Canon Macro Lense Recommendation

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by shady825, Dec 14, 2008.

  1. shady825 macrumors 68000

    shady825

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    #1
    I'm picking up a Canon Rebel XS in the next few weeks here and i really love taking macro photos.
    Anyone here with a Canon macro lens that they are happy with???

    Any advice will be appreciated!!

    Thank you!
     
  2. Kebabselector macrumors 68030

    Kebabselector

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    #2
    I'm very happy with my Canon EF100mm f/2.8 Macro. That said some of the other makes like the Tamron (90mm? Macro) seem to get highly rated as well.
     
  3. AlaskaMoose macrumors 65816

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    #3
    The EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro USM is an excellent lens, and not too expensive. You can do a lot with this lens alone, but later may want to buy a ring flash, and also a set of Kenko tubes.

    The ring flash is very useful when the subject is in the dark (low light conditions). However, a lot of photos can be taken without the aid of a ring flash during the day when there is a lot of light. With the use of a Kenko tube, you can get the front glass of the lens very close to the subject. For example, you may want to photograph the head of a grasshopper instead of the whole subject. In this case, a Kenko tube allows you to get within a few millimeters from the subject. So all depends on how close you want to get to it.

    Canon makes real good macro lenses. I am very happy with the macro lens I mentioned above. I can get very close to the subject and still maintain a short distance between us (about 12"). A lens of 300mm with macro capability would give me a wider safety zone (around 4 feet or so).

    Some of the best Canon macro lenses:
    -MP-E 65 ($819.00) I believe this is a manual focus lens only, but it's a favorite with macro photographers, and perhaps the sharpest around.

    -EF 100mm f.2.8 Macro USM ($470.00). This is my favorite. It's very sharp, and has auto/manual-focusing. I can use it for macro photography, or as a 100mm telephoto with outo focusing.

    Canon makes a few other macro lenses, most of which can be found here:
    http://photography-on-the.net/forum/showthread.php?t=141406

    You may want to visit the Macro Forum at the home page, "photography-on-the.net/," and ask about the favorite macro lenses. Look at the macros of "Lord V" and you will be amazed.
     
  4. shady825 thread starter macrumors 68000

    shady825

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    #4

    Thanks for all the info!! That was great!
    Do you have any experience with the Rebel XS? It will be my first SLR. Im coming from a Canon SD750. (you know all the Maria Sharapova commercials:rolleyes:) So this will be a BIG step up for me. Do you think with the "stock" lens i will be able to take decent macro photos? After dropping the money on the camera, the lens that it comes with will have to hold me over for a little while..
     
  5. Grimace macrumors 68040

    Grimace

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    #5
    The stock lens won't take macro shots. You'll actually need a macro lens to get the right results.

    It's not as long, but the 60mm macro is actually pretty awesome. It serves as a really sharp portrait lens too.
     
  6. shady825 thread starter macrumors 68000

    shady825

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    #6
    So your saying i cant use the macro feature with the supplied lens??
     
  7. anubis macrumors 6502a

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    #7
    The kit lens isn't long enough, the max aperture is too small, and the minimum focus distance is too far to be an effective macro lens.

    You might want to search the internet for a primer on macro photography basics.
     
  8. shady825 thread starter macrumors 68000

    shady825

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    #8
    Well i guess im just confused. My $250 Canon SD750 takes macro photos that are some what decent.
    you guys are saying i wont be able to take up close photos with the standard lens?
     
  9. Grimace macrumors 68040

    Grimace

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    #9
    Close photos aren't necessarily the same as macro photos. It's a focusing issue. There are minimum focusing distances for almost all lenses. Imagine a huge telephoto lens, 2 inches from the subject -- should that be an amazing macro shot? Won't work! You can always go crazy with cropping and make something look like you were right next to it -- but that doesn't make it a true macro.

    The SD750 may have had a "macro mode" but whether it actually focuses down to 1:1 is unclear. Lots of lenses get close, but a true macro lens is labeled as such because it operates differently.
     
  10. shady825 thread starter macrumors 68000

    shady825

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    #10
    Ok, im starting to understand. Im sorry im just new to this and its all a bit over whelming!
     
  11. AlaskaMoose macrumors 65816

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    #12
    Agree with you.
     
