Question about the Canon 100mm f/2.8 USM Macro lens

Discussion in 'Canon' started by DaveS7, Oct 7, 2007.

  1. DaveS7

    DaveS7 Guest

    I'm coming close to the point where I'll be able to buy an EOS-5D.
    I really love macro shots of small subjects such as insects.
    Using The Canon 100mm f/2.8 USM Macro lens, would I be able to fill the
    entire image with a .25 inch (1/4 inch)
    subject at the closest focus distance from the subject? If not, what would
    be the smallest subject that would fill the entire image?
    Does anyone know of a website where I could see this kind of info in
    understandable language?
    DaveS7, Oct 7, 2007
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  2. DaveS7

    MacroMania Guest

    Good luck trying to get any respectable DOF out of any dslr macro lens. Don't
    even bother hoping to use available-light only at smaller apertures when you do.
    Not even the best dslr out there has clean ISOs high enough for that. Macro
    photography is where any decent smallest-sensor P&S camera is the clear winner
    over ANY dslr. P&S cameras beat the dslr for macro photography by a huge margin.
    You'll do fine if all you are trying to focus on is the face of a stamp or coin
    with a dslr + macro setup, but only if that surface is perfectly parallel to the
    plane of the sensor. Be off by just a few degrees and you can kiss any focus at
    one of the edges goodbye.

    Here's a couple links that you will need if you go the dslr route for macro

    Keep them handy, bookmark them now.

    Make sure your dslr has advanced focus-bracketing capability too in order to
    make use of these post-processing methods to get any respectable DOF in your
    photos. You'll need at least 5 or more focus-bracketing steps for shallower
    subjects, preferable if you can set a greater amount of focus-steps on your
    camera that you'll need for anything deeper than 1/2 inch. Or mount your dslr on
    a focusing rail for each and every photo. Then adjust each focal-plane depth
    manually for every frame that you'll have to take for stacking with the
    aforementioned programs. Don't forget to calculate how many focal planes you'll
    need to record to adequately cover the DOF available at your chosen f-stop for
    the full depth of your subject.

    Oh wait, that's right, only P&S cameras that can run CHDK are capable of doing
    the fully automated focus-bracketing required for something like this, if you're
    not going to use a the slow, manual, focusing-rail method.

    Well, good luck anyway, you're going to need it. And try to not think too often
    about how much money that you just spent going backward in macro-photography
    capability. That's going to bother you much more than trying to get any DOF out
    of it. Like a recurring nightmare every time you wonder why that insect leg or
    antenna was out of focus, that petal and that stamen, or that gill and that fin,
    again, and again, and again in every photo that you will ever try to take.

    Been there, done that. Luckily it was a round-trip ticket when I finally
    wizened-up and realized that I paid much more for much less. The dslr
    macro-photography land is a fun place to visit (fun, in a "good thing I don't
    live here" sort of way) but I sure wouldn't ever go back again. Nothing there is
    in focus enough except for a few meager bits on everything you look at. Like
    trying to read a For-Sale sign that said "F - l ". Another good analogy: the
    amount of useful recorded information in dslr macro-photography is equivalent in
    trying to watch a movie recorded at 1 frame every 2 minutes then played back at
    the same frame-rate, just as enjoyable. I quickly walked out of that pathetic
    movie and demanded my money back.
    MacroMania, Oct 8, 2007
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  3. DaveS7

    DaveS7 Guest

    DaveS7, Oct 8, 2007
  4. DaveS7

    Mardon Guest

    As mark has pointed out, you can't get better than 1:1 with the 100mm
    macro. For that, you need Canon's MP-E 65mm f/2.8 1-5x Macro and a macro
    light. I recommend the Canon Macro Twin Lite MT-24EX

    Here's some samples. Mostly with the 65mm but some with the 180mm. EXIF is
    Mardon, Oct 8, 2007
  5. DaveS7

    DaveS7 Guest

    What 10 MP or better P&S cameras would be best for Macro work?
    What relative improvement in DOF would they provide? In other words, what
    percentage increase in DOF
    would be realized?
    DaveS7, Oct 9, 2007
  6. DaveS7

    DaveS7 Guest

    Thanks! The photos were very helpful!
    Do you think MacroMania's comments about P&S cameras as a better choice for
    macros are correct?

    He also says:
    "Make sure your dslr has advanced focus-bracketing capability too in order
    make use of these post-processing methods to get any respectable DOF in your
    photos. You'll need at least 5 or more focus-bracketing steps for shallower

    Does the EOS 5D have advanced focus-bracketing capability?
    DaveS7, Oct 9, 2007
  7. DaveS7

