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Author Topic: Sharper Macro than Canon 5d2 and 100mm Macro?  (Read 9787 times)

smahn

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Sharper Macro than Canon 5d2 and 100mm Macro?
« on: March 28, 2015, 01:44:21 pm »

I could use help in researching a replacement for this combo. I'm not doing true 1:1 macro, more like 1:4, with studio flash and a tripod. So high ISO, image stabilization, and burst rate are of little value to this application.

I don't want to move up to medium format, so FF or mirrorless. No AA filter. 16MP and up is fine. But I want to consider the chip/lens combo.

I get pretty good results with the current combo but it takes a lot of PP to get there. I'm always straddling between "sharp  enough" and artifacts. Most Raw processors default sharpening positions don't come close. And I don't think it's a bad lens, I get similar results with a Nikon 105 micro.

So I know about the Nikon 810, I've got my eye on that. If I go that direction what lens would I pair with it? And are there mirrorless options I should consider? I'm not opposed to spending less.  ;)

Thanks
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Hans Kruse

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Re: Sharper Macro than Canon 5d2 and 100mm Macro?
« Reply #1 on: March 28, 2015, 02:16:13 pm »

You don't say which Canon 100mm macro as there are two: The old one and the new with IS.

smahn

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Re: Sharper Macro than Canon 5d2 and 100mm Macro?
« Reply #2 on: March 28, 2015, 02:24:52 pm »

The non IS.
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Hans Kruse

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Re: Sharper Macro than Canon 5d2 and 100mm Macro?
« Reply #3 on: March 28, 2015, 02:30:02 pm »

At least you should try the IS version as it is better optically. Known as a very very good lens http://www.dpreview.com/lensreviews/canon_100_2p8_is_usm_c16/6

pegelli

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Re: Sharper Macro than Canon 5d2 and 100mm Macro?
« Reply #4 on: March 28, 2015, 03:01:18 pm »

Two legendary macro lenses I've see are the Voigtlander APO lanthar 125 mm / f2.5 and the Minolta APO Macro 200 mm / f4.
They're both renowned for their sharpness as well as pleasant rendering of the out of focus area.
Sharpness isn't everything to achieve a pleasing picture.

Both would be easily mounted on the 36 MP Sony a7R

But it would mean buying into a completely new system, unless you can find the Voigtlander lens for the Canon mount (don't know if they ever produced it with that mount)
« Last Edit: March 28, 2015, 05:14:58 pm by pegelli »
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pieter, aka pegelli

Hans Kruse

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Re: Sharper Macro than Canon 5d2 and 100mm Macro?
« Reply #5 on: March 28, 2015, 03:57:35 pm »

Why should older lenses designed long before modern technology almost automatically be better the newest lens designs? I come across this all the time and can't find a good reason other than nostalgia :) I'm not discounting that there are good older lenses, but unless a comparison and measurements are done, the case may be quite weak.

The easy way to find is to rent.

muntanela

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Re: Sharper Macro than Canon 5d2 and 100mm Macro?
« Reply #6 on: March 28, 2015, 04:04:08 pm »

I'm happy  with a Leitz R Elmarit 100 apo macro :-* on D800E, stunning sharpness and colours, no traces of CA.
« Last Edit: March 29, 2015, 02:09:02 am by muntanela »
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pegelli

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Re: Sharper Macro than Canon 5d2 and 100mm Macro?
« Reply #7 on: March 28, 2015, 04:58:08 pm »

Why should older lenses designed long before modern technology almost automatically be better the newest lens designs?
I never said they were better, and certainly not automatically. It just were some suggestions of good macro lenses to look at and see if he likes them for what he is looking for.
I also suggest you do some research, especially on the Voigtlander, and be ready to be surprised  ;) Maybe less so on the Minolta.

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pieter, aka pegelli

Hans Kruse

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Re: Sharper Macro than Canon 5d2 and 100mm Macro?
« Reply #8 on: March 28, 2015, 05:04:21 pm »

I never said they were better, and certainly not automatically. It just were some suggestions of good macro lenses to look at and see if he likes them for what he is looking for.
I also suggest you do some research, especially on the Voigtlander, and be ready to be surprised  ;) Maybe less so on the Minolta.



