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  #16  
Old 8th December 2010
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Re: Macro lens advice....

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Originally Posted by roadkill_6mm View Post
Oh what to do!!


Thing is its not possible to get closer than say 6ft of the subjects and from what I've been reading about the 35mm that might not be close enough.


Regards

Neil
If you are six feet from the object, then I would think you could forget the 35mm and the 50mm, excellent though they are. In these cases you are talking about six inches working distance.... Maybe the Sigma route is the better bet..

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  #17  
Old 8th December 2010
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Re: Macro lens advice....

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Originally Posted by roadkill_6mm View Post
Oh what to do!!

I would ideally like to be able to take a wide range of macro shots, from flowers to insects. My local nature reserve has a nice little pond with a walk-way into the middle, the pond itself is teeming with dragon and damsel flies in the summer, which I got a few snaps of using my 70-300 (before I sold it)

Thing is its not possible to get closer than say 6ft of the subjects and from what I've been reading about the 35mm that might not be close enough.

I'll show my ignorance now (and a lack of research!) but what exactly do extension tubes (such as the ex25) do? I know they effectively move the lens further away from the sensor, but what effect does this have on the minimum focus distance, the actual image produced and can it be used with any Zuiko lens??

Sorry for all the questions, and I really do appreciate everyone taking time to give me advice.

Regards

Neil
to avoid the obvious confusion that is setting in you need consider only the following 'equation' -

magnification is a function of focal length and subject to sensor distance

so for any given magnification a smaller focal length lens will have to get closer than a longer one - simple.

extension tubes increase a lenses capability to increase magnification by enabling them to focus much closer than they would be able to otherwise. Not a good solution if you are trying to work at a distance!

teleconvertors work by increasing the focal length, whilst (generally) retaining the same focus distance - better for your objective.

the screw on magnifiers are exactly that - they increase the magnification over and above that already provided by the optics.

if you are after dragon flies without the hours to get up close and personal then, frankly, get the 70-300 back and stick a quality diopter on the front (as someone has already said there's a Sigma, and there's also the Canon 500D range which are excellent optics)

Sigma 150 + EC14/EC20 would also be a good solution (but relatively expensive)
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  #18  
Old 8th December 2010
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Re: Macro lens advice....

I think if you are looking at skittish insects ie butterflies ,moths or dragonflies you have the lens already ie the 50-200.If coupled with the EC14 I can get great picture of such subjects from about 3 to 6 feet.
The Sigma 150 looks very good and I would like to own one one day.
I also own the 50mm macro which is very sharp coupled with the ec14 but you have to get close.

The big problem with extension rings is the very shallow DOF which makes insects hard to capture.
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  #19  
Old 8th December 2010
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Re: Macro lens advice....

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Originally Posted by andym View Post

The big problem with extension rings is the very shallow DOF which makes insects hard to capture.
DOF is a direct function of magnification (and aperture) - it doesn't matter whether you use extension rings, focal length or working distance to achieve your magnification; you get the same DOF
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  #20  
Old 8th December 2010
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Re: Macro lens advice....

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Originally Posted by photo_owl View Post
DOF is a direct function of magnification (and aperture) - it doesn't matter whether you use extension rings, focal length or working distance to achieve your magnification; you get the same DOF
I think what was trying to say is that when start getting closer by using extension rings thats when you have to be very careful of DOF.
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  #21  
Old 8th December 2010
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Re: Macro lens advice....

Thanks for all your help, I think I'll probably be looking at the Sigma 150mm - seems to get some very good reviews. I just worry about a 3rd party lens being as tack sharp as the 50mm - but I dont always want to work extremely close up so I guess I need to compromise!

Although beyond my budget I think it'll be worth waiting and saving a bit more in the long run as it seems to fit my needs more than say the 105mm and the 2 Oly lenses - though I dont doubt i the future when I upgrade my body I will look at the 50mm for working close to the subject - unless the Sigma can match the quality of the E-5 macro pictures posted a little while ago with the Oly 50mm (+ I suspect either a TC or the ex-25)

Regards

Neil
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  #22  
Old 8th December 2010
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Re: Macro lens advice....

I have used the Sigma 105mm lens and it is excellent, gives great IQ.

Also you dont need to be so near the subject, so a lot will depend on what you want to photo.

I have Sigma 150mm at the moment and that great to but it is a much heavier lens to carry around at 915 grams, the 105mm is only about 430 grams.

Both great lenses you will really pleased with the results if you got either one.

4/3 sigma 105mm went on Ebay a few weeks ago for 250 as a buy it now.

