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Macro recommendations/advice.

Discussion in 'General Equipment Chat & Advice' started by jeadows, Mar 13, 2018.

  1. jeadows

    jeadows New Member

    Hi all,

    I'm looking to buy a camera with my primary interest being macro photography, i've been using my brothers old Nikon D3200 with a 105mm Sigma macro lens the last couple of months but he's going travelling and needs the camera so I thought it would be a good time look at buying my own lens. Is there any significant advantage to using a Nikon over a Canon or vice versa or is there another brand that does macro particularly well or better?

    Does any company offer a better range or produce better quality macro lenses as well? I don't have any issues using third party equipment which I know levels the playing field a little as they usually do fits for both Canon and Nikon as well as others. I also know Canon has the MP-E65 which looks crazy though I know realistically that that wouldn't be something I would even consider until quite a bit further down the line. Is that something that has enough pull to make Canon the better choice though? Anything to help me make a decision would be greatly appreciated!

    Thanks :D
  2. Andrew Flannigan

    Andrew Flannigan Well-Known Member

    All current dSLRs will provide results beyond the needs of all but a tiny minority of users. Canon and Nikon are much the same as one another at each price point. Many Nikon dSLRs allow you to use all the older Nikon lenses some of which are extremely good and often available at attractive prices. The Canon cameras allow you to fit most of the lenses designed for other makes of camera by the use of relatively cheap adapters EXCEPT Canon's own FD/FL lenses and the Minolta range. In all these cases you should assume that you will need to focus manually and probably use (A)perture mode metering. For macro photography you really don't need AF so lenses such as the excellent Vivitar Series 1 90mm macro or the equally good Tamron 90mm AD2 macro are good candidates if you're on a tight budget (I use the Tamron but have previously used the Vivitar).
  3. PeteRob

    PeteRob Well-Known Member

    Choice of cameras is basically down to personal preference. The manufacturers field more or less similar cameras across their ranges. The long term investment tends to be in lenses so most people tend to stay with one make as duplication is expensive. If you have a Nikon mount Sigma that you are happy with then your cheapest option is to get a s/h Nikon body. If you especially want a Canon MPE (pretty specialist) then that is different reason for choice.
    Roger Hicks likes this.
  4. jeadows

    jeadows New Member

    True. I wouldn't say I specifically want a Canon MPE, more my initial ready was a little on the side of that's crazy, watching some videos on the MPE did seem, although fantastic to get magnifications like it can get a quite impractical for a lot of what I like to photograph (mostly animals and insects). I don't have any gear of my own, only borrowed so I have a bit of a clean slate in that respect.
  5. daft_biker

    daft_biker Action Man!

    How many macro photographers don't want a MP-E?

    Get a Canon and keep your options open as I still really like mine. They probably still do the best 100mm macro too and the only real compromise is if you would rather have the option of a 200mm macro instead of 180mm.
  6. Snorri

    Snorri Well-Known Member

    I personally prefer a Canon, but as your brother has a DX Nikon There might be some benefits for you to get one as well. That said my advice would be to set a budget and then check them in a store as nothing beats a hands on try.
    As for lenses it comes down to what you are planing to shoot (at least most of the time) I have an eos 600D that I use for macro and close up on that camera I have the choice of the excellent EF-S60mm f2.8 macro which is one of my favorite lenses. Very compact, fantastic build, the image quality and sharpness is second to none. This lens will do 1:1 macro and due to the 60mm on a APS-C camera it is the perfect focal length for portraits as well. I also have the option of using Canons EF 100mm f2.8 macro (owned by a good friend) what it has over the 60mm is longer working distance, this can be important if you plan on shooting shy bugs as the extra length gives you more chance before they fly away. Another lens I often use is my SP70-300 VC USD from Tamron, this obviously is not a macro lens (they will put macro on the box but it is just marketing) but for close up shot it is good fun and as it has a long zoom range it works very well for wildlife and sports as well.
    All of these lenses are mid priced so not cheap but then again they are not that expensive ad give great value for money. Like others have said more or less any dSLR with a real 1:1 macro lens will do the job so don’t get to hung up on brands and models, try them out and buy what feels right.
  7. BamaMike

    BamaMike Well-Known Member

    I am really new to photography so I'm trying my hand at all sorts. My last lens purchase was the Canon 100mm f/2.8 USM macro lens and I am really pleased with it. It has been and still is a huge learning curve for me, but it's great.

    The more I read up about the lens the more grateful I am of the person that sold it to me. It is, apparently, highly regarded even today for portraits as well.
  8. alfbranch

    alfbranch Well-Known Member

    I recomend going to a shop and trying out cameras to which suits you best.

    You do not need any particular brand or a big flappy mirror to take macro photos. How many photos have you taken at greatrer than 1:1

    I use Olympus OMD camers I know of a guy who produces amazing results with abridge camera a panasonic FZ200. Lighting is more important than what camera you are using.
    Here is a shot taken with a FZ200

    Here is a shot taken with an Olympus OM E-M1 and sigma 105 f2.8 and some other bits

    [​IMG]Collembola-7 by Alf Branch, on Flickr
    daft_biker likes this.
  9. Petrochemist

    Petrochemist Well-Known Member

    Any modern interchangeable lens camera can work well for macro, so the choice is more down to how the camera feels in your hands & how you get on with the user interface.
    Personally I find my mirrorless cameras have a distinct advantage as the viewfinder can be set to boost the brightness to compensate for the dark images that are typical when the lens is extended. Magnified view in the veiwfinder is also a big bonus.

    There are many techniques for getting macro magnifications without using a macro lens (they can also boost the magnification of your macro lens). Supplementary diopters work best on long lenses, and extension tubes/reversing works best with short lenses.
  10. SXH

    SXH Well-Known Member

    Put your mind to it (and with a bit of PSE magic), you can even get decent images with a pocket camera.
    [​IMG]Varied Carpet Beetle by Steve Higgins, on Flickr
    Mind, a lot of that is down the the tiny sensor...
  11. daft_biker

    daft_biker Action Man!

    10's of thousands, at least. Surprised the aperture mechanism still works territory on my MP-E.:eek:

    An old shot.....


    ....and an even older one.....


    Most beasties I find are smaller than my APS-C sensor which is why I usually just take that lens if I go beastie hunting.
    alfbranch likes this.

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