Sorry and maybe I'm just tired of seeing reference to amazing old lenses :) I don't know the Voightlander myself as macro was a certain relatively short phase in my photography. But research and testing is important in finding the best lenses.

Jack Hogan

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Re: Sharper Macro than Canon 5d2 and 100mm Macro?
« Reply #9 on: March 28, 2015, 05:38:38 pm »

This current thread seems to touch on a few.

Jack
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BernardLanguillier

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Re: Sharper Macro than Canon 5d2 and 100mm Macro?
« Reply #10 on: March 28, 2015, 07:34:09 pm »

You may find some usefull info here as well: www.lenscore.org

It shows that the Canon 100mm f2.8 is good, a bit behind its Zeiss and Nikon counterparts, but not by much.

Overall, the Schneider Mako-Symar 90mm T/S seems to be the best macro lens among those they measured (but it's very expensive), the Zeiss 100mm f2.0 is #2 and much cheaper. I own the Zeiss and have had good results, even if it is not as well color corrected as the latest non macro Zeiss wonder boys.

One photograph shot on the D3x 5 or 6 years ago:



Cheers,
Bernard

David Sutton

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Re: Sharper Macro than Canon 5d2 and 100mm Macro?
« Reply #11 on: March 28, 2015, 08:34:29 pm »

Sorry and maybe I'm just tired of seeing reference to amazing old lenses :) I don't know the Voightlander myself as macro was a certain relatively short phase in my photography. But research and testing is important in finding the best lenses.
Many older lenses were made with glass containing lead, which may have given them an advantage. I used a Contax 35-70 on my Canon which was gave stunningly better contrast and sharpness over any Canon lens I owned. Not as good however on the chromatic aberration front, and I don't recall it giving better colour rendition. And I lost auto focus and exposure. Swings and roundabouts.
David
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John Koerner

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John Koerner

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Re: Sharper Macro than Canon 5d2 and 100mm Macro?
« Reply #13 on: March 29, 2015, 12:52:30 am »

The Sigma 180 mm is ahead of the Canon 100 and 180 on pretty much everything, and is roughly-equal to the Zeiss on the most important elements (resolution, contrast, color, bokeh).

RESOLVING POWER:
Zeiss 100: 1189
Sigma 180: 1078
Canon 100L: 813

CONTRAST:
Zeiss 100: 1087
Sigma 180: 1017
Canon 100L: 851

COLOR:
Sigma 180: 964
Zeiss 100: 951
Canon 100L: 870

BOKEH:
Zeiss 100: 1062
Sigma 180: 1050
Canon 100L: 925

(Numbers derived from here.)

While the Zeiss barely edges out the Sigma in some important elements, it's not by much, and there are several elements where the Sigma is much more desirable than the Zeiss (true 1:1 magnification not 1:2; Image Stabilization; Tripod Collar; REACH).

The Zeiss does have a clear advantage for precision focusing with 720 of rotation compared to 270 in the Sigma (compared to mere 180 in the Canon).

If you don't care about true 1:1, and are doing precision MF only, the Zeiss may be the way to go.

But if you want the flexibility of positioning, and true 1:1 magnification, then the tripod collar, the reach, the true 1:1, and the IS of the Sigma place it in a far more desirable position than the Zeiss ... with neck-n-neck qualities.

Jack
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BernardLanguillier

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Re: Sharper Macro than Canon 5d2 and 100mm Macro?
« Reply #14 on: March 29, 2015, 05:15:24 am »

But if you want the flexibility of positioning, and true 1:1 magnification, then the tripod collar, the reach, the true 1:1, and the IS of the Sigma place it in a far more desirable position than the Zeiss ... with neck-n-neck qualities.

Your new Sigma is definitely a nice lens.

This being said, initial statement of the OP: "I'm not doing true 1:1 macro, more like 1:4".

Cheers,
Bernard

Bart_van_der_Wolf

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Re: Sharper Macro than Canon 5d2 and 100mm Macro?
« Reply #15 on: March 29, 2015, 05:29:02 am »

I could use help in researching a replacement for this combo. I'm not doing true 1:1 macro, more like 1:4, with studio flash and a tripod. So high ISO, image stabilization, and burst rate are of little value to this application.

