Need a macro lens

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by iSimx, Apr 29, 2009.

  1. iSimx macrumors 6502


    Sep 26, 2007
    Hi I'm looking for a cheap but good macro lens for an EOS Canon 400D. Not sure which one to get. I'll be taking photos of insects and flowers close up.

    Preferably on

  2. Mousse macrumors 68000


    Apr 7, 2008
    Flea Bottom, King's Landing
    If you want to do macro cheaply, get an extension tubes and slap it onto a 50mm.:cool: Don't worry about image quality issues. All that empty air causes 0 image degradation. It'll a challenge to focus at first (no auto-focus or unreliable auto-focus at best), but once get a bit of practice in, it gets easier.

    There are macro filters you can attached to the front of your lense, but I have no experience with those. I don't know how well they work. But they're also fairly inexpensive.

    Finally, there are macro lenses (the work the best), but can be expensive. Scratch that, they ARE expensive. Usually twice the costs of a similar non-macro variant.
  3. bertpalmer macrumors 6502

    Apr 12, 2007
    The cheap option would be a Sigma 105/2.8 Great image quality and fairly well built. The downside is, it is slow to focus and a bit noisy. If you can live with that it is a great lens. I used to own it but in the end upgraded to...

    I'd recommend you spend the extra and get the Canon 100/2.8 macro - but that much extra in image quality but the ultrasonic focus motor really makes a difference for quick and quiet focussing.
  4. toxic macrumors 68000

    Nov 9, 2008
    extension tubes, manual focus lenses, or cough up $400 for a 60mm macro.
  5. neutrino23 macrumors 68000

    Feb 14, 2003
    SF Bay area
    You leave a lot of leeway between price and quality.

    One of the better macro options, IMHO, is the Sigma 70mm f/2.8 EX DG lens. Incredibly sharp and flat focus. Price about $400 US.

    If you just want to get some experience at photographing small things close up I recommend the Raynox Super Macro Conversion Lens Set. You can get it on Amazon. It is a set of three diopters with a holder that attach to the front of your lens with a spring clip rather like a lens cover. The set includes 6x, 12x and 24x lenses. These will fit on lens diameters 52-67mm. These are kind of like getting a loupe for your camera.

    The price is a little over $100 US. These are nice as you can attach them to a variety of lenses you have. The only downside I've seen is that they magnify a bit too much. The 6x would probably be good on something like a 50mm lens for larger objects.

    You can also find other single piece macro lenses that will fit specific size lenses. I have one for another lens that is a 2x magnifier. Works really well. It means you have to be two times closer to the subject but for still life that is not a problem. As in most things, quality and price go hand in hand but these are relatively inexpensive compared to buying a whole lens.

    I just did a very quick search and found this page which talks about close up attachment lenses.
  6. Phrasikleia macrumors 601


    Feb 24, 2008
    Over there------->
    The 60mm f/2.8 also has USM, but when shooting macro stuff, I'm almost always focusing manually. So the motor really only matters with non-macro shots.
  7. cenetti macrumors 6502

    Jan 30, 2008
    or you can get a +10 macro filter for about $30 and take images like this one : ;)

  8. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Jan 5, 2006
    Redondo Beach, California
    I'll second that. When you are shooting very small things the depth of field is very thin. Maybe just a millimeter or even less. With that kind of depth autofocus can't be trusted to pick the part of the image to want sharp. How woud it know? so you will be manually focusing .

    It gets easier as the subjects get larger. 1:1 (means the subject is the same size as the sensor) is the hardest. It's easier by far and you can begin to use auto focus when the subject is as big as your hand or a SLR camera body. For subjects that size the screw-in diopers work fine. Nikon and Canon make the best diopters (they are "achromatic doublets") but the others are ok. But you will need a real macro lens for 1:1.

    Get a tripod. ith 1mm DOF the focus will go in and out as your hands move.
  9. AlaskaMoose macrumors 65816

    Apr 26, 2008
    I would just save a little and buy either to 60mm macro, or the 100mm macro. The later costs around $400.00.
  10. TheReef macrumors 68000


    Sep 30, 2007
    NSW, Australia.
  11. Apple Ink macrumors 68000

    Apple Ink

    Mar 7, 2008
    That certainly is the cheapest AND the most disastrous, pathetic and utterly unusable option of all possible ways!
    Stay away from this one.

    Get extension tube(MF) or a HQ magnifying diopter filter(AF but Quality loss).

    Or better still... get the 60mm. Though I highly recommend the 100mm or the Tamron 90mm!!

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