I would like to get more involved in macro photography, to take extreme close ups of insects, small animals etc. I have tried this with my Canon 400D and the kits 18-55mm lens along with macro filters with some success but would like some help. It works OK in this set up with +1 and to a certain extent with the +2 filters but after that the focus becomes quite soft and dof almost non existent.
Can anyone offer any advice as to which would be the best macro lens for this type of work (on a limited budget) and also which ring flash? Also if you have any tips or tricks for technique that would be helpful.
I'm trying to get into macro as well and I've bought a reversing ring and got my hands on an old 50mm f/2.8 so that I can mount it backwards.
Of course, it's not exactly fool proof and requires a lot of effort as there is no netering and the only way you can focus is to move the camera backwards and forwards but it's cost me less than £20 and the results are pretty good.
[url=http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2647/3881107381_f16cb3ab05_o.jpg]Click to EMBIGGEN[/url]
[url=http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3469/3881906236_62b75450f3_o.jpg]Click to EMBIGGEN[/url]
As for a ring flash - do you have a flash gun? If so you can get ring flash tubes which fit over your flash gun like [url=http://www.flaghead.co.uk/pages/ringflash-intro.html]this one[/url]
I am selling a Canon 60mm macro lens on ebay, if any good to you...
I was looking into the macro lens a while ago. I could not afford a good lens for wildlife shooting (300 or 400mm) so I went the other way
After a few weeks looking and thinking, I went for the Sigma 105mm F2.8 EX DG. I was going to use it for insects as well as other general macro shooting, so the extra length over the 60mm canon I thought would be an advantage (not having to get so close and frightening them away before taking the shot). With the 400d crop factor it equates to about 165mm
On my limited use, I have to say I am VERY impressed with the lens. Focusing is superb and the colour reproduction is outstanding. I have not gone for a ring flash yet, which limits my capabilities, but that is just a financial issue. The F2.8 helps get over this somewhat
The thing I am finding hard to get used to is the tiniest of movements throwing the subject out of focus at close range. I use a tripod and remote control, but I think the next thing I may get is one of those attachments for a tripod that has fine movement controls, not 100% what they are called, so if anyone can shed any light on that I would be grateful
Whatever you end up getting, enjoy it. It opens a whole new world to you
Chris-p, I LVOE the look of that ring flash adaptor thing. Anyone have any experience of it?
The Sigma 105mm is, according to everyone I've seen thats used it, very good. There is also a 150mm f/2.8 as well and I would expect it's cheaper than the Canon equivalent (if they do one).
Sadly I've no direct experience with the ringflash adaptor as I don't have a flashgun - it's at the top of my long list of things I want!
It's definately worth trying macro photography on a budget though. My reversing ring was less than £20 and, as I said above, it's relatively hard work as you've no metering, focusing or anything really but it's quite satisfying.
its called a focus rack and they are quite useful
less useful is a ring flash unless all you wish to do is straight recording
as unless you get one that you can vari the light ratios all your pictures will come out much the same style wise,
use off camera flash and reflectors for more creative control
Thanks for the advice Ether
I thought a ring would be good for macro work, but as I have never done any flash work, I am clueless really. I defer to the more knowledgeable
[quote=Althas;5571]Thanks for the advice Ether
I thought a ring would be good for macro work, but as I have never done any flash work, I am clueless really. I defer to the more knowledgeable[/quote]
lol I not sure about the "more knowlegeable" but if you think about it a ring will only give you flat frontal lighting
I know there are some units that allow you to set the ratio from one side but I think they are a bit expensive to start with
The sigma 105mm with ring flash is a disaster in the making! The lens moves so far that if you're leaning over the subject the lens motor will not be able to retract it again, leading to either burn out or premature failure.
Canons excellent 100mm Macro can be bought for £420 (Jacobs) while the Sigma costs £356 (Amazon) For me that's not enough price difference to even consider the Sigma. While it is capable of giving some very good results, the Canons benefits are a lightening fast accurate internal focus, even better image quailty and it's an OEM part so you know it will continue to work on all Canon cameras. It will accept ring flash and the twin head macro unit.
Flash is really a necessity for good Macro photography, you can do it without, but the small apertures required and the fact that you are so close means that at macro magnification the aperture the camera sees is in fact double that which is indicated - light really is at a premium.
Raynox DCR250 macro adaptor if you want REAL closeups on a budget (around £30 - £40 2nd hand). The DCR250 gives around 8x magnification on a 200mm lens and fits ANY lens with filter thread > 49mm. DOF is minimal as it the focal distance (around 10cm) but you can get some awesome results:
Check out the FlickR group to see what else this lens is capable of:
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