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Old Aug 1, 2008, 4:19 AM   #11
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mtngal wrote:
So if you have a 105mm lens on an Oly, it will have the same DOF as a 105 lens on a Canon or on a 35mm film camera (focal length is focal length).
Hmm, technically this is only partially correct, the above sentence is a poor approximation in English of what the equations say. It is also a common internet misapprehension.

I wouldn't bother to mention it except that as mtngal states, understanding DOF is pretty important in Macro photography.

I would be happy to discuss it in depth in another thread, but this is probably not the right place.

But a good place to start is the equations on http://www.dofmaster.com

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Old Aug 1, 2008, 5:24 AM   #12
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There are lots of types of Macro photography, insects behave very differently from flowers, and from coins, etc.

A really good Macro setup can be quite expensive. Lighting, as with all photography, is key; and controlling the lighting for Macro work can be tricky. You might want to investigate the availability of a ring-flash setup for the camera you choose. Canon and Nikon have their own ring-flash setups, but Sigma do one too, which will probably fit the other cameras.

The good news is that there are lots of good 3rd party Macro lenses about, and most of them can be got in a mounting that will fit whichever body you decide on. One lens which is pretty much legendary for its handling and sharpness at a much lower price than the competition is the Tamron 90mm Macro.


You also need to think very carefully about the kind of Macro photography you want to do, because a top-grade tripod is almost essential. Most tripods, and particularly the cheaper and medium priced ones, are not very good for Macro work. Using geared columns and heads is advisable and a reversible centre column is essential.

The fancy new live-view feature that a lot of the newer cameras sport, is useless for my type of photography, but for Macro it can be very very useful to nail that focal plane in precisely the position you want it. So I would recommend live view.

In my opinion Macro is one area where image stabilization is of very little value. You should be using a tripod and flash, relying on IS is the route to fuzzy macro shots.
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Old Aug 1, 2008, 5:53 PM   #13
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Well I appreciate all your comments and help and helpful they have been. I think I've pretty much decided on the Canon Xsi, and for the moment I'll probably just buy it with the lens kit as it's a decent lens for all around purposes for the moment. I'll probably look at the Tamron 90 mm mentioned as it does look "inexpensive" for that category of lens, but probably too much for me to spend at one lump. I'll check out the Close up forum for possible other suggestions of lens. Thank you.
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