  12. AlaskaMoose macrumors 65816

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    #13
    All you have to keep in mind is that a macro lens has the capability of focusing while still very close to the subject. For example, the EF 100mm Macro allows you to get a foot away from the subject, and still focus. I don't have the information at the moment, but I will guess that an EF 50mm macro lens would focus around 6" from the subject. The 70-300mm Sigma lens I also have -and don't use it any longer-works as a macro lens at 300mm only, and focuses at perhaps 4 to 5 feet from the subject.

    With a cropped sensor such as the one in your XS, you could very well use a 50mm macro lens for both portrait (headshots, for example), and macro photography. You can do the same with a 100mm macro lens, but you may have to walk back away from the subject.

    Finally, you can use any of the sharpest lenses that aren't macro, and still take close-up shots, and even near-macro shots. To do the later, you would have to add an extension tube (or bellows). This added air space allows for getting the glass closer to the subject, although a lot of depth-of-field is lost in the process. For that reason, it's best to use a true macro lens for macro photography, specially if you want to photograph the eyes of a fly (for example). Finally, read about "photo-stacking" as explained by Lord V. at the web site below.

    You can find everything you want to know about macro photography in this forum. Don't be afraid to ask. If you don't have a large budget, tell so, and the folks in there will explain it to you.
    http://photography-on-the.net/forum/forumdisplay.php?f=38

    To learn about macro photography (in the forum above), try this sub-forum:
    http://photography-on-the.net/forum/forumdisplay.php?f=123
     
  13. WilliamG macrumors G3

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    #14

    You remind me of me when I started out in SLR photography. The answer to your question is that any SLR with the kit lens is nowhere near as versatile as your SD750. That's why a lot of people have trouble getting into this SLR business. You need a lot more lenses to even come close to the versatility.
     
  14. Scarlet Fever macrumors 68040

    Scarlet Fever

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    #15
    I still find it amazing no one makes SLR lenses with the versatility of my cheap little S3 IS. It has a range of 35-432mm (35mm equivalent), and it can focus anywhere between the front lens element (0cm) to infinity.

    At the moment, the largest range on my 40D comes from the 24-70mm f/2.8 USM and the 70-200mm f/4L IS USM, which covers a 35mm equivalent of 38-320mm. If I get a 1.4x teleconverter for the 70-200, I get 448mm. The total cost of all this is nearly 8 times the cost of one S3 IS.

    I'd never give up my L for any number of S3s, though :D
     
  15. OreoCookie macrumors 68030

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    #16
    Well, you could start with the kit lens and get extension tubes? They start at $60 and are quite a bit cheaper than real macro lenses.

    The advantage of cheap kit lenses is that they have a close minimal focussing distance. The current version of the kit lens focusses from 25 cm (the 18-55 mm IS). Add an extension tube and you're in macro territory. Sure, a dedicated macro lens will beat that combo in about any other regard, but that combo is cheaper and might be a good starting point for a beginner.
     
  16. flinch13 macrumors regular

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    #17
    Before shelling out for a dedicated macro lens, I highly recommend you experiment a little with what you can do for cheap/free.

    You'll be wanting to buy a 50mm f/1.8. Period. It's a standard lens and it's great for the money (about $80). You'll use it all the time.

    Use this lens in conjunction with a set of extension tubes (about $120) and you've got a 1:1 macro setup! That's about $200, and you'll use this stuff all the time. You'll probably need to focus manually, but working from a tripod you'll be okay.

    If you get a reversing ring (about $5 on ebay) you can flip your kit lens around and mount it on your body. At the widest setting, you'll get the highest magnification (over 1:1). This way is a little difficult, but virtually free and a way to get the functionality of the very expensive MP-65 macro lens.

    Ringlights and dedicated macro lenses are great, but don't waste your money on something you can do for much cheaper unless you're REALLY SURE this is what you'll be doing all the time.
     
  17. shady825 thread starter macrumors 68000

    shady825

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    #18
    When i bought my camera a few days ago at Wolf camera i asked the guy about this and he looked at me like hes never heard of doing this!?
    I ended up buying the Canon XS and for $49 i got a 75-300mm lens along with the kit lens.
    Im happy with it for the time being. I think I'll just end up buying a dedicated macro lens in the near future.

    Thanks again for all the help everyone!
     

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