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Butterfly lens

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Old Monday 25th November 2019, 17:39   #1
Jerrythesnake
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Butterfly lens

What is the best canon lens for butterfly photography . I have a 100mm macro, looking for the best image quality
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Old Monday 25th November 2019, 18:43   #2
Troubador
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Originally Posted by Jerrythesnake View Post
What is the best canon lens for butterfly photography . I have a 100mm macro, looking for the best image quality
Jerry if you have a Canon EF 100 f2.8 Macro L IS USM then you already have the best lens. The pic below was taken with this and was hand-held at the time. Using a monopod is better.

Lee
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Old Monday 25th November 2019, 19:18   #3
Jerrythesnake
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Thanks Troubador, but what lens if you cant get close enough ?
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Old Tuesday 26th November 2019, 06:50   #4
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Jerry

You have to learn how to get close enough. There is no easy way around it.

Trying to solve this problem with longer lenses is the same as trying to solve birding problems with more magnification. You have 8x binos so swap them for 10x because some detail and image size is always out of reach, but even with the 10x there are still subjects that are too small, so you go to 15x binos, then scopes, but always there is a bird out of reach.

With butterflies and dragonflies it is similar. Go for a longer lens and you will not be hand-holding it so you will need a monopod at least. I use a monopod sometimes but actually the IS of the 100mm is good enough most of the time and you can boost ISO to give extra speed or depth of field.

Go for the longer lens and two other problems arise. First, vegetation gets in the way even more than it does with the 100mm, and second, even with an unobstructed view, the further away you are the less you are looking down on the dorsal surface and the more you are looking edge-on to the butterfly, so you can't get a decent view of the upper surface. Well, you might say this can help get pics of the undersurface of blues and fritillaries but crouch down a bit to do this and there is even more vegetation in the way.

Sorry, Jerry there is no quick fix, and the only way is to learn how to stalk closer.

Lee
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Old Tuesday 26th November 2019, 16:13   #5
Roy C
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As Lee has already said you have already got the best lens IMO. Its also great for all sorts of insects. You can always crop a bit if needs be as its a remarkably sharp lens.
All the attached were taken with the 100/2.8 L IS macro and all cropped to some degree.
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Old Tuesday 26th November 2019, 16:26   #6
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Jerry, another option for more working distance could be the 100-400 MkII as it has a MFD of around 3 feet at 400mm. Not as sharp or detailed as the 100 macro but not to bad.
Attached Darter was taken with the 100-400 at 400mm. The Dandylion clock was taken with the 100-400 + 1.4x tc giving 560mm - both handheld.
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Old Wednesday 27th November 2019, 18:15   #7
Jerrythesnake
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Originally Posted by Troubador View Post
Jerry

You have to learn how to get close enough. There is no easy way around it.

Trying to solve this problem with longer lenses is the same as trying to solve birding problems with more magnification. You have 8x binos so swap them for 10x because some detail and image size is always out of reach, but even with the 10x there are still subjects that are too small, so you go to 15x binos, then scopes, but always there is a bird out of reach.

With butterflies and dragonflies it is similar. Go for a longer lens and you will not be hand-holding it so you will need a monopod at least. I use a monopod sometimes but actually the IS of the 100mm is good enough most of the time and you can boost ISO to give extra speed or depth of field.

Go for the longer lens and two other problems arise. First, vegetation gets in the way even more than it does with the 100mm, and second, even with an unobstructed view, the further away you are the less you are looking down on the dorsal surface and the more you are looking edge-on to the butterfly, so you can't get a decent view of the upper surface. Well, you might say this can help get pics of the undersurface of blues and fritillaries but crouch down a bit to do this and there is even more vegetation in the way.

Sorry, Jerry there is no quick fix, and the only way is to learn how to stalk closer.

Lee
Many thanks Lee, that helps a lot mate ! I am happy with what i have now 👍
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Old Wednesday 27th November 2019, 18:17   #8
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As Lee has already said you have already got the best lens IMO. Its also great for all sorts of insects. You can always crop a bit if needs be as its a remarkably sharp lens.
All the attached were taken with the 100/2.8 L IS macro and all cropped to some degree.
Lovely! Thank you 👍
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Old Wednesday 27th November 2019, 18:19   #9
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Jerry, another option for more working distance could be the 100-400 MkII as it has a MFD of around 3 feet at 400mm. Not as sharp or detailed as the 100 macro but not to bad.
Attached Darter was taken with the 100-400 at 400mm. The Dandylion clock was taken with the 100-400 + 1.4x tc giving 560mm - both handheld.
That is pretty good , especially at 560 mm. But i am going to get great at stalking 👍👍
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Old Thursday 28th November 2019, 10:15   #10
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Jerrythesnake,
The Canon EF 70-200 1:4L zoom is also pretty good for close-ups and with a macroring one can ever come closer. I have used it lot for all round photography, it is an excellent lens. The newer ones also have Image Stabilisation, but I never needed it.
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Old Thursday 28th November 2019, 12:02   #11
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[quote=Roy C;3925055]Jerry, another option for more working distance could be the 100-400 MkII as it has a MFD of around 3 feet at 400mm. Not as sharp or detailed as the 100 macro but not to bad.

Second 100-400 ii. All I use
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Old Thursday 28th November 2019, 14:41   #12
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The best Canon lens is the Canon 180 F3.5 Macro. It is super sharp and takes superb images. If must be used with a tripod.

The second best lens is the 100 2.8 is Macro. This also takes superb images but not quiet as good as the 180.

The 100 is portable which means you can carry it round all day.

Have owned both lens. If you are happy to sit and wait for your subject to come to you then go for the 180. If instead you prefer to walk around looking for picture opportunities go for the 100.
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Old Saturday 4th January 2020, 17:25   #13
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Jerry

You have to learn how to get close enough. There is no easy way around it.
Some of my favorite nature photography memories are the macro. One park of getting close enough is learning how to stay calm among the insects, including butterflies.

For example, blues, hairstreaks and coppers tend to be very receptive to having a lens even as close a two inches away from them (including using a tripod) as long as you approach slowly and once near, continue to stay calm and move slow.

Metalmarks and skippers same

A few brushfoots stay calm around humans, many do not.

Whites and yellows along with swallowtails tend to be jumpy and nervous with a camera lens two inches.

I've also successfully used the calm and slow macro technique for dragonflies, wasps, flies etc.

I even used it successfully on a garter snake. Laid down on a dirt road, crept up and had the lens two inches away from its face (don't try this at home). I joke that I have "sneaking up on snakes" on the resume.

Practice makes perfect and it's also a great way to discover a person's inner calmness.

Good luck.
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