinks you have not used equipment in this way!



Here we go again. The forum know-all has appeared.

My comments were based on personal experience. Numerous zooms I have used do not work well with tubes. And they do not work so well at the near end i.e. close focus. Single elements diopters do not work well either. The Nikon 3T works very well, surprisingly so on the modest 75-150mm F3.5 zoom which has unusually good image quality.

A few Sigma zooms are said to work well, and Sigma do a 2 element diopter which works fine too.

"EmzLou1980": Incidentally, just to prove that my comments are based on experience, you might wish to check out my web site:

www.leifgoodwin.co.uk


Quote:
With zooms on tubes magnification is usually greater at shorter focal lengths, primarily because tubes provide more magnification with shorter focal lengths than longer ones.
A decent 2 element CU, whilst not cheap, is likely to give much better optical quality than a 10x CU, and in a size for a kit lens will cost less than half the price of AF tubes.



Len: What the hell is your problem matey? You really do enjoy picky pedantic pointless arguments don't you. I hoped I had seen the last of your obnoxious know it all posts. Lets see some of your example images or do you just masturbate your ego?
Overread 12 4.1k 19 England
3 Jun 2009 9:29PM

Quote:Quote: - seriously macro work and AF just don't go together well.

That depends - and is part wrong depending on the subject.
Tripod use and manual focus are fine with static subjects within easy reach of a tripod set up - but often insects and sometimes flowers do not co-operate.
A good shot using AF, flash and/or VR is better than no shot at all with subjects where a tripod and manual approach is difficult or impossible.



Ok true some subjects are possible with auto focusing, a butterfly is often large enough for an AF lockon - provided that you have a good angle so that the depth of field will get the head in focus.
But reading your post you seem to suggest that manual focusing requires a tripod setup inorder to work which (in my experience) is not the case - manual focusing works just as well on or off tripod - the only difference is that its often easier to fix the focusing manually and then rock the camera and lens closer and further (whilst being handheld) to get the exact point of focus - sometimes its easier to just adjust the focus ring - it depends. The former method allows you to work at a fixed magnification whilst the latter lets you be a bit more flexible.
Leif 16 777
3 Jun 2009 10:03PM

Quote:Quote:Quote: - seriously macro work and AF just don't go together well.

That depends - and is part wrong depending on the subject.
Tripod use and manual focus are fine with static subjects within easy reach of a tripod set up - but often insects and sometimes flowers do not co-operate.
A good shot using AF, flash and/or VR is better than no shot at all with subjects where a tripod and manual approach is difficult or impossible.Ok true some subjects are possible with auto focusing, a butterfly is often large enough for an AF lockon - provided that you have a good angle so that the depth of field will get the head in focus.
But reading your post you seem to suggest that manual focusing requires a tripod setup inorder to work which (in my experience) is not the case - manual focusing works just as well on or off tripod - the only difference is that its often easier to fix the focusing manually and then rock the camera and lens closer and further (whilst being handheld) to get the exact point of focus - sometimes its easier to just adjust the focus ring - it depends. The former method allows you to work at a fixed magnification whilst the latter lets you be a bit more flexible.



My experience agrees with what you say. I would never use AF for macro. The depth of field is so shallow that the AF just cannot know what part of the subject is to be in focus. As you say, fixing the focus for the desired reproduction ratio and then rocking in and out work fines fine with a flash exposure. In all these things it is dangerous to be dogmatic though, and some may get good results with AF.
EmzLou1980 12 279 Scotland
3 Jun 2009 11:06PM
I've had results in AF still a beginner so just learning the mechanics of photography but my s8100fd given me some nice macro shots

only tried a couple of times with canon 300d with not great success and i'd wondered whether that was lense related and whether another lens would be best or add ons, what are tubes anyway?
strawman 17 22.2k 16 United Kingdom
3 Jun 2009 11:16PM
The 300D is great for macro, with the correct lens, but compact cameras tend to be great and easy to use for macro due to sensor size and depth of field. There is a lot of maths we could go into but lets just say that the small sensor and the short real world focal lengths make them quite easy to use.

Returning to the 300D, I found that using a set of macro tubes on my sigma 18-50 lens I got acceptable results, but I will say that I found manual focus worked better, and distance between you and the subject is critical to the focus.

I found that a 50mm prime worked a treat with the tubes.
Here is an example taken by me using my 300D and 50mm lens It is not the best photo in the world, but it lets you get a feel for how close you can get. The print is much better, you can see all the sections of the eye....

I now use a sigma 105mm macro, why well the tubes are fussy and the sigma turned up for @ 100 2nd hand so I snaped it up.

Oh and the Leif chap knows his stuff, so for better advice listen to him.

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