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Author Topic: Anyone here tried doing Macro with a Canon non-macro lens?  (Read 3588 times)

eronald

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As the topic says.
I already own a bunch of lenses and see little reason to get yet another.

Edmund
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DeanChriss

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Re: Anyone here tried doing Macro with a Canon non-macro lens?
« Reply #1 on: May 22, 2013, 09:18:55 pm »

Canon's 90mm TS-E with extension tubes and/or teleconverter is great for macro. It's sharp, but the ability to manipulate the plane of focus is a big advantage over a normal macro lens.
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Jason DiMichele

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Re: Anyone here tried doing Macro with a Canon non-macro lens?
« Reply #2 on: May 22, 2013, 09:20:21 pm »

I usually use my Canon 100mm macro due to it's excellent edge to edge sharpness. However, I also use the Canon 250D diopter which is very high quality. Nothing wrong with using extension tubes either. Non macro lenses just aren't optimized for really close focus but the results can still be fantastic. When I shot 4x5 large format film, I never owned a macro lens and used my 5 different lenses close focus because the bellows allowed it. You can get a set of automatic Kenko tubes and the 250D for very good prices.  Teleconverters can also be used to allow for a much shorter minimum focusing distance since they increase lens magnification without changing the minimum focusing distance. I've used my 300mm lens with my 1.4 and 2x converters to allow me to focus a lot closer than the ~4-5 ft since I would then have the equivalent of 420-600mm (full frame) or 672-960mm (Canon crop sensor). Those focal lengths focusing that close is good magnification.

Cheers!
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eronald

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Re: Anyone here tried doing Macro with a Canon non-macro lens?
« Reply #3 on: May 22, 2013, 09:21:29 pm »

Canon's 90mm TS-E with extension tubes and/or teleconverter is great for macro. It's sharp, but the ability to manipulate the plane of focus is a big advantage over a normal macro lens.

I'm thinking of tubes or diopters ; I have the 85 1.2 and the 135 2. Need to get a bit closer than the lenses allow, in order to image some testcharts and evaluate their quality (quality of the chart, not the lens).

Edmund
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Lee Rentz

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Re: Anyone here tried doing Macro with a Canon non-macro lens?
« Reply #4 on: May 22, 2013, 09:23:22 pm »

I also use a Canon 90mm TS-E with extension tubes for macro. I do a lot of macro on backpacking trips, and this lens is exquisitely sharp and is relatively light in weight. I use the tilt function for virtually all my macro work.
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aduke

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Re: Anyone here tried doing Macro with a Canon non-macro lens?
« Reply #5 on: May 22, 2013, 09:26:10 pm »

I used extension tubes on the Canon 70-200 F4 and the 100 Macro I with reasonable success. Focusing is strange on the zoom, with easier focus control coming from change in focal length than change in the focus control.

It is, however, not exactly in the macro range, it is more like fairly extreme closeup.

Alan
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David Sutton

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Re: Anyone here tried doing Macro with a Canon non-macro lens?
« Reply #6 on: May 22, 2013, 10:44:47 pm »

Depending on how close you want to get, the Canon 500D filter may do it. Why not try one out at your camera store? The third image of the bee on the slider on my homepage was done with a 70-300 L IS and 500D filter. I do a bit of macro work but don't want the expense or weight of another lens, and the filter hasn't let me down yet.
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Glenn NK

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Re: Anyone here tried doing Macro with a Canon non-macro lens?
« Reply #7 on: May 23, 2013, 12:12:55 am »

I have a Canon closeup lens/filter that I used for a few weeks, then shortly afterward acquired a Canon 100 macro which worked fine on a 30D.

When I added the 5DII, I found the 100 macro too short, so I acquired Kenko tubes which I sometimes even use with a 3.0 EX.

I'd strongly recommend tubes over the lens/filter solution as they are far more flexible.

Glenn
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Robert-Peter Westphal

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Re: Anyone here tried doing Macro with a Canon non-macro lens?
« Reply #8 on: May 23, 2013, 03:57:04 am »

Hi,

I'm using the 70-200 / 4 IS together with the 25mm extension tube for my macro work and I really like it. Sometimes, I wonder if it could be worth to buy the 500D lens, but though it is not available in 67mm and I hate using adaptior-rings, I move the decision ahead.

Robert
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David Sutton

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Re: Anyone here tried doing Macro with a Canon non-macro lens?
« Reply #9 on: May 23, 2013, 04:12:12 am »

Hi,

I'm using the 70-200 / 4 IS together with the 25mm extension tube for my macro work and I really like it. Sometimes, I wonder if it could be worth to buy the 500D lens, but though it is not available in 67mm and I hate using adaptior-rings, I move the decision ahead.