I don't want to move up to medium format, so FF or mirrorless. No AA filter. 16MP and up is fine. But I want to consider the chip/lens combo.

Hi,

Other than throwing some cash at it and get better quality lenses, which only hurts the wallet, there seems to be an issue with Raw conversion/sharpening as well. The reason for wanting an AA-less camera is not clear to me, because the aliasing artifacts that produces will also complicate Capture sharpening. Maybe throwing money at improving the hardware won't solve your problem entirely?

Quote
I get pretty good results with the current combo but it takes a lot of PP to get there. I'm always straddling between "sharp  enough" and artifacts. Most Raw processors default sharpening positions don't come close. And I don't think it's a bad lens, I get similar results with a Nikon 105 micro.

Now this may be because you are attempting to wring more performance out of the lens than there is, but the postprocessing tools/skills may also need to be improved. Default sharpening settings are notoriously stupid, they do not take the camera settings into consideration, while the aperture and magnification factor usually pretty much dictate the required settings and are therefore relatively simple to set up correctly.

Cheers,
Bart
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Conner999

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Re: Sharper Macro than Canon 5d2 and 100mm Macro?
« Reply #16 on: March 29, 2015, 07:23:34 am »

From my own experience, going off memory in some cases (some lenses since sold) and strictly IMHO:

Leica 100 APO - legendary, sharp, great color correction. Manual stop-down
Mamiya 120/4 ULD - love it, sharp, very good color correction, manual stop-down.
Leica 60mm macro - great lens, not apo, but decent color corr. Manual stop-down
Zeiss 100/2 - sharp, great bokeh, not so great color correction for the $$$. If was APO would be perfect 100 manual focus macro for Nikon/Canon.
Zeiss 50/2 - nice, but my Leica 60 was equal or better IQ for, at time, far less $$
Zeiss 135/2 APO - IF it gives you know magnification you want (can't recall) - perfect all around. Should never have sold mine.
Nikon 105 VR - very nice, but not on par with many on this list. Great to have if need AF (which I do for work), but not a 1st choice if AF not needed.
CV 125 APO - sharp, great color correction & bokeh,  LONG focus throw. Price has gone nuts vs. other options last couple of years (should have kept mine ;>)
CV 90 3.5 APO. Not macro, but has close focus. Fantastic IQ if gives you mag you need.
Nikon 60 G - very sharp, nice bokeh, strong vignetting WO and color correction is not fantastic vs. other manual focus options

No experience with Sigma or Tamron, but some of their units do have a great rep. If you want to spend large $$, the Coastal Optics 60 macro is very well regarded.

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muntanela

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Re: Sharper Macro than Canon 5d2 and 100mm Macro?
« Reply #17 on: March 29, 2015, 10:26:41 am »

The Leitz Elmarit apo macro R 100  too has an unendliches focus throw...
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BAB

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Re: Sharper Macro than Canon 5d2 and 100mm Macro?
« Reply #18 on: March 29, 2015, 10:58:35 am »

If your pixel peeping for sharpness may I ask what percentage od the entire frame is being used for your image.
Because if you cropping and only using part of the frame that changes how you play the game and essintly what tools the game dictates you must use to achieve your desired look. The choice at that point is medium format!
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smahn

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Re: Sharper Macro than Canon 5d2 and 100mm Macro?
« Reply #19 on: March 29, 2015, 12:35:49 pm »

If your pixel peeping for sharpness may I ask what percentage od the entire frame is being used for your image.
Because if you cropping and only using part of the frame that changes how you play the game and essintly what tools the game dictates you must use to achieve your desired look. The choice at that point is medium format!

Please elaborate.

I'm often only using half the frame, for a few reasons. 1) Depth of field, 2) Working distance*, 3) Less downsampling deterioration.

I don't need autofocus, but I do like auto aperture, or whatever that's called when the lens stops itself down whe taking the image. Less hands on the lens for focus stacking.

* Working distance is an intimate dance. It has to be just right. Far enough back that my lens isn't inside my set/tent, but not so far back that I can't reach the set from the side of the camera. Point being, I find the 100mm range ideal, I think 180-200 would put me too far away.

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