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  1. Hi all,

    I guess i am getting inspired but all the great macro shots on here as i am considering getting a real macro lens for myself. At the moment, i am using a reverse-mounted Pentagon 50mm f/1.8 (circa 1979). This can make some lovely macro shots, but with difficult focusing (you have to focus by moving closer and further away) makes it not very practical for 'on the go' photography. The other disadvantage i am facing is that i have to be VERY close to the subject to focus, so it is not ideal for skittish or dangerous subjects. So, in short i am looking for a longish focal length macro with IS. I am thinking of either a sigma 150mm f/2.8 OS or the canon 100mm f/2.8L. Any help in choosing would be appreciated! Thanks and keep those macro shots coming, it drives me to expand my horizons! :)
    Replied 4 years ago, modified 4 years ago
  2. Alternitvly, what do you guys think about extension tubes? Would they work well with any of my lenses:
    24 f/1.4 L II
    24 STM
    40 STM
    50 1.8
    70-200 f/2.8L IS II

    I am a little conflicted about what will be best?
    Replied 4 years ago
  3. I'm not a Canon user so I can't help much. I'm just happy you're considering taking the next step in macro :)

    You raise a good point regarding focal length. I'm on 105mm and that still requires a pretty close distance. My subjects are not dangerous so that's ok, but it still means they often flee. Sigma also produces macro lenses for Nikon, and in that area I tend to hear good reviews, it has a good price/quality ratio.

    I have no experience with extension tubes, sorry.
    Replied 4 years ago
  4. Thanks for the advice ferdy... :) I am a strong believer of buy once... so if i get it, i will get the best I can. Also from a pragmatic point of view, convincing my wife to let me buy 1 lens is easier than buying one and then upgrading when I realise i want something better! :) Replied 4 years ago
  5. From what I hear of other Canon users, the Canon MP-E 65mm f/2.8 1-5x Macro Photo is the ultimate macro lens. It is unique due to its high magnification (up to 5x). However, it is hard to handle and definitely does not comply with your wish for a long focal length. For wild and unpredictable macro photography, you will need something more practical.

    What I often do when considering a new lens is to check Flickr. Each lens their will have its own group/sub community so you can a great collection of real-world shots taken with the lens. This to me is far more useful than just buying based on technical specs alone.
    Replied 4 years ago
  6. If you want to get very, very close, in general you'll need a macro lens *and* extension tubes. Beside the ultra Macro Ferdy mentioned, most I've used are usually 1:2 used alone. Here my crop sensor is a bit of an advantage, while I don't get any extra magnification, some of the excess background is eliminated. I also have a set of two extension tubes that were dirt cheap, $12, I seem to remember, since they have no electronics in them. As long as you have a manually controlled aperture ring on your lens this is fine. The rig does get a little unwieldy if put all together (Nikon - Fuji adapter + two extension rings + 55mm macro).

    As far as spending lots of money goes - you don't need to. If you can sacrifice your auto focus (and for a lot of macro it's not useful anyway) an old Nikkor 55 macro can be awesome. All of mine are taken with a vintage lens - I think it's a 1979 or 80. It cost me $55 :) and it's sharper than the 105 that I use at work. It doesn't have a huge working distance, but I'm also not generally getting near anything dangerous.
    Replied 4 years ago
  7. I've been using a 1:1 lens only, and this is about the maximum magnification I could get out of it:

    Female Vagrant darter - macro view, Heesch, the Netherlands Closeup (crop) of a female Vagrant Darter. Shot handheld, not by skill, simply by shooting 20 and hoping one will turn out to be usable. <br />
<br />
Zoomed out:<br /><br />
<br />
Habitat view:<br />
<br /> Europe,Heesch,Macro,Netherlands,Sympetrum vulgatum,Vagrant Darter

    It's on a 36MP sensor though, so if it is sharp, I still have a lot of room to crop. To me, greater magnifications than this are not needed, but also not very practical. I almost always shoot from hand and do not have the luxury of putting of tripods and such.
    Replied 4 years ago, modified 4 years ago

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