Robert
Yes, adapter rings can be a pain, but as long as they are not put on tightly they usually work well enough. I use a 67-72mm step up ring to put the 500D on a 70-300 lens. I want to travel light so I try to have one polariser, one variable ND and on close up filter and use step rings for the lenses they don't fit. Saves a bit of cash as well.
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Paulo Bizarro

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Re: Anyone here tried doing Macro with a Canon non-macro lens?
« Reply #10 on: May 23, 2013, 05:04:12 am »

I used to have excellent results with the Canon 500D diopter on the 70-200 and 70-300 zooms. Much more flexibility than extension tubes on primes. I am not sure about the actual figures, but I think you will have a hard time trying to get a reasonable magnification with extension tubes or diopters on the two lenses you mention, as they do not have a small focusing distance to start with.

Bart_van_der_Wolf

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Re: Anyone here tried doing Macro with a Canon non-macro lens?
« Reply #11 on: May 23, 2013, 05:48:49 am »

I usually use my Canon 100mm macro due to it's excellent edge to edge sharpness. However, I also use the Canon 250D diopter which is very high quality. Nothing wrong with using extension tubes either. Non macro lenses just aren't optimized for really close focus but the results can still be fantastic.

It is also possible to use certain lenses in reverse, even just like the Canon 250D as a diopter lens.

Here I used (if I remember correctly) an old FD 50mm f/1.4 lens in reverse, handholding it (because I didn't have a reversal ring) in front of the lens of a simple Powershot G3:

It is a very small critter, something like 1.5 millimetres in length.

Cheers,
Bart
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Petrus

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Re: Anyone here tried doing Macro with a Canon non-macro lens?
« Reply #12 on: May 23, 2013, 06:08:37 am »

In my experience using normal primes with extension rings works as long as you do not expect to get the same focal plane flatness and sharpness in corners you get with a near-corrcted macro lens.

If the magnification starts to be much bigger than 2:1 (twice life size) using a normal lens reversed starts to make optical sense again. Problem is that you need old lenses with manual aperture ring.

Easiest way to focus is with rails, where you focus at approximately right distance/magnification and move the whole camera in relation to subject.
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stever

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Re: Anyone here tried doing Macro with a Canon non-macro lens?
« Reply #13 on: May 23, 2013, 09:45:43 am »

the 58mm 500D works just fine with a step-down ring at macro apertures on the 70-200 f4
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NancyP

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Re: Anyone here tried doing Macro with a Canon non-macro lens?
« Reply #14 on: May 23, 2013, 10:36:41 am »

BartVanDerWolf, that's quite some spider! Excellent catch.

Edmund, what magnification do you need? Extension tubes are practical and don't have optical degradation because there is No Glass. BTW, off-brand air is of equal optical quality to Canon air. You can try out tubes using an el-cheapo set for $30.00 off flea-bay; the mechanical quality may not be great. This may not matter much if you are applying a lightweight normal lens to the tube. If you plan to stack tubes and teleconverters (see below) with a heavier long telephoto lens, I would suggest that you buy the Kenko set, $200.00. But that's just me, I feel better if my heavy glass is attached to a beefy tube set.

If you want to calculate the estimated magnification available with extension tubes, there is a calculator at www.cambridgeincolour.com in the macro tutorial section. You just need the lens focal length and its original maximum magnification (look in the lens specifications online, I just go to the manufacturer or to B and H), and insert the length extension tube you want, and the page will do the calculations. One thing to remember is that you have to add the extension tube length to the lens length for total new length, and make sure that there will be some distance between your subject and your front element.

Reversed-normal-lens macro is fun and really cheap, if you happen to have or can borrow a suitable legacy (film) lens around that has manual aperture control. The adapters can be bought on flea-bay for two to five bucks, and come in most filter diameters. These consist of an EF mount on one side and male filter threads on the other side.

Front-element diopters are a good way to go for many situations, but you are introducing more glass so the optical image quality may or may not be altered. However, everyone using Canon 250 and 500D diopters has praise for their optical quality. Teleconverters are another way to go if you need to increase magnification with a longer telephoto. Closest focusing distance is unchanged but the magnification is increased by the factor of the teleconverter (ie, 1.4x or 2x the original magnification - my 400mm f/5.6L goes from 0.12X to 0.17X. The longer the telephoto, the harder it is to get high magnification.
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