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Old Mar 4, 2012, 1:56 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Quadna71 View Post
but was just wondering if someone knew how to vary the f number while in Macro mode.
Macro mode is fully automatic, and it's just marketing, since macro mode doesn't change the minimum focus distance of the lens.

True macro or close-up is better done in Manual mode or Aperture Priority...
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Old Mar 4, 2012, 2:52 PM   #12
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Thank you so so much for your kind words and thoughts.

Seeing that my longest lens is 55mm, is there a longer prime that might serve double duty as a capable macro lens? 135mm f/2.0 or 200mm f/2.8 perhaps?

Last edited by Quadna71; Mar 4, 2012 at 2:58 PM.
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Old Mar 4, 2012, 3:09 PM   #13
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G'day Q71

Following your initial comments about "macro mode" I have checked it out on my Pentax to find that it is locked into f5,6 once "macro" mode is selected

I think we all here [as experienced 'togz] know that f5,6 is not going to get us very far with DoF ... so I suspect that this mode is meant for other things and with lenses longer than the 18-55. If I have the 70-300 on board and select macro mode, the minimum focus distance drops remarkably ... so it's a combo of lens + aperture thing

Coming back to your issues tho > several of the comments above are 'on-the-button' whereby a) as you get closer & closer ALL DoF shrinks, and b) to get any sort of 1/2-decent DoF you will need to stop the lens down, and as you respond above - you already know this

For my close-up / macro work, and whichever camera/lens combo I am using, I try to use the smallest aperture I can under the circumstances ... f16 to f32 range, along with tripod & focussing rail. This last item I find very critical as by using this I can move the whole camera-lens combo forwards & backwards by 1cm - 2cm etc without having to reposition the tripod. Lovely!

Hope this helps a bit
Regards, Phil
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Old Mar 4, 2012, 3:09 PM   #14
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When you say "double duty", what other duty do you have in mind?

Have you considered a conventional macro lens? Excellent macro lenses are available from Canon, Sigma, Tamron and Tokina.
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Old Mar 4, 2012, 3:17 PM   #15
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i know very little about the T3i so cant really comment on the settings but the best way of eliminating a shallow DOF is to use a flash, off camera is best, ring flash even better
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Old Mar 4, 2012, 4:22 PM   #16
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A flash lets you use a smaller aperture without using a long shutter speed, but a small aperture will only take you so far.
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Old Mar 4, 2012, 4:22 PM   #17
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G'day again Q71

Quote:
Originally Posted by Quadna71 View Post
... Seeing that my longest lens is 55mm, is there a longer prime that might serve double duty as a capable macro lens? 135mm f/2.0 or 200mm f/2.8 perhaps?
Neither of these lenses sounds like a 'macro' lens > I think that you need to help us out a bit more with your ideas for both 'macro' work and 'other' work that you wish to do

From many years of 'macro' photography, I am aware that the dedicated macro lens [like the 55mm micro nikkor or the 90mm tamron] are excellent lenses, esp built for close-up work and whose minimum apertures go down to f32 or beyond. However, to me, to buy a $1000+/- lens requires a very good set of reasons to justify its purchase > few of us can just whack $1000 on to the counter and walk out with a new lens

Personally, I like my lenses to be multi-purpose items, so I'm using GP stuff like the 70-300 Sigma on the Pentax or the 45-200 on the Panny.

The 70-300 does macro reasonably well tho not excitedly, whereas the panny 45-200 coupled with a Canon-250D close-up lens attached gives me great images. I can post some if you like, but I don't wish to hijack your thread

So as was asked above by TC .... "When you say "double duty", what other duty do you have in mind?"

Regards, Phil
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Old Mar 4, 2012, 4:32 PM   #18
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Sorry for not elaborating originally, but I meant double duty such as a capable macro lens but still able to shoot nature landscapes. I primarily enjoy nature shots and lately it seems to have been translating towards nature macro. Or at least I thought it was macro shooting - one of the previous responses informed me that they are only closeup shots - not macros.

I had just suggested one of those two longer prime lenses as examples that I might consider since both have a great reputation for crisp IQ and thought the longer focal lengths may lend wider DOF at say f/4 than my 17-55mm would. I may have things way mixed up in my head and not be making any sense though - that tends to happen often as I try learning more about photography.

I like the idea of a rail that can help me fine tune the focus. Up to this point I've just leaned in a little closer or further away and watched the clarity through the viewfinder. Since I've been laying prone on the ground and hand-holding my camera this is usually pretty easy to drift in or out a centimeter or two...although it makes repetitious shots quite difficult.

I guess I'm just trying to hit two birds with one stone to keep from spending double the money. I also realize that sometimes that is not possible, hence me asking all of you for advice. Maybe if I keep up my interest in macro shooting then a dedicated macro lens may just have to get bumped up on my wish list. Thanks again for taking the time to ponder this all for me - I appreciate it.
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Old Mar 4, 2012, 5:23 PM   #19
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The dividing line between "Macro" and "Close up" changes depending on who you ask.

Everyone will agree that a 1:1 magnification ratio is definitely macro, which is when the image of the subject projected onto the sensor is the same size as the subject, and when pressed, most will agree that 1:2 is also macro, where the image is half the size of the subject. A magnification ratio smaller than 1:4 is generally considered to be conventional photography. So it's that range of from 1:2 to 1:4 where the dividing line between macro and close-up lies, but people can't agree where it is exactly.

If you're looking for something that falls into that range, the Tamron 70-300 Di LD has a 1:2 magnification ratio, but only at its longest focal length, where it's not very sharp. The Tamron 55-200 is a reasonably good lens and has a magnification ratio of 1:3.5. Both of these lenses sell for less than $200. The Tamron 70-300 VC USD is better, it has a magnification ratio of 1:4 , but it's more expensive at about $400.

Those are the "double duty" lenses that come immediately to mind.

None of these is on par with the 17-55/2.8 that you've already got, but they're pretty good.
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Last edited by TCav; Mar 4, 2012 at 5:25 PM.
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Old Mar 4, 2012, 5:27 PM   #20
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When people talk of 'macro', it is generally about photos where the image on the sensor is life size, or close to it. Think of a dime filling the fame. The subject is almost always singular. If that is what you are looking for, then a dedicated macro lens is the ticket. For double duty use, a 70-300mm, as Phil mentions, is a pretty good choice. The maximum magnification is 1:2, or half life size, but with a 2x teleconverter, it goes to 1:1, and with no change in focal distance. (1:2 being more than enough for a lot of work, and quite a bit more than your example) Look at some lens reviews to decide which one of these you want, as the different makers have different strengths and weaknesses.

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