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New to macro, would like to purchase a new camera and lens.

 
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user6672



Joined: 09 Sep 2018
Posts: 3

PostPosted: Tue Sep 11, 2018 2:23 pm    Post subject: New to macro, would like to purchase a new camera and lens. Reply with quote

Hello, I am new to macrophotography and I am looking to purchase a new camera. My main goals are to improve macrophotography and be able to take normal daily pictures such as outdoors and indoor portraits.

My current camera is a T1i and it is damaged beyond repair. I have a budget of approximately $1000 to purchase a new camera and any lenses. My current lens selection is only the t1i kit lens and a reversing ring.

I live in America, and if there is any other information I can provide I will gladly provide it.

Thank you for your help
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rjlittlefield
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Joined: 01 Aug 2006
Posts: 19392
Location: Richland, Washington State, USA

PostPosted: Tue Sep 11, 2018 3:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

User 6672, welcome aboard!

My T1i finally died a couple of months ago, after almost 8 years of loyal service. I had no need to upgrade that camera to some higher capability, so I just replaced the dead body with a used T1i purchased through eBay. That cost me $172, shipping included. The replacement body has minor cosmetic issues, but as far as I can tell it is 100% functional.

You might consider going the route of a used body, either T1i or any of the later T*i series, combined with purchasing a new, reconditioned, or used macro lens. Either of the Canon 100 mm EF macro lenses is very good. The "Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L IS USM Macro Lens" is excellent.

As an alternative to the macro lens, you might consider getting a Canon EF 55-200 mm kit lens plus Raynox DCR-150 and maybe DCR-250 auxiliary closeup lenses. The Raynox lenses, used in combination with the 55-200, would give you coverage down to just under 1/2" frame width (about 2:1 on the APS-C sensor), with almost fixed working distances of about 9" and 5" for the DCR-150 and DCR-250, respectively. This combination of stuff is certainly not world class optics, but I have no doubt that in the hands of a world class photographer the optics would be good enough to produce award winning images.

No doubt there are a lot of other good options, which I assume other people will chime in to tell us about.

In the meantime, what more can you tell us about your interests?

--Rik
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user6672



Joined: 09 Sep 2018
Posts: 3

PostPosted: Tue Sep 11, 2018 4:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

rjlittlefield wrote:
User 6672, welcome aboard!

My T1i finally died a couple of months ago, after almost 8 years of loyal service. I had no need to upgrade that camera to some higher capability, so I just replaced the dead body with a used T1i purchased through eBay. That cost me $172, shipping included. The replacement body has minor cosmetic issues, but as far as I can tell it is 100% functional.

You might consider going the route of a used body, either T1i or any of the later T*i series, combined with purchasing a new, reconditioned, or used macro lens. Either of the Canon 100 mm EF macro lenses is very good. The "Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L IS USM Macro Lens" is excellent.


Do you feel like it would be most beneficial to lean towards towards a more expensive lens, or a more expensive camera? I assume that generally I would get more use out of a lens like the 100mm EF macro compared to a slightly more up-to-date camera.

rjlittlefield wrote:

As an alternative to the macro lens, you might consider getting a Canon EF 55-200 mm kit lens plus Raynox DCR-150 and maybe DCR-250 auxiliary closeup lenses. The Raynox lenses, used in combination with the 55-200, would give you coverage down to just under 1/2" frame width (about 2:1 on the APS-C sensor), with almost fixed working distances of about 9" and 5" for the DCR-150 and DCR-250, respectively. This combination of stuff is certainly not world class optics, but I have no doubt that in the hands of a world class photographer the optics would be good enough to produce award winning images.

No doubt there are a lot of other good options, which I assume other people will chime in to tell us about.

In the meantime, what more can you tell us about your interests?

--Rik


That Raynox aux lens looks very interesting. I already have a 18-135mm spare, and the 15-55mm kit lens from the t1i. I assume that the former would be usable with the Raynox lenses?

I don't really have many interests, which is why I'm trying to pursue something more fulfilling like photography. I hope that through this I can find things that I am more interested in and spend less time playing video games.
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Deanimator



Joined: 23 Oct 2012
Posts: 608
Location: Rocky River, Ohio, U.S.A.

PostPosted: Tue Sep 11, 2018 4:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I currently use a Canon T4i, purchased used from Adorama.

My macro specific lens is a Tokina 100mm macro. It is an AMAZING lens for the money.

I find that the combination gives me excellent results at an affordable price. Any issues are ones of user ability rather than equipment quality.
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TheDocAUS



Joined: 19 Jul 2018
Posts: 31
Location: Sydney

PostPosted: Wed Sep 12, 2018 12:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

+1 on the Tokina lens.

[AdminEditCR "Tokina"]
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ChrisR
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Joined: 14 Mar 2009
Posts: 7952
Location: Near London, UK

PostPosted: Thu Sep 13, 2018 3:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes the Raynox add-ons will work well with your kit lens at the long end.

I don't think there are many "bad" macro lenses. The Tokina at f/11 is as sharp as my other makes.
I would say DO go for one with autofocus though. I find I use it a lot. Also, it opens the possibilites for a computer or phone to focus the camera, which is a seriously interesting direction to go for new abilities.

Camerawise, used good condition copies of middle-aged technology are great value. I'd go for one with a folding rear screen, which makes use near the ground, or the table-top, more convenient. I had a t3i (650D) which was fine.

