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New Contributor
Posts: 3
Registered: ‎06-05-2017

Macro lens for insects

Hello, I am new to the world of DSLR photography. I would like to take pictures of insects, and would like to know what is a good lens to get for a DSLR to be able to take close up macros of insects. Should I be looking for a prime lens or zoom lens? If prime what number, and zoom what range?  I am planning on using a 40d body. I would like to stay not too expensive though.

 

Thanks

Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 4,723
Registered: ‎08-13-2015

Re: Macro lens for insects


Dragonwarrior wrote:

Hello, I am new to the world of DSLR photography. I would like to take pictures of insects, and would like to know what is a good lens to get for a DSLR to be able to take close up macros of insects. Should I be looking for a prime lens or zoom lens? If prime what number, and zoom what range?  I am planning on using a 40d body. I would like to stay not too expensive though.

 

Thanks


What lenses do you currently own?  

 

There is a lot more to macro photography than buying a lens.  The least expensive way to get into macro photography is with extension tubes and having a very robust tripod.  I am not a big fan of "close up" filters because they degrade the IQ of the lens.

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New Contributor
Posts: 3
Registered: ‎06-05-2017

Re: Macro lens for insects

I have a old EFS 18-55mm canon lens that I could use, which says it can go as close as 0.25m/0.8ft.  But what I would like to know are the kinds of lenses that are out there that would be good to use on macro photography. What is the lowest or highest range of mm I would want to use for this? As I said I am new to using DSLR's, and actually don't have my camera yet, but am planning on getting it soon. Which is why I am researching what I might want to get as a lens. I have not used DSLR's very much so I am learning right now what everything is.

 

What is an extension tube?

Honored Contributor
Posts: 7,705
Registered: ‎12-07-2012

Re: Macro lens for insects

[ Edited ]

A pretty decent lens that is not too expensive and a good choice for you is the Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro USM Lens.  This is the non-L version that is why it is less expensive but it still gives you the extra working distance that helps a great deal in macro.

A nice additional feature of a lens like this opposed to extension tubes is you can use it in other situations.  Not simply macro. Extension tubes remove the ability to focus to infinity.  They also change the f-ratio of the lens. Since your lens can focus more closely than it was designed too, images will usually have a lower quality than with a real deal macro lens.  It is the same as a tele extender only in reverse.

 

A good tripod is a good idea.  It will always hold the camera better than you can! Smiley Happy  Check out the Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro USM Lens.

A lot of Canon stuff. Along with, a lot of other stuff.
Respected Contributor
Posts: 1,729
Registered: ‎02-17-2016

Re: Macro lens for insects

[ Edited ]

And a focusing rail, since with a macro you set the magnification and move the lens to focus.

 

The EF-S 60 mm  is pretty inexpensive, but the working distance is close and there is no IS. I took this shot with it:

 

IMG_3411.jpg

 

 

Respected Contributor
Posts: 1,667
Registered: ‎12-02-2012

Re: Macro lens for insects

I agree with Ebiggs.  The 100mm macro (non-IS) is affordable and super sharp by all accounts. I have its 100mm cousin with IS and the focal,length is easy to work with; you don't need to be super close. 

Scott

Canon 6D, EF 70-200mm L f/2.8 IS mk2; EF 16-35 f/2.8 L mk. III; Sigma 35mm f/1.4 "Art" EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro; EF 85mm f/1.8; EF 1.4x extender mk. 3; EF 24-105 f/4 L; EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS; 3x Phottix Mitros+ speedlites

Why do so many people say "FER-tographer"? Do they take "fertographs"?
Respected Contributor
Posts: 1,667
Registered: ‎12-02-2012

Re: Macro lens for insects

Although on a Rebel a 60mm macro is the same focal length as about 96mm. 

 

I still think id spend the very few extra dollars and get the EF 100mm macro. Then that'd be like a 160mm macro on the Rebel. You won't scare the bugs away because you can keep your distance. 

Scott

Canon 6D, EF 70-200mm L f/2.8 IS mk2; EF 16-35 f/2.8 L mk. III; Sigma 35mm f/1.4 "Art" EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro; EF 85mm f/1.8; EF 1.4x extender mk. 3; EF 24-105 f/4 L; EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS; 3x Phottix Mitros+ speedlites

Why do so many people say "FER-tographer"? Do they take "fertographs"?
Respected Contributor
Posts: 1,729
Registered: ‎02-17-2016

Re: Macro lens for insects

For the record, if the money is there, the 100 mm macro with hybrid IS is certainly the way to go. I was just giving options.

New Contributor
Posts: 3
Registered: ‎06-05-2017

Re: Macro lens for insects

Thank you for all the advice. That is a really nice macro of a mantis.  I don't think I can afford the 100 mm macro at the moment but I will keep it on my radar for the future for sure.

What are your thoughts on a Canon EF 50m 1.8 STM lens? would it take decent macro pictures? and also be able to get some landscapes? I know it is a step down from the ones suggested but would it work for Macro shots?

Honored Contributor
Posts: 7,705
Registered: ‎12-07-2012

Re: Macro lens for insects

"What are your thoughts on a Canon EF 50m 1.8 STM lens?"

 

Any lens can be 'made' to shoot about anything.  But will it really do a nice job at macro or landscapes?  That is what you have to decide.  Personally, I would not use it for either as it will not a do a really good job at either. 50mm on a FF camera is considered a "normal" view.  It is close to what the human eye sees so it is considered normal.  On a cropper it is a slight tele. Just a tad more than 'normal'.  IMHO, 50mm is a hard focal length to use as a general lens. 

A lot of Canon stuff. Along with, a lot of other stuff.
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