RAUK - Archived Forum - Lenses

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Vicar
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Joined: 02 Sep 2004
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Posted: 23 Jan 2006
OK, so far I've gotten by (reasonably well) with work-around lenses, using close-up filters for the portrait work etc.

But, the time has come when I must invest in a 'proper' macro lens.

At the moment, I'm dithering between something around a 100mm macro or a 180mm macro. (Using a digital - EOS20D so effectively longer lenses etc.)

Both sizes of Tamron lenses look nice beats, but can anybody advise of an appropriate focal length for herp work ? preferably by somebody who has had experience of both types, but any advice gratefully received!



Steve Langham - Chairman    
Surrey Amphibian & Reptile Group (SARG).
Alan Hyde
Senior Member
Joined: 17 Apr 2003
No. of posts: 1416


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Posted: 23 Jan 2006
Hi Steve, how are you mate? Keeping well I hope.

I have three macro lens for my 20D , The sigma 50mm,sigma 105mm (for in Situ) and the canon 60mm USM , these are just fine for me. I prefer to work up close and personal with the subject so the 60 and 50 get the most use. Obviously with the 180mm you'll be able to get better in situ pics without getting that close. So if you're going for situ the 180 is what i'd choose.Alan Hyde38740.4128587963
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Wolfgang Wuster
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Joined: 23 Apr 2003
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Posted: 24 Jan 2006
Steve,

I only have a 100 mm, so no experience of the 180 mm, but here are my thoughts anyway:

For most purposes and as a general macro workhorse, the 100 mm will be better than the 180 mm: Better depth of field, lighter, less camera shake, hence more opportunities for natural light photos.

Exceptions include in-situ macro shots of shy things (but how often do you need to take those? For many in situ shots, an ordinary 200 mm telephoto, perhaps with an extension ring, will do the same job more cheaply), or if you want real close-ups of larger dangerous species (i.e. large exotic venomous snakes).

Cheers,

Wolfgang
Wolfgang Wüster
School of Biological Sciences, University of Wales, Bangor
http://sbsweb.bangor.ac.uk/~bss166/
rhysrkid
Senior Member
Joined: 14 Nov 2003
No. of posts: 98


View other posts by rhysrkid
Posted: 24 Jan 2006
I would agree with Wolfgang. I use the Sigma 105 mm and have a 300 mm tele with a close focus macro feature for more distant work.  The 105 mm is a good weight and as already mentioned is more versatile, providing you dont mind getting a little closer. Its also cheaper...
Rhys
Vicar
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Joined: 02 Sep 2004
No. of posts: 1181


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Posted: 30 Jan 2006

Very many thanks for all those thoughts.

I'd pretty much decided on around a 90mm macro, which, with a 2xtelecon would give me some flexibility.

But,...as this year will be all about in-situ, and...erm..I saw a dirt-cheap Tamron SP AF 180mm Di Macro 1:1 lens for sale on the Spanish Ebay site......erm....years of professional objectivity gave way to an impulse buy .

Its just turned up..and its a beauty !  I shall of course report back here on pros & cons once I've had a chance to test it out 'in the field'.


Steve Langham - Chairman    
Surrey Amphibian & Reptile Group (SARG).
djp_phillips
Senior Member
Joined: 09 Jan 2006
No. of posts: 180


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Posted: 30 Jan 2006
What's the best camera (not too expensive [- 700 pounds]) for
photographing snakes ?
Reptiles & Amphibians of France:
www.herpfrance.com

European Field Herping Community:
www.euroherp.com
lucym
Member
Joined: 22 Feb 2006
No. of posts: 31


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Posted: 22 Feb 2006

hello all,

 im relitively new to wildlife photography and would love to get some better close up pics, the info i've read suggests a macro lens. would a macro lens require me to get as close to the subjects (on view in the Adder forum) sugest, or do they have a fair magnification. The adder pics are amazing!

                 lucym

lucym38770.7631944444
Vicar
Senior Member
Joined: 02 Sep 2004
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View other posts by Vicar
Posted: 22 Feb 2006

Hi Lucy,

Some info from the Tamron brochure which might help....

1:1 macro is where the object is projected as life-size on the image plane of the camera. This is overkill for most reptile pictures, but to help get an idea....

The Tamron 180mm macro achieves 1:1 at 47cm from camera body

The Tamron 90mm macro achieves 1:1 at 29cm from the camera body

There is far more to it all than just this, but at least it gives you some idea.

Just checking by looking through my 180mm macro, a Vip (common) lizard fills the frame at about 4-5 feet range


Steve Langham - Chairman    
Surrey Amphibian & Reptile Group (SARG).
GemmaJF
Admin Group
Joined: 25 Jan 2003
No. of posts: 2090


View other posts by GemmaJF
Posted: 23 Feb 2006

Hi Lucy,

My pics of adder have all been with a EFS 18 - 55 mm and you do have to be pretty close to get a good shot.. well practically on the ends of their snouts

I've bought an EFS 60 mm macro which should allow a little more distance.. though will probably just result in me taking extreme close-ups of the heads

Generally I would say you don't need a macro to start taking pictures of native herpetofauna, though you probably will want one in time.

If you really want to keep your distance perhaps you would be better looking at a telephoto lens first?