Check FTU I think somebody may have one they considering selling.

Cheers
ken
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  #23  
Old 8th December 2010
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Re: Macro lens advice....

Quote:
Originally Posted by roadkill_6mm View Post
Thanks for all your help, I think I'll probably be looking at the Sigma 150mm - seems to get some very good reviews. I just worry about a 3rd party lens being as tack sharp as the 50mm - but I dont always want to work extremely close up so I guess I need to compromise!

Although beyond my budget I think it'll be worth waiting and saving a bit more in the long run as it seems to fit my needs more than say the 105mm and the 2 Oly lenses - though I dont doubt i the future when I upgrade my body I will look at the 50mm for working close to the subject - unless the Sigma can match the quality of the E-5 macro pictures posted a little while ago with the Oly 50mm (+ I suspect either a TC or the ex-25)

Regards

Neil
I don't think you will be disappointed at all, but impressed with the quality. It comes in it's own lens case with a shoulder strap & with a tripod mount ring which balances the outfit nicely when using it on a tripod but I usually mount my lighting (twin flash) on it & can rotate the assembly into portrait position quickly & easily.
http://e-group.uk.net/gallery/showphoto.php/photo/28449
These additions (which includes a LED ring light that I use for night focus assist) come as you want to experiment & do other things but otherwise an FL50 with diffuser works quite nicely (& the FL36 should too) with the lens hood on. I should add, I use this lighting to be able stop the lens down to f16 (for best DoF) & still keep a low ISO, on the other hand, Greytop (Huw) has some wonderful examples of daylight macro shots. I love his work.

As I said earlier, the new Sigma lenses are only available from remaining stock & will become increasingly harder to get. My wife let me get mine on that basis as Olympus doesn't make a macro lens with that length & very unlikely ever will (in 4/3s), but as others have said, it depends on what you want to use it for.

I hope you can end up with something that will be what you want & enjoy using.
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  #24  
Old 8th December 2010
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Re: Macro lens advice....

You seem to have decided to buy the Sigma prime, but ... you can't zoom in with a prime, so, whichever macro it is, if you're just that bit too far away (and you say you can't get closer than 6ft to where you expect your subject to be) then you could well be unhappy with the result. You're also likely to have to depend on cropping into the image to get 'close'. So, although he does also suggest the Sigma 150mm, I think I agree with PhotoOwl ...
Quote:
Originally Posted by photo_owl View Post
... if you are after dragon flies without the hours to get up close and personal then, frankly, get the 70-300 back and stick a quality diopter on the front (as someone has already said there's a Sigma, and there's also the Canon 500D range which are excellent optics)
P.S. @ Crippledsandwich - thanks.
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  #25  
Old 8th December 2010
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Re: Macro lens advice....

Quote:
Originally Posted by roadkill_6mm View Post
.... the quality of the E-5 macro pictures posted a little while ago with the Oly 50mm (+ I suspect either a TC or the ex-25)

Regards

Neil
the ones I suspect you refer to included the EC20 with the 50/2 and, probably as importantly, the RF11 unit was also used (just possible it was the TF22 but looking closely at some of them I am sure I see the telltale RF11 signature.

on static set shots I am starting to use a couple of FL50R's in slave mode as well as the RF11 to get both all round lighting and definition, but which ever way you look at it lighting is as important to such shots as the lens (or camera). The 510 was also a good macro camera because of the weaker AA filter, and the E5 gives even more resolution.
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  #26  
Old 9th December 2010
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Re: Macro lens advice....

At 6 feet you will not get 'macro' shots of any insect, they are just too small and distend to small a portion of the field of view. Macro style shots are possible of a large hoverfly at about 2-3 ft distance using the sigma 150 coupled with the ec1.4/2.0. Shooting these shots in the 'wild' is about seeing plants/areas the insects favour for feeding/resting and positioning yourself amongst that vegetation and waiting. Shooting these shots is very challenging, which is in part the fascination, and you can easily spend a couple of hours without getting a 'good' shot.

However if you stay still for several minutes you will find that there are lots of insects far closer than 6 foot, you just need to wait for them to move.

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  #27  
Old 13th December 2010
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Re: Macro lens advice....

Here are a couple of examples that you might be able to use see what to expect from a couple of lenses.

Both images are 'as is' - not cropped, just resized for the web.

This one was taken with the 70-300mm, the EXIF tells me it was at 190mm. The dragonfly was about eight or nine feet away.



This was taken with the 35mm macro, at probably about 6 inches distance.

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