I want to learn to take insect macro


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Paul_Yeo

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Feb 27, 2004
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#1
I want to learn to take photos of insects macro.

I will need the following ?
1) macro lens (any recommendation?)

2) tripod (hand held not recommended right? sometimes find it too heavy to bring out)

3) patience (do I need a lot of patience to wait for the dragonfly, grasshoppers to settle down?)

4) knowledge and love for the insects (I need to read up about the insects I am going to take to know their characters?)
 

Snoweagle

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Jan 26, 2005
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#3
Paul_Yeo said:
I want to learn to take photos of insects macro.

I will need the following ?
1) macro lens (any recommendation?)

2) tripod (hand held not recommended right? sometimes find it too heavy to bring out)

3) patience (do I need a lot of patience to wait for the dragonfly, grasshoppers to settle down?)

4) knowledge and love for the insects (I need to read up about the insects I am going to take to know their characters?)
Pertaining to yr questions:

1) Tamron SP AF 90mm f/2.8 Di Macro or Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro USM or Canon EF 180mm f/3.5L Macro USM...if u're using Canon body.

2) Best to use tripod as macro requires very still shots.

3) Yes...a lot of patience!

4) Not necessary...just take what u want.
 

dRebelXT

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May 14, 2005
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#4
Tamron 90mm Macro. If you are as impatient as me, Canon macro lens may be better
since Tamron is so slow in focussing.
 

Paul_Yeo

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Feb 27, 2004
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#5
oh. forgot to mention, I am using Nikon body

Since most people recommend Tamron 90mm 2.8, think should be safe for a macro newbie :)
 

k3nn3th03

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Jan 6, 2005
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#7
if i am using Prosumer cam instead of DSLR, can or not ??
 

Snoweagle

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Jan 26, 2005
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#8
Paul_Yeo said:
oh. forgot to mention, I am using Nikon body

Since most people recommend Tamron 90mm 2.8, think should be safe for a macro newbie :)
I see...the 90mm is gd if u're not standing so far away from your subject. Tamron also have a 180mm f3.5 macro for distance shooting, specially for insects such as butterflies which are very sensitive to movements at close distances.

Nikon also have their own macro lens. I think they call it 'micro' instead but they're macro lens. I'm a Canon user so i'm not really well versed in Nikon stuffs.
 

ywh

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Aug 12, 2002
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#9
Paul,

I have never ever found the need for AF in macro lenses esp when they are dedicated for macro work. I (and the other macro bugs I know) use 100% MF thus having a Canon's USM does not mean that focusing is acquired faster....in fact, I MF faster than my Canon 180 can AF.

I rec the Tamron 180...at less than half the price of the Nikon 200, it's a steal and tests have shown that the quality is on par with the originals....I dun want to be reminded of this but some images I have seen have shown the Tamron is sharper than the Canon.

With the money saved, you can get a solid tripod setup, a Gitzo CF and RRS-BH 55 or equivalent.
 

#10
Hi!
I agree with YWH that AF is a moot point in Macro shooting. I have the Sigma 150mm f2.8 HSM on a D70s, and I still manual focus extensively as the DOF tends to be rather thin...

The lens that is most used is the Nikkor 105mm f2.8. Other include the Tamron 90mm f2.8 that is mentioned, and lately, the Tokina Macro 100mm F2.8. Of course the Sigma 105.. and 150mm are also some good choices. As I found out, its quite difficult to go wrong with macro lenses so choose the range (mm) and speed (fs) you need.

Some of my macros, some at closest focusing distance and 2x telecon added are here for your reference...
http://caomhin.multiply.com/

Cheers!
Caomhin


ywh said:
Paul,

I have never ever found the need for AF in macro lenses esp when they are dedicated for macro work. I (and the other macro bugs I know) use 100% MF thus having a Canon's USM does not mean that focusing is acquired faster....in fact, I MF faster than my Canon 180 can AF.

I rec the Tamron 180...at less than half the price of the Nikon 200, it's a steal and tests have shown that the quality is on par with the originals....I dun want to be reminded of this but some images I have seen have shown the Tamron is sharper than the Canon.