Gemma Fairchild, Independent Ecological Consultant
lucym
Member
Joined: 22 Feb 2006
No. of posts: 31


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Posted: 23 Feb 2006

 Thanks Vicar and Gemma,

          really appreciate  the time taken to reply, a telephoto lens sounds a really good idea for now untill i'm confident to get a little closer. ps some of the pics are so close you must of felt there breath!!!

                         Thanks again i'l try and get my pics on when i take them and perhaps you could advise me further when you see them.         & nbsp;    good luck

                                Lucym

lucym38771.5463078704
johnc79
Member
Joined: 18 Nov 2003
No. of posts: 34


View other posts by johnc79
Posted: 27 Feb 2006

Hello everyone, I'm new to the DSLR world. Just brought a Canon EOS 350D and i'm sure i will have loads of questions to ask soon!  For now though, what does in Situ mean?Confused

Many thanks

John

 

 


*SNAKE*
Senior Member
Joined: 16 May 2004
No. of posts: 220


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Posted: 27 Feb 2006

hi john I'm not very good at explaining things but here gos

in situ means the subject is in is original position.

it hasn't been captured and handled ready for pics.

its how you found it, i its natural surroundings when you take your pics hope this helps if Ive missed anything out then hopefully someone on this forum can explain it better/

  Paul 


PAUL SMITH     
johnc79
Member
Joined: 18 Nov 2003
No. of posts: 34


View other posts by johnc79
Posted: 27 Feb 2006

That makes sense to me, thank you. so a 105mm macro would be good for this? what would be good for close up head shots or even froglets?

Many thanks

John


Vicar
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Joined: 02 Sep 2004
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Posted: 27 Feb 2006

John,

I think your 350D plus 105 macro is ideal !  Post some (herp) pics on the forum when you get some .

Steve


Steve Langham - Chairman    
Surrey Amphibian & Reptile Group (SARG).
johnc79
Member
Joined: 18 Nov 2003
No. of posts: 34


View other posts by johnc79
Posted: 28 Feb 2006

Thank you, what use would a 50mm macro be for herps? also i have a SIGMA 70-300mm DG Lens with macro mode to what situations would this be good for as well with and without macro mode? Sorry about all the questions!!!Confused

Many thanks

John


Vicar
Senior Member
Joined: 02 Sep 2004
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View other posts by Vicar
Posted: 28 Feb 2006

John,

With the 50mm macro, you have to get closer to the subject for the same 'magnification' on the image. However, usually a shorter focal length prime is a faster lens, (allowing more light through the lens). What this means in practice is that you can use a smaller aperture when taking the picture, and the smaller the aperture, the greater the depth of field.

So you stand more chance of getting the entire subject in focus with the 50mm than with the 105mm, and could possibly use a faster shutter speed too, minimising camera shake. On the downside, you'll have to improve on your stalking technique to get closer .

The telephoto will probably be a compromise lens, almost certainly slower that the other lenses, on the other hand this may be the best lens to get pics of snakes initially, as they are VERY shy creatures, and you'll have dificulty getting close to them at first.

Hope this helps, and obviously all the above is open for comment.

Steve


Steve Langham - Chairman    
Surrey Amphibian & Reptile Group (SARG).
Paul Williams
Member
Joined: 18 Aug 2005
No. of posts: 35


View other posts by Paul Williams
Posted: 28 Feb 2006

I started to observe and take pictures of native Herps last year having been into photography for a couple of years before that, Most of my pictures prior to late last year were of captive non native reptiles and this helped me to learn many of the basic things about photography before i went out trying to take pictures of native reptiles.

I have to date used a 100mm macro lens first I had the sigma 105 then I sold that and went for the canon 100 macro as I didnt liek the hunting and slow AF of the sigma 105, Now i am looking into a 180mm macro and thinking about getting the 180EX DG sigma macro and parting with the 100mm macro mainly because it allows me to be that little bit farther away and still take 1.1 macro shots this will be far better for Common lizards and will not impact much at all on adders infact it may help by not requireing being quite so close to them.

I also have a 70-200 canon L which I have a 500d close up filter for which allows me to be even more versitile and is a very very handy setup for narture shots

anyway not sure if any of that is of any help but it might be


johnc79
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Joined: 18 Nov 2003
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Posted: 06 Mar 2006
Sigma or cannon does it matter?
lucym
Member
Joined: 22 Feb 2006
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Posted: 08 Mar 2006
Hello everyone, sorry not sure about that Johnc79 as im here with a question myself, im lookin to go digital at last and have my sights set on a nikon d50 as its about all i can afford for now.I would like to get a macro lens to achive some close-up shots, would it also need to be nikon or do various makes fit? any info or usefull contacts much appreciated???       &nbs p;    Lucy
Alan Hyde
Senior Member
Joined: 17 Apr 2003
No. of posts: 1416


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Posted: 08 Mar 2006
Hi Lucy,
There's nothing wrong with the nikon d50, you'll get some great pics with that model. It doesn't have to be Nikon lenses that you buy , sigma do some nice macro lenses in nikon fit . However , you'll probably find that the sigma lenses do not focus as fast as Nikons own .
All the best,
Alan
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