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Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by rweakins, Jul 18, 2008.
any suggestions on a macro lens for either a canon rebel xt or a canon 40D?
Macro lenses depend a lot on what you're shooting- working distance and magnification being the critical issues. However, the Tamron 90mm gets good reviews as a general macro lens.
I have the Canon 100mm f2.8 USM macro lens for my Rebel XTi and it's an amazing lens! You can see a bunch of pictures taken with that lens in my gallery.
The Sigma 24mm f/1.8 is wonderful for the XTi. Also the Canon 50mm f/1.8 but that's slightly less macro-y. (though it's awesome with macro filters)
Neither of those are macro lenses as far as I'm aware. The last thing you want for Macro is a wide angle like a 24 or even a 50mm...
A reversed 50mm on another lens can serve as an interesting macro solution.
i have the 50mm f/1.8 for portraits and it's not really a macro lens at all. somewhat but not really.
Not at all. Its minimum focusing distance is actually quite far away...
Can't go wrong with the Canon 60mm or 100mm macro lenses.
I love my Canon 100mm.
You can find the photos for my 100mm set on flickr:
Oh, just a reminder. For macrophotography, lighting is crucial to get a good DOF. If you're going to photograph non-moving subjects, then you should use a tripod to avoid motion blur. If you're after fast-moving critters (my case, for example), then you're going to have to use a flash to get some decent lighting. I use a ring flash, and my settings are usually 1/200, f9-14, ISO 100-400. There's no way I could get away with those settings if I didn't use a flash.
Just a reminder.
Here's a little example (if you don't feel like checking out the galleries) of what the 100mm macro (and a ring flash) can do on a Rebel XTi. This is a 100% crop and the original image, downsized.
I think the definition of "macro" is 1:1 magnification. This means that the subject size equals the frames size so with a crop body SLR you are shooting this that are about 24 millimeters across (about 1 inch across) in the wide direction and 2/3rds that high.
Most lenses can't get even close to this.
Going closer, so the image on the sensor is larger then life-size, most people call that "micro photography" or sometimes "photo microscopy" Notice that Nikon got this wrong years ago (in the 50's) and called their macro lenses "Micro Nikor" and confused everyone.
Which to buy? 50mm to 60mm are lower cost and but 105mm allows a longer working distance which might give more options for lighting. Most people will shoot using a tripod and manual focusing so make shur the focus ring works well.
Well, quite a lot of folks are using the 50mm f/1.8 and f/1.4 for macro photography, but they add a Kenko tube to it. Try it sometimes and you will be amazed.
But instead of using any lens as a macro lens, I would give the nod to the EF 100mm macro. It's an incredibly sharp lens; so sharp in fact that some use it as a portrait lens much like Canon's 85mm and 135mm lenses.
FWIW, folks use it as a portrait lens because of the focal length, not because of its sharpness. In fact, you really don't want super-sharp for portraits, you'll just spend more time in post softening and smoothing skin and blemishes, pimples, etc. A nylon over the lens, soft focus filters and defocus lenses are all portrait things.
Hehe, definitely, this lens is incredibly sharp! Every misaligned eyelash will be visible.
Good points, but if you control the camera's sharpness of the Portraits Picture Style, you still can take "soft" photos with the sharpest lens around. Now, if you look at the photos taken by "Freddy" in the Glamour & Nude Forum of one of the largest Canon cameras photography forums, you will notice how incredibly sharp his photos are, and also the absence of blemishes and such.
Numerous portraiture styles are used by photographers. I have seen some photos in the same forum, from a professional European photographer, where all the blemishes are taken out, and then an action used to make the skin look like the lens has captured the pores of the models skin. Some others prefer a smooth texture like the one of a rubber doll, while others prefer the natural look of freckles, small moles, and even facial hair. I have no idea what lenses Freddy uses, but his photos are well known for sharpness.
Take a look at these two photos taken by Freddy. WARNING female nudity (breasts) in one of the photos:
i own the canon 60mm f2.8 and it is fantastic, my sharpest lens. it's even sharper than my L lens, by a noticeable margin. built well, sometimes used as a normal lens (since it's only a little longer than my 50mm). problem is, i do regret getting it over the 100mm, which presumably has the same level of image quality, but is compatible with full-frame which is where i want to go.
this answers your question i hope, but i do want to clear up something for others..
the term macro itself confuses a lot of people because it is used too loosely, some even think 1:1 refers to the aperture values on the barrel.. 1:1 in terms of macro is not written anywhere on the barrel, but it defines a "true" macro lens which can fill its sensor with the actual field of view. meaning you can capture a field of view 22mm across on a crop body, 35 on a full frame etc..
canon's lenses which say "macro" on the barrel are all true macro lenses, which are always prime/fixed-focal length lenses. sigma tacks "macro" onto a number of their zoom lenses which have decent maximum magnification values at full telephoto but most don't even get past 1:2. no zoom lens is a true macro lens, this is a fact.
the 50mm f1.8 is not even close to true macro (even the standard kit lens works a lot better). many of us own one, it's like 1:6 or greater. alright for a "closeup" but no way you'll be taking cliche "macros" like photos of your eye or flower stamen.
sorry for the long post, i felt i had to say it though.