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BreninTW
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Macro Photography Question

Tue Oct 27, 2015 6:25 am

I've recently purchased a Canon EOS 70D (upgrading from an older EOS DSLR). One of the things I'm interested in trying out is macro photography.

One of my other hobbies is model building and I want to get detail photos of some of the components -- detail photos my standard lenses aren't really up to.

I've been looking at options for getting detail shots, and there are three feasible options for me:

1) The cheapest is an extension tube. Probably not a bad solution for someone just starting out with macro photography.
2) A 60 mm macro lens: The mid-cost option, and probably better than the extension tube.
3) A 100 mm macro lens. OUCH expensive option -- I can afford it, but I'm struggling to justify dropping a couple hundred USD on another lens.

I suppose it would help if I could remember which lenses I have. The short ones start from 18 mm (I think one is 18-200 mm, the other is 18-60-ish), then I have a couple of longer ones.

I've seen stuff online that talks about reverse-mounting the lens or hacking the lens mounts to create a macro effect, but I'm not willing to mess around with a brand new camera and expensive lenses.

Does anyone have ideas that I've missed? Or a recommendation for lenses?
 
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afterburner
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RE: Macro Photography Question

Tue Oct 27, 2015 8:41 am

How about Tamron 60mm f/2 macro? Its focal length and aperture size make this lens has a second role as a portrait lens.
 
PhilBy
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RE: Macro Photography Question

Tue Oct 27, 2015 9:09 am

Much cheaper and easier to use than the extension tubes, you can also buy macro filters that you attach to the front of the lens. Generally a set of 3 or 4 in +1, +2, +4, +10 costs about 10Euros.

For really close macro it's best to put them on a 100mm+ lens or you'll be trying to posirion the camera for a focus at a distance of a few mm.
 
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afterburner
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RE: Macro Photography Question

Tue Oct 27, 2015 5:13 pm

Quoting PhilBy (Reply 2):
For really close macro it's best to put them on a 100mm+ lens or you'll be trying to posirion the camera for a focus at a distance of a few mm.

Considering of what objects OP wants to capture and his camera has an APS-C sensor, I don't think he really needs a macro lens that has more than 100 mm in focal length.
 
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zckls04
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RE: Macro Photography Question

Tue Oct 27, 2015 6:29 pm

One thing to keep in mind is that macro lenses can often make superb portrait lenses. My Nikkor 105mm Macro lens is the best lens for portraits I've used by a country mile. It's almost impossible to take a bad shot with it. I sold it three times when I was after some extra cash, and all three times I ended up buying it back because I couldn't live without it.

So just in case you were on the fence about the 100mm lens, keep in mind you can use it for a lot more than just macro (which to be honest was a bit of a passing novelty for me).
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vikkyvik
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RE: Macro Photography Question

Tue Oct 27, 2015 6:42 pm

Quoting BreninTW (Thread starter):
One of my other hobbies is model building and I want to get detail photos of some of the components -- detail photos my standard lenses aren't really up to.

How small are the components you want to shoot?
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B747-4U3
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RE: Macro Photography Question

Tue Oct 27, 2015 9:37 pm

Extension tubes are a good option. I use Kenko ones and they work well. What you may find though is it makes the depth of field extremely shallow, so depending on the type of photo you want to take you may end up having to focus stack to get the whole photo sharp.
 
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BreninTW
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RE: Macro Photography Question

Wed Oct 28, 2015 12:36 am

Quoting vikkyvik (Reply 5):
How small are the components you want to shoot?

In the instance that's triggered this latest round of thinking about macro photography -- they're about 2 x 1 cm, and about 0.5 cm thick.

Quoting B747-4U3 (Reply 6):
Extension tubes are a good option. I use Kenko ones and they work well.

I saw these at the photography shop I looked at last night. I'm not too fussed about the depth of field at the moment as I have a collection of other lenses as well. The price on the tubes was about US$100 ... so not a bad price (I could probably get it lower as well).

Quoting afterburner (Reply 1):
How about Tamron 60mm f/2 macro?

I have other Tamron lenses, and TBH I'm not impressed with them. The Canon lenses I've bought are just so much sharper.

My other half mentioned last night that I should consider renting a lens before I buy ... so I might do that and see how things work out with that.
 
vikkyvik
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RE: Macro Photography Question

Wed Oct 28, 2015 2:45 am

Quoting BreninTW (Reply 7):
My other half mentioned last night that I should consider renting a lens before I buy ... so I might do that and see how things work out with that.

   Definitely do this. Rent the exact copy you're going to buy, if possible.

Quoting BreninTW (Reply 7):
In the instance that's triggered this latest round of thinking about macro photography -- they're about 2 x 1 cm, and about 0.5 cm thick.

Hmmm, so small, but not super-small. I've done what I call pseudo-macro shots with both the kit 18-55 IS, and the 300 F4L IS (which is obviously a much more expensive lens).

The 18-55 is not bad for a cheap lens, and the minimum focusing distance is something like 10 inches, so you can get quite close - max magnification is 0.34x, according to Wikipedia - not bad for a non-macro lens.

But of course, getting that close can be a pain in the butt, especially when you're trying to take photos of insects, like I do from time to time. I have been able to take stuff like this with it (obviously cropped in in post-processing):



And this, though I don't recommend sticking your camera/hand 10" from a black widow:

But if you're really serious about it, I would go for a real macro lens.
I'm watching Jeopardy. The category is worst Madonna songs. "This one from 1987 is terrible".
 
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BreninTW
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RE: Macro Photography Question

Wed Oct 28, 2015 3:23 am

Quoting vikkyvik (Reply 8):
Definitely do this. Rent the exact copy you're going to buy, if possible.

That's what I will do over the weekend ... I've found a place that rents the exact lenses I'm thinking of buying, and I'll consider going there and renting them to see how I like working with them.

Some of the other parts I'd be photographing are as small as 0.5 x 3 mm -- which definitely require a proper macro lens, but they're also the exception rather than the rule.
 
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zckls04
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RE: Macro Photography Question

Wed Oct 28, 2015 5:01 am

Here's an image I took with my micro-Nikkor 105.

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vikkyvik
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RE: Macro Photography Question

Wed Oct 28, 2015 5:49 am

Quoting BreninTW (Reply 9):
Some of the other parts I'd be photographing are as small as 0.5 x 3 mm -- which definitely require a proper macro lens, but they're also the exception rather than the rule.

Maybe so, but you don't want to buy one lens, then realize it's not adequate for what you need. You'll just end up spending more money that way.

The EF-S 60mm macro looks like a pretty good deal for 1:1 magnification. Quality should be pretty good for an EF-S lens, given that it's prime. But of course, it'll be useless if you want to upgrade to full-frame at some point.
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PhilBy
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RE: Macro Photography Question

Wed Oct 28, 2015 11:44 am

Quoting afterburner (Reply 3):
Considering of what objects OP wants to capture and his camera has an APS-C sensor, I don't think he really needs a macro lens that has more than 100 mm in focal length.

The filters fit any lens but using a short lens for macro gives a very narrow depth of field and more challenge focussing due to how close you are to the subject.

On a D90 wikth 18-105 I prefer to go to 105mm for small (1-2cm) objects.

Of course there is always the f32 solution.

[Edited 2015-10-28 04:46:38]
 
bhill
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RE: Macro Photography Question

Wed Oct 28, 2015 3:01 pm

Bellows...if you are serious about it, they can be had for cheap on e-bay.
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