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My next lens will be a Macro which one (1 Viewer)

Nikon Kid

Love them Sula Bassana
I cannot afford the Canon MP-E 65mm f/2.8 1-5x Macro Lens

What other lens do you think comes near this at a much cheaper price to fit my 50d and 450d.
 

rezMole

Well-known member
I've just got a Sigma 150mm f2.8 and it's a cracking lens (possibly one of the best macro lenses around, and that includes ones from Canon and Nikon!). Unfortunately the recent price hike from a tad over £430 to about £560 might put this beyond your price range too. Not sure what the other Sigmas are like eg. the 105mm f2.8 but i think it got decent reviews.
 

Marcus Conway - ebirder

Well-known member
I've just got a Sigma 150mm f2.8 and it's a cracking lens (possibly one of the best macro lenses around, and that includes ones from Canon and Nikon!). Unfortunately the recent price hike from a tad over £430 to about £560 might put this beyond your price range too. Not sure what the other Sigmas are like eg. the 105mm f2.8 but i think it got decent reviews.

I was on a website yesterday and it was still under £500. I think they were called Miller?

It's the lens I am getting after considerable research.

EDIT Memory kicked in they were called Walters
 
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rezMole

Well-known member
If I were you I'd get in there quick. I got my Nikon version one day before the price increase at Warehouse express - I imagine that shops will all soon be running out of stock and will increase prices as new stock arrives.
 

Roy C

Occasional bird snapper
I cannot afford the Canon MP-E 65mm f/2.8 1-5x Macro Lens

What other lens do you think comes near this at a much cheaper price to fit my 50d and 450d.
Depends how much cheaper. The Canon 100/2.8 macro is a superb lens which takes a 1.4tc really well.
 

Nikon Kid

Love them Sula Bassana
Seeing as I spent my money on a 50d and the pockets are empty. I had ago at taking pics with my 18-55mm lens
with some spacers in some came out reasonable so i need a improvement over that lens that's not alot of money.
 

postcardcv

Super Moderator
Staff member
Supporter
I use a Sigma 105 f2.8 and am happy with it, it delivers nice sharp shots and isn't too expensive.
 

QuantumTiger

Well-known member
I've heard good reports of the Tamron 90mm too. Worth looking out for second hand lenses at times like these.
 

Markulous

Well-known member
I use both the Sigma 105mm and the 150mm - they each have their advantages though the resulting quality is very similar - prefer the manual focus of the 105mm and the 150mm for the tripod collar.

I've used the Canon 100mm and beyond a slightly better build than the 105mm, I found no real difference (except on price - and it doesn't come with either a lens hood nor a tripod collar)
 

Steve Babbs

Well-known member
I've heard good reports of the Tamron 90mm too. Worth looking out for second hand lenses at times like these.

I got this after quite a bit of research. It has a very noisy autofocus but otherwise good. Many photographers swear by manual focus for macro work anyway. Given the chance to choose again I'd consider a slightly bigger one for butterflies/dragonflies as I often find myself swapping to my 70 - 300mm Sigma, but for plants/insects you can get close to it's very good and reasonably priced.
 

Nikon Kid

Love them Sula Bassana
This one looks like a starter, Tamron AF 90mm 90 F2.8 SP Di Macro 1:1 Canon EF cheapest I have found it is £257 delivered, anywhere cheaper ?

And in this price range anyother lens to consider.

Thanks for all your posts
 

Julian

Jules
Hi Terry
Tamron 90 Di is superb and great value for money. Every bit as good in terms of optical quality as the Canon. I have both so can compare. It is not internal focusing though so the lens grows in length as you focus closer as opposed to the canon which stays the same. Having said that, it isn't a problem and is quick to lock on. One advantage over the internal focusers (I think and hope I am right in saying this-but it's late, gone midnight and I am very tired so I might be talking rubbish) is that the focal length is unchanging ie, constant. Whilst the canon says 100mm, it actually varies slightly depending on distance. With the Tamron, it's 90mm through and through. This may or may not matter to you, I suspect not. What you want is a good quality reasonably priced lens. I would add that you should alwasy try a product before you buy. There is sometimes variation in quality, even between identical models.
Best of luck
Julian
 

tjsimonsen

Well-known member
I don't think the focal length of the Canon varies, but the aperture does! Whether or not that is a problem I don't know (I have the old non-USM 100/2.8 Canon which does extend while focussing).