    Mardon Guest

    Everybody has their own opinion about things. That's especially true in
    these Usenet photo groups. It's a good place to gather opinions but don't
    base a purchase decision solely on what you read here. As I understand it,
    MacroMania's entire point is that most macro photos don't have sufficient
    depth of field for his tastes. You can see the shallow depth of field in
    the photos on my web page that I referred you to. He offers two solutions:
    (1) use a P&S camera or (2) use focus bracketing. The reason that P&S
    cameras have greater DOF is that they have tiny sensors compared to most
    DSLRs. Other things being equal, the smaller the sensor, the greater the
    depth of field. The 5D is a 'full frame' sensor, so it is way larger than
    any P&S camera and will have a smaller depth of field than even say a Canon
    40D. BUT remember, the larger sensor has tons of advantages. It will
    produce a much better image at higher ISO than any P&S. IMO, no P&S can
    compare to a dSLR for quality. MacroMania's other suggestion is focus
    bracketing. That means taking several images focused on different focal
    planes and then combining them into a single image with more depth of
    field. It's sort of like HDR photography that takes several images at
    different exposure levels and combines them into a single high dynamic
    range image or a tone-mapped image. I've never tried focus bracketing. I
    have no doubt that it works in some situations. If there is movement of
    the subject between shots, it would not work and insects can move a lot,
    especially when a flash fires. Personally I don't mind the shallow depth
    of field in macro. You just need to learn to manage it when you shot. Get
    as much of the important subject as you can in a single focal plane and
    you'll be OK. The larger the magnification, the more problematic DOF
    becomes. At 5x with the 65mm lens it can be tricky. At 1x with a 100mm
    lens, it's not so bad.
    Mardon, Oct 9, 2007
  8. DaveS7

    TestTest Guest

    Wow, look at all the same blatant lies being told by the dslr gang again to
    justify their purchases. It does warm the cockles, they are consistent in their
    misinformation and lies, if nothing else.
    TestTest, Oct 9, 2007
  9. DaveS7

    DaveS7 Guest

    Thanks again for taking the trouble give such excellent replies!

    Do you know what magnification and lens you used for this photo:

    I like that one a lot!
    DaveS7, Oct 10, 2007
  10. DaveS7

    DaveS7 Guest

    Thanks! I was wondering myself if there might be a greater, as in down to a
    smaller, aperature setting for
    a DSLR Macro lens which would overcome the supposed narrower DOF of DSLR's.
    DaveS7, Oct 10, 2007
  11. DaveS7

    DaveS7 Guest

    Thanks! Excellent link!!!
    DaveS7, Oct 10, 2007
  12. DaveS7

    Mardon Guest


    That shot was taken with my Canon 20D, a Canon MP-E 65mm f/2.8 1-5x Macro
    lens and a Canon Macro Twin Lite MT-24EX. The camera was hand-held. 1/500
    sec at f/16 (the smallest aperture available for that lens). The lens was
    set at 1x. The image I posted is slightly cropped so it may appear that I
    had the lens set to a higher magnification than I actually did. 1x is as
    wide a field of view as that lens offers. The fly measured 8 mm from the
    head to the end of the abdomen (wings not included). The fly belongs to
    the Family "Scathophagidae", "Dung Flies". It's sitting on a closed
    Dandelion Blossom. The image was taken at coordinates 47.630362N
    52.687277W (WGS84). See Google Earth if you're interested in where this is

    Incidentally, the majority (but not all) of the images on the following
    page were taken with my EF 180mm f/3.5L Macro USM:

    If you're considering getting the 100mm macro, you may want to consider the
    180mm. It will allow you to get further away from the subject than the
    Mardon, Oct 10, 2007
  13. DaveS7

    John Ortt Guest

    How did you get such an accurate GPS coordinate?

    Have you got an attachemnt for the camera or did you use a normal GPS and
    make a note of the coords?
    John Ortt, Oct 11, 2007
  14. DaveS7

    Mardon Guest

    I didn't use a GPS. I took the photo in our backyard. After taking the
    photo, I simply walked into our house and got the coordinates for the exact
    spot where I knew I had stood from Google Earth. In areas like mine, where
    high-res earth images are available, Google Earth is far more accurate than
    a standard GPS. I have a Garmin eTrex Vista that I use but it can eaisly
    be off by several meters. Google earth also uses the WGS84 datum, which is
    very convienent. If you looked at the photo, you may have noticed three
    'vehicles' sitting on our concrete driveway (that's why the driveway
    appears white-coloured in the Google Earth image.) A car and an SUV are
    parked on the west side of the driveway and our riding lawn mower is the
    smaller 'vehcile' parked on the east side.
    Mardon, Oct 18, 2007
  15. DaveS7

    Mardon Guest

    It sounds like you've been here. Have you?
    Yes. My backyard. The house with the white concrete driveway and 3 acres
    of surrounding land is where my wife and I live.
    Mardon, Oct 18, 2007
  16. DaveS7

    Mardon Guest

    Just remember, anything that happens in North America happens here first!

    NST = UTC - 3.5 hours while EST = UTC - 5 hours :)
    Mardon, Oct 18, 2007
  17. DaveS7

    Mardon Guest

    Thanks for your thoughtfullness. As it happens, I'm not as particular
    about that sort of thing as many people but it was nice of you to be
    I don't think that there is any St. John's River in Newfoundland. I
    suspect you're speaking about the "St. John River" in New Brunswick. As
    the crow flies, that's about 1,060 Kms from where I live. It's a nice spot
    though, and would be a great place for sailing.
    Mardon, Oct 19, 2007
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