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Old Mar 2, 2004, 8:18 PM   #11
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The macro lens can be used to take good pictures of insects. It should do just fine on rings.

You might try checking out the macro forum here, and see what they can do with... and ask what they have!

eric s is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Mar 5, 2004, 6:04 PM   #12
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At macro distances you shouldn't confuse the lens length with magnification. A longer macro lens gives you more working distance (lens to subject) than a shorter lens for a given magnification.

A macro lens will allow you to do two things - focus at an object that's closer (via extension) and usually it will allow you to have a smaller aperature (bigger f-stop numbers mean smaller aperature, it's 1/f-stop). It doesn't give you more magnification just allow you to be closer so that the object is bigger on the 'film'.

The ring you're shooting is as deep as it is wide, you'll need a large depth of field - ie. small aperature. Longer lenses have shallower depth of fields too.

You can get a macro lens or you could get another prime (non-zoom) lens like the 50mm f1.8 and add extension to it. The problem with 50mm lenses is that the working distance is very short to shoot at 1:1 - about inch. The 100mm macros give more working distance so you wouldn't cast a shadow in your light tent.

You can add extension to a macro lens to allow you to go past 1:1. Extension tube are reasonably cheap and you don't need to buy Canon ones - they're only hollow tubes.

Another useful tool that isn't expensive is a macro rail, it allows you to move the camera closer or further from the subject in order to focus. You keep the lens focused at a specific distance and adjust the camera instead of the lens. Since you're shooting stationary subjects on a tripod it wouldn't be much more equipment/trouble. Manfrotto/Bogen have a rail system that's quite cheap.

I'd suggest you get John Shaw's book, 'Closeups in Nature' before you invest a lot of money on macro lenses.
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