I wouldn't care much about the AF speed of a macro. When you are working in the macro-zone you set the lens to a certain magnification and focus by moving the camera.
The bottom line here is that the differences between the various 100mm macros are not in the optics - they are all stellar.

Thomas
 

Overread

Hunting birds with a canon
MY general macro lens advice:

As for macro advice I have this to say;
If your looking to photograph insects then you want at least 90mm worth of focal length or more in a macro lens to get a good working distance (distance from camera sensor to subject) - going shorter makes things harder since you are closer to the insect and thus have a greater chance of spooking it.

After that one has to decide if your going to shoot handheld or from a tripod, tripod macro shooting is best for static and slow subjects where you have time to get into position, for insects early in the morning or late evening are decent times, though during the middle of the day most are too active for tripod shooting. One can use a lure to attract some bugs (like honey on a tree or rotting fruit) and then shoot from a tripod.
Handheld shooting definatly needs a flash nearly all the time (certainly for full magnification) and for moving insects one often has to keep a fast shutter speed, so even on a tripod flash is important - though one can take measure to reduce the glare from a flash.

For canon the macro lens options are:
Canon EFS 60mm macro - good solid lens, its down side is that its only EFS compatable (crop sensor cameras only) and its short focal length.
Canon 100mm macro - very popular choice and a solid performer, it is sold without hood or tripod collar, both of which are important additions. The collar is very important for stable tripod shooting, whilst the hood is - well its a lens hood you should never be without one - though I have read that the hood is not usable when working in macro
Sigma 70mm macro - good solid choice from sigma and one of their sharpest lenses
Sigma 105mm macro - again a good solid choice of lens
Sigma 150mm macro - this and the 180mm macro are sigmas top range macro lenses, both are better builds than the other sigma options; offer HSM focusing motors; teleconverter compatability and are solid performers. The 150mm is light enough to handhold for macro work, whilst the 180mm is generally considered a bit heavy for prolonged macro work
Sigma 180mm macro - often chosen instead of the canon 180mm macro as its optical quality is the same, but its price is much more affordable
Tamron 90mm macro - shortest recomended macro lens for insect shooting. A cheaper but good option

Generally I avoid the 50mm macro options as they are weaker builds than the others - also the canon is not a true 1:1 macro lens unless you combine it with the canon 500D macro filter (its a filter not a camera)

In general all the macro lenses listed are sharp and well built and one would be hardpressed to impossible to tell which was used for a macro shot. Generally macro lenses are poorer AF than nonmacro lenses because of the fact that AF is not used in macro photography (one will set the AF to manual, set the focus to the desired level - often full magnification or 1:2 for larger insects like butterflies - and then focus by moving the camera and lens closer and further away from the subject.

For lighting idealy a ringflash is used, but one can also use speedlites to good effect - even a popup flash on a rebel camera can give usable lighting, though only for subjects around the size of a flower or butterfly - for full macro (1:1) a popup flash is not powerfull enough. For the flash light though I do recomend diffusing the light, I use a 580M2 flash with a lumiquest softbox and I find the softbox to be fantastic at softening the light from the flash. One can also use folds of toiletpaper (white) held infront of the flash (elastic band) as a makeshift diffuser. As your starting out I would say go for a speedlite (430 or 580) since it will be usable in all walks of photography, whilst ringflashes are much more specific to macro only (they don't have the power of a speedlite - though ringflashes can make for good portrate flashes).

In addition you also mention an interest in the MPE65mm - I would not recomend this lens for a new photographer to macro work - its one of the hardest lenses to learn to use (using it well is even harder) its a lens well worth getting if macro is a big interest, but a good solid normal macro prime is still a sound investment.

The tamron might be compatable with teleconverters (most likley kenko ones) and a 1.4TC would help you get more magnification out of it (I really like a 1.4 on a macro lens - helps you get those ultra close shots and also details on most flies eyes)

Also consider macro filters - the Raynox series of macro filters (diopters) is an affordable range and they offer surprisingly high quality glass for their price and also general aimed market. The DCR 250 is a sound investment as are the other options from them. As an example (I don't know the maths so I can't say what other combos will give) a sigma 150mm macro and 1.4 TC along with a Raynox DCR 250 will give you around 3:1 macro (3 times life size) and that is far from easy to get used to!

EDIT - All modern macro lenses will reduce their effective max aperture as you appraoch full magnification, this is part of how they achive such magnifications. Canon cameras never report this, but it seems that Nikon cameras do report this effective aperture change. You are getting no difference in performance between them.
 
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