With the money saved, you can get a solid tripod setup, a Gitzo CF and RRS-BH 55 or equivalent.
 

Snoweagle

Senior Member
Jan 26, 2005
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#11
ywh said:
Paul,

I have never ever found the need for AF in macro lenses esp when they are dedicated for macro work. I (and the other macro bugs I know) use 100% MF thus having a Canon's USM does not mean that focusing is acquired faster....in fact, I MF faster than my Canon 180 can AF.

I rec the Tamron 180...at less than half the price of the Nikon 200, it's a steal and tests have shown that the quality is on par with the originals....I dun want to be reminded of this but some images I have seen have shown the Tamron is sharper than the Canon.

With the money saved, you can get a solid tripod setup, a Gitzo CF and RRS-BH 55 or equivalent.
I agree with u....usually macro work is done by manual focusing rather than AF cos it's more accurate. I do not own a macro lens myself but i use my 50mm with a +4 closeup and can get rather close up to 1:3, but not as close as a 1:1 macro lens of course.

As for tripod a sturdy n gd one is definitely a must.
 

DeSwitch

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Oct 28, 2005
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#12
The Tamron 90mm is a good macro lens especially for handheld but IMHO, go for the 180mm cos there were some occasssion, I wish I had a longer range. Tripod can be clumbersome so a monopod would serve a better in term of flexibility. ( I sometimes use my tripod as a monopod).


The pro here would be able to provide better advise. The most frequent advise given to me is shoot more learn more. Every photo wheather its good or bad will teach you something.

Dragonfly will sometimes pose for you if you aproch it in a gentle way. shoot from far first and slowly move in.
 

SEXiao

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Feb 3, 2006
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#14
Hi, thanks, I learn a lot from the bro here too.... anyway, jsut check with MS, the Tamron 180mm Macro is seliing at S$1230 (Incl. GST).... anyone can get cheaper?? ;)
 

Snoweagle

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Jan 26, 2005
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#15
SEXiao said:
Hi, thanks, I learn a lot from the bro here too.... anyway, jsut check with MS, the Tamron 180mm Macro is seliing at S$1230 (Incl. GST).... anyone can get cheaper?? ;)
Think you can try AP at funan. The price i was quoted is around $1150 with GST.
 

Snoweagle

Senior Member
Jan 26, 2005
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Pasir Ris, Singapore
#16
DeSwitch said:
The Tamron 90mm is a good macro lens especially for handheld but IMHO, go for the 180mm cos there were some occasssion, I wish I had a longer range. Tripod can be clumbersome so a monopod would serve a better in term of flexibility. ( I sometimes use my tripod as a monopod).


The pro here would be able to provide better advise. The most frequent advise given to me is shoot more learn more. Every photo wheather its good or bad will teach you something.

Dragonfly will sometimes pose for you if you aproch it in a gentle way. shoot from far first and slowly move in.
Not all occassions can use monopod cos they don't provide the stability of a tripod. Yes dragonflies are the easiest to shoot cos you can get very very close to them and they still won't fly away.
 

Sep 8, 2005
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Westie
#17
Sorry to bug in, but would like to know will macro extension tubes do the job as well?
Or are they a different thing altogether.
Thanks
cheers.
 

Snoweagle

Senior Member
Jan 26, 2005
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#18
Little_Fish said:
Sorry to bug in, but would like to know will macro extension tubes do the job as well?
Or are they a different thing altogether.
Thanks
cheers.
Yes, extension tubes do bring yr subjects closer.
 

ywh

Member
Aug 12, 2002
291
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#19
A monopod is rarely used in macro unless you're shooting in conditions where a reasonable shutter speed can be used...I have never used one despite owning one for the last 6 years. Butterflies are the more common subjects where using a monopod can prove to be more flexible but I have never seen an image taken with a monopod setup that is of reasonable quality. Even if it is, a tripod is always more stable and you can stop down more for more depth of field which we usually need plenty of in macro.

Extension tubes do reduce your focusing distance but you lose light and if there are too many stacked, you lose quality too. For every half focal length of extension used, you lose one stop of light. e.g. 25mm of tubes used on a 50mm lens will result in a one stop loss. I do however use them regularly with teleconverters.
 

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