Macro lens choice

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by mehh95, Aug 3, 2003.

  1. mehh95

    mehh95 Guest

    I am thinking of buying my first macro lens for my 10D. (FWIW I
    currently have 17-40, 50 and 70-300 glass, but no macro).

    I am trying to decide what focal length to go for. Obviously, focal
    length will determine perspective and DOF, and having a longer focal
    lens will mean I can get further away from the subject and still
    achieve the same magnification.

    What are the other factors for choosing macro focal length? Will a
    long macro be better at certain subjects than a short one, and vice
    versa?

    Ignore cost for the moment, as I prefer to decide what I want then see
    if I can actually afford it :)

    TIA
    mehh95, Aug 3, 2003
    #1
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  2. mehh95

    SqlGuy Guest

    Well, to some extent it depends on what you want to use the lens for.
    For example, for hummingbirds, a 100mm macro can be a very good choice.
    More working distance can be a real advantage.
    On the other hand, you should consider the maximum magnification available
    with the lens.
    My 100mm Canon doesn't go as "close" as some macro lenses, I'm sure.
    "mehh95" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > I am thinking of buying my first macro lens for my 10D. (FWIW I
    > currently have 17-40, 50 and 70-300 glass, but no macro).
    >
    > I am trying to decide what focal length to go for. Obviously, focal
    > length will determine perspective and DOF, and having a longer focal
    > lens will mean I can get further away from the subject and still
    > achieve the same magnification.
    >
    > What are the other factors for choosing macro focal length? Will a
    > long macro be better at certain subjects than a short one, and vice
    > versa?
    >
    > Ignore cost for the moment, as I prefer to decide what I want then see
    > if I can actually afford it :)
    >
    > TIA
    >
    SqlGuy, Aug 3, 2003
    #2
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  3. For most uses 100mm range is considered best. Different uses call for
    different lenses.

    --
    Joseph E. Meehan

    26 + 6 = 1 It's Irish Math


    "mehh95" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > I am thinking of buying my first macro lens for my 10D. (FWIW I
    > currently have 17-40, 50 and 70-300 glass, but no macro).
    >
    > I am trying to decide what focal length to go for. Obviously, focal
    > length will determine perspective and DOF, and having a longer focal
    > lens will mean I can get further away from the subject and still
    > achieve the same magnification.
    >
    > What are the other factors for choosing macro focal length? Will a
    > long macro be better at certain subjects than a short one, and vice
    > versa?
    >
    > Ignore cost for the moment, as I prefer to decide what I want then see
    > if I can actually afford it :)
    >
    > TIA
    Joseph Meehan, Aug 4, 2003
    #3
  4. mehh95

    JK Guest

    mehh95 wrote:

    > I am thinking of buying my first macro lens for my 10D. (FWIW I
    > currently have 17-40, 50 and 70-300 glass, but no macro).
    >
    > I am trying to decide what focal length to go for. Obviously, focal
    > length will determine perspective and DOF, and having a longer focal
    > lens will mean I can get further away from the subject and still
    > achieve the same magnification.


    Yes, but for a given extension tube magnification will be increased less
    with a longer focal length.


    >
    >
    > What are the other factors for choosing macro focal length?


    For portraits 100mm is usually more useful than 50mm in
    35mm film photography, although isn't there a 1.6 factor,
    so a 50mm becomes like an 80mm? If so, then a 100mm
    macro wouldn't be that useful in many situations, and a 50mm
    lens would be much more useful. 50mm macro lenses are
    also usually much less expensive than 100mm ones, everything
    else being equal.

    > Will a
    > long macro be better at certain subjects than a short one, and vice
    > versa?


    A long macro is better if you need more distance from the subject.
    Extension tubes won't be as effective in increasing magnification.
    A 100mm macro lens may also be slower than a 50mm one.
    You didn't describe what you plan to use it for.

    >
    >
    > Ignore cost for the moment, as I prefer to decide what I want then see
    > if I can actually afford it :)
    >
    > TIA
    JK, Aug 4, 2003
    #4
  5. mehh95

    mehh95 Guest

    Thanks all for the helpful answers...

    > Yes, but for a given extension tube magnification will be increased less
    > with a longer focal length.


    I didn't know that. How does that work then? Are you saying that a
    x1.6 tube is not necessarily a x1.6 tube?

    > For portraits 100mm is usually more useful than 50mm in
    > 35mm film photography, although isn't there a 1.6 factor,
    > so a 50mm becomes like an 80mm? If so, then a 100mm
    > macro wouldn't be that useful in many situations, and a 50mm
    > lens would be much more useful. 50mm macro lenses are
    > also usually much less expensive than 100mm ones, everything
    > else being equal.


    Yep, I think I am leaning towards a 50mm because of the 1.6 factor,
    better speed for lower cost.

    > You didn't describe what you plan to use it for.


    I will be shooting situations where I am prepared to get close to the
    subject more often than not.

    I guess what I really want is a 0-infinity mm f/0 with macro,
    weightless and free of charge! Do they make one yet? :)
    mehh95, Aug 4, 2003
    #5
  6. mehh95

    mehh95 Guest

    JK <> wrote in message news:<>...
    > There isn't such a thing as an x1.6 tube. Extension tubes are measured
    > by how much they displace the lens in mm. The magnification(when the
    > lens is set at infinity for a film camera when the lens is focused at infinity)


    D'Oh! I was thinking of the **1.4x Extender**, which is completely
    different. OK, I geddit now.

    > Most 35mm film photographers find a 50mm macro lens useful
    > when they want to get to 1:1 magnification(image on the film is life sized)
    > or more,but find a 100mm macro lens more useful when they want less
    > than 1:2 magnification and a larger working distance(such as with portraits
    > or animal photos. For photographing insects, a 50mm macro lens would
    > be better).


    PERFECT, thanks. That's exactly the info I need - OK, now it's time to
    decide and then call the bank manager :)
    mehh95, Aug 4, 2003
    #6
  7. mehh95

    Guest

    In message <>,
    (mehh95) wrote:

    >I guess what I really want is a 0-infinity mm f/0 with macro,
    >weightless and free of charge! Do they make one yet? :)


    "f/0" is meaningless. f/0.1 isn't meaningless, but it would mean that a
    100mm lens would be at least a meter in diameter.
    --

    <>>< ><<> ><<> <>>< ><<> <>>< <>>< ><<>
    John P Sheehy <>
    ><<> <>>< <>>< ><<> <>>< ><<> ><<> <>><
    , Aug 6, 2003
    #7
  8. mehh95

    mehh95 Guest

    wrote in message news:<>...
    > In message <>,
    > (mehh95) wrote:
    >
    > >I guess what I really want is a 0-infinity mm f/0 with macro,
    > >weightless and free of charge! Do they make one yet? :)

    >
    > "f/0" is meaningless. f/0.1 isn't meaningless, but it would mean that a
    > 100mm lens would be at least a meter in diameter.


    John,
    I was joking - sorry if I didn't come across properly. As you
    correctly point out my f/0 will be infinite in diameter at whatever
    zoom... however, since I also specified "weightless", I won't mind a
    bit :)
    mehh95, Aug 6, 2003
    #8
  9. mehh95

    mehh95 Guest

    (Bernhard Mayer) wrote in message news:<>...
    >
    > Does this give you an idea?


    Absolutely. Thanks to you and others for the very informative replies.
    I have limited myself to looking at Canon lenses only so far - but I
    will definitely look into the Sigma and the Tamron.
    mehh95, Aug 6, 2003
    #9
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