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General photography questions and answers: Discuss New Guy . . . stuck . . . . Help!!...Hello Guys Hello, my name is Paul Whillock and i live in Solihull, England. Initially, I was almost forced into ...
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Old 05-04-2005, 21:39   #1 (permalink)
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New Guy . . . stuck . . . . Help!!

Hello Guys

Hello, my name is Paul Whillock and i live in Solihull, England.

Initially, I was almost forced into Photography due to the work I do and the necessity to advertise it online. . . I Tie Trout flies; (those feathery things used for fishing with).
As a fly fishermen; I travel to some beautiful and incredibly scenic areas of the UK and, as a result, I began to take a genuine interest in photography.
I began with a 35mm compact but soon moved towards digital images as they were easier for me to use on the web etc. The 1 meg. camera that I started out with soon became obsolete as the need for higher resolution images took over however, even though I had taken hundreds of images using various lighting methods to achieve (the occasional) good result, I still know relatively little about photography as i used the auto facility constantly rather than learn the essentials however . . . . I am now beginning to learn!

I run my images thru Photoshop CS (I have owned this for around a year but WOW, there is a lot to learn on that also!!) due to a recent project I have undertaken, the realisation slowly dawned that I needed to take this all one step further! I purchased a Canon 300D, SLR EOS Digital and I am now looking to add a digital macro lens as most of my work will be insect photography. Generally this is done outdoors though some will be done indoors.

I am looking for a little help here so; my questions to you all are as follows:

************************************************** ************************************************** **

#1: My budget is limited; I have slashed out on a ton of stuff recently and cannot spend any more than £150 on a macro lens, is a digital macro lens necessary?

#2: Due to my lack of experience, I cannot justify the cost of an original Canon Macro lens at the moment so, would a Sigma or Tamron suffice??

#3: The insects I intend to photograph will all be at close range, generally they ‘behave’ and sit still allowing you to get within 12 inches of them. At the moment, this lens will only be used for bug images so, is a 50mm lens the correct choice?

#4: Where could I purchase a good 2nd hand macro lens??

************************************************** ************************************************** **
I appreciate your time

Best regards

Paul Whillock
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Old 05-04-2005, 21:53   #2 (permalink)
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Hi Paul
Had a quick look on your site, looks good

You can get a genuine canon 50mm f.2.5 compact macro lens from 7day shop for a tad outside your budget. iirc it was about 169.99

I don't think it's a true macro lens as it only goes down to .5x but canon do an adaptor which will drop it to life size!!!!

Macro work is very tricky to get right, the closer you get, the worse the light is, unless you have a macro flash! more money though.

i'm looking towards the 100mm macro lens as you can have a little more space between you and the subjet and still get 1:1 images.

Check out SDK's images in the gallery, he's from round your way too

No reason at all why you can't use a non canon lens though, as long as the lens you buy fits the canon EF mount, your in business.

ebay might be the best place to look for a preloved lens.


hope it helps
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Old 05-04-2005, 22:05   #3 (permalink)
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Welcome Paul, Nice site!

As DigitalFailure says, preowned on Ebay is a good place to look..i dont know anything about macro lenses so i cant really help with that!
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Old 05-04-2005, 22:14   #4 (permalink)
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Hi Paul.

A true macro lens actually gives you a life sized image or larger on the negative (or on the sensor). Quite apart from that macro lenses give a much sharper image right out to the edges of your pics , which is where 'normal' lenses tend to drop off in resolution, so macro lenses are also used for faithful recording of old line drawings or engravings for that reason. In short while they're expensive, they are superb optics.

You do have other less costly options. You can buy supplementary close up lenses which just fit over the front of your lens like a filter. You can get those in various strengths. You can also get extension tubes which fit between the camera and lens to enable you to get closer to your bugs.

Another option is extension bellows which allows huge magnification and getting very close to your subjects. My advice is don't. You'll have to work off a tripod and as you wind out the bellows the sceen gets darker, your exposures get much longer, it's an absolute pain!

A macro lens is the elegant answer. My advice is don't rush at this moment have a look around and see what's available. You can get macro lenses in various focal lengths and really, the longer the better because it allows you to work at a more comfortable distance from your subjects and also makes it easier to light them with flash if you need to.

Don't just buy the first one that comes along because it's affordable, even if it means waiting a while. My simple philosophy is buy the one you can't quite afford and it's never let me down yet. :wink:
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