Having a reversing ring probably means you've dipped into the world of the "much closer". The 18-55 reversed is surprisingly good. You probably know that if you set the aperture with the stop-down button and remove the lens, the aperture stays where it was. If that's the sort of hassle you can work with then for under $100 of spend, you can get very good quality at high magnifications.
You'll need a flash, and a good low-level support. And a lot of white paper and sticky tape, and patience!
[tag:beginner advice]
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user6672



Joined: 09 Sep 2018
Posts: 3

PostPosted: Thu Sep 13, 2018 2:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ChrisR wrote:

Camerawise, used good condition copies of middle-aged technology are great value. I'd go for one with a folding rear screen, which makes use near the ground, or the table-top, more convenient. I had a t3i (650D) which was fine.


Won't a lower resolution camera make it more difficult to get a good crop?

I know that megapixels aren't everything, but my instinctive thought is that having more would create much more flexibility. Is this a poor way to think?

And thank you very much to everyone for all your help so far. I feel like I probably would've made a big mistake if not for this advice.
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rjlittlefield
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Joined: 01 Aug 2006
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Location: Richland, Washington State, USA

PostPosted: Thu Sep 13, 2018 3:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

user6672 wrote:
Won't a lower resolution camera make it more difficult to get a good crop?

I know that megapixels aren't everything, but my instinctive thought is that having more would create much more flexibility. Is this a poor way to think?

As with most issues, it's a tradeoff between cost and other aspects.

To take an extreme comparison, that used T1i that cost me $172 gives 15 megapixels. I could buy, instead, a Canon 5DS or 5DSR that would give me 50 megapixels, but that would cost more like $2-3K. In terms of print size, 15 megapixels is more than enough to make a 15" x 10" print at 300 ppi, while 50 megapixels can print at about 29" x 19" and 300 ppi.

Staying in the Canon T*i series, an interesting comparison is between the T1i at 15 megapixels, and the T6i at 24 megapixels. That may sound like a big difference, but remember that on each axis, the increase is only sqrt(24/15), or about 26% more pixels on each axis for the higher-MP sensor.

Is that advantage worth the price?

--Rik
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ChrisR
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 13, 2018 3:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have an 80D which is 24MP. That's 15% on a side, more than a t3i. Too little to notice unless they're enlarged a lot, side by side.

More noticeable is the lower noise, at say iso800. If you're chasing around after butterflies it would help, but on a tripod there's rarely a need to go above the lowest iso setting you have, where noise really isn't an isssue. For general photography it has faster AF, it's better in low light, etc which come with its youth. Those will be better generally with later bodies, if they matter for what you want to do.

Another oldie but goodie is the Canon 50D. I see many have sold on ebay in the US at attractive prices. No folding rear screen though.
Don't get a 60D, 70D or 80D, their shutters vave a vibration which the others we've mentioned don't. It's a minor hassle for close macro.

If you get bitten by higher magnification photography you may at some point want a "macro rail" to allow stacking of images. That would take a chunk of your budget, so you may be glad to have not spent a load on the body.
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ray_parkhurst



Joined: 20 Nov 2010
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Location: Santa Clara, CA, USA

PostPosted: Wed Sep 19, 2018 8:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

In my coin photography forums, I usually recommend folks purchase the Canon Rebel XS. This was the first Rebel which had Live View, and it operates the same as later Rebel models. It is only 10.2MP, but what this means for most folks who publish their coin photos on the web is the downsizing factor is 3x (from 3888x2592 to 1296x864) rather than 4x (5184x3456 to 1296x864) like the later 18MP Rebels. Interestingly, the final image size is the same, and once you have done the downsizing you can't tell whether the image came from the XS or a later Rebel. The XS has EFSC like the later Rebels, and tethers to the computer using EOS Utility software. Best of all, they cost typically ~$100 or so (body only). In fact I just picked up a couple of brand new XS kits on eBay for $109 each, in unopened boxes, with the 18-55mm kit lens! Anyway, thought I'd point out that going the other direction is possible with good results. Lots of MP are not necessarily needed for macro work, but IMO Live View and EFSC are both required, and the XS has you covered.
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Deanimator



Joined: 23 Oct 2012
Posts: 608
Location: Rocky River, Ohio, U.S.A.

PostPosted: Fri Sep 21, 2018 3:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ray_parkhurst wrote:
In my coin photography forums, I usually recommend folks purchase the Canon Rebel XS. This was the first Rebel which had Live View, and it operates the same as later Rebel models. It is only 10.2MP, but what this means for most folks who publish their coin photos on the web is the downsizing factor is 3x (from 3888x2592 to 1296x864) rather than 4x (5184x3456 to 1296x864) like the later 18MP Rebels. Interestingly, the final image size is the same, and once you have done the downsizing you can't tell whether the image came from the XS or a later Rebel. The XS has EFSC like the later Rebels, and tethers to the computer using EOS Utility software. Best of all, they cost typically ~$100 or so (body only). In fact I just picked up a couple of brand new XS kits on eBay for $109 each, in unopened boxes, with the 18-55mm kit lens! Anyway, thought I'd point out that going the other direction is possible with good results. Lots of MP are not necessarily needed for macro work, but IMO Live View and EFSC are both required, and the XS has you covered.

I'm not sure I'd go that far back, but certainly the Canon Rebel series is more than good enough for most macro work, especially in the field.

I went with a used T4i. Aside from the absence of some features which I couldn't afford at the time of purchase, I've been pretty happy with my T4i. Better the T4i I could afford than the 60D I couldn't.

Even newer Rebels aren't that expensive when purchased used from someone like Adorama or B&H.
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