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vitriol Nov 19, 2003 1:03 AM

Macro for digital rebel
What macro lens would you recommend to me for my digital rebel?
And how much $ should I expect to pay?
Thanks again !

Mathilde uP Nov 19, 2003 7:07 AM

You want extreme magnification expect to pay $1800, Canon has a nice 5:1 lens add to that a set of Kenko (about $240) extension rings and you can happily snap a ants head full frame.

More modest you have a choice around $500 for a 1:1 macro lens, Canon, Sigma and Tamron make such. 1:1 means 1 cm on sensor is 1 cm in reality.

If that is still a bit too crazy, go for Kenko extension/macro rings/tubes and a normal lens with decent macro point. I like the Tamron 70-300 (about $190) with 1:2 macro end, but I have not tested in depth.

Next you also want to consider what you want to photograph; insects? The extension rings may not be usefull as they just help to get more close to subject , with some lenses up to 1 mm ! Another point with those rings is they cost light = longer exposure = not suited for flower waving in the wind.

You can also use a magnification front filter. For nature they may work, for objects their fuzzy edge and limited dof may be impossible.

So if you ask me what should I pay, I would say buy the Canon 5:1 lens, please get bored with it and give it to me ;-)

ursa Nov 19, 2003 10:49 AM

Why do you want to take macro shots? of what? and when? Do you want to take a picture of an Ant's head? or an ant, or an ant on a leaf? If you want the first shot, then you'll need more than a lens - add on tripods with macro rails, special flashes etc. (plus the ant)

I don't think you'd be able to make that shot anywasy with a D300 because in lacks mirror lockup.

I looked at a few different solutions then went with a close focus adapter for my 300D.

The 50mm macro lenses have excellent optics and they're great at photographing flat objects like stamps.

A good lens (say a 50mm f1.8) plus an extension tube will get you reasonable magnification but the image won't be a nice across the entirety of the picture. That's okay if you're shooting a bug - they're not flat so the image will be fine. Your image sensor doesn't go full frame either so some of the distortion will be outside of the imaging area.

Extension tubes allow you to focus closer than the lens would otherwise.

John Shaw (who wrote an excellent book on the subject - the best I've seen 'Closeups in Nature), suggests that extension tubes should not be used on zoom lenses because focusing changes the composition and vice versa. He suggests getting a close focus diopter.

The knock on these is that at the edges of the frame there can be some distortion. But - the sensor in the 300D is smaller than a 35mm frame so much of this distortion will be outside the viewing area anyways.

The longer the lens you'll be able to take pictures from farther away. That is instead of one inch from the subject - you can shoot at 12 inches.

If you want to know more about the options then I highly reccomment John Shaws book. It's a bit dated but he goes over all the options, the pros and the cons to all of them.

Having a dedicated 100mm macro lens is great solution but it will cost a lot. Extension tubes are great but you have to carry them and you'll still need to buy a lens beyond your 18-55.

I went with a two optical element close focus adapter (500D), it's quite portable and when I'm in the woods I can easily add it to my everyday zoom for spur of the moment macro shots, then take it off for other work.

My latest photogallery (see the url) has some shots using the macro adapter.

vitriol Nov 19, 2003 12:32 PM

first I would like to thank you for the time you take for awnsering.. It's really appreciated

I' m not looking for extreme magnification effects like in the "ant head" example... I don't really like that kind of pictures...

This is a picture I took some time ago with the 18-55 lens. (don't look at the quality, was one of my first shots ever with a slr :roll: )

What I'm looking for is a lens that would let me go closer so that the spyder alone fills the frame.

Also the next lens i'm planning to buy is the 70-200L f2.8 Could I use that lens with extension tubes or extension rings for some decent macro shots?


brian1208 Nov 19, 2003 1:50 PM

have a look at the Tamron 90mm f2.8 SP macro and Sigma 105mm F2.8 EX macro lenses. They have very good reviews by mags and macro shooters and are excellent portrait lenses as well as macro lenses.

I have spent a few days evaluating both on my 300D and have gone for the Tamron. Reasons, I thought the images were just that bit nicer and it was better for my portrait use (focal length wise).

There is a marked improvement in image quality going from the kit lens and a Tamron 28 -200 macro. My best lens purchase to date
(and only 279 vs >500 for the equivalent canon macro!)

dougsmit Nov 21, 2003 4:12 PM

Kenko or other non Canon Extension tubes
When Canon issued the 300D and EF-S lens they also cane out with a new version of the extension tubes to use with this lens. As I understand it (and I have never seen these tubes or know anyone who has), this was necessary to clear the deep back of the lens and that the old Canon brand tubes could not be used with the 18-55 but could be used on the camera with other EF lenses.

My question is whether the Kenko or any other non-Canon tubes can be used with the kit lens or if all were too narrow to allow the lens to mount so the new Canon tubes are the only way to go if you want to use the kit lens? Does anyone on this board actually own tubes and the 300D kit?

ursa Nov 21, 2003 6:30 PM

I've never heard that...

Extension tubes are nothing but empty cylinders and I can't see why the tube would interfere with the lens. It's not like there's anything to hit, unless the lens would touch the sides of the tube.

Besides, zoom lenses and extension tubes are usually not a good idea. And a 18mm lens with extension would have such a short working distance too, I wouldn't think it's practical.

I have put the regular Canon extension tube on the digital Rebel with a 50 f1.8 lens without any problems. It gave a pretty good result, from my test shots. But I wouldn't use either of the current EF-S mount zooms for macro work.

Get a good prime and extension tubes if you want to go down that route.

dougsmit Nov 21, 2003 8:52 PM

If you have extension tubes and the kit lens, I would appreciate knowing if they (what brand of tubes) fit together (whether or not you recommend that use). The question is why Canon felt it necessary to come out with a new model tube for this camera.

You said, " It's not like there's anything to hit, unless the lens would touch the sides of the tube." That is the question. Does the rear of the kit lens (probably the rubber bumper) touch the sides of Kenko tubes as it apparently does with the old Canon models?

"New accessories
Because of the new mount, two new extension tubes have been developed for Canon's EF lens range, the Extension Tube EF12II and EF25II. These new tubes replace the Extension Tubes EF12 and EF25 and work with almost every available Canon EF lens. Their new mount allows them to also work with the new EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6."

I agree that prime lenses are preferable to zooms on extentions (or for any use where changing lenses is not a problem). I would hope no one would use tubes with the lens set at 18mm. Even 55mm is really too short for decent working distance but might serve those of us who do not have the resources to buy the best quite yet.

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