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Lens or Camera upgrade (or both) advice needed

peggary
Contributor

I use a Canon Rebel 2Ti and a Canon 50mm f/2.5 compact macro lens, with a Manfrotto tripod, center pole inverted, on a tabletop in outdoor natural light.  My camera points directly downward to capture an approx. 1.5x2" area of a relatively flat surface.  (1) what Canon product, lens or camera, do I need to improve my ability to capture an even smaller area, or the same area with greater clarity to allow me to crop to a smaller area, and still enlarge to produce, at a minimum, a excellent 13x19" print  (2) same question with the goal of a sharp 2x3' print and (3) if your recommendation is for both camera & lens upgrade, and I can only afford one, which would get me closer to my goal, for my buck?  

10 REPLIES 10

rs-eos
Whiz

With your current camera and lens combination, you have a fixed field-of-view.   If you want a more narrow field-of-view, you'll want to look at more telephoto lenses.  However, do note that such lenses' minimum focusing distances may cause you issue (since you're mounting the camera on a tripod and pointing it straight down towards the table).  You'll thus want to provide the maximum height your camera will be off of the table.

For the most flexible option with field-of-view, you can look at zoom lenses; but also be mindful of the minimum focusing distance(s) at each zoom setting.

In terms of capturing higher-resolution images, that would require an upgrade to your camera.  When you will be printing your images, what will be the dots per inch value?  e.g. if you'll be printing at 300 dpi, you'd need 3900 x 5700 pixels worth of resolution.  13:19 is a tad different from the 3:2 photos the camera captures by default, so you'll end up cropping a bit.   For this example, you're looking at a camera with at least 21 Megapixels.   Less if you'll be printing at a lower dpi value.  More if printing at a higher dpi value (as compared to this 300 value in this example).

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Ricky

EOS 5D IV, EF 50mm f/1.2L, EF 135mm f/2L, 600EX-RT (x6), ST-E3-RT
EOS C70, RF 24-70 f/2.8L IS, EF-EOS R 0.71x

Ricky-I need to stick to tabletop, and I studied photography before the digital age, so bear with me.  If I understand you, the D5 IV with 30 pixels, would produce a solid 2x3' 300dpi print, and if I only used part of the image, (in essence reducing the field) I could still get a good 13x19" 300dpi print.  And what of the EF 50mm F2.5 compact macro lens (purchased in 2008 for $250) which appears to zoom from 1:1 (actual size?)to 1:4 (.25% of actual?).  I not only use a tripod, but a 2 minute timer to avoid shake, so I don't need speed and I have sufficient light.  Is there something with greater magnification or better glass that I should consider?  Thank you so much for your help.

Waddizzle
Legend

This is a duplicate post.

https://community.usa.canon.com/t5/EF-RF-Lenses/Lens-or-Camera-upgrade-or-both-advice-needed/td-p/35... 

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"The right mouse button is your friend."

Sorry for the duplication, but I didn't know how to list a single post in both the lens and camera sections.

jrhoffman75
Legend

@peggary wrote:

I use a Canon Rebel 2Ti and a Canon 50mm f/2.5 compact macro lens, with a Manfrotto tripod, center pole inverted, on a tabletop in outdoor natural light.  My camera points directly downward to capture an approx. 1.5x2" area of a relatively flat surface.  (1) what Canon product, lens or camera, do I need to improve my ability to capture an even smaller area, or the same area with greater clarity to allow me to crop to a smaller area, and still enlarge to produce, at a minimum, a excellent 13x19" print  (2) same question with the goal of a sharp 2x3' print and (3) if your recommendation is for both camera & lens upgrade, and I can only afford one, which would get me closer to my goal, for my buck?  


1. do you have the 1:1 life size adapter that Canon makes for that lens?

2. An extension tube would give you greater than 1:1 magnification - Extension Tube Magnification Calculator (thingsupclose.com)

3. "excellent" is a relative term. I get prints I am very pleased with from my 1D Mark IV and 1D X, both with comparable megapixels to your T2i. Ideally you want to minimize cropping by filling the camera frame with your final image. Printing on 13x19 paper with a 1/2 inch border will give you a 12x18 image size (same 2:3 aspect ratio of your camera.). 2 ft x 3 ft would be a struggle, but perhaps some of the software tools like Lightroom Super Resolution or Topaz Gigapixel would give you what you want before you start spending big bucks.

4. you say "relatively flat surface". Are you perhaps having a depth of field problem? At close focusing distances depth of field is very shallow. Perhaps a smaller aperture would help. Can you post an image that isn't giving you what you want?

John Hoffman
Conway, NH

1D X Mark III, Many lenses, Pixma PRO-100, MX472, LR Classic

Thanks much.  I've got much to think about.  I photograph small (1 1/2 x 2") areas of rocks, with 1:1 magnification, and limited depth of field on an uneven surface, is always a problem.  I do fairly well with my current setup, but I'd like to be able to capture an even smaller area with sharp detail and still have excellent enlargement capability.  I have extension tubes and I think I've tried them before, but I believe they blocked the light in close shooting, and I lost autofocus.  I will try a smaller aperture.  I use photoshop and I have a new Pixma Pro-300, but I'm working with a 10 year old camera and a 13 year old lens, and it occurs to me, I need to look at what new gear could offer me.  I appreciate everyone's advice and it gives me some good direction for my research.  Thank you.

" I have extension tubes and I think I've tried them before, but I believe they blocked the light in close shooting, and I lost autofocus. "

Did you have extension tubes with electrical contacts. The very inexpensive ones are just metal cylinders, but for a few more dollars you can have ones that will not affect lens auto focus.

Screenshot 2022-01-01 101045.jpg

John Hoffman
Conway, NH

1D X Mark III, Many lenses, Pixma PRO-100, MX472, LR Classic

Thanks.  I left them at my summer place in MA because I never use them, but I suspect  they don't have electronic contacts, so I appreciate your pointing that out.  I plan to link up with some Camera Club folks in the next few weeks and they may have some, as well as other equipment I could try out.  There no longer are camera shops locally where I can rent equipment to try.

ebiggs1
Legend

I am agreeing with John. There may be other than camera/lens issues you are dealing with. I would sort them out first before a gear purchase.

However, of course, new gear, is going to produce, it should anyway, "better" more "excellent" results than your aging 2Ti can. Current lenses are better too. I would steer clear of any new DSLR though and go for a mirrorless camera and lens system. There is no future in DSLR.

EB
EOS 1DX and 1D Mk IV and several